Welcome to Theater with Mr. Birkenhead




Dramaturgy Assignment, 8A and 8C, Diary of Anne Frank

This assignment will mostly be done in-class, but will require some work at home. It is due on January 17th.

Choose one of the following topics to research and report on:

1) What has been the “journey” of Anne’s diary, from her hands to the eyes of the world? How did it end up being published, then translated into so many languages, then adapted into a play, produced on Broadway, adapted for the movies several times, and revised and adapted again for Broadway? Who are the people responsible for bringing Anne’s story to the world, and, most importantly, how did each of them re-shape the story? Include some discussion of how the actors you’ve seen play the parts in the play have interpreted them.

2) Who are some other children or young people from history who’s stories have shaped our understanding of what it’s like for kids to deal with the anxieties and deprivations caused by racial hatred, war or sectarian violence? Choose one or two examples and compare their stories to Anne’s. Include details that illustrate how the young people responded emotionally and intellectually to the obstacles they faced. Make sure to address the ways in which they responded to racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism or other forms of irrational fear and hatred. In what ways does Anne’s story “echo” in the stories of other young people who came before and after her? Include specific details about the obstacles faced by each young person and the strategies they used to confront them.

3) How have other people involved in the lives of the Franks told their own versions of the story? Who has published books, given interviews, etc. about the experiences of the Franks, Van Danns and the rest? How do these stories differ from or add to your understanding of what happened? What information can you find from these sources that help provide a fuller context for Anne’s account? What do they tell us about events before and after the two years described in the diary? Give specific details from other accounts, and contrast them with or connect them to events described in Anne’s diary or the play. Make sure to use at least one of the books written by Miep Gies in the years after the war.

-Your report must be at least 500 words long (about one typed page, double-spaced) and no longer than three typed pages. You must include at least one image (photograph, painting, etc.) with your report.

-You do not need to include any sort of “introductory” paragraph. I would like you to cut right to the chase and discuss the specific information you’ve gathered in your research.








11/14 OBSERVATION EXERCISE
Observe a person
Note at least five gestures
Note posture, sound and movement.
Note what is done with:
hands
shoulders
eyes
knees
head
Due on 11/17
No late homework accepted


Write a diary entry as one of the characters from FOOLS.

GUIDING QUESTIONS:

What happened today? (Summarize the events.)

Where did it happen (set the scene, use sensory detail)

Who were the people involved? Tell a little about them (what kind of people they are, identifying characteristics, etc.) How and why were they involved (what did they want?)

What did the event or events make you think about? Did it remind you of anything else? Were there any lessons learned?

Include photos or other images that illustrate your entry.






VOCAB LIST FOR QUIZ


Actor - A person who performs in a play, who assumes the role of a character.
Backstage - The area behind the stage, not visible to the audience.
Character - The personality or part an actor recreates.
Characterization - The development and portrayal of a personality through thought, action, dialogue, costuming, and makeup.
Choreography - The design for a dance; written representation of the steps of dancing.
Commedia dell'Arte - A professional form of theatrical improvisation, developed in Italy in the 1500s, featuring stock characters and standardized plots.
Critique - Opinions and comments based on predetermined criteria that may be used for self-evaluation or the evaluation of the actors or the production itself.
Cue - The signal for an actor to speak or perform an action, usually a line spoken by another actor.
Curtain call - The return of the entire cast to the stage after the end of a performance, when they receive and acknowledge applause.
Cyclorama - Also known as a cyc. A very large piece of white fabric, tensioned on two or more sides, which covers the entire back wall of the stage. It can be lit in various colours or have slides or gobos projected onto it.
Denouement - The final unraveling of the plot of a play; the solution or outcome.
Dialogue - The lines of the play spoken by the actors.
Diction - The pronunciation of words, the choice of words, and the manner in which a person expresses himself or herself.
Director - The person in charge; the one who gives directions to the actors and assumes ultimate responsibility for the production.
Double Cast - To prepare two casts for a play, both of which will play the same number of performances.
Downstage - The front of the stage; the area nearest the audience.
Dramaturg - A person who provides specific in-depth knowledge and literary resources to a director, producer, theatre company, or even the audience.
Dress rehearsal - The final rehearsal of rehearsals of a play, when costumes are worn and all stage effects are complete.
Ensemble - A group of theatrical artists working together to create a theatrical production.
Farce - A comedy with exaggerated characterizations, abundant physical or visual humor, and, often, an improbable plot.
Greek theatre - Theatrical events in honor of the god Dionysus that occurred in Ancient Greece and included play competitions and a chorus of masked actors.
Intermission - A recess or temporary stopping of action, usually about halfway through a play.
Kabuki - One of the traditional forms of Japanese theatre, originating in the 1600s and combining stylized acting, costumes, makeup, and musical accompaniment.
Lines - The dialog or words spoken by the actors.
Melodrama - A dramatic form popular in the 1800s and characterized by an emphasis on plot and physical action (versus characterization), cliff-hanging events, heart-tugging emotional appeals, the celebration of virtue, and a strongly moralistic tone.
Playwright - A person who writes plays.
Production - The total theatrical product, including the play, the actor, the direction, scenery, costumes, lighting, and special effects.
Professional Theatre - Theatre in which actors and all other employees earn their living.
Prompter - The person who watches the script backstage during the performance of a play; he or she gives the lines to the actors, if they should forget.
Props - The properties or small objects used by the actors.
Rehearsal - The practice or repetition of a play in preparation for public performance.
Resident Company - A company of actors who play in a home theatre as compared to a Touring Company.
Scenario - The outline or story of a play.
Scene - A location or setting. A division within an act of a play.
Scenery - The large piece (flats, backdrops, furniture) that are placed on the stage to represent the location.
Sense Memory- Memories of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. It is used to help define a character in a certain situation.
Soliloquy - Lines in a play spoken by one character alone on the stage, in which his or her thoughts are revealed.
Script - The manuscript or form in which the play is written; it contains the dialogue, stage directions, and time and place of each act and scene.
Stage Manager - The director's liaison backstage during rehearsal and performance. The stage manager is responsible for the running of each performance.
Stock Characters - Established characters, such as young lovers, neighborhood busybodies, sneaky villains, and overprotective fathers, who are immediately recognizable by an audience.
Theatre in the Round - a theater in which the stage is located in the center of the auditorium, with the audience surrounding all sides —called also arena theater
Theme - A topic or subject developed in a play; the subject on which the plot is based.
Thrust - A type of stage which projects out into the auditorium and has audience seated on three sides.
Touring Company - A company of actors who take their show on the road, as compared to a Resident Company.
Understudy - The actor who learns the part of another actor playing a major role; he or she is ready to go onstage in the unexpected absence of the original actor.
Upstage - The rear of the stage; the area farthest from the audience.
Wings - The side areas of the stage, out of view of the audience; the area where the actors wait for their entrances.







VOCABULARY LIST FOR THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK


  1. Fascist – (n) one who practices Fascism
2. Fate – (n) final outcome
3. Modest – (adj.) behaving in a way that is considered proper
4. Optimism – (n) belief that good will ultimately overcome evil
5. Persevere – (v) to continue in some course of action, in spite of difficulty
6. Pious – (adj.) having or showing religious devotion
7. Pride – (n) respect for oneself
8. Sacrifice – (n) to give up something valued for the sake of something having a
more pressing claim
9. Vile – (adj.) degrading; low; mean

HOMEWORK 9/16

Complete the questions on the worksheet for Lab Scene 6
Give THOUGHTFUL, THOROUGH ANSWERS

HOMEWORK 9/9

Observation Exercise: Observe a person or animal for five minutes and make note of everything you notice. Pay particular attention to body language: what are the shoulders doing, the back, the elbows? How does the person tilt his or her head, how do they stand? Are they leaning against something, are they limping? Do they seem to be turning away from someone or turning towards someone else? Also not their physical surroundings: where are they, how do they physically relate to objects in the room? Are they using a tool, are they fidgeting with an object, are they working precisely or distractedly? Draw conclusions about what you think is going on with them: are they tired, energized, sad, excited, wistful, focused? Tell us what you think their story is at that moment.


HOMEWORK 9/6

Observation Exercise: Observe a person or animal for five minutes and make note of everything you notice. Pay particular attention to body language: what are the shoulders doing, the back, the elbows? How does the person tilt his or her head, how do they stand? Are they leaning against something, are they limping? Do they seem to be turning away from someone or turning towards someone else? Also not their physical surroundings: where are they, how do they physically relate to objects in the room? Are they using a tool, are they fidgeting with an object, are they working precisely or distractedly? Draw conclusions about what you think is going on with them: are they tired, energized, sad, excited, wistful, focused? Tell us what you think their story is at that moment.

HOMEWORK 8/31

Observation Exercise: Observe a person or animal for five minutes and make note of everything you notice. Pay particular attention to body language: what are the shoulders doing, the back, the elbows? How does the person tilt his or her head, how do they stand? Are they leaning against something, are they limping? Do they seem to be turning away from someone or turning towards someone else? Also not their physical surroundings: where are they, how do they physically relate to objects in the room? Are they using a tool, are they fidgeting with an object, are they working precisely or distractedly? Draw conclusions about what you think is going on with them: are they tired, energized, sad, excited, wistful, focused? Tell us what you think their story is at that moment.