Play Critique Guidelines Essay

Play Critique Guidelines Essay

. Introduction

A. Date/Title of the performance you attended

B. Identification of the play’s genre

1. Define the nature of the genre you choose

2. Describe how the play fits the genre

C. Statement regarding the playwright’s intent

1. What does the play teach the audience?

II. Body

A. Examples from the script which help to convey the playwright’s intent

1. Choose specific scenes that successfully demonstrate the

underlying theme or idea

2. Note specific examples from the dialogue that support the

playwright’s intent. Is there a particular character who

appears to be acting as the playwright’s mouthpiece?

3. Do not take the title of the work for granted–it may give you a

clue as to the intent of the playwright as well.

B. Examples from the production which support the playwright’s intent (the production elements)

1. Set

a. How does the set provide information about the play? Does its design support the themes inherent in the text?

b. Note how the set is used by the actors

c. How do scene changes work?

d. How does the set convey the overall mood of the piece

and is it consistent with the other design elements?

2. Costumes

a. Describe the characters

b. Evaluate how the costumes conveyed character

3. Lights

a. Evaluate the success or failure of the lighting in terms of

its basic functions: illumination, focus, and mood

4. Sound

a. Evaluate the success or failure of the sound/music in

conveying the mood of the play

5. Acting

a. Define the characters

b. Determine the success or failure of each actor by

evaluating their success or failure in conveying the character physically, vocally and psychologically

6. Directing

a. Consider how the actors move on stage and comment on

the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of those


b. How do all of the elements listed above work as a

whole? Are there inconsistencies that detract from

the overall impact of the play? Be specific.

III. Conclusion

A. Re-state the thought of the play (playwright’s intent)

B. Make a general summation analyzing the results of your evaluation

1. If the play succeeded in conveying the playwright’s intent through the script and the production elements, your response to the question, “Was it worth doing?” should be affirmative

2. If the play overwhelmingly failed to convey the playwright’s intent, it was not worth doing

Your work should be carefully thought out and well-structured. I will grade you based on the quality of your evaluation AND the scholarly quality of your writing. Beware grammar and spelling errors–with today’s technology there are no excuses for misspelled words. Always proofread your work and please do not attempt to fool me with large margins and obvious blank space–I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night!!


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