Casting Assignment

Write and present a two-page paper explaining your casting choices for one of the plays that we have read so far. You can cast any actors you’d like, but you need to explain your choices and demonstrate a “vision” for your production. For example:

“I chose an all-Australian cast for my production of Hedda Gabler, which allows me to showcase artists whose work is not often seen in the United States. At the same time, I’ve cast Cate Blanchett, well-known stage and screen actress in the lead role to encourage interest in this production by those who may not be regular theater-goers. Ms Blanchett’s previous work such as blah, blah and blah demonstrates her range as an actress while blah role in particular shows that she is capable of a embodying the role of Hedda in a way that coordinates with my vision for this production. Blah, blah, blah…”

You will present your paper to the class on Friday, July 1st

In-class Assignment: Exploring Style

The prompt: You went to a party with your roommate over the weekend and somehow your roommate ended up in jail. Now you have to write three letters explaining the events of the evening – one to a mutual friend, one to your roommate’s parents, and one to the judge.

Form a group of three to write the letters. WORK TOGETHER to compose all three letters. AFTER YOU FINISH THE LETTERS: Discuss the letters as a group. Consider how audience, topic, and purpose work together. How did your style change based on these factors?

Be prepared to share some of your letters and your conclusions based on your discussion with the class. We will then continue the discussion of audience, topic, purpose, and style as a group.


Hedda Gabler Sound Design Assignment

The 2009 Roundabout Theatre production of Hedda Gabler was sound designed by the artist PJ Harvey – not exactly who I think of when I think of nineteenth century Norway. Who would you use? I want you to find a song that you would use in your own production of Hedda. It can represent the themes of the play, the setting or an individual character, but you need to explain, in writing, why you made that choice.

Please write a half a page to a page explaining what it is about that particular song that makes you think of Hedda. Remember, just like the examples that you use in your papers, it is not enough just to give the example and assume that it is clear to the reader how you reached that conclusion. Explain exactly why the example (the song) that you chose is an appropriate choice for Hedda. Think of this as a body paragraph in a longer paper. You’ll need a topic sentence explaining your choice, you’ll need to present your example (your song) and you will need to persuade your reader of how and why that song is appropriate.

I would also like a copy of the lyrics, which you should be able to find on the internet.

Next week, you will present your song to the class. I want you to play it for us and then explain your artistic choice to the group. I will provide a CD player and iPod speakers or you can play it as a youTube clip on the screen.

We won’t get through everyone’s presentations on Tuesday, but I still want you to come prepared to present on Tuesday (It wouldn’t be fair if some of you got more time than the others to work on this).


Paper #1 – Prompt

Your papers should be 4-6 pages, double-spaced, MLA format and address one of the following prompts:

  1. 1)  In the documentary “In the Company of Actors” that we watched on the first day, writer Andrew Upton says that his interpretation of the play Hedda Gabler shifts the weight of the play from Hedda’s horrible fear of scandal to the idea of Hedda being trapped in an isolating, restrictive life, thus making it more relevant to a contemporary audience. Can you do something similar with the other texts that we have read? (Or perhaps, with another theme in Hedda?) What are the major and minor themes in these texts and how are they relevant to a contemporary audience? How do we see these themes manifested in the text? Are they complimentary to, or at odds with some of the traditional (or untraditional) readings that we have discussed? Limit your discussion to one of the plays we have read (or watched) so far (Hedda, Julie, Tribades or The Stronger)
  2. 2)  The unofficial (and unintentional) theme of the first two weeks of this class seems to have been “man-hating half-women” Discuss the portrayal of women and women’s roles in one of the plays that we have read. Is Julie a degenerate woman? Is Hedda simply trapped in a life that is not her own? Does Siri intentionally manipulate Strindberg? Can we approach these characters in from different angles? Limit your discussion to the women in one of the plays that we have read (or watched) so far (Hedda, Julie, Tribades or The Stronger)
  3. 3)  The theme of the triumph of the stronger pervades Strindberg’s works (and Ibsen’s as well, though never so blatantly as it does Strindberg’s). Explain how the Darwinian concept of “survival of the fittest” manifests itself in one of these plays. Is the strongest character always the “good” character? Is there ambiguity in who “the stronger” may be? Limit your discussion to one of the plays that we have read (or watched) so far (Hedda, Julie, Tribades or The Stronger)
  4. 4)  Come up with your own angle (but confirm it with me first)

Remember to include a bibliography and keep in mind that your paper can (and probably should) make reference to the secondary sources that we have read as well as the plays (articles, reviews, introductions, etc…)

Your rough draft is due Friday July 8. We will be doing peer review in class – please bring a THREE copies of your paper to class – one each for your peer review

partners and one for me. Remember that the grade you receive on the rough draft will be 25% of your grade on the final draft, so you need to come to class on Friday with a COMPLETE draft of your paper.

Peer Review Worksheet

Writer: Reviewer:

  1. Can you identify the thesis statement? Do you find it compelling and why? Suggest, if possible, a way to improve the introduction or thesis statement.
  2. Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? Does that topic sentence refer to the thesis? Are the ideas expressed in each paragraph clearly developed?
  3. Is there sufficient textual evidence to support the argument? Is it integrated smoothly into the body of the paper? Are sources clearly and properly cited?
  4. Is there a conclusion? Does it adequately summarize the argument? Give suggestions for improvement if possible.
  5. Comment on the writer’s style. Think about sentence variety, word choice, conciseness, action. Is the essay engaging? Is the argument clear? Are there grammatical errors that hinder your understanding of the argument?
  6. Proofread!

Close Reading Exercise 20150406-photogallery.html

  1. 1)  What is this cartoon saying?
  2. 2)  How does it say it?
  3. 3)  Why is it significant?