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Almost Maine”

Theatre Appreciation Final is to attend a play and write a Critique (in essay format) about the play and you’re your experience. Your final should follow an essay/research paper format, these questions are simply to help guide you through writing a proper critique. Your critique must be at minimum 2 pages long (Anything less will be severely marked down). It should be double spaced and typed in a Times New Roman font size 12.
A. INTRODUCTION – What play did you see? Where is it located? Date and time? Name of theater building? Brief plot synopsis, not more than 4 sentences.
B. ACTING – Describe and evaluate the acting in the production. Consider the following questions to successfully analyze the ACTING.
1) Choose the performers you liked best–citing illustrations from the production. Note
things they did well–gestures, moments, bits, etc.–and explain why you think they were
good. Be elaborate and detailed. Try to remember momentary gems- tiny instances that
provoked you as an audience member to respond in some way (be it a guffaw, a giggle, a tear, a choke, etc.)
2) How does the performer’s voice, movement, and non-spoken acting interpret the role?
What subtleties contribute to the character created?
3) How did the performers relate to each other? Did they listen and respond naturally, or did they look like they were “acting?” How do you know?
4) How did the Actors and acting choices affect your appreciation of the play?
C. DIRECTING – Describe and evaluate the directing in the production.
1) Has the director helped the actors perform convincingly? Give examples of when you felt totally connected or disconnected to the characters and why.
2) Do the performers play together as an ensemble? Are interactions natural, revealing of the characters? What does it feel like to be an observer of the interaction?
3) Is it easy to see and hear what is going on? Describe.
4) Are entrances and exits smooth? Scene changes? Describe.
5) Is the stage space used well? Are some areas ignored or overused? Explain.
6) Does the pace and rhythm seem right? Does it drag or move swiftly?
7) Did the performance surprise you any anyway? Did something happen on stage that you had never seen before or felt like you were seeing for the first time because it was being presented on stage expressly for your entertainment?
D. SET DESIGN – Describe and evaluate the set design of the production.
1) What does the scenery look like? Is the scenery helpful to the play? To the performers? Is it a hindrance? Too distracting? Too overbearing? Too plain? Do you envision something else working better? Does it have a purpose?
2) Does it contribute to the mood? What mood does it evoke from you? Is it appropriate for the style of the production?
3) Is there a symbolic element in the scenery? In the shapes or colors? What can you infer based on the visuals about the theme or symbols of the production? What does the color scheme contribute to how you feel about the experience?
4) Is the design aesthetically pleasing in itself? If not, is that done with purpose?
5) What factor does budget play in the design? Is this extremely well funded but a confusing set? Is it an extraordinary set built with little funding? How does budget limit or enhance the production? And how much does that matter? Is the production able to make the audience feel something regardless of the financial backing? Explore, explain.
6) How did the set design affect your appreciation of the play?
E. LIGHTING – Describe and analyze the lighting of the production.
1) Is the lighting realistic or nonrealistic?
2) Does it help create mood? Explain. What mood does the light and color evoke from the
audience? Is there any sense of mood in the lighting pre-show? How does this set atmosphere
3) Are all actors properly lit? Can we see their faces? If there are times when we can’t see their faces, is it done with purpose? How does this effect your experience of watching?
4) How does the lighting use color and direction (where does it come from: below, above,
behind, etc.)? What color effects are used, if any?
5) Are light changes made slowly or quickly? Is this right for the play?
6) Can you imagine changing or adding any lighting effects? Explain.
7) How did the lights affect your appreciation of the play?
F. COSTUMES – Describe and analyze the costumes for the play.
1) Are the costumes right for the play? In period and style? For the theme of the play? What theme is revealed by the clothing stylistic and symbolic choices?
2) Pick one or two costumes that particularly stand out. Describe them in detail. Explain how they are they right for individual characters, in personality, station in life, occupation, etc. If you think the choices are poor, explain why AND explain your ideas for alternatives.
3) Is the costume design aesthetically pleasing? The colors? Why or why not?
4) Are there differences between costumes for major and minor characters? Explain this
difference or similarity and analyze whether it works for the overall production or not.
5) How did the costumes affect your appreciation of the play?
G. CONCLUSION – The success of the production as a whole and personal recommendation.
1) As a whole, how would you rate this play? (Use the time-honored method of giving it stars. From four stars as the highest rating to no stars for a real stinkeroo.)
2) What does the play have to say about people, relationships, human nature?
3) What did you learn about the theatre from this production?
4) Was the play entertaining? Why?
5) Would I recommend this production to other people? Why? JUSTIFY
the play we need to Critique is “Almost Maine”

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