You are required to see one production at either a professional theatre or the Suffolk mainstage production this semester and write a performance analysis paper for that production. The paper will focus on the production design generally, and specifically the lighting. Your ability to communicate in clear, concise writing is as important as your attentive, considered perceptions of each production. Don't just "bang this out"—write a clear and perceptive paper.
An analysis should demonstrate your understanding of the main ideas (themes) in the script and how the design of the production served, or did not serve, those ideas. You should state this thesis early in the paper, probably in the introduction. If you determine that one of the major themes of the script is, for instance, the isolation of individuals in a modern urban society, you would discuss how the production elements, particularly the lighting, supported that idea of isolation. The vocabulary you have acquired in this course--color, texture, direction, selective focus, etc.--should be applied to your descriptions of the design. You should be aware, as much as possible, of the equipment used and why.
Building on the model of your design approach statements, elements of the script such as point of view, environment, and imagery are all parts of the production analysis. Reference to works of art, such as we have been exploring in the morgue projects, is also appropriate. Citations from reviews or other commentary is useful, however, you must use appropriate MLA style in your citations and bibliography.
• Three to four pages, page numbers, double spaced, one inch margins, twelve point font, appropriate cover page w/student ID#, appropriate research and/ or citations as needed.
• Paper must have a clear introductory paragraph that states the particulars of the production and the main idea of the paper. You must also provide a concluding paragraph which “sums up” the observations and arguments of the paper.
• The paper is not a review, but a formal and considered analysis of the production and the script.
• Due dates are specified in the syllabus.
Other Possible Discussion Points:
In addition to the lighting, some other observations to discuss might be:
• Were the designers all "working on the same show" or did some elements seem not to fit with the overall concept?
• Did one aspect of the production stand out from the others? Was this appropriate?
• If the play was presented in translation or adaptation, was the translation/ adaptation effective?
• Did the directorial approach/ production style employed support or detract from the playwright's intentions?
• Did the technology of the production contribute to or detract from a satisfying experience?
• Have you read or seen other works by this playwright? How was this play or production different or similar?
Production Response Paper