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Cohen Chapter 11

The critic and the Dramaturg

Terie Spencer

on 20 October 2017

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Transcript of Cohen Chapter 11

The Critic
and the Dramaturg

analyzing the playgoing experience
'everyone's a critic'
A play begins in the mind of the writer
and ends in the minds and memories
of the audience.
It gets from point A to Point B
through the performance.
We remember some plays all our lives- why?
How did the play affect you?
Was there a theme?
A lesson?
An unforgettable line
or visual effect?
What did you notice- or not notice?
the comfort of the seats, perhaps?
Were you transported?
Did you forget you were watching a play?
Were you engaged or bored?
You could also read a play to experience it.
Can you visualize all the aspects- sets, costumes, character?
Did the world of the play make sense?
Did the story move you, or make you think?
These questions are part of
Every playgoer does it
, even if it's just talking at Denny's after the play.

Your opinions about a play make up your dramatic analysis.
Social significance
How complex and important are the social or political issues?
Five Critical and

Here are 5 ways of looking at our response to a play-
5 different perspectives
Some people do it for a job,
like a critic or play reviewer.
Then it's called dramatic criticism.

a dramaturg is a scholar and researcher who works with a theatre on a specific play being produced
compiles past production history, researches historical and social background of play, compiles translation or adaptation info, helps develop new plays, may assist director with staging concerns
Everyone who sees a play evaluates and judges it.
So what do the professionals do? What makes up 'dramatic criticism?'
they do
brief, first hand 'consumer guide'
reaction to one performance
written for newspapers or online columns
more complex analysis: addresses social, political, psychological issues
based on more than one performance- could address an entire body of work
published in magazines or as essays- a category of literary art in itself
Human significance
Does the play transcend current issues and address universal human themes?
Artistic quality
, honesty, ability to draw you in, surprise you- what, for you, makes theatre 'art?'
Relationship to theatre itself- METATHEATRE
Connecting with theatre history and convention- every play can redefine what theatre is
Some plays comment on the theatre as part of the play
Entertainment value
definition of entertainment: 'that which holds the attention'
all plays, comedy or drama, have entertainment value
part of the entertainment is in the shared experience
This is the play's "final repository."
(one definition of art:
self reflection using form and content)
Full transcript