Sunday, November 22, 2020

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

 Due Dec 3

Just in time for Thanksgiving, please read the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and complete the play analysis form for Thursday, Dec. 3. You may also enjoy the film.
Please answer the following questions in your small group discussion today. [As a courtesy, please keep your cameras and microphones on if possible during the discussion period. Participate!] 1.Why does George repeatedly describe Honey as “slim-hipped?” How is this simple reference and character trait connected to the larger theme and issue in the play? 2.A FOIL is a character that compliments or contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist). What similarities exist between Martha and Honey? Between George and Nick? 3. Do George and Martha love each other? What scenes prove this (or prove they don't)? 4. Why do you think this play was controversial, yet a big hit, when it opened in 1962? What is the effect of the play on us in 2020? How did you react to the play? 5. Albee said in a 1966 interview that, “…Of course, who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf means who’s afraid of the big bad wolf . . . who’s afraid of living life without false illusions.” What are some of the false illusions in this play? 6. What false illusions are there in your life? How might this play inspire you to write about them? 7. Compare the aspirations of the women in this play with those of women today. How "woke" are Martha and Honey? How dated is this play in its depiction of women? 8. How is this play still relevant to us today? What themes or issues do we notice? What does this play teach us about adult life? 9. Martha’s father figures prominently in this play, and yet we never see him. Does this make him a symbol, and if so, symbolic of what? How might the play have been different if he was a character on stage? How might the play be different if it was set just an hour or two before the beginning of this play? 10. For which character(s) do you feel sympathy? Why? 11. Martha says, “I’ll make you sorry you ever let yourself down.” Is she more disappointed in George's lack of success or his lack of backbone? How does this drive the conflict in the play? 12. George reads during the party, which infuriates Martha. He reads aloud, “’And the west, encumbered by crippling alliances, and burdened with a morality too rigid to accommodate itself to the swing of events, must…eventually…fall.’” How does this statement relate to George and Martha’s marriage? 13. The characters drink throughout the play. Why might Albee have chosen to write this into the script? How does drinking fit into the theme of this play? [Consider too much drink = drowning, or that alcohol can "loosen" one's morals or one's lips; or that drugs (like alcohol) lie...] 14. What do you think will happen to George and Martha the morning after this play takes place? 15. As George says Catholic prayers for their dead what has really died? (Btw, this is a reference to A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as the Catholic prayer for the dead...) 16. How is the college (the play’s location) a character in this play? How are the characters related to their professions (or lack of them)? [George = History, Nick = Science, Martha = daughter of the dean/wife, Honey = daughter of a preacher/newlywed wife] 17. Have you ever been to a party or experienced a social event (or home life) as frightful as this? What are some things that compel us to endure watching or reading this play? Why is dysfunction an "attention grabber" for us as humans? 18. "Truth and illusion" is an important theme in the play. Why is this theme particularly appropriate for a play, as opposed to a short story, poem, novel, or essay? How is the theme threaded through the conflict and action of the play? What seems to be Albee's point or message? 19. What have you learned about writing plays from reading/watching this play? 20. Answer any questions your group had about the play. Any questions still left to discuss? If you have a topic, share it. If you missed our discussion (absent/technical problems, etc.), please select 5 of these questions and send me your answers/written response to make up the assignment.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Driving Miss Daisy

  Image result for driving miss daisy

Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry.

As we read Driving Miss Daisy, everyone sign up for one of the 3 roles in the play. I'll be switching up readers as we go.

As we read, pay close attention to the role of the dynamic triangle: 3 characters in conflict.

New Vocabulary:

There are two types of sets a playwright can prepare a script for:
A. a realistic set
B. a suggested set
A realistic set (like the set used in 'Night Mother) is a standard, realistic set that looks and feels like the actual setting of the play. It is more detailed and infinitely more expensive. Characters interact with props, costumes, and set pieces. It is not practical to change the setting or location in a realistic set.

suggested set (like the set used in Driving Miss Daisy) allows actors to create the setting through actions (like pretending to drive a car--which would be impractical in a theater) or through dialogue. Setting is described, not built. We use our imagination. Ah, the power of words...

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...