SJSU Romeo and Juliet Directed by Don Roy King Theater Review Essay


You will write a 500-word critical performance review on one of the following modern performances of a classic play:

You are expected to engage critically with the performance, taking into account various discussions and research covered in the course (as well as any secondary research you choose to do) that informs the significance and meaning of the work.

Remember: this is not an evaluation of believability or how pretty the lights were.

You will be expected to critically engage with the social, political and cultural discourses that arise through performance in order to produce meaning for the audience. You will be expected to take into consideration the contexts of “who, what, when, where, how and why” as you analyze the performance and justify your interpretations.

You should evaluate the text as well as the performance from a dramaturgical perspective, critically analyzing the performance in relation to the original text or the historical context as well as its contemporary contexts and their implications.

Your review should address the following:

What is this play about (this is not a synopsis)? What does it mean? What does the performance represent? How did the aesthetic qualities of the performance complement or juxtapose the interpreted meaning of the text?

How might it reflect or comment on larger discourses (socio-political & cultural contexts)? Is the production significant? Is it worth doing? What “worked” & what “didn’t?” (How & Why)? Be specific! Use as much evidence (examples) as you can. Evidence is your personal accounts of witnessing the performance, program notes, talkbacks and lobby displays (if available).


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