What was the major conflict, dramatic question, or unifying theme?/What was the dominant tone of the play? Serious? Comic? Ironic? Explain./What was your overall impression of the performance?/What was your overall impression of the experience?
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The point of this paper is to critique the play, not just describe it. Important: read any notes about the play in the Program you will receive from the usher at the theatre. A program is often referred to as the Playbill. Be sure to obtain a program and use it to correctly identify the play, authors, characters, etc.
Format: Your paper should be 1200 words minimum and not to exceed 1400 words, double-spaced, font: Times New Roman, font size 12 pts.
Due date: February 28, 2015
How: Submit your critique electronically (email) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary: Below is a summary of the play as published by the Royal Shakespeare Company:
Shakespeare”s comedy is believed to have been written in 1599 or early 1600. Please read it before you go and see the show. It is NOT important that you understand every word of the play. Most audiences comprehend about 40%-60% of the text of a Shakespeare play. vs. 60%-75% for a modern or contemporary play. Yet, somehow they still understand the story and the characters of Shakespeares plays.
The usurping Duke Frederick has forced Duke Ferdinand into exile from the court. He takes refuge in the Forest of Arden with a band of faithful lords. Rosalind, his daughter, is kept uneasily at court as a companion to her cousin Celia, Frederick”s daughter.
Orlando de Boys, the youngest son of the late Sir Rowland de Boys, has been kept in poverty by his brother Oliver since his father”s death. Orlando decides to wrestle for his fortune at Frederick”s court, where he sees Rosalind and they fall in love.
The Duke banishes Rosalind, fearing that she is a threat to his rule. Celia, refusing to be parted from her cousin, goes with Rosalind to seek Duke Ferdinand in the Forest. For safety they disguise themselves – Rosalind as the boy Ganymede and Celia as his sister Aliena – and persuade the fool Touchstone to accompany them.
On hearing of a plot by his brother to kill him, Orlando also flees to the Forest and takes refuge with the exiled Duke. Posting love lyrics through the forest, Orlando encounters Rosalind disguised as Ganymede. She challenges his lovesick state and suggests that he should prove the strength of his love by wooing Ganymede as if he were Rosalind.
Elsewhere in the Forest love also blossoms: the shepherd Silvius suffers unrequited love for Phoebe, who has fallen for Ganymede, while Touchstone is pursuing the goatherd Audrey. Oliver, sent into the Forest to hunt down Orlando, has his life saved by his brother, becomes filled with remorse for his past behavior and falls in love with Aliena.
Frustrated by the pain of his love for Rosalind, Orlando is unable to continue wooing Ganymede, so Ganymede promises he will conjure up the real Rosalind and that all the lovers will finally be wed…
Topics: Below are some basic questions to get you started. These are only SUGGESTED topics. You do not need to answer all of these questions.
What was the major conflict, dramatic question, or unifying theme?
What was the dominant tone of the play? Serious? Comic? Ironic? Explain.
What was your overall impression of the performance?
What was your overall impression of the experience?
Acting: Choose at least two actors (male or female) to comment on in some depth.
Who was your favorite Actor? Actress? Why?
What did the scenery convey about the play?
How did the scenery contribute (or fail to contribute) to the total production? What would have been lost if the scenery had been eliminated?
Costume Design and Makeup: Try to comment on the following.
Were there any special costume needs? (Historical, fantasy, etc.?) If so how well was it handled?
Overall, how did costumes and makeup contribute (or fail to contribute) to the total production?
Lighting Design and Sound: Try to comment on the following.
Were there any special lighting or sound needs? If so how well was it executed?
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