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The Theatre Review Outline Form
Watch the play Fences in its entirety (link provided in Topic 9). Review the following questions and answer them with thought and detail, using specific examples from this production.
Information to appear at the top of your review. The name of the play underlined or in italics. The playwright. The director. The designers. The date of the performance being reviewed. Names of leading actors referred to in your review and role played. (The name of the producer and/or the name of the theatre/producing group.)
This review needs to be 3-4 pages in length.
Introductory Paragraph. This paragraph sets the tone for your review. What about this production struck you? (Choose ONE from: The play itself, the production, the actors, the design, the style of the production, the musical settings, the occasion of seeing this play in a specific production venue, etc.) Make sure to address this question: “Is this an important play and, if so, why?” (Hint: You may want to inform the reader of what you expected prior to seeing the play or give some background about your theatergoing experience.)
The Body of the Review.
Isolate what you feel was the director’s interpretation of the play from what the playwright’s intention For instance, almost all historical plays undergo some kind of a change from their initial productions. Compare and contrast Washington’s version from what Wilson might have intended.
Once you have identified the point of the production, go over significant elements with regard to whether they support/detract from the production. (Significant elements might include: casting, acting, dialect, physicalization, cross gender casting, interracial casting, placement of actors by director, design [set, sound, light costumes, music, etc.])
Next, you should focus on ONE key specific element such as the acting or the design and discuss how these elements contributed to the production.
Be certain not only to praise or condemn but backup your observations with supporting evidence and examples from the film.
1) A fence is one of the major symbols, both figuratively and literally, within the play. Describe and analyze two examples of fences that exist within the play discussing:
– who builds each fence
– how each fence is built
– what effect each fence has on the characters in the play
Fences to consider are: the real fence Rose asks Troy to build; the symbolic fences that some characters choose to build around themselves; and the symbolic fence that Wilson hints at regarding the fences that separate African-Americans from others (please be considerate and sensitive when answering this question).
Make sure to stay away from any interpretation found on the internet. This should be your own thoughts/interpretations/etc. If you use internet sources without citing, that is considered plagiarism.
2) Identify what, if anything, did this production contribute to your understanding of theatre? What, if anything, can you say about the style of the production? Was it appropriate for the play, the occasion, the audience, etc.?
Conclusion. Make a recommendation to your reader and support it by referring back to a point raised above in your review. (If you feel strongly positive about the production, advise the reader to go see it immediately. If you feel strongly negative, advise the reader not to go.)
General Advice: If a specific scene or speech makes a strong impression on you, by all means find an excuse to allude to it or quote the passage in your review. If something in the play makes you aware of a specific historical event or general truth, use it as key to unlock the rest of the play. Keep your writing style simple, clear, and direct.