Drama Essay

Paper #1: Review of Chicago and Live Performance


Three to five pages, double spaced

MLA format: (Correct Heading, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman, 12 point font, page numbers) For information about MLA format, see the Purdue Online Writing Lab at [url removed, login to view]

This paper is worth 50 points toward your final course grade. Please see the course schedule for the due date.


In chapter two of our textbook we learned about the difference between live theatre on stage and filmed drama we see on screen. Your task for this paper is to experience both live theatre and filmed drama, and to compare and contrast the two.

The Steps

Watch Chicago the Musical.

Attend any of the following live theatre events in Seattle. Keep in mind that you must see two live performances (one for each paper). Since this is a compare/contrast paper, you may want to watch Chicago and the play of your choice within the same week. You will need to plan ahead to be sure you see the show in plenty of time to complete the assignment. Do your research: choose a show you think you will enjoy or learn something from.

Note: almost all these theatres offer amazing student discounts. Be sure you take advantage of them!!

Other Desert Cities at ACT (Now through June 30)

The Financial Lives of the Poets at Book-It Repertory (Now through June 30)

Rapture, Blister, Burn at ACT (July 12 - August 12)

Pirates of Penzance at 5th Avenue Theatre (July 11 - August 4)

Write a short review of Chicago and of the play you attend. Be sure you don't simply write a summary of the plot. Engage with the way the story is being told by the medium and by the artists involved. You may want to read this article from the British newspaper The Guardian on writing reviews.

Reflect on your experience: How was watching the film different than watching the theatrical event? How did the two make you think or feel? Did you experience a different level of engagement between the two? Compare and contrast the two genres. Consider what kind of drama you witnessed in each. Was either purely entertainment? Be sure you engage with course vocabulary in making your comparison.

Questions to consider for your paper

Think about the various level of presentation on the screen. For example, sometimes the film presented staged production on film. Did it present theatre within theatre on film? Think of the mix of reality and theatrical production on film. Provide examples of interesting moments.

How successful was the film at capturing the musical?

What is the difference between a production in live theatre and a production on film?

How were elements of theatrical design such as lighting, costume, and set used as part of this screen version?


[url removed, login to view] (see "How to Access Streaming Media Reserves for Drama 103" on the course web page).

Due by 8/7 5 PM

Skills: English (US), Report Writing, Research Writing

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