Each evaluation should focus on the various aspects of theatre production, as we have discussed them to date in class. As we get further along in class, your evaluations should become more detailed and in greater depth. Please don’t tell me the story (I already know what happens in the movie, I’ve seen it)… but you may briefly tell me about the plot structure…. Not the story, but the structure.
Here are some questions to help you understand the kind of information I would like. You don’t have to answer each question, just use them as guides. Tell me your personal responses to the production as a whole, i.e. what you thought and how you felt. If you thought something was good, try to figure out the reasons behind your thoughts and explain them to me. If it was bad, tell me why. Did the story make sense to you? Did it seem plausible? Probable?
I would like you to comment on the acting. Comment on the performances of the individual actors and actresses. Did the actors achieve a successful characterization? Did you believe they were who they said they were? If they were unsuccessful, in your view, try to discover why they were unable to develop an effective characterization. If they were great, tell me why you thought that way. If they were stinky bad, tell me why. Were the characters believable? Did they look the part? If you talk about an actor, please name the actor. Don’t say, “the guy who played Bill”. You will be graded down if you do. Tell me something like, “Michael Douglas, who played Bill, did an incredible job”, or something like that. Please keep clear the difference between an “actor”, and a “character”. Michael Douglas is an actor. He plays the character “Bill” in Falling Down. So, if you are talking about something that Bill did, say “Bill went to the hill.” Don’t say “Michael went to the hill.” But, if you are talking about the performance, you should say, “Michael Douglas was awesome as Bill.”
Another aspect you should consider is design. Design consists of costumes, make up, scenery, lighting, and sound. How did each design aspect work for this production? Did it achieve it goals? Was it period effective? Did it help establish the correct mood? Did the total design effort work together and function as it should for a theatrical performance? Remember, we will discuss the functions of design and each design area in class. Point out what you felt were the areas where the design succeeded and where it might have failed. What suggestions might you have for improvement?
What was the theme or message of the film or play? Or, was there a message? Did the film or play make sense, or did you get lost? Evaluate how all the elements of theatre were brought together to achieve a unified presentation. Did the director or author use a special style, gimmick, or technique to communicate their message? Did you learn anything from watching this film or play? Had you seen it before and didn’t understand it, but now you do?
How did the film relate to modern life? Do you see any relationship at all
to your life or to the lives of those around you? What does the film say about the world we live in, or about the world the characters live in? Is there any connection between their world and ours? Did the film make you happy, sad, or indifferent?
Did you have an emotional response? What was it? Why did you have that response? Were you scared, mad, happy, sad, excited, bored or what? Why?
I am always interested in your personal opinions about the films. Please feel free to be candid. If you didn’t like something, say so. But also try to explain the basis of your dislike. If you liked something, try to explain what made you like it. Maybe you hated it when you saw it before, but now you like it. What changed your mind or feeling?
I am generally not grading you on your writing ability, but if you have serious problems in your writing, I will comment and deduct points accordingly. If I recognize that you need some help with your writing, I will let you know how to get help. I am mostly interested in discovering if you understand the nature of theatrical production and how it reflects, affects, or comments on our lives. But, if I can’t understand your writing, I will give your paper back to you for rewrite.
Please, I beg you, please……Proof read your work before turning it in!! Read it out loud to yourself, or anyone else who will listen. If nothing else, find a homeless person and read it to them. Does it make sense to you? If it doesn’t make sense to you, then it sure won’t make sense to me. If you turn in a paper that has obvious errors, and you should have caught them during proof reading, I will grade you down very severely and I will not grade that paper beyond the first page.
Oh yeah, one more thing…..u and r and ur (and the like) are not words. They are texting laziness and have no rightful place on this planet. You are writing a paper for a college class, not chatting with some 65 year old perverted fat man pretending to be an 18 year old college girl with an email address of email@example.com. Please write appropriately.
Evaluations must be typewritten, stapled, and submitted no later than one week after we see the film or you view the production. Double spaced is fine, triple spaced is not. 12 point font please, no larger, no smaller. Each paper must have a title page, which includes your name, the name of the film, the assignment (Evaluation #1, or Extra Credit), the date, and your class day and time, followed by at least four full pages of writing. Also, if you don’t have a stapler, please obtain one. The Dollar Store has them…guess the price!
One final thing, please don’t try to write about a film you didn’t see, or saw many years ago. For example, if you saw Pirates of the Caribbean, The Curse of the Black PearI when you were twelve, and didn’t watch it this semester in class, don’t write about it. I will give your paper back to you, ungraded, if that happens.
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