Activity #1—Theatricality in the World Pts. Possible: 50
**Submit your document as a .doc or .docx file in the assignment**
To examine a live event from life to determine how theatre and theatrical elements are utilized in creating meaning, visual impact and relationship with an audience.
If you look up the word you will find definitions such as “superficial” and “artificial.” This isn’t quite what theatre people mean by theatricality, particularly as related to this exercise. Theatricality for this exercise is looking at a real-life event and observing how artistic, theatrical elements—staging (the movement of the people), and the stage set-up (scenery), costuming, lighting, sound and even scripts and acting—are utilized to impact an audience. When completing this activity, I encourage you to examine the way in which the “creators” and “performers” of the event are manipulating (and I don’t necessarily mean manipulate in a negative way) the “audience” for a desired outcome.
I highly suggest that you complete the readings for Module 1 first. Then, select and attend a local event—political rally, parade, church service, athletic event—any event that you feel lends itself to elements of theatricality. Please attend safely in this Covid world. If we need to find a virtual event for safety sake, please get in touch with me as soon as you can. Do not choose to see a play or a movie; you are examining a non-theatrical event that borrows elements of theatre to be more impactful. Photograph or attain printed materials/ticket stubs to submit as verification of attendance along with your paper. Use the following questions as a guide in writing a 3 page (minimum), MLA formatted, descriptive/reflective essay that analyzes the theatricality of the event comparing real-life and elements of theatre. Note: Remember that I did not see the event, so try to “set it up” for me before diving in. Really make me see the event. Set the stage, so to speak. Proofread your work carefully.
• Use the following questions to guide your writing, but do not treat this paper as a question and answer session. Nor should you be limited by these questions if you have observations that you believe pertain to the spirit of this assignment. Above all don’t simply describe the event without referring back to the elements of theatre as outlined in your text. Use the theatre terms to talk about the real life event. You must make the connections back to theatricality.
1) PERFORMER/CREATOR AND AUDIENCE RELATIONSHIP — What do you think was the “intent” of the creators/performers? How was a relationship with the audience established? Was the attempt successful? how? Provide some specific examples of audience/creator/performer interaction that justify your point.
2) STRUCTURE OF EVENT / SCRIPT — Did the event follow a structure of any kind? Was that structure conducive to a particular “flow” or to you receiving the event more successfully? Was there thoughtful intention behind the structure? Was there a script that the primary performers followed? How was the script performed — sincerely and from the heart or with a greater since of ritual and pomp?
3) ELEMENTS OF DESIGN — Discuss the use of theatrical design elements—costumes, scenery, lighting, sound, and special effects. How was the event arranged physically and visually? Was there a unified visual world? How did the elements work together for a particular effect? What meaning was conveyed to the audience in the design choices? How was the physical space arranged, and how did it impact the relationship to the audience? Were there examples of unsuccessful design choices?
4) THE PERFORMERS/CHARACTERS — Who were the primary “performers?” Did they “perform” for the audience? Was sincerity important to their performance? Were they totally engaged in the real-life moment-to-moment action, unconcerned that there was an audience present? Was there a component of “staging” in their performance?
5) WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF — Did you ever get caught up in the event as an audience member/participant and lose your sense of distance as the observer? What happened?
6) DISCOVERIES — Did you make any unanticipated discoveries while doing this exercise? Did thinking about the event in a theatrical context change the way you experienced the event? How? in a theatrical context change the way you experienced the event? How?
Example included in attachment