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Transcript of The Critic
Relationship to Theatre Itself
The Playwrights role to focus public debate, stimulate dialogue, and turn public attention, and compassion toward social injustices, inconsistencies, and irregularities.
The theatre's role in giving voice or a story to those that are not often heard in society.
Theatre's work with oppressed populations.
The greatest plays transcend the social and political to confront hopes, concerns, and conflicts faced bay all humankind
Quality of performance.
Quality of story.
Quality of aesthetics.
Questions we ask ourselves:
Does the play excite our emotions?
Does it stimulate our intellect?
Does it surprise us?
Does it thrill us?
Entertainment - "That which holds attention."
"The theatre is a storehouse of pleasures, not only for the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic stimulation it provides, but also for its intrinsic social excitement." p.444
Newspaper Reviews, Magazines, Websites
Most Prominent - New York Times.
Provides "Instant Criticism"
Provides a "First hand audience response."
Analyze plays and productions within detailed , comprehensive, and rigorously researched critical contexts.
Advise on adaptations and translations
Work with playwrights in creating texts
Clarify plot points, define words, references,
and concepts for the production.
Research historical periods
Research the background of plays
Social context, movement, morays, cultural references, etc.
Historical sources, production history, critique (reviews and scholarly work)
The Audience and Criticism
Perception: The audience's experience of the performance.
Interpretation: How the audience derives meaning from the performance.
Intention: What the artists try to communicate to the audience through performance.
The Audience and Critical Perspective
The 3-step process for evaluating the theatrical experience:
one's response to another
: The act of making judgments.
: What were the artists trying to do?
: How well did they do it?
: How valuable was the experience?
Sources of inspiration vary.
World view and range of interests influence choice of subjects
Working methods vary widely
Mechanics of writing (structural patterns, form, style) vary as well.
Almost all playwrights write multiple drafts before arriving at a final version of the script (Plays are not written, but rewritten.)
Most writers need to see their work performed before completing final revisions
Play readings: having a play read aloud
Workshop: working on a play over time with multiple opportunities for rehearsed readings or performances
A playwright's ultimate goal = full production
A playwright may make changes or revisions up to opening night and beyond.