Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Characters; African-American Theater Tradition; Monster & Quiz

This morning, please get together in small groups of 3-4 and brainstorm a list of characters. Write these characters, their names, their occupations, and 1-2 physical or personality traits each character has in your notes/journal. 

Example: Sweety Pie, 20-30 year-old beautician. She wears her sleeves rolled up so that we can see her tattoos; there is a comb tucked behind one ear.

Teddy, 60-70 year old businessman (retired). He speaks very loudly and slowly. Always wears a soiled bib.

Kashandra, young woman, student. She smiles a lot and likes to laugh at herself. She only wears purple sweaters.

Try to gather at least 6-10 characters each. Keep this list, as you will use it later in the course.

Giving a voice to the underprivileged, minority, or unnoticed members of our society is one of the excellent things theater can accomplish. Probably more than any other art form, theater has a way of sparking a discussion and, sometimes, debate about important issues easily ignored by more mainstream mass media like film or television. African American actors, directors, and playwrights have held an important place in American Theatre history. Today, let's learn a little more about these talented and important artists.

This morning, let's read about Dael Orlandersmith as a contemporary playwright & actor (and faculty member). Spend a few minutes (up to 28 minutes for the full program) to watch the interview with Dael Orlandersmith. As you watch, consider some of the themes and issues she deals with in her writing.

Then read "A Brief Overview of the History of African American Theatre" and identify at least 3 things you learned from this article. Be prepared to hand these notes in as a "ticket out the door."

Apply what you've learned to the play Monster. Complete the quiz on the play Monster.

HOMEWORK: Please read the play Spic-o-Rama by John Leguizamo. Be prepared to discuss the play Monday, September 15.

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