Posted: October 27th, 2022
ALL instructions are in the file below
You are only writing 1 Play Critique for the Winter Intersession, and it can be on any of the plays we have covered or will cover over the course of the semester. Those plays are: Oedipus, Antigone, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Death of a Salesman, A Doll’s House, or any of the musicals we’ve discussed in Set, Lighting, Costumes and Makeup, such as Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton, Lion King, or Wicked. Other plays in the Modern Drama module are Death of a Salesman, A Doll’s House, Madame Butterfly, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and in the Comedy Module are Noises Off, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Chinglish.
PLEASE pick from one of the plays or musicals above.
THRT 001 – REVISED PLAY CRITIQUE – Professor Massie of 1 2
THRT 001 REVISED PLAY/FILM CRITIQUE GUIDELINES:
Professor Massie, M.A, M.A., M.F.A.
Your critique is worth 20 points and should be 2 pages but can be more, typed, double
spaced, 12 pt. font, and should include:
• The name of the play or film version of the play, and playwright, or screenwriter
• The date you saw the online version of the play or film
• The online link to the version you saw, such as a YouTube link that is a hyperlink so I
can click on it – also list if you saw a full film version on a network like amazon
prime, or netflix. Even if the link is in modules, include it in your paper to make it
easier for me to see.
• DO NOT WRITE ON A PRODUCTION YOU HAVE SEEN, BUT I CAN’T SEE- such
as a high school or college production you like but there is no link. If you can’t send me
the link, you can’t write on this production!
1. Playwright – Any additional notes you want to add about the playwright from the
notes I gave you or additional reading you may have done
2. Genre/Style of the Play, or film version of the play, or Film – e xamples are Tragedy, 1
Drama, Comedy, Realism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Absurdism,
Musical Theater, Musical Comedy – all in the notes
3. Themes in the play – what was the main message of the play if you had to summarize
what the play or film version meant to you? – You can use the notes I sent you, and/or
add your own ideas
4. Set Design – make at least 1 descriptive comment on the set design – go to the module
on “Design Elements” or “Set and Lighting Design for ideas such as a multilevel set,
single unit set, realistic, symbolic set, colors, levels, specific set pieces that stood out to
5. Lighting Design – make at least 1 descriptive comment on the lighting design – go to
the module on “Design Elements,” or Set and Lighting Design,” such as light or dark,
use of colors, use of a spotlight, focus in terms of specific stage areas lit, whatever you
can detect watching online
6. Costume Design – make at least 1 descriptive comment on the costume design – go to the
module on “Costume and Makeup Design,” – period or classical costumes, colors used,
textures, silhouettes – list the general time period of the play or film, colors used, style
THRT 001 – REVISED PLAY CRITIQUE – Professor Massie of 2 2
THRT 001 REVISED PLAY/FILM CRITIQUE GUIDELINES,
Professor Massie, M.A., M.A., M.F.A.
7. Makeup and Hair Design – make at least 1 descriptive comment on the hair and makeup
choices – go to the module on “Costume and Makeup Design,” – such as if the characters in
the play or film have a specific look, such as the gothic look in Sweeney Todd- pale skin,
dark circles under the eyes for example, the general time period as well especially if it is
classical or contemporary.
8. Staging and Blocking – make at least 1 descriptive comment on the rhythm, pacing,
amount of movement on stage, technical specificity of the blocking if there are a lot of
people on stage. Blocking refers to specific or choreographed movements on stage or in the
film, What was visually interesting to watch?
9. Acting – make at least 1 descriptive comment on the Acting – what characters did you
relate to the most? What characters did you believe the most? Which characters did you
not believe or relate to? If you were cast in this play or film , which character would you
want to play and why?
10. Directing – make at least 1 descriptive comment on the Directing – were the scene
transitions smooth? Was there a unified style to the design elements? Did you feel
involved in the story? Did you go on the character’s journey while watching it?
11. Music and Sound Design – make at least 1descriptive comment on any music or sound
design that stood out to you in the play or film, especially if you are writing on a musical.
If you didn’t notice anything, you still need to make that comment and address this
12. Other questions to consider: How did the play or film make you feel? Were you moved,
surprised, sad, bored, confused, entertained, scared? What specifically affected you – even
if you only saw film clips?
13. Spelling and punctuation are important and will affect your grade.
Date you watched the play:
Director of the version you watched:
Video Link to play:
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is a tragedy in that the audience witnesses
the protagonist, Willy Loman, regress from a confident and energetic father to a spiteful
and rather hopeless shell of a human being. This eventually culminates in Loman taking
his own life in a misguided effort to prove his worth to his family and “friends”. This act of
self-sacrifice in the name of dignity actually fits the very definition of tragedy Arthur
Miller himself put forth.
To me, the theme of the play is centered around the question of self-identity,
specifically the denial of it. Willy Loman is constantly seen insulting other professions,
such as farmers, while always praising his work as a salesman. Ironically, Willy actually
enjoys activities such as gardening and home renovations significantly more than his
career. Willy’s confusion regarding his own passions arguably contributes to his
downfall. Of course, the character of Biff is also tethered to the notion of self-identity, as
he longs to stray from his father’s suffocating career choice and forge his own unique
I appreciated how the multi-level set of the Loman residence flawlessly
functioned as a realistic plane of interactions between the characters.
Additionally, the use of warm-colored lighting during hallucination/flashback
scenes reinforces how picturesque Willy Loman’s life used to be and therefore,
reemphasizes just how far he’s fallen.
As a 1950’s period-piece, the costumes and hair are very reminiscent of the mid-20th
century; I found it interesting that the character’s costumes had little color to them with the
exception of flashback/hallucination scenes.
In regards to makeup, I personally felt the pale and withered look of Willy and
Linda Loman especially helped add a prominent sense of despondence to their characters.
While there weren’t many people on the stage at a single time, the movements taken
by various actors made for a very realistic and more importantly, natural performance. Scenes
in the Loman household were choreographed so well, it seemed as if I was actually watching
the interactions of a normal suburban family.
The directing was very effective, and essentially gave the play a sense of flow and
There were very few scene transitions. As such, the scenes truly seemed like one long and
therefore realistic interaction between family members and/or acquaintances. Lee J. Cobb’s
performance as Willy Loman just emanated the desperation and hopelessness, which is perfect
considering the struggles and hardships the character has to constantly face.
Overall, the play itself was intricate, insightful, and moving. Every character seemed
to have their own unique personalities and more importantly, their own personal struggles.
Every point of conflict presented on stage just seemed real, and the interactions between
characters always added more to the overarching plot.
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.