there are two assignments.
One is I have posted the Dramatists’ Play Service version of the Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 script on the COURSE DOCUMENTS tab on blackboard, so you can access it if you need it to answer these questions:
Before our discussion class for the piece, please think about Anna Deveare Smith’s acting choices, and how they affected your understanding of the character.
Please addresses ONE of the following two prompts in a paragraph of about 200 words
1. The play achieves its social message through a contrast of presenting various points of view about the uprising/riots. Looking back through the actual script I posted, or remembering the film, can you find specific pairs of characters whose points of view contrast with one another? Please describe how these characters’ perspectives on the riots contrast (you may juxtapose as many pairs as you like, but the important thing is to be specific and explain HOW they contrast, as thoroughly and specifically as you can), and then try to explain where the author’s own viewpoint lies, in relation to these characters. What is HER point of view? What is she trying to tell her audience? Does she seem to sympathize with some characters more than others? How so? How can you tell?
2. What is the effect of having one person play all of these characters? In the DRAMATISTS’ PLAY SERVICE version of the script that I posted on blackboard, Smith makes suggestions about how this play could be performed by a cast of six actors. Do you think this would make the piece more effective, or less? What is powerful theatrically (in terms of the play’s social message) about one person doing all of these roles? What would be lost by having more than one person perform the show? What would be gained? Use specific examples from the play to bolster your argument if you choose to respond to this prompt.
another one is:
You may expand your written response to TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 to a short essay of about 600 words. (You must complete the original response to my prompt about these video-recordings first, in order to qualify for this extra credit option.) This essay should thoughtfully incorporate a short quotation from at least ONE of the essays in the “What is (element of theater)?” (performance, theater, acting, audience, design, or directing) section of the course. For example, you could integrate a quotation from Auslander’s “Liveness” essay, and discuss how Deveare Smith integrates video recordings from a past event into her theater piece, which makes it more of a “multimedia” performance (this would contradict the argument that it is truly “poor theater.”) Another example: you could discuss Fifth of July in terms of its acting, direction, or the various visually-designed production elements including set, costume, lighting, etc. (For example: the play moves from inside to outdoors between the two acts: how does this setting change impact the story? how does the setting impact the theme or message of the play? how do Shirley’s costumes impact the theme of the play? etc.) Please upload the essay in MS Word or PDF form only, and be sure that your essay includes a SHORT quotation from one of the secondary readings that is artfully integrated into your discussion.