ENG 1050 Theater Review: GPAC’s Fall 2017 Production of Waiting for Godot
Assignment: Attend one of Givens Performing Arts Center’s performances of our student production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and write a review of it. There are three aspects of this writing assignment: description, response, and critique. Generally speaking, you should describe the experience and explain your reactions thoroughly, linking then directly to aspects of the performance.
Base your review on your knowledge of the text of the play, any other performances or versions of Waiting for Godot that you are familiar with, and your honest critical response: what stood out to you about it, what you liked about it, and what you didn’t like. You should discuss at least one scene, conversation, or speech by means of direct quotation of the play; don’t quote the whole thing, but just the part you want to discuss.
You should plan to take notes during the performance and take a small notebook or clipboard, etc., but please be respectful to other audience members and keep your note-taking unobtrusive. Please keep and attach to your review a ticket stub or program as proof of your attendance and documentation of which performance you attended. Please attach your notes or a representative sample of them (2 or 3 pages).i not need notes remove that
Describe anything memorable or unusual about the experience, particularly things you liked or didn’t like. You do not need to discuss all of the following categories (nor limit your analysis to these), but here are some aspects that might focus your attention:
Seating and “Fourth Wall”
Your review should comment on the handling of each of the play’s roles (portrayals, impressions, casting, notable details, etc.). Do this briefly (in a sentence) if there is nothing notable to mention, but more expansively (e.g., multiple sentences or a paragraph) if there are significant departures from what you expected which should be detailed for readers:
Handling of Source Text
Discuss as many of these topics as are significant to you as a reviewer, and use your conception of the role of a reviewer to decide how much to elaborate.
Scenes cut from performance
Sections without dialogue
Tone of tragic elements
Your reader(s) will be more inclined to appreciate the validity of your response if it is clearly described and adequately supported with detailed descriptions and an articulate rationale for your response. Consult Wilhoit, Chapter 5, for his discussion of the trigger-response-explanation model for effective responsive writing. In a slightly different vein, that of constructive critic, if you have suggestions regarding aspects of the GPAC production, you may include them, with the same caveat: to be persuasive, you must explain your rationale. You may also discuss other productions or performances of the play—especially the one we viewed in class–if you find them helpful to make a point–but only if you can cite them.
Length: Your review must be four double-spaced pages, minimum, can go over four, but should not exceed nine pages. Include relevant Works Cited entries at the bottom of the last page if there is sufficient space or on a separate last page. See Source Text below.
Grading: Points will be deducted for lapses and violations of the assignment requirements (length and content), of MLA format, and of Standard American English.
Wilhoit Reading: Chapter 5: Response Essay
Source Text: This is how to cite on your works cited page the two primary sources and secondary source used in class:
The website can show you the dialogue
Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. Grove Press, 1956.
Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. 1956. The Samuel Beckett On-Line Resources and Links Page,
http://samuel-beckett.net/Waiting_for_Godot_Part1.html and http://samuel-
beckett.net/Waiting_for_Godot_Part2.html. Accessed 7 Nov. 2017.
Bennett, Michael Y. Review of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and Anthony Page. Theatre Journal, vol.
62, no. 1, March 2010, pp. 110-111. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40587450. Accessed 7 Nov. 2017.
You may use other editions of the play if you don’t have access to the Grove text I used in class. Just make sure, whatever edition you use, that, as with all sources, you cite it consistently and appropriately in your review and on your works cited page. (Consult the MLA chapter of your Little Seagull Handbook or Purdue OWL online for format.) Most scholarly editions of verse dramas organize the play by act, scene, and line number, which is how we normally cite the text in a critical review; however, in prose dramas the text usually does not have those line numbers, so just mention the act where appropriate and, if you have a paginated edition cite the page number.
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