Lion King Play

Project 2 (Play Review Guidelines)
Play review will be graded using a rubric that evaluates how well you fulfilled the
requirements for this assignment. Read and study the information below before you attend your play,
so you will be mindful of what to observe.
General Requirements:800-1000 words long; double spaced; use MLA style to set up headers ; include names of
main characters and the actors who portrayed them; include at least two lines of dialogue from the show
somewhere in your explanations ( if a musical, mention two songs); don’t attempt to answer every question in each
category: only answer those that best fit with your production! Save your ticket stub and play program as proof of
attendance.
BE SURE TO PROOFREAD YOUR PAPER FOR SPELLING AND GRAMMATICAL ERRORS BEFORE SUBMITTING! NEED
HELP? ASK FOR A TUTOR AT THE LSC TO GO OVER YOUR PAPER PRIOR TO SUBMISSION. Remember, always put
play titles in italics, not quotation marks!
 Introduction ( one paragraph only!)
o Include name of play and playwright (give a few sentences about the background of the
playwright), date and time of the production you attended, who was the director and
producer(s), if a musical include who wrote songs and did choreography; and a short plot
summary (8-10 sentences…what is this play about); Was the play held in a professional theatre,
college campus, high school, church, etc.? have a thesis statement at the end of the paragraph;
be sure to italicize names of plays.
 Body (discuss each of the areas below. Write a paragraph for each category (12 to 15 sentences
approximately). You do not have to answer all the questions listed in each area!!! Just pick those that
most closely go with your theatre viewing experience 
o Describe the set/scenery; what type of stage was used (proscenium, arena, thrust, black box,
etc.); was a curtain used; Was the set realistic or nonrealistic? Symbolic? How did it establish
time and locale? Were flats used? How was scenery moved or changed? Were turntables or
trapdoors used? What kinds of props were used?
o Discuss the acting and directing: describe how you feel the actors did or did not successfully
portray their characters; was the acting realistic and believable or stilted or forced? Did you think
the director did a good job casting the roles; was the pace of the production satisfying ( or was it
slow in places); Mention two specific instances of blocking or business that helped develop
character or moved the production along? Did the director try to bring the playwright’s vision to
life on stage or did they take an auteur approach? If auteur, explain how the play was changed to
suit the director’s vision. What scenes did the actors do an especially good job in (or bad or
both); was the play too long? Short? Were you excited; bored; confused? Discuss two of the
actors and their performances. Were the actors professionals or amateurs or a mix?
o Who was the protagonist? Antagonists? Name the characters and put in parentheses the name
of the actor, for example, Willy Loman (Dustin Hoffman). What characters did you root for? Like
or hate? Did these characters remind you of anyone from real or public life? Did the play increase
your understanding of or compassion for (or anger at) such people? Which characters changed
the most from the beginning to the end of the play and was this “change” that occurred
portrayed effectively. Would you say the characters in this play were representative or stock?
Explain your choice.
Costumes, Makeup? describe the costumes, makeup. Were the costumes realistic, futuristic,
historical? Pick one character and describe how their costume indicated their character. Did the
color of the costume indicate mood? Were accessories worn by the characters ( belts, beads,
feathers, wigs, walking canes)? Were masks used? Was makeup used to “age” a character?
Create a nonhuman character (such as a cat)?
o Lights and Sound? How did the lighting create mood or help establish time and place? Was
color used in the lights? Was the lighting directly from above? Were cross fades or blackouts
used? Was a scrim used? If so, how. Was a gobo used? A spotlight? If so, how. Could you see the
lighting instruments themselves? Did the actors project their voices or did they use mikes? Were
there sound effects used?
o What was this play really about? What genre was this play? Explain your choice. Was the
structure of the play climactic or episodic? Explain. What was the spine of this play: what motifs,
ideas, themes were reoccurring? Did it address questions that are important in your life life
(culture, religion, age group, social group); Did it make you rethink your values or hope others
might rethink theirs? Were there emotionally staggering moments in the play? Hilarious
moments: Dazzling dialogue? Did the play get more or less interesting as it went along? If it was
a musical, what was your favorite number and why? Was their dancing? Describe a number.
o Audience Reaction?
 Approximately how many people were in attendance? Was the house filled or was
attendance sparse? Would you say the audience was homogeneous or heterogeneous?
What was your favorite part of the play and why? How did the audience react to the
play? Was the audience asked to participate in any way with the actors (other than
reactions of laughter, applause, etc.); Was the applause enthusiastic or polite? Did the
audience seem to be engaged in a “willing suspension of disbelief” and “caught up” in
the production? Was the audience restless? If so, why?
 Overall Effect: As a critic of this production, answer these three questions based on the
performance you attended:
1) What was the production/playwright attempting to do?
2) How well was it done?
3) Was it worth doing?
Conclusion: On the basis of this experience, would you recommend this play to others; did this experience encourage you to attend the theater again?? Why or why not?

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