Critical Theatre Review The purposes and aims of this assignment: The practice of critical thinking and writing. Obtaining skills for critical analysis of dramatic text and theatre production. Ability to raise critical questions by engaging with the dramatic text/production. Format and Rules -Length: approximately 1000 words -Written assignments should be typed, with the format of double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12-point font, Times New Roman font, and page numbers. Papers will be graded on writing and content. On the top right corner put your full name, your student ID, class name and number, and the date. -Due date: 11:00AM on November 6th, Tuesday. Papers must be printed on only one side of the page and submit in Class, AND submit on E-Class (format: Word Doc) by 11:00AM on the specified date. -Printed papers should be stapled in the upper left corner. Staple your ticket for the Lenin’s Embalmers with your paper. Late submission will be docked one letter grade, and will not be accepted after one week. -Good writing is important to deliver your argument as well. Construct the outline of your review before writing and review your paper if the argument is clear and supported well (do not submit the first draft). Contents and Expectations The task is to write a critical theatre review of the Lenin’s Embalmers which you watched. “Critical theatre review” will show your thorough engagements with diverse aspects of the performance, with a clear argument supported by your analysis. 1) Write about your observations and experiences: what you watched (“Inner Frame”) in the production. Compare with your reading of the play. Every production makes their statement (for instance, “what this play means, what aspects of this play have to be emphasized, how this play is relevant to the current circumstances, etc), by presenting their artistic choices of the theatre elements. What are the artistic choices which this production made? What are the stage elements worth mentioning in your theatre review? Focus on certain aspects which are significant regarding how this production interprets and realizes the spine of the play. For instance, the use of sign language was the major intentional choice in Red Torch Theater’s The Three Sister. What does this choice tell about the play? In Lenin’s Embalmers, the director told that many other productions used a fake body for the embalming scene. If the use of actor of Lenin in the embalming scene is an intentional and significant choice in this production, how does it serve to represent the core of the play? Like this, consider theatre signs and elements: Stage design, Lights, Sounds, Movements/Acting, Arrangement of the actors (spatial occupations), Casting, Costume, Audience engagement, After the performance (the body exhibition after the performance), etc. If you think there are important factors of the outer frame for making meaning of the performance, you may discuss that as well. For instance, how your knowledge of the play text, knowledge of theatre history, your cultural/social backgrounds influence your experience and interpretation of the performance? 2) Meaning-Making. Considering both the world of the play text, and the inner frame and outer frame in the production, make your argument regarding following questions: What are the spines (cores) of this play and this production? What are the questions raised by this play/production? What is the artistic vision of this production? How did the artistic choices effectively realize the spine/core of the play? You do not have to follow the format of a reputable review. You can use professional reviews as your references, and you should structure your review considering what is worth describing, how you interpreted certain aspects, and what is your argument and how you would support your statement. The questions I listed in a blue box in the lecture slide (Oct 9th) are things you might consider in your theatre review/analysis. – How will you start your review? What will be the effective and appealing title of the review? – What information is necessary regarding the production? What do you need to describe? Do you need to provide the plot of the play? If so, what is the best way of delivering it? – What is suggested in the play script, and what is not? What are the unique/original choices made by this production? What is emphasized and focused on; what is minimized and neglected? – Why did they make these artistic choices? What are they trying to achieve with these choices?