Friday, December 10, 2010

Theatre Exam Quarter 2 Review

  • Characters from Death of a Salesman and Sorry, Wrong Number
  • Directing (from Everything about Theatre!)
  • Stage Makeup (from Everything about Theatre!)
  • Set Design (from Everything about Theatre!)
  • Figurative and Literal interpretation of a play/screenplay
  • Plot of both films
  • Director choices in both films
  • Theatre Troupe experience
  • Context
  • History: Romanticism through Realism
  • Matching
  • Multiple Choice
  • Short Answer
  • Reading Comprehension (article)
  • Visual Analysis
  • Essay

Class notes from viewing

(link to

FILM NOIR: a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes

What are the cynical attitudes in the screen play?-Cynical attitude- a negative attitude about a situation in life.
The cop concerned only with his problems and not with the severity of a crime.
Mrs. Stevenson thinks that her husband married her for her money.
Mrs. Stevenson's father spoiled his daughter. Money is power and can get anything
Henry wants to make his own living by being underhanded
Henry blames everyone for his own problems
Henry believed that money is more powerful than love

How would the film be different if it were created today?
The film will be in color
The leading actress wouldn't have been over-dramatic
The technology/science would have been advanced; no telegrams
The situation where Mrs. Stevenson interferes with another's call about the murder would have had to be changed, maybe a text or email
Younger people in movies may not have smoked

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Sorry, Wrong Number" film!

Here is the playlist for "Sorry, Wrong Number." There are 9 parts.

Thank you to sorrywrongnumber4u on

Makeup for Theatre notes

  • We can use makeup to accentuate the facial characteristics, or to change a face entirely.
  • Makeup is needed for stage presence and visibility of expression.
  • Straight Makeup: when the character is similar to the actor (however, don't get too comfortable! There is always interpretation to be found in the script.
  • Character Makeup: when makeup is used to change an actor's characteristics.

Character Research (CONTEXT):
You must know when your play takes place to apply appropriate make up

Theatrical Makeup Characterization:
H.E.A.R.T.H.--a mneumonic for remembering the six elements of character analysis
  • Heredity: family background--parents facial characteristics
  • Environment: Financial standing, where the character lives, occupation
  • Age: Makeup can make a face look older or younger; and appropriate application
  • Race: To buy the right color, to enhance or hide any cultural features that do not fit the character, and to adhere to any cultural trends
  • Temperament: (a measure of someone's emotional status) Makeup can be used to show emotion.
  • Health: Sickness can affect appearance--whether it's the actor or the character (pale, wrinkled, dark under eye area).

Example of the power of perception, which can be enhanced with makeup:

These faces are identifcal except for the
eyebrows. What feelings do they exude?

Where can information about a character be found? (Hint: the same places an author uses characterization.
  • What a character says
  • What a character does
  • What other characters say about the character
  • What other characters do to the character
What is Physiognomy?
The practice of judging one's character by looking at the facial features.
  • large nose means forceful leader.
  • high, arched eyebrows can make someone look less than intelligent
  • young face/baby face means innocence
Physiognomy is based on human perception, not science.
Physiognomy has roots in Darwinism

One makeup rule to follow:
Rule without exception? Never apply a shadow without a highlight.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Death of a Salesman" Film discussion questions/notes

Remember: These are student notes based on class discussion.

Death of a Salesman” Response Questions
1. Why cast a small (in stature) Willy Loman? What characters seem to purposefully be larger than Willy?
Larger: Biff, Hap, Charlie, Ben, the Boss, even Linda
Smaller to show his insignificance, lack of power, misunderstood position in society.

2. What do you notice about the lighting choices during the flashbacks versus the present day scenes? Why would the director make that choice?
Brighter in the "Glory Days." Darker in the present. This shows that Willy is glorifying his past and Biff's success while remaining blind to the present situation.

3. Why does Linda cover for Willy? What is her goal?
She believes that he has worked hard and deserves dignity and respect--above all his humanity demands that his sons respect him. She is honorable and doesn't want to take away his facade of dignity.

4. Give evidence that Biff is still childish.
Biff acts childish by still sleeping in the same room with his brother and wearing matching kiddie pajamas. He still blamed his father for his faults; he sounds as though he is 12 years old.

5. Why is Willy behaved worst when Biff is around?
Willy behaved worst when Biff is around because Biff reminders him of all his unsuccessful attempts.
Push Biff so hard only for Willy's pleasure

6. List the elements against Willy (people, situations, concrete and abstract). Are these his fault? Consider Linda’s statement: “He’s not a great man, but he’s a man.”
Willy's job is against him because he wasn't a great salesman; he felts although his loyalty is enough
Time was against him
His mind is against him; he's having delusions
The lack of respect that he earns
His wife, Linda, his against him because she is hindering him because she won't tell him the "ugly truth."
Although he is not a good man, he should still have his dignity
Irony: Hap wants to prove Willy's legacy but there is nothing to prove.
"American Dream":Willy's sickness is symbolic of the "American Dream." People who believe in the "American Dream" are delusional and need to snap back to reality.
Miller is saying:If you see the "dream" without the struggles and obstacles, you are being naive. Hard work will take you far but if you just sit back and "wait" for it success will not come.
Make short-term goals and be realistic.
American Dream made him sick. Humans deserves dignity.

1. What does Willy's garden symbolize? Consider his American Dream and these lines he speaks: I've got to get some seeds. I've got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing's planted. I don't have a thing in the ground.
Willy's garden symbolizes his desire; he needs to grow something. Miller is telling the readers that he wants the garden but doesn't have the seeds yet. Digging in the garden represents appreciation for the Earth and basic human needs. Willy didn't know who he was or what he wanted.

2. Hap tries to give Linda flowers. She throws them to the ground. The director (Volker Schlöndorff) chose to have Willy pick them up and put them in a vase of water. Why do you suppose Schlöndorff makes this choice?

3. How does Biff begin to represent "truth" in this play? Consider this line he speaks: I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.
Biff know that he couldn't live his father's dream. He realized that his father's dream was a lie. He left to go West to start something new.

4. Why doesn't Willy want Biff to tell him the truth about the job he never had, or about being in jail?
Biff went to jail for petty theft. Biff tries to come clean but Willy doesn't believe him because it's going to bring him back to reality;he is hiding from the truth. He had invested so much into Biff he's afraid to believe anything else.

5. Consider the following lines: Biff: Pop! I'm a dime a dozen, and so are you!
Willy: I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff Loman! What does Biff mean? What does Willy mean? What is Arthur Miller (playwright) tell the audience literally and figuratively?
Dime a dozen is something that can be obtained easily.
Biff means- The family is regular, nothing special
Willy means- Values his family and family name as something special

6. Who changes in this play? Who does not change? What is Miller's point?
Biff grows through out the play. He matures and starts to understand the truth.
Hap and Linda doesn't change. Willy continues to get worse. His illusions become more intense. He changes for the worse.
Miller's point
Biff shows that there will be change for the next generation
Hap shows that it's too late.

7. Why does Willy die at the end? Does he commit suicide?
Willy dies at the end because he has a car accident.
Does he commit suicide? Answer: Up for debate, Your own response with evidence...

Last section of Directing notes...

See past posts for previous notes

Contrast-difference stands out

Rehearsals-what is important? What must be considered?

Preparing a Prompt Book (This is what we'll be creating next week!)
-What should be in it?
For the director: All aspects of play such as blocking, lighting, sound, costume changes and role changes.
-Why does each member need one?
Everyone needs a prompt to be informed
-How will they be different from each others?
They will be different because the others' prompt book will satisfy their specific role
-Whose will be most complete?
The director's book will be the most complete

Off-Book Rehearsals(week 7)

Technical Rehersals(week 8)

Dress Rehersals(week 8)

Performance(week 9)