The Play as a Performance, English homework help

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Drama is a category of literature that is meant to be performed, to be seen and heard live on stage. For this discussion, you will be asked to explore clips of filmed versions of Shakespeare’s work.

To complete this discussion, please read the “Technical and Performance Elements in Drama”Preview the documentView in a new window handout.

Select one clip from a filmed version of one of the plays we have read up to this point in class. Here are instructions for how to find Films On Demand in the Library:

Go to the Library website by clicking on the Library link in either your student Portal or online classroom.

Click on the link marked Find Articles and More located on purple navigation bar on the top of the page.

Select Databases A-Z.

You will see an alphabetical list at the top of the page. Select F.

Select Films On Demand.

Enter the title of the play in the search box on the top right hand side of the page.

Hit the Search button.

Although Films On Demand is helpful, you do not have to use this resource.

When selecting your clip, please concentrate on a specific scene or speech. In your post

Identify the clip and explain the context in terms of information about the filmed version (year made, director, and any notable stars) as well as the play itself (where the clip fits in to the overall plot). Include a link(s) to a trailer or scene(s) from the film.

Discuss at least two aspects of performance from the clip, one technical element and one performance element, making sure to clearly identify the chosen elements and fully explain how they work in the clip.

Share your opinion of the various performance elements on display in your clip. Does it contribute to the overall tone of the play?

Include the name or partial name of the film/play you selected as the subject line of your discussion. Your initial post should be at least 150 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references according to APA style.


Othello [Video file]. (1988). Retrieved July 3, 2017, from…

Othello. (1995).

Othello. (Full Play).


Shakespeare, W. (2014). Othello (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. In B. Mowat & P. Werstine (Eds.), Folger Digital Texts. Retrieved from…

Technical and Performance Elements in Drama

Technical Elements in Drama

Technical elements are those that help bring about the performance of the play itself. They are meant to enhance the presentation while also working to establish the overall mood or tone. While these are most obvious when watching a performance of a given play, certain notations are often called out in the text of the play and a careful reader will be able to understand the impact of these elements even in the act of reading.

Scenery: Sometimes referred to generically as “the set,” this element includes all manner of theatrical equipment, such as curtains, flats, backdrops, or platforms. These are typically used to convey environment.

Costume: The clothing and accessories worn by actors to help them portray character and period. Makeup is a related element. While most actors wear some type of makeup on stage to protect or enhance their appearance, more elaborate makeup, wigs or body paint may be used as well.

Props: A prop is any article, except costume or scenery, used as part of a dramatic production. In essence, this is any moveable object that appears on stage during a performance. These are often specified explicitly in the text of a given play.

Lights: This element encompasses the placement, intensity, and color of lights to help communicate environment, mood, or feeling. This element also includes any specific special effects generated through light – such as to indicate a lightning storm, the onset of morning, or a brush with the supernatural.

Sound: These are effects an audience hears during performance to communicate character, context, or environment. Again, specific special effects may be generated.

Performance Elements in Drama

Performance elements are those visible in the actual performance of a play. Often, these are invisible in the text and so are exclusively the work of the actors and director working together to bring about their vision of the play. As such, it is not uncommon to find different performance strategies employed in different performances of the same play.

Acting: Use of face, body, and voice to portray character

ENG 303: Introduction to Shakespeare

Technical and Performance Elements in Drama

Character motivation: The reason or reasons for a character’s behavior; an incentive or

inducement for further action for a character. An actor will truly inhabit the character they play

and will know how and why they act the way they do.

Empathy: This is a crucial capacity that indicates a character is relating to the feelings of

another. It is interesting to note both when it is present and when it is absent.

Speaking: The term used for describing the mode of expression or delivery of lines

Breath control: Actors must practice the proper use of the lungs and diaphragm muscle for

maximum capacity and efficiency of breath for speaking in order to project their lines and be

heard in a theater setting.

Vocal expression: How an actor uses his or her voice to convey character can often tell us

as much as what a character is actually saying. This can refer to accents and intentional slang

as well as overall timbre.

Inflection: A change in pitch or loudness of the voice may indicate some special importance

in a particular passage or word.

Projection: This is related to breath control. Remember that an actor must ensure that their

lines are enunciated properly and clear so as to carry to the audience.

Diction: This element refers to the selection and pronunciation of words. Though the script

indicates what should be said, the actors are constantly making choices about how to say it.

Nonverbal expression

Gestures: Any movement of the actor’s head, shoulder, arm, hand, leg, or foot to convey


Facial expression: Physical and vocal aspects used by an actor to convey mood, feeling, or


Othello: A critical guide [Video file]. (1997). Retrieved July 3, 2017, from…

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