Aesthetic Experience Performing Arts/Theatrical Production ( RENT )

If you choose this option for your Aesthetic Experience Assignment, you will virtually attend a
theatrical production to write about. Then you will compare it to a theatrical performance scene from the list of designated scenes provided for you below.

3. Use the template found in MyCourses to complete your essay.

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• Use the outline of requirements provided below to complete your essay.
• Be sure you include ALL the required parts on the outline.
• Download and use the template to properly format and organize your essay.
• Incorporate relevant and genre-specific vocabulary for each prompt. Definitions of relevant vocabulary are provided in the theater glossary (see below), in the online module resources, and in your textbook.
• Proofread your work before submitting to insure it conforms to the course’s college level writing requirements.

Student’s Name:
Theatrical production attended:
Date of viewing:
Location of performance:

I. Introductory paragraph: general info (provide ALL of the following)

• Introduce the play you will be discussing by including the title of play, the playwright’s name, the year the play was written, and the name of the production company that staged the performance.

• Describe what type of play it is by answering the following questions: is it modern or classical; is it a contemporary work or historical; and is it a comedy or drama? Explain your choices.

• Discuss how the length and scope of the production affected your experience.

• Discuss how the size and scale of the production affected your experience.

• Using your research, provide 2-3 sentences on the historical, social, or political context for your work and discuss, based on your research and discussion, whether or not you would classify this work as Western or Non-Western.
II. Paragraph 2: theatrical principles

• Using the theatrical arts glossary below, identify the three most significant principles of theater used by the playwright and by the production you saw. Provide a minimum of three specific, descriptive details that support and justify your choices.

III. Paragraph 3: mood of piece:

• Select two adjectives that describe the overall mood of the piece (stay away from vague terms such as amazing, awesome, excellent, etc.). Give a minimum of two specific/descriptive details to support and justify your claims.

IV. Paragraph 4: purpose and context:

• Describe the primary purpose of the play and how it reflects its historical, cultural, or social context. Use details from the work and your research about the play and its context to support your claims.

V. Paragraph 5: human condition:

• Describe how the play reflects the human condition, or how it communicates as a piece of “human creative expression.”

VI. Paragraph 6: comparison:

• Select one of them from the list below and explain three qualities, which can be any combination of the elements and principles of art, context, OR theme that the performance you attended shares with your selection. Use specific examples to support your argument.

• Include a Works Cited section with an entry for your textbook and any other research you used to complete the assignment.

Theater Vocabulary and Principles

Aside: When a character breaks from a scene to speak to the audience directly. The other characters are unaware.

Adjective: Words used to describe or modify nouns or pronouns. For example, red, quick, happy, and obnoxious are adjectives because they can describe things—a red hat, the quick rabbit, a happy duck, an obnoxious person.

Aesthetics: The study of the nature of beauty and art (including the study of human “response” to the “aesthetic experience”). It is a significant branch of philosophy. The word “Aesthetics” is derived from the Greek word meaning “sense perception”.

Aesthetic Experience: having an experience in the arts (broadly) such as viewing art, stage productions (like theater, dance, etc.), or viewing and listening to music (like concerts, opera, singing, etc.), or reading literature and philosophy, that we value intrinsically. Also see key terms at the end of Chapter 1, page 15

Blocking: Actors’ movement on-stage.

Catharsis: A healthy release of pent up emotion. This can occur as a result of an aesthetic experience.

Comedy of Character: When the playwright ridicules individuals “types”.

Comedy of Manners: When the playwright ridicules social behaviors.

Conflict: The action when two opposing forces meet.

Context: In humanities, the environment, background, or special circumstances in terms of which a given work is best understood. Social, historical, and cultural context is the identification of political/social.


Cue: The signal an actor receives or uses to begin a line or movement.

Denouncement: A part of the plot containing the final resolution.

Diction: The actor’s ability to be understood.

Discipline: (1) in the humanities, a given art form (such as literature, visual art, music, theater, dance, musical stage, and others) that attempts to create and express the human condition; (2) in academia, a given department or area of study (like science, history, philosophy, and others).

Discovery: The revelation of information about characters, their personalities, relationships and feelings.

Down stage: The area of the stage closest to the audience.

Eastern Humanities: Creative expressions in one of the disciplines of humanities exhibited in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of one of (broadly) Asia, Africa, Middle East, Indigenous Peoples of all continents (except Europe), and Oceania. Narrowly, China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Pacific Islands, Native America, Aborigines, and Mesoamerica. See also Non-Western Humanities.

Exposition: A part of the plot containing necessary background information.

Foreshadowing: Preparation for a subsequent action – provides credibility for future action, builds tension.

Fourth wall: An imaginary wall between the actors and the audience.

Genre (broadly in the humanities): A distinct category within a discipline (e.g. categories in dance, film, literature, art, music, musical stage, theater, etc.). EXAMPLE: A play is a genre in theater. Also see key terms at the end of Chapter 4, page 99.

Human Condition: Encompasses the uniqueness and totality of the inner experience of “being human”. It is often focused on the ultimate concerns of human existence. Various disciplines in the humanities attempt to express this experience.

Improvisation: The spontaneous movement and speech creating a specific character in a particular situation.

Masterpiece: A work that in style, form, and execution far exceeds other works of its time. It is a human creation (e.g. painting, novel, film, musical score) that continues to be relevant and/or admired by multiple generations. It is a work that has a profound effect on humanity.

Monologue: Part of a play in which one character speaks alone.

Musicality: The attention and sensitivity to the musical elements of theater while creating or performing.

Narrative: Structure that follows a specific story line and intends to convey specific information through that story.

Non-Western Humanities: Creative expressions in one of the disciplines of humanities exhibited in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of one of (broadly) Asia, Africa, Middle East, Indigenous Peoples of all continents (except Europe), and Oceania. Narrowly: China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Pacific Islands, Native America, Aborigines, and Mesoamerica. See also Eastern Humanities.

Pantomime: Performing without words, expressing meaning through physical actions/gestures.

Phenomenological Perception: A perception that exists in your mind as a result of (1) mind internally produced, mind internal causation (like hearing your favorite song while no music is playing), or (2) the mental image (in your mind) that is produced as a result of a veridical perception as it is happening (like seeing color while viewing a painting).

Plot: The sequence of events in a play, generally including rising action, a climax and a resolution.

Prop: Physical items an actor interacts with on stage.

Reversal: Any turn of fortune.

Set: Physical environment in which the actors perform.


Stage business: Small actions performed by an actor which may enhance character or develop plot.

Tableau: A still image, frozen moment, or a “photograph.” Created by posing still bodies.

Theme: The underlying meaning of a play or literary work or the message or subject the work communicates. The theme can relate to the subject matter or be an idea or emotion. Content is another word used for theme in humanities.

Tragedy: A form of a play or theatre where the main character suffers a reversal or downfall.

Veridical Perception: A perception caused by something outside of your mind (e.g. light waves striking your eyes causing an image in your brain). This is a perception caused by a sensory experience (like viewing a painting).

Western Humanities: Creative expressions in one of the disciplines of humanities exhibited in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of European civilization or by civilizations heavily influenced by European immigration and colonization. In most cases these Western cultures trace significant belief systems and history to Ancient Greece. Broadly: Europe, and Non-Indigenous United States, Canada, and

Aesthetic Experience Template-
Last name 1

Student’s Name:

Theatrical production attended:

Date of attendance:
Location of performance:

I. Introductory paragraph: general info

II. Paragraph 2: theatrical principles

III. Paragraph 3: mood of piece

IV. Paragraph 4: purpose and context

V. Paragraph 5: human condition

VI. Paragraph 6: comparison

Works Cited
Include an entry for your textbook and any other research you used to complete the assignment

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