Research about a play critique and write about it

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Play Critique/Production Essay Guidelines

‘Taking Steps’
by Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by Mark Ramont
Hallberg Theatre


‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore
by John Ford

Directed by Kyle Cooper
Young Theatre


Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Richard Odle, Honorary Underwriter

Corey Hirsch, Music Director
Karl Warden, Choreographer
Directed by Eve Himmelheber
Little Theatre

The Importance of Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde
Directed by James R. Taulli
Young Theatre

Critique Guidelines

one of the previous plays and in the paper you need to cover ALL the
following areas: acting, directing, design (set, light, costume, sound,
hair and makeup). With all of these areas, talk about what you found was
effective and ineffective. Who stood out to you and why? What was
effective or ineffective about them? What about the show was a whole?
What was the message of the show? What themes did you find in the show?
THIS IS NOT A PLOT SUMMARY. I do not need or want you to just talk about
the plot or give me a play-by-play of the show. I saw the show as well.
You can touch on the plot, but I am much more interested in your
opinion of the show (and all its various aspects). Also, you cannot just
refer to someone by their character name or their title (director,
designer, etc.). You are expected to give credit to the actor, director
or designer by using their name, which must be spelled correctly (or at
least how it was spelled in the program). You will LOSE POINTS if you do
not do so. You will also lose points if you do not talk about the
acting, the design AND the direction!! PLEASE BE AWARE
The designers are listed at the TOP of the program, and will say
something like “Light Designer … Matt Schleicher”, etc. Do NOT list the
Design Advisor or Crew Members. These people did NOT design the show,
and you will have points deducted from your paper for incorrectly
listing this information. In your paper, don’t forget YOUR reaction and
to the performance itself. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! How do you
react to this play? How does the message of the play affect you
individually? Discuss directorial choices, design choices, acting
choices … anything that you had a reaction to. Be as specific as you can
be, and use specific examples from the performance to illustrate your
point. You don’t have to love the play or even like it, but you need to
be able to support your arguments. So just saying “I loved this play” or
“I hated it” or “it was all right” won’t cut it – tell me WHY you are
having the reactions you are having. Each paper will be 700-1200 words
long, MAXIMUM of 1200 words. This paper is not a just plot summary or a
book report. Plot is very important, but it is only one of the many
areas you need to discuss. I want to hear YOUR reactions to this

If you do not give credit to the designers by name,
you will automatically have TEN POINTS deducted from your grade.
Mentioning only some of the designers but not all when then incur a
partial deduction. If you do not give credit to the director by name,
you will automatically have EIGHT POINTS deducted from your grade. If
you do not give credit to the actors by name, you will automatically
have FIFTEEN POINTS deducted from your grade.

This does NOT MEAN that you have to talk about EVERY SINGLE ACTOR in
the show. Some of the shows have 30 actors – you do not need to talk
about them all.

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