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The world of the play paper should be about four pages in length. Write a draft, reread it, edit it and get it to the essentials. Use it to refine how you think about the script. Say as much as you can in as few words as are absolutely necessary, while expressing your ideas completely.


Format: The paper should be double-spaced, have one-inch margins, be in twelve-point font, stapled in the upper left corner, have an MLA header in the upper left, and be supported by appropriate research and/ or citations as needed.  Support your assertions!


Please include these headings in your writing a the top of each section:


The story: Tell the story briefly but completely. Don't get bogged down in extraneous details. Give the primary events and their effects on the characters. Give location, historical time, passage of time, and any other salient features that will help us to understand the story, but do not make it a list of plot actions—tell me the story that the characters lived. Thinking about character or theme is a better way into the story than plot. This is objective, not subjective.


Point of view: This is essentially a “thesis” statement telling us your point of view of the story. How do you feel about these people? What is the author exploring or trying to communicate, with this play as you understand it? Express your understanding of the characters' feelings about their experience and its application to the playwright's intent. This is subjective, not objective.


Style: How is language used in the play—is it naturalistic or heightened? What are the tempos and rhythms of the language and of the structure of the scenes? What is the level of reality of the play—is it abstract, poetic, realistic? Are there multiple realities?


Environment:   Describe the environment (not the "set") in which the story takes place using the following criteria:


Topographical/physical environment: What are the geographical information, date, season, time? How is the physical environment (not the set) arranged: spacious/confined, light/dark, organized/chaotic, etc.? How do these affect how you understand the play?


Emotional or intellectual environment: May be expressed as objective elements such as composition, color, movement, etc. or, perhaps more effectively, as parallels or opposites such as interior/exterior, warm/cold, dark/light, oppressive/freeing, frightening/soothing, etc.?


Political or social environment: What are the society, economics, culture and politics of this world? What conflicts are there? What are the relationships between the characters (their family)? What are their personal traits? Who has power over whom?


Visual imagery/ metaphor: What imagery, metaphors, similes, or associations does the author use in describing the world of the play? How do they help to enrich your understanding of the place, the time, the characters, and the story? Is there an overarching image that encapsulates the action? How do you visualize this world?


THETR 461:

World of the Play

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