Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Playwriting Workshop; All Work Due!

Final play projects are due today! Please send these drafts to me today through Google Classroom. 

Drafts of work that are submitted (and done) will be workshopped today.

Why workshop?
  • Theater is a collaborative art. 
  • You can learn more about your own writing by reading/analyzing other writers' work.
  • You can get feedback on how to "unstick" or improve your work.
  • It's worth easy participation points in class.
  • Helping other people with their art is worthwhile. 
  • Other*

EXTRA CREDIT: Geva's Young Writer's Showcase:

Submit up to 3 of your 10-minute play scripts (after you proofread them) to this link:

Please include a title page with clear contact information:
Full Address
Phone #

PS. Do not keep my name on your play draft. It's yours. Who cares why you wrote it...

NOTE: Cover pages with character lists don't count, but your play scripts should NOT EXCEED (go over) 10 pages. You may have to edit/cut/revise or reformat your work to fit if you have 11-13 pages. Remember: play/film scripts are NEVER double-spaced!!! (only radio plays...)

IMPORTANT: If/when you submit your drafts to the contest, please write a quick note to me telling me the date you submitted and the title of the piece(s) you submitted to the contest.

HOMEWORK: Up next: Film Studies. Feel free to start reading/answering the questions for the handout on Chapter 1: Viewing Films. This assignment is not due yet.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Playwriting Final; Final Play Project & Workshop

Please review your notes for the next five minutes at the beginning of class. We will then take our final exam for playwriting.

When you have completed your test, you should continue working on your play projects (these are due next class). If you are finished with your draft, or you would like some feedback on your play so far, you are welcome to share your play draft file with other peers in the class and seek feedback through a workshop. We will continue and conclude our workshops Thursday at the end of the course.

Please return all scripts either to me or the library.

HOMEWORK: Please complete and prepare your play project for submission. The end of the marking period is Friday, January 31.

Playwrights' Festival auditions are next week Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30-3:30 after school in room 238.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Play Project; Absurdism, Beckett & Waiting for Godot; Review for Final

Period 1: Lab.

Please continue writing your play projects. Use what you have learned in this class to make sure your play is exceptional: i.e., your play is exemplary, thoughtful, creative, has a definite beginning, middle, end, uses Aristotle's advice, your play is producible for the stage, it is well written & original, it uses theatrical conventions, it includes monologues to develop character or plot events difficult to stage otherwise; it uses imagery & specific diction; the dialogue sounds natural and/or poetic.  Your play has a clear theme and interesting dramatic conflict. Characters change. Scenes and transitions flow. Grammar is perfect. Commas are placed correctly, play is proofread, language is exact & correct. [See grammarly for help.]

At 8:00, we will stop writing and learn about Theater of the Absurd. Crash Course #45. After taking notes (use them to study for your exam), please go to the library to pick up Waiting for Godot. See homework!

Period 2: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Absurdist Theater:

The weather got you down? Feeling as if there's no point to life? Check out this style of writing...

Characteristics of Absurdism:
1. Characters are often threatened by an unknown outside force.
2. The world or diegesis of the play/film is unpredictable or lacks meaning which the characters must contend with.
3. There is often an element of horror or tragedy; characters are often in hopeless situations or trapped.
4. Dialogue is often playful, full of nonsense, repetition, or engages in silly wordplay or banter.
5. Plays are often funny, although theme is usually serious and symbolic. Absurdist theatre is often called "tragicomedy", having elements of broad humor and tragedy.
6. There is often a good deal of farce (mistaken identity, physical comedy, slapstick, sudden entrances and interruptions, etc.)
7. Theatre of the absurd often presents characters failing at something without suggesting a solution to the problem. Characters are often "losers" who cannot dig themselves out of the problems they find themselves in.
8. Characters are often unable to communicate with others (particularly about their feelings, desires, or needs).
9. Plot is often cyclical or repetitive.
10. Plots have a dreamlike or surreal quality to them, akin to nightmare. Plot events are often taken at face value; characters are unwilling or uninterested in examining "why?" something happens and instead react to "what" happens. Therefore plot is often lacking the cause. The effect is often stressed as being more important.
A Quick Writing Prompt: in your journals/notebooks, please write a metaphor or two. While one half of the metaphor may be a grand human idea: freedom, love, justice, revenge, marriage, hope, wealth, etc. the metaphor you create should be fairly concrete: "hope is a thing with feathers", "love is a battlefield", "revenge is a dish best served cold". Come up with up to 3 metaphors.

Once you have some metaphors, select one to build an absurdist play around. Use the characteristics of Absurdism above to help give you ideas. See EXTRA CREDIT below.

Although various classical and important plays have toyed with absurd situations, it was the futility of WWII combined with the surreal and existential that birthed such a movement. When any moment we are threatened with total destruction, what else is there to do but sit stunned and blankly in misunderstanding, or weave a web of words that lack meaning?

Traditional theater often attempts to show a realistic portrayal of life. Situations and characters are firmly rooted in reality and the common human actions that result in drama. Most plays trust the word. Words we use carry meaning. But what occurs when, with the threat of nuclear annihilation, we are not able to use our human reason and the symbol of such reason (our words) to alter our own fate? If we remove the trust in language, reason, logic, and traditional conventions of storytelling, we are left with something that has no inherent meaning, but in that shape is given meaning by its opposite. Modern life is futile, lacking a sensible God figure, in which the answer to the question "what is the meaning of life?" is a resounding blackness or emptiness. All is meaningless, particularly that which is supposed to bring the comfort of meaning (i.e., words).

In the hands of playwrights like Samuel Beckett, the portrayal of such meaningless absurdity becomes a metaphor for our own modern lives--filled as they are with anxiety, fear, hesitation, incompetence, misunderstanding, and the lack of fulfillment.

Samuel Beckett:

Endgame. Here's the full play with actor Michael Gambon (better known as Dumbledore).
Happy Days by Samuel Beckett. The characters are Winnie and her husband Willie. The play is essentially a monologue. The theme is domestic life. Same thing as Endgame.

And another very strange play is the play Play. This one with late actor Alan Rickman. Similarities to the two previous plays are obvious, I think.

And finally Beckett's masterpiece: Waiting For Godot part 1, and Waiting for Godot, part 2. Another version of the play with actors Zero Mostel & Burgess Meredith. And Waiting for Godot & Elmo. Please read this play (it will show up on the final exam). Enjoy!

HOMEWORK: Complete your play projects; Study (please study!) for your final exam. And complete your reading of Waiting for Godot after wherever we stop at the end of today's class.

Extra Credit Opportunity:

Our lab will be open next week. Feel free to stop by and use it if you need it.

Write a 10-minute absurdist play. Use the characteristics of the Absurdist theater style (see above) in your play. One easy way to start is to take your metaphor and make it real for your characters. Love is a battlefield...set a romance in a DMZ during a raid, or make a date during a military coup, or work the metaphor into your plot creatively.

You are welcome to use any of the major plays we've read in this course on your Regents exams--also, study for your final exam in this course:

The plays & playwrights: [we read over 20 plays during this course!]
  • The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe
  • The Mountaintop by Katori Hall
  • Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry
  • Spic-o-Rama by John Leguizamo
  • 'Night Mother by Marsha Norman
  • Oleanna by David Mamet
  • "The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year" by John Guare
  • "Words, Words, Words"; "Arabian Nights"; "Variations on the Death of Trotsky"; "Sure Thing" by David Ives
  • The God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza
  • The Mystery of Irma Vep by Charles Ludlam
  • "The Play That Goes Wrong" by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields, & Jonathan Sayer
  • The Vampire Lesbians of Sodom by Charles Busch
  • Red Scare on Sunset, Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Psycho Beach Party, The Woman in Question by Charles Bush
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee (coming soon)
  • Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin
  • The Lion in Winter by James Goldman
  • Hamilton: The Musical by Lin Manuel Miranda
  • Agamemnon by Aeschylus
  • Antigone by Sophocles
  • The Darker Face of the Earth by Rita Dove
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrick Ibsen
  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Proper script format
How to create characters/characterization; tips about writing effective characters, plots, themes, and writing effective dialogue; etc. See handouts in particular!
Techniques to motivate and gather ideas (from the blog, articles, and class advice)

Play Vocabulary:
  • Playwright
  • Play
  • Premise: a deeply held belief by the playwright which shapes a script.
  • Conflict & the basic types of conflict
  • Structural Unity: all parts of the plot (exposition, rising action, turning point, climax, resolution, etc.) should work and fit together.
  • The classical unities: the unity of time, place, and action. A well-written play should encompass only a short amount of time, use one main setting, and have only one main plot (subplots can occur, but only one plot should be the main plot). 
  • Inciting Incident: the point of attack, the inciting incident forces the protagonist into the action of the play's plot.
  • Events
  • Major Dramatic Question (MDQ): the hook that keeps an audience interested in a play; a dramatic question that a reader/viewer wants answered by the end of the play.
  • Major decision: A decision a character makes in the plot that creates the turning point for their character.
  • The main event: the main plot or action of a play.
  • The three C's: Conflict, crisis, complication: obstacles characters must face for an interesting and dramatic plot.
  • Rising Action
  • The dark moment/crisis: the lowest moment of a character's struggle--when all the world seems lost, the fight unbeatable, the "darkest hour before dawn" -- a stunning reversal of fortune and sense of failure.
  • Deus ex machina: a contrived ending. Often one in which the characters did not have a hand in solving. (It is more interesting to see a character deal with their own problems rather than an outside force solving it for them.) literally, a "god from a machine"
  • Enlightenment: When the protagonist understands how to defeat the antagonist. A revelation that begins the movement toward a climax.
  • Climax
  • Catharsis
  • Roots of Action; Dramatic Triangle(s)
  • Developing character, plot, and theme in a script (tips & advice) 
  • Ten-minute play format
  • One act plays
  • Full-length plays (2 or 3 act)
  • Monologues/Soliloquies; internal/dramatic monologues
  • Theatrical conventions
  • Commedia d'ell Arte 
  • Cross-dressing; pantomime
  • Generating ideas for plays 
  • Farce
  • The Event: a uniquely significant moment in the character's lives
  • Time lock: setting up a time limit or specific deadline characters have to meet in order to spur them into action (for example having a script project due...)
  • irreconcilable needs
  • Obstacles, motivation, and desires: the roots of action
  • Universal truths/lies
  • The vise
  • Mono-dramas
  • Musicals
  • Place & setting
  • Realistic vs. suggested set designs (realistic sets and suggested sets & the use for each type)
  • Theme
  • Scenario: an outline for a writer to identify major/minor characters, plot, and setting used BEFORE writing a script
  • Catalyst: the event in the play that causes a character to take action
  • Character flaw or tragic flaw
  • Creating credible and well-developed characters
  • Subtext: what is not said in a character's line. The subtext is the subtle details or clues used by the actor to develop their character.
  • Beat: a short exchange of dialogue
  • Different types of beats: physical, behavioral, inner-life
  • Scene
  • Time lock: a deadline for a character to achieve his/her goal in a scene or play
  • Signpost/Pointer: foreshadowing or hints that something will happen in a play
  • Backstory
  • Character types: major/minor, flat/round, dynamic, ally, foil, mentor, protagonist/antagonist, sympathetic/unsympathetic, etc.
  • Confidante: a character the protagonist or antagonist can talk with to reveal necessary backstory
  • Dialogue (tips and advice) 
  • Play development (advice & instruction on how to create a dramatic scene/play)
  • At Rise: indicates the beginning of the play or act or scene
  • Exit/Enters: directions to indicate a character/actor entering or exiting the scene in a playscript.
  • Cross: indicates how a character moves from one place to another on stage. 
  • Curtain: indicates the end of an act or scene break
  • Lights: indicates lights coming on or off stage. 
  • End of Play: indicates the play is over
  • Motifs: repeated objects, symbols, or actions that hold significance or meaning in a story
  • Theater of the Ridiculous
  • Contributions of various playwrights: (see list above)
  • Titles, characters, and plots of various plays we read (see list above)
  • Aristotle & the 6 parts of a play from the Poetics: plot, character, idea, musical, language, spectacle.
  • Greek Theater & the origins of theater; Thespis, the contributions of Sophocles and Aeschylus to Greek theater, etc.
  • Dithyramb, anagnorisis, hamartia, peripety, verisimilitude, catharsis, comedy, tragedy, etc.
  • The Orestia & the structure of a Greek play (episodes, parados, exodus, strophe, antistrophe, etc.)
  • Alliteration & kenning
  • The House of Atreus
  • The Trojan War
  • The English Renaissance playwrights
  • Shakespeare & the Globe Theater
  • Elizabethan Theater and plot structure of a 5-act play
  • Polti & the 36 Dramatic Situations to build a plot
  • Julie Taymor & the film Titus (1999)
  • Plot forms: linear, Shakespearian or epic, circle, pattern, generic synthetic form, etc.
  • How to cultivate ideas for playwriting; how to motivate yourself
  • Symbolism, Naturalism, Ibsen & Strindberg's contributions to the theater
  • Theater of the Absurd and Samuel Beckett's contribution to theater
HOMEWORK: Complete Waiting for Godot. Our lab will be open Monday through Thursday in the morning if you would like help with Gannon or Sokol entries.

Your final exam will be given Tuesday, Jan. 28. Play projects are due Jan. 30. Extra credit is due Jan. 31.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Play Project: Writing Time

Butts in seats, sharpened pencils on paper, fingers on the keyboard...Let's go!

Please work on your play projects. Instead of watching Hedda Gabler (which is due today, please make sure you submit your play analysis for it), use the time in class to write. You got this!

Consider this time a gift--since most of you only write the day or two before an assignment is due. A longer work, though, requires you to write your first draft relatively quickly--allowing you the day or two before the assignment is due to revise, add details & specific language, poetic devices, and development of character through dialogue and monologues.

Use your time wisely in today's class. Plug in, avoid interaction with your peers at this point, and focus on the writing process, please. You may be visited by some special guests later in the class to allow you the comfort and guidance you need. If you need it, here's some motivation about writing...

Workshop: For those who want feedback, at around 8:30-8:45, please choose one peer you feel you can get good feedback from and share your draft if you wish. This is not a requirement, but it will allow you to get some immediate feedback to consider as you continue your writing.

At around 8:45, go back to your writing and end class around 9:00 trying to figure what your play still needs in the days to come.

NOTE: During midterm week (next week) the writing labs will be open all day. You are welcome to stop by and visit us to work on your writing.

ALSO NOTE: There is a final exam for this class. On Friday, I'll cover what material you should study for the final.

HOMEWORK: None. You should probably work on your playscript. Play scripts are due Thursday, Jan. 30. No late work will be accepted because the marking period ends Jan. 31. Our final exam will be Tuesday, Jan. 28.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Titus (Conclusion); Play Project Writing Time; Ibsen

Today we will conclude the film Titus (1999).

You may take an extension on reading/analyzing Hedda Gabler (due next class--Wednesday, Jan. 15, although if you are done with it, turn it in early). But before we move on, we have to watch and take notes on this Crash Course video: Symbolism, Realism, and a Nordic Grudge Match #33.

Turn in your graphic organizer notes on Ibsen & Strindberg today for participation credit.

With time remaining in class, please continue to write your final play project. Some details:

--Your play can be of any genre. Consider the play styles we have read for this class.
--Your play must be between 20-30 pages in length. It can be more, but this is unlikely. You should format your play in the standard, professional format for play scripts. See previous posts, Google classroom resources, and handouts for assistance if you need it. [This longer length gives you the opportunity to develop and work on your plotting!]
--Please include a title page and a cast list, including the TIME and PLACE information to describe your set. Details about what happens when the lights come up on the play are indicated by AT RISE: ...
--Plot includes the following elements (which should be seen clearly in your play structure/project): status quo, inciting incident, rising action, complications/conflicts, crisis or turning point (dark moment), enlightenment (anagnorisis), climax, falling action/resolution, denouement.
--Your play should have a premise.
--Your play should have a theme (idea).
--To develop characters it's important to include a monologue or two (or more) for your characters.
--Your play should show you understand how to create a stage-able play. Use theatrical conventions creatively to enhance the spectacle and meaning of your playscript. Your play, ultimately, should be producible on a black box stage (the Black Box theater, for example).
--Happy writing!

HOMEWORK: Complete Hedda Gabler (with play analysis). Work on your play projects. These are due January 30. No late scripts will be accepted due to the fact the marking period ends Jan. 31.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Titus Andronicus: Day 2; Getting Ideas for your Play Project

Having trouble getting started with your play? Start here today...!

How to Cultivate a Practice of Generating Play Ideas (article)
  • What are some topics or questions that you worry about (for yourself, your family, your best friend, etc.?)
  • What are some worries/questions you have for the world or society?
  • What are some problems we are wrestling with as a society currently?
  • What are the stories (or plays) that have stuck with me? Why did they work to move/interest me? How do these stories work (plot, character, style, theme, conflict, diction/language, setting, etc.)
  • What stories haven't I seen on stage? How might I tell that story? 
Coming Up with Story Ideas
356 Controversial Speech and Writing Ideas (article/premises)
200+Story Ideas...and how to3 come up with your own (article/prompts)

If you know what you're doing, go ahead and use this time to write your play.

At 7:45, we will continue viewing Titus.

Notice what the camera is doing while watching the film. The camera provides POV in a film and conveys meaning, both literally and symbolically. As you watch look out for examples of:
  • Motifs
  • Frequency
  • Synecdoche
Listen to how TONE is created by the use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound elements. As you watch, also keep in mind the key themes and development of plot and characters Shakespeare uses in this play.

NOTE: You will be scored 5 points for watching the film each day. If you fall asleep or ignore the screen, you will receive no credit.

HOMEWORK: Read Hedda Gabler for Monday, Jan. 13 and complete a play analysis form (see handouts or digital files on Google Classroom)

Monday, January 6, 2020

Titus Andronicus; Titus (film); Prep for Final Play Project

Period 1:

Let's head down to the library to pick up Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. You will be reading this play and completing a play analysis form for it while we are screening Titus Andronicus. See homework below.

When we return, take 15-20 minutes to quickly sketch an idea for your play. Spend your time brainstorming and completing these next steps as quickly as you can. Details and specifics can come later!

  1. The first step in writing a play is to get an idea. You might start with a). characters, b). a setting, or c). a theme in mind. 
  2. Think of a premise. What is this play about? What do you want to write about? What issues/themes/people/stories are important to YOU? Start there. 
  3. In your premise, do you want to write a comedy, a drama, a melodrama, or a tragedy?
  4. Will your play be a one-act or two-act? (Or more?) You WILL have a page requirement for your last play assignment! No 10-minute plays allowed!
  5. Consider a plot from Polit's 36 plots (you can combine more than one as a way to start)--or don't use one and come up with your own plot. Remember a plot starts with an inciting incident that interrupts the status quo of a situation, followed by a series of conflicts and complications, that rise to a turning point or crisis for a character (dark moment), an enlightenment, and a climax, which is then resolved at the end of the play (usually). For ideas regarding setting up your plot, see the notes on plot below!
  6. Jot down a quick character list of potential characters (see below for an example). This will be your character list or dramatic personae. For each character briefly (1-2 sentences at most) describe them physically (how old, for example, are they?), and give them a personality flaw (like being pessimistic, or eager to trust someone, or someone simple-minded, or aggressive, or deeply religious, or someone who has no scruples, etc.)--it's a good idea to contrast this with other characters in your story!
  7. Choose one of your characters to be your "protagonist" (you may choose more than one!) Every protagonist has an antagonist (a person or force trying to stop them)--no one thinks of him/herself as a bad person--just protagonists in their own story doing what they think is necessary to get the thing(s) he/she wants!
  8. Identify the goal or desire this character wants to achieve or get. Give your character a motivation (or reason for wanting this goal/desire)--why are they willing to risk their livelihood to achieve their goal, for example?)
  9. Place your characters in a specific setting. It can be helpful to describe this setting in a few sentences. This will be your set description before the play/scene begins. Add an AT RISE: section in which you describe what characters are doing ON STAGE when you start a scene)
  10. Think about a MDQ (Major Dramatic Question) that your audience might want to know by the end of the play. This is often involving a theme--the message or idea that runs throughout the play. Consider what your theme might be (if you're using Polti's 36 dramatic situations, the theme is usually given to you and built into the dramatic action of your plot...revenge, supplication, pursuit, etc.)
PLAY IDEA PROMPT: Feel free to: 1. Pick a myth or Shakespearean story and update it (that's what Shakespeare did with Titus Andronicus--a retelling of the house of Atreus myth--like Agamemnon), or write your own version of 1). someone "selling" their soul (or selling out) in order to get ahead or gain power, etc., or 2). a revenge play (like Othello or Titus Andronicus). It works like this: a character slights or causes tragedy to another person's family or fortune. A close friend or family member of the victim exacts revenge. Usually, there is a confidante character--a character who the avenger can tell his/her plans to. Then the avenger finds ways to get back at the offending character.  See Polti's 36 dramatic situations for more details!

Want to learn more about writing a play? For a full master class discussion on playwriting by Paula Vogel, check out the Dramatist Guild's video. (120 minutes...)

Plot forms:
  • Linear: the plot is told from a beginning point to an ending point. The most common type of narrative.
  • Shakespearean/Epic form: episodic scenes that culminate in the traditional plot the structure of Othello or Titus Andronicus.
  • Circle: beginnings become endings, that become beginnings that are endings...
  • Pattern: a repeating pattern is formed to frame the narrative...create a pattern and stick with it!
  • Generic synthetic form: the text is comprised of a variety of hypotexts (texts that come before) that function as models or a structure for the new text...(so Star Wars was a hypotext for Family Guy's Blue Harvest, for example; The Odyssey was a hypotext for James Joyce's Ulysses, Oedipus Rex was a hypotext for The Darker Face of the EarthAgamemnon was a hypotext for Titus Andronicus, etc.)--simply choose a text you know or have read and "update" it. 
Paula Vogel's advice: Steal. Pay homage. Read as much as you can. Write away from the subject you most want to write about but can't. Discover your own genius.

Period 2:

Titus Andronicus is believed to be Shakespeare's first tragedy. He may have co-authored it with George Peele (although we can't be certain) between 1588 and 1593. Popular in his day, the play is thought to be needlessly violent and the most bloody of all his plays. It has common Shakespearean themes of revenge and madness. Common motifs can be found below...

The play is set at the end of the Roman Empire and tells the fictional story of a Roman general, Titus, who runs afoul of Tamora, Queen of the Goths.

Major Characters:
  • Titus Andronicus – A renowned Roman general
  • Tamora – Queen of the Goths; afterward Empress of Rome
  • Aaron– a Moor; involved in a sexual relationship with Tamora
  • Lucius – Titus's eldest son
  • Lavinia – Titus's only daughter
  • Marcus Andronicus – Titus's brother
  • Demetrius – Tamora's son
  • Chiron – Tamora's other son; an allusion to the centaur Chiron--classical centaurs were known for their animalistic lusts (they had the body of a beast...) & propensity for raping virgins...! (horses are known for their...well, nevermind...)
  • Saturninus – Son of the late Roman Emperor; afterward declared Emperor. He is named for the mythological god Saturn in Greek mythology--the one whom Jupiter (Zeus) overthrows...
  • Bassianus – Saturninus's brother; in love with Lavinia
Minor Characters:
  • Quintus – Titus's son
  • Martius – Titus's son
  • Mutius – Titus's son
  • Young Lucius – Lucius's son 
  • Publius – Marcus's son 
  • Nurse
  • A Clown
  • Sempronius – Titus's kinsman
  • Caius – Titus's kinsman
  • Valentine – Titus's kinsman 
  • Alarbus – Tamora's son (non-speaking role)
  • Revenge
  • Human Kindness & Pity (and its limitations) (Cruelty, as its opposite as well)
  • Limbs (usually being hacked off--"parts" of the body, just as children are "part" of the parent's "body", and citizens are part of the body politic...part of the whole is the literary device of synecdoche)
  • Animals (particularly fierce bestial a "wilderness of tigers", but also birds of prey...and their victims)
  • Astrology (a reference to Fate and the stars)

Ovid's Metamorphoses (the story of Philomela, in particular)
Seneca's play Thyestes (the myth of the House of Atreus), and, of course, Aeschylus' The Orestia))

Titus (1999)
Image result for titus

Information about Julie Taymor (director; also directed The Lion King on Broadway, Across the UniverseSpiderman the Musical (on Broadway) and Fridaand the cast of Titus (1999), starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lang.

While we're not exactly ready to discuss the finer elements of film, Julie Taymor's film is an effective visual work.

Notice what the camera is doing while watching the film. The camera provides POV in a film and conveys meaning, both literally and symbolically. As you watch look out for examples of:
  • Motifs
  • Frequency
  • Synecdoche
Listen to how TONE is created by the use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound elements. As you watch, also keep in mind the key themes and development of plot and characters Shakespeare uses in this play.

NOTE: You will be scored 5 points for watching the film each day. If you fall asleep or ignore the screen, you will receive no credit.

HOMEWORK: Read Hedda Gabler for Monday, Jan. 13 and complete a play analysis form (see handouts or digital files on Google Classroom)

The Murky Middle (Even More Advice)

Aristotle wrote that stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. Middles can be difficult. You might have a smashing opening to a stor...