Many students find it helpful to refer to this general guide to analysis when conducting a dramatic analysis of a script. (PDF)
One Page Papers
Whether you act, direct or design, you have to know what a play is most basically about. These one page papers foster that skill.
Students will write papers of not more than one page on A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, The Substance of Fire, Copenhagen, and Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
Directions for the One Page Papers (PDF)
Three-to-Four Page Papers
Doll's House Paper
A three-to-four page paper comparing the play and Joseph Losey's film of A Doll's House will be required. This paper must be rewritten and resubmitted after consultation with the instructor. Any or all of the other paper may also be re-written and resubmitted.
Directions for the Doll's House paper (PDF)
Comparison of Greek and French Plays (Medea)
Although Euripides and Anouilh's versions of Medea share the same basic story, and even to some degree the same narrative and dramatic structure, there are significant diferences between them. Those differences are the subject of your essay.
Directions for the comparison paper. (PDF)
History of Private Life Presentation
Students must participate in an oral explication of important issues in chapter 2, volume 4, of A History of Private Life.
Directions for the History of Private Life presentation (PDF)
Final Presentation and Paper
Students will also complete a project analysing a play chosen from a short list of plays by authors we have already studied in this course: The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertolt Brecht, and Democracy by Michael Frayn. Results of the analysis are to be presented orally to the class, and a summary paper, of at least ten pages and based on the analysis and research, is to be handed in later. The paper should take into account reactions to the oral presentation from students in the class and the instructor. The topic for the presentation/paper is the answer to these questions: What does the play mean? How does it mean it? In addition to answering these questions, the paper should also include some discussion of the consequences for production of the analysis, from the perspective of actor, director or designer, according to the student's particular interests.
Directions for the final presentation and paper (PDF)
|PLAYS||Instructor's critiques of the class's overall presentation on the play||Instructor's specific comments to individual students||Student final paper|
|Democracy||General comments on the presentations (PDF)||Comments on Susan Wilson's presentation (PDF)||Final paper by Susan Wilson (PDF) (Courtesy of Susan Wilson. Used with permission.)|
|The Piano Lesson||General comments on the presentations (PDF)||Comments on Hui Ying Wen's presentation (PDF)||Final paper by Hui Ying Wen (PDF) (Courtesy of Hui Ying Wen. Used with permission.)|
Comprehensive Summary Paper
Finally, students write a paper of about three pages, due at the end of the course, that summarizes what each student has learned about reading a script and describes a methodology the student has developed, based on the experience of the course, for reading scripts theatrically and accurately.
Example of a comprehensive summery paper, by John Gardner (PDF) (Courtesy of John Gardner. Used with permission.)