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THTR 200 | The Theatrical Experience | Smith

Group Project

For your final group project, you have been asked to create a portfolio project around a full-length play.

Your groups' objectives are to read the play, engage in research surrounding the original context of the play (including its production history and critical reception), and then work together to imagine a production of the play and the design choices that would best support a production now.

Use this guide to find historical and cultural research, production history, and visual/design research related to your production concept. 

Contextual Dramaturgy

In this section of the portfolio, you will want to give the reader a sense of the culture and context that this work came out of in order to support your vision for a current production.

Some questions to consider:
a. What inspired this play/what was it responding to?
b. What was the historical/political/social climate of the time?
c. How does it fit into the playwright’s career/larger body of work?
d. What was the play asking/proposing at the time?
e. What is unique or significant about the style, structure, dramaturgy of the play?

Starting Points

Start with these background sources to establish factual evidence for a play and its historical period. Depending on the play you are investigating, you will need to look for more specific historical and cultural background and resources.

See "Search Tips" for additional ideas on how how search in Primo, or contact your librarian for help!

See your group's "Plays" page for individual recommendations for each play.

Search Tips : Primo

When searching Primo for books about context, try these search terms:

everyday life, use social life and customs, e.g. England Social   life  and   customs 16th   century

first productions and staging, use stage history, e.g., Jonson stage history

history of the period, use country and century, e.g., America 20th century

broad overview of country or city's history, use country and civilization, e.g,.  Spain  Civilization 1516-1700

works about the theatre, use theater and country, e.g., Theater England History

critical works, use  criticism, e.g.,  Shakespeare AND criticism; Kushner, Tony -- Criticism

views of the author, use author and political and social views or author and religion, e.g.,  "Sor Juana Ines" AND political AND social views; Marlowe AND religion

Note: When searching by subject, use the ER spelling of theater.