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Dramatic Art Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Dramatic Art College Essay Examples

Title: The Lion and The Jewel by Soyinka

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1369 Bibliography: 2 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: This paper need to be focus on the question:

What is the influence and interaction of European dramatic art on Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel.

It has to be more an analytical paper than a research paper.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: theatre art

Total Pages: 3 Words: 1343 Sources: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: the paper is 25 questions and includes one long essay, one short essay and 23 multiple choice/true false/fill in the blanks. Please read the plays and respond the following questions and label it correctly
Required plays:
In the Blood Suzan-Lori Parks
Wit Margaret Edson
The Goat, or Who is Sylvia Edward Albee
Doubt John Patrick Shanley
The Shape of Things Neil LaBute
Arcadia Tom Stoppard



Theater can serve many ends. It can be designed to entertain, instruct, motivate, persuade, and even shock. But whatever the intentions of the director, performers, and crew, the result depends on the interaction with an audience.

The audience for theater differs from the reader of a novel or the viewer of a painting in that it assembles as a group at a given time and place to share in the performance with the actors and all the surrounding elements of light, sound, music, costumes, and scenery. The audience affects the performance by providing the performers with immediate feedback, such as laughter, tears, applause, or silence. Each night there is continuous interaction between the auditorium and the stage. This is when the past is made RE-present. But there is another way to look at presentation and representation.

The terms presentational theater and representational theater are often used to describe two different approaches to accomplishing the goals of a production. A presentational style offers a performance with full recognition that the actors are at work on a stage, speaking and acting out a script with music, under lights, and in costumes, and in communication with an audience. There is no attempt to disguise the fact that a theatrical performance is taking place to entertain or instruct audiences.

A representational style of production evolved in Europe in the mid-19th century as writers, directors, and designers set about to show candid truths about ordinary existence within recognizable environments. Two movements?realism in the 1850s and naturalism in the 1870s?presented familiar characters in specific environments, such as living rooms, kitchens, or flophouses. The purpose of the detailed environment was to show how a person's character and life choices are determined in part by environmental or social forces and in part by gender or genetic forces. Visual elements?such as clothing, furnishings, and stage properties?became very specific to the environment. Actors worked within a picture-frame stage?a stage separated from the audience by an arch or rectangular frame?with the understanding that the imaginary fourth wall of their environment was removed to allow audiences to look into the lives of the characters.

In our time, cinema and television have perfected the representational style. Photographic representation is our cultural standard. But the theatre has something the cinema does not have. This is the THEATRICAL element. Find it (or discover its absence) in the plays you have read and seen so far this semester, and then write about it.

Most importantly, it should demonstrate that you understand what it menas to locate the POTENTIAL for theatrciality - that you can go beyond listing stage directions. What do YOU SEE as theatrical or POTENTIALLY theatrical? In other words, you may discuss the fact that Evelyn's thesis presentation is theatrical (as we discussed in class) but you might also describe how you would stage the numerous scenic locales in THE SHAPE OF THINGS by using theatrical conventions. You might discuss something clearly theatrcial in the text, like the double-casting in IN THE BLOOD and you might describe how you would use the visual motif of "screen mediation" as a theatrcial lens for a production of THE GOAT. I want specifics we discussed in calss AND I want your opinions.

This should be a well-organized essay that describes the potential for theatricality in every play we've read this far (SHAPE through THE GOAT). I expect that you will go beyond a simple list. Work this analysis into a paper that discusses the first half of the plays as a theatrical whole. Is their an overall matrix or motif that you can use to track the theatrical in all of the plays? More than a comprehensive list (of theatrical potential), this essay should demonstrate your ability to provide an analytical opinion about the entire body or work thus far.


This is a descriptive example, not a "prompt".

You might write about the issues brought up last night during THE GOAT. Are these plays all using the same predictable and transparent kind of cheap sensationalism or are they asking really difficult questions that they can ask because the theatre has the freedom to do so? Obviously, your answer may be in the middle somewhere - that's great. Describe your opinion, using the potential for theatrical potential in each play as the proof or development of your rhetorical point of view.


This is a descriptive example, not a "prompt".

I think I would look at each play, thematically, and describe what you see as the evolving semester theme for this body of work. I often say things like, "I think this is the thematic center of this play" or "this is a central or important motif". When you look back at our Collaborates, in aggregate, what is or are the overarching theme(s)? Remember - ideas, not static words! You would then describe the potential for theatricality in each play as a means to support your assertion that these plays pain a consistent, thematic picture. You could easily say that all of the plays discuss our need to CONNECT with one another.

This is an exam but it my exam. So if you have a question - just ask. Make sure you address each play and include both theatrical conventions we discussed in the Collaborate AND your own, interpretive ideas concerning theatrical POTENTIAL.

Question 2 (19 points)
SHORT ANSWER (1/2 page)

Choose a sensational or important news item from the past month or so and describe how one of these plays could be used to address the issues behind this new story. Make sure you describe how the play might support themes that address the heart of the story THEATRICALLY.

Question 3 (2 points)
THE SHAPE OF THINGS uses a literary, publishing convention to convey meaning from dramatist to director, designers and actors. The way the text is printed on the page is meant to communicate something. What is it?

Question 3 options:

A. The uses of slashes (/) to convey the playwright's intentions regarding simulatenous or interrupted dialogue.

B. A lack of capitalization to convey a hip, young style and (possibly) as a reference to internet/texting culture and the potential social ills of "screen mediation".

C. Evelyn breaks the fourth wall when she is presenting her thesis becuase she wants to involve her audience.

D. A and B

Question 4 (2 points)
Although THE SHAPE OF THINGS is a psychologically and aesthetically realistic play (so much so that many of its conventions seem somewhat cinematic), why does this play demand theatrical staging?

Question 4 options:

A. Because no one would realtically treat Adam the way Evelyn treats him.

B. Because the scene locales are so specific and so numerous that a live theatre cannot accomodate them all in a realistic fashion!

C. Becuase there is some adult content which cannot be staged in a respectful way with out theatrcial obfuscation.

D. Because Evelyn breaks the fourth wall when she presents her thesis.

E. Both A and D

Question 5 (2 points)
An Amiga Gringa line in IN THE BLOOD has operated as a powerful motif for us in every play we've read since. What is it?

Question 5 options:

A. "...explanation of the economic environment"

B. "...I mark the passage of time"

C. "The ends always justify the means, lady!"

D. "I walk the line"

Question 6 (2 points)
What is the structural, literary allusion in IN THE BLOOD.

Question 6 options:

A. The death of jabber.

B. The use of double-casting to show the effects of the "chorus" on Hester's life.

C. The confessions

D. The entire play is an allusion to The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Question 7 (2 points)
When Vivian dies in WIT, Professor Ashford quotes what PLAYWRIGHT in lieu of the poet John Donne? It is significan that Ashford quotes this playwright as she degraded his work earlier in the play.

Question 7 options:

A. Margaret Wise Brown's THE RUNAWAY BUNNY as a simple, allegory of the soul.

B. William Shakespeare's HAMLET as an acklowledgement of the need for the personal and even the sentimental.

C. The dictionary definition of "soporific" as means to connect Vivian to her past.

D. A and B

Question 8 (2 points)
WIT is one of plays we've read thus far that uses METATHEATRICAL conventions in the conveyance of theme, motif and symbol. What does this mean and how is it used in WIT? You can't lok it up online, guys. You need to watch the Collaborates!

Question 8 options:

A. Metatheatrcial refers to a play that embraces the tragic and the comedic simultaneously. WIT is comedic because it uses droll, "witty" banter and Tragic because Vivian dies.

B. Metatheatrcial refers to embracing the distance between he thing and the representation of that thing. WIT is metatheatrcial because Vivian breaks the fourth wall.

C. Metatheatrcial refers to theatre that is self-referential. WIT is metatheatrcial because it makes reference to itself as a play. This helps create an intimacy with Vivian and an increases our potential for empathy.

D. Metatheatrical means theatrical of connectivity, or theatre of connective tissue. WIT is metatheatrical because Vivian is treated like MEAT since she is a person and Jason is not a "troglodyte".

Question 9 (2 points)
THE GOAT is about a powerful human need. And it's not bestiality. I am open to your opinions about what this need might be but, as this is a multiple choice question, what was the need we discussed in the Collaborate?

Question 9 options:

A. The need to excel like Martin excels in the world of architecture.

B. The need for familial and filial constancy - a need that is NOT met for Stevie.

C. The need for real, human CONNECTION - despite the obvious risks.

D. The need for sexual gratification. Anything goes.

Question 10 (2 points)
Euripides's plays were written with climactic plots, Shakespeare's plays were written with episodic plots and Beckett's plays were written with

Question 10 options:

A. Chronological plots.

B. Cyclical plots.

C. Non Sequitur plots.

D. Static Plots.

Question 11 (2 points)
Question 11 options:
What are the Aristotelian elements of drama? (Why do Manitees make lousy actors?)

Question 12 (2 points)
The birthplace of the dramatic arts, like the birthplace of all humanity, is thought to be on the continent of

Question 12 options:

A. Africa

B. Europe

C. North America

D. Asia

Question 13 (2 points)
Aristotle?s text on the elements of the drama is titled The Dramatis.

Question 13 options:

Question 14 (2 points)
Name the style that has dominated American theatre since the early 20th century.
Question 14 options:
A. comedy
B. realism
C. theatricalism
D. tragedy

Question 15 (2 points)
In strict realism, the actors do not acknowledge the audience?s presence.

Question 15 options:

Question 16 (2 points)
Which of the following is not a component of the realistic style of theatre?

Question 16 options:

A. Audience members forget they are in a darkened auditorium and feel transported to the locale of the play.

B. The language uses rhythms and vernacular that echo real, everyday speech.

C. The actors perform in a manner that serves to prevent overly sentimental audience reaction that might obscure the production's political and/or social message.

D. The plot, often structurally "well made", reflects the world of the pedestrian and the ubiquitous over the world of the deity and the privileged.

Question 17 (2 points)
What poular medium most effectively and completely creates the appearance or illusion of realism?

Question 17 options:

A. Theatre

B. Film

C. Music

D. Dance

Question 18 (2 points)
According to Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal, the distinction between the the actor (Thespis) and the audience (chorus), was

Question 18 options:

A. the very first form of story telling.

B. the moment of invention in which the the Dithyramb, a chant for Dionysius was transformed into the Greek Tragedy.

C. an expression of the hierarchical aristocracy and and assertion of their will because it dispossessed the audience and forever separated them from drama.

D. the original act of actor creativity, forever changing the relationship between director and cast.

Question 19 (2 points)
Question 19 options:
_______is an "ism" coined by Esslin but influenced by Camus, who argued that a fully satisfying, rational explanation of the universe is beyond our reach and that the world must ultimately be seen as absurd.

Question 20 (2 points)
What acronym (initials?) does Adam have tattooed on his body/groin?

Question 20 options:





Question 21 (2 points)
What convention of Greek Tragedy is used at the end of IN THE BLOOD?

Question 21 options:

A. Deus Ex Machina

B. The Chorus

C. The Festival

D. Offstage Violence

Question 22 (2 points)
If wit is verbal sword play then the sword, or literary device, used most frequently in WIT is

Question 22 options:

A. Irony.

B. Alliteration.

C. Aphorism.

D. Euphemism.

Question 23 (2 points)
All of the following are possible explanations of the etymological relationship of Tragedy ("Goat Song")and goats, except:

Question 23 options:

A. "To goat" may have been a phrase used to describe the cracking of young men's voices while chanting or singing the Dithyramb.

B. Adherent of Dionysius may have been referred to as "Goats", like adherents of Artemis were referred to as "Bees".

C. A goat may have been sacrificed to honor Dionysius at the conclusion of the great festivals.

D. Greek animal husbandry, especially the care of goats, was the basis for competitions held on "pageant wagons" at the Theatre Dionysius.

Question 24 (2 points)
The four types of theatre discussed in Peter Brook's THE EMPTY SPACE are representations, presentational, realistic and theatrical.

Question 24 options:

Question 25 (2 points)
The theatre cannot survive anything paradoxial; it is always straight forward - black and white.

Question 25 options:

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