Before viewing the theatre production, you must gather information about the play and the theater. Background information may include the credentials of the actors and the director, the history of the theater, the general plot of the play you will be watching, and so on. Gathering this information will help you get into the context of the play. Be prepared to take some notes while viewing the play. Evaluate what you see – pay attention to costumes, actors expressions, decorations, and lighting. Try to remember the most striking and distinctive visual images, and focus on them in your review. Evaluate music and other sound effects. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience with music, you can determine whether you like or dislike the music in the play. You do not need to be an expert in music to understand whether the music fits the play or not. Are the songs understandable? Do they advance the plot or allow you to get to know a character better? The performance of the actors/singers is the most critical part of a play. Are they professional or amateur? Is the director renowned? Pay careful attention to whether they manage to convincingly convey mood and emotions. As well, be mindful of whether the general idea of the play is clear and understood, whether the plot is intense and engaging, and so on. Next, evaluate the plot itself. Gaps in logic, messy narration, a weak or trivial main idea, and silly scenes which do not contribute to the plot, are aspects that all make the plot unbelievable. Is the plot easy to follow, or does it bore you? Does it have any ethical value? Does it raise essential and relevant questions? Do the plot and the events in the play affect you emotionally? You should try to answer these and other similar questions in your review. Is there something you would change in this musical? What would you do if you were the director? What did you like the most, and what did you dislike? Did the director and the cast manage to fulfill the task the plot set for them? Emphasis should be placed on your subjective opinion. Step 2: After watching the performance, you need to write a 300 word or less review of Into the Woods. For more information on how to write a theatre review, click here (Links to an external site.) or here (Links to an external site.) . When you have completed your review, upload it to this assignment as a .pdf. Key Points to Consider Keep in mind that sometimes costumes may not fit the general setting of the musical. For example, you might be reviewing a contemporary remake of Shakespeares tragedy. Most likely, in a play like this, you will not see any traditional costumes, but rather something unexpected or avant-garde. Do not rush into judging it, claiming that such an approach spoils the play. Instead, try to figure out whether the adaptation affects the play, its mood, and its significance positively or negatively. You like the contemporary version more than the original. This also applies to decorations and other visuals. Try to be unbiased. You are reviewing a musical theatre performance, not a movie, so you should be aware of possible specifics. Actors and singers in a musical do not necessarily need to act realisticallytheir voices and intonations might also be mannered, extravagant, or somewhat histrionic. Do not think the play is terrible because actors do not speak as people would in real life. Try to understand whether it contributes to the general atmosphere of the play. Whether the acting is extravagant or not, you will know when it is just bad, and when it is done on purpose to emphasize something. Taking notes in a theater might be a hard task; most likely, you will not be able to write much down, and typing in your phone would take too much time (and its light would distract other people). Most likely, you are going to have to rely on your memory. If you can, try to view the play at least twice. Pay attention only to the most significant aspects; otherwise, you will get lost in details and miss something crucial. Write your review from an outline based on your notes and research. Then write a first draft, second draft, and a final draft. Edit your final draft at least two times. Grading Criteria The review should be thoughtful and well-written. Well written reviews will have a clear outline, be specific and use examples from the performance as evidence of your thoughts and ideas, and contain minimal grammatical errors. Please proofread and edit your work. Reviews that are creative, engaging, and provide evidence in support of your ideas, reference other course materials, and use learned vocabulary will receive higher grades. Please see the attached rubric for more information
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