Friday, December 16, 2011

Fiddler Forum, Play Option, & Ibsen

HOMEWORK: Please post a forum comment on the play Fiddler on the Roof. It is due by the end of the day today (11:59 p.m.).

As your final project in playwriting, you will have a variety of options. Here are a few of them:

1. Collaborate with up to two people (2 works best) to create a musical. You may find it helpful to base your musical as an adaptation (remember those adaptation scripts?) of a well known book (examples might include: Harry Potter! or Tale of Two Cities! or The Eyre Affair!, a well known film: Kane! King Kong, the musical!, or Whatever Happened to Rosemary's Baby!, a well known event: Wallstreet, the musical!, or Evron, the musical!, or a even a religion (The Book of Mormon is playing on Broadway right now, but there have been tons of religious musicals: Godspell! Jesus Christ Superstar!, and others.) The possibilities are endless.

2. Write a realistic social play a la Ibsen. More details on this very soon--see below. Use the techniques of naturalism to write a dramatic script.

3. Write an absurdist play (more details will follow next week).


A major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theater director, and poet, Henrik Ibsen is often referred to as "the godfather" of modern drama and is one of the founders of Modernism in theatre. His works are what we call naturalistic.

Naturalism (1865-1900) attempts to go further from realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment affects human behavior. Plots often revolve around social problems, characters are often drawn from lower classes and the poor, perhaps in an attempt to explain their behavior.

In Hedda Gabler Ibsen explores infidelity and betrayal. His use of the "secret" as a conventional plot device is excellent. Hedda remains one of the most interesting dramatic characters of the 19th (and 20th) centuries--a juicy role for an actress!

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