The Accrington Pals by Peter Whelan Play Critique

Goal:
Evaluate the production by analyzing the story line, performances, production values, directing, merit and play writing
Terminology Guidelines:
• Story line-a logical progression introducing incidents, characters, and actors playing the respective roles
o Less is more
• Acknowledge central characters and actors, but not every character in the play
o Use paragraphs to introduce new turns in the plot
• Avoid retelling the entire plot line of the play
• Avoid the minutiae
• Avoid disclosing the resolution
• Performances-use specific examples supporting both good points and flaws
o Presentational-talking directly to the audience
o Representational-creating a reality on the stage without acknowledging the audience
o Identify compelling qualities
 Comedic-really funny
 Dramatic-strong believable behavior
• Truthful-contained within the boundaries of the character and circumstance
• Character driven-believable characters in conflict with other credible characters
 Insightful-provides a new view of a human problem
o Possible flaws
 Melodramatic-more external than internal
 Not realistic-lacking believability
 Forced emotional behavior
• Production values-elements in support the central idea of the play
o Set designer is responsible for the physical appearance of the space.
 Fluidly in the playing space
 Room for audience and actors to breathe
 Realistic or symbolic set elements
 Unit set, multilevel set, or multiple sets
o Lighting designer is responsible for the illumination of the stage
 Bright or murky
 Motivated light from an imagined source
• table lamp or sun, for example
• theatrical (on and off) without motivation from source
 Fluid transitions in the changing light levels
o Costume designer is responsible for the clothing
 Does costuming reflect profession, economic class, or character psychology?
 Are characters easily delineated through clothing
o Sound designer creates an aural environment
 Supportive or intrusive
o Prop designer creates handheld objects used by actors
 Are the props realistic and believable, or seem artificial
• Directing-Are the production elements and performances integrated into a cohesive unit?
o Use examples from the production to support directorial interpretation
• Play writing
o Voice-authentic or artificial
o Theme-relevance of issues
o Structure-do the scenes build to climatic point?
• Merit-a subjective measurement of the production in terms of value
O Does the play speak to you?
 Character connection
 Thematic connection
 Entertainment connection
o Do you recommend the play?
 What did you find appealing, or conversely, what do you take issue with in the play?

Assignment Evaluation:
 Separation of production components for analysis
 Develop logical progression of observations
 Use terminology and examples to illustrate point of view
1. Name specific actors (not all) and their roles
2. Identify specific set, costume, lighting, and sound elements
 Summarize evaluation in conclusion

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