Unlike the other genres we’ve read this semester, drama is meant to be performed, not read on the page.
Unlike the other genres we’ve read this semester, drama is meant to be performed, not read on the page. Drama is a visual medium that relies not just on the words the playwright chooses, but also how the director chooses to interpret those words, how the actors speak them, how the set-dressers build the scenes, and how the audience experiences these elements of performance.
For this assignment, I would like you to choose one play from the anthology and think about it not in terms of just what you see on the page, but how you would mount a production of it. Basically, this is your chance to put on a show! You’ll need to make decisions about casting, about stage direction, about where you want the play to be set. For example, we know that Shakespeare wrote during the Renaissance, but it’s popular today to set his plays in worlds more different than even Shakespeare could imagine, like the Victorian era, or present-day Manhattan. As a director, you need to choose when and where to set this play, and how that would impact your audience’s understanding of the text. You can choose to remain faithful to the text, but you would still need to justify why that was the right decision for your production.
Whatever decisions you makemustbe justified in your assignment. Why have you made these choices? How do you see them shaping the play, or shaping how we see the characters? When Lin-Manuel Miranda chose to cast exclusively minority actors inHamilton, a play about the Founding Fathers, he said, “Thisis a story about America then, told by America now.” He had a clear vision about his play, and now I’d like to see yours.