performance response

STEP 1. Choose Your Performance

Choose one:

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Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim
Description: “Into The Woods weaves together many famous fairy tales in an allegorical story of family, love, growing up and the hazy areas between right and wrong.” (
Rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material.
READ: Production Review by Tom Williams
Things I Know To Be True by Andrew Bovell
Description: “Things I Know to be True examines the dynamics of a family and how they understand truth in the face of tragedy.” (
Contains strong language, suitable for ages 14+.
READ: Production Review by Limelight Magazine
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Description: “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a partially fictionalized telling of the Salem witch trials of 1692/3. Accusations of witchcraft following a game played by the daughters of a Massachusetts village spiral out of control and many must choose between their reputations and their integrity.” (
Rated PG, some parental guidance required.
READ: Production Review by Tom Williams
Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau
Description: “This is a provocative play reveals the challenges faced by Black youths in the American education system as a public school teacher fights for her son’s future.” (Digital Theatre)
Suitable for ages 13 and up. It contains scenes of violence, strong language, alcohol, drugs and smoking.
READ: Production Review by Mercedes Hesselroth
Funny Girl by Isobel Lennart, Jule Styne, and Bob Merrill
Description: “Funny Girl is based on the life of Broadway star, film actress and comedienne Fanny Brice (a role made famous by Barbra Streisand) and her tempestuous relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein. This classic musical and critically acclaimed production features Sheridan Smith in “an unforgettable star turn” (The Times) and a host of iconic musical numbers including ‘People’, ‘I’m the Greatest Star’ and ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’. ” (Digital Theatre)
Suitable for ages 10 and up.
READ: Production Review by Catherine Love
You will find the links to these performances following these instructions. All recordings must be accessed through MTSU Library using your MTSU log in credentials- Access Instructions

If you experience difficulty accessing: Online recorded performance video, go to MTSU WALKER LIBRARY, Click Databases A-Z under Quicklinks. Search for ” Digital Theatre “. You will be prompted to log in: MTSU Credentials: username and MTSU password. Search for your performance choice. If you continue to have any difficulty, please contact your instructor immediately.

STEP 2: Watch the your selected recorded performance.

Read the assigned Production Review and Production Information on the Digital Theatre host page.
View the entire/whole recording of the performance.
You may watch the performance recording additional times if needed.
Make notes as you watch the recorded performance.
Make notes from the Production Review.
Make notes of character names, relationships and plot elements.
Make notes of special moments.
After you have completed the first watch of the play, you will need to review the performance additional times to obtain the SCREEN SHOTS needed for verification. To verify watching the play, you must provide four screen shots of the play on your computer. Do not take photos with your phone! See instructions below. Upload to FINAL PERFORMANCE RESPONSE DROPBOX:

One screen shot during the exposition
One screen shot during the rising action
One screen shot during the climax
One screen shot during the falling action
Click here for Instructions: How to Take Screenshots and Upload

Step 3: Writing Your Response

How to Address the Topic Questions:

Describe how were the elements realized in the performance. Describe the performance in detail. It is important to refrain from being general. A theatre performance is ephemeral so what you experienced happened once while you were watching and listening. Interpret every detail, then analyze the detail with your interpretation and evaluate the effectiveness of the detail within the context of the world presented in the performance
Respond carefully about your experience and viewpoint of the “live” performance by thoroughly developing your essays with in-depth thought and supporting evidence, details and/or examples from the performance. Use specific moments in the play as support & evidence.
Refer to the notes you took while watching the performance.
Refer to the information on the host web page for for specific production information – cast, director, designers. Some of the information may be in the beginning credits.
Illustrate your knowledge and understanding of terminology (ACT I , ACT II , ACT III, ACT V, ACT VII), theory and concepts covered in the course. To facilitate your full understanding, review all assigned readings, videos, and terms : ACT I through VIII.
Illustrate your knowledge of theatre: Make note of what you want to say in layperson language about the play/performance. Then rephrase your thoughts using terminology that you have studied so far. Also, craft your ideas using the conceptual viewpoints we have covered in this course.
Do not retell the story or summarize the plot.
Provide specific examples of moments from the performance to support your thoughts.
How to Format Your Essay

Write four separate essays – one essay on each of the following topics: Dramatic Structure, Theme & Meaning, Design and Acting.
Each essay must be saved as a separate document and uploaded to Dropbox.
Answer the main topic question and answer all sub-questions for the topic. Use these to frame your complete response on each topical area.
Each TOPIC (Dramatic Structure, Theme & Meaning, Design, and Acting) must be answered in a separate essay response.Do not combine your essay responses!
Each Essay must be AT LEAST 200-WORDS for each question, minimum to achieve a “C” grade in essay length. Note: Length of essay responses must go well beyond the 200-word minimum to get more credit. It is in your best interest to write more (express your knowledge and understanding of the material).
Your essays MUST BE IN YOUR OWN WORDS. All student work (written or produced) WILL BE CHECKED FOR PLAGIARISM. ALL WORK must be your own work. Written work containing wording (sentences or phrases) from another source without citations will be identified as an act of plagiarism and will be subject to faculty referral and disciplinary sanction as explained in ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT.
Quotes from the play and/or class material sources will not be counted in the overall word count of your Performance Response.
Cover pages, headers, page numbers and References or Works Cited will not be counted in the overall word count of your Performance Response.
DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES. Use only class material sources.
If you have citations, you must include a reference page “Works Cited”.
For citing and referencing class sources, see WRITING GUIDE.
Use this format: 12 pt. font Times New Roman or Calibri, Double-spaced, 1″ margins
Additional points will be deducted for misspellings, lack of punctuation, using improper case use and texting acronyms, and lack of clarity in your response.
Follow essay topic instructions about term use and number of terms needed.
PROOF YOUR WORK: Spelling, punctuation, proper case, grammar. Additional points will be deducted for these errors.

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