Production information:

Billy the Kid by Michael Morpurgo, Adapted and Directed by Tony Graham

Original Performance – October 27, 2011 at the Unicorn Theatre, London

Featuring: Dudley Sutton as Billy, Sam Donovan as Sam

Requirements:  Write a 2-3 page paper, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins.

Tie your thoughts into a coherent structure.  Your critique should feel like a complete essay or review and not like a list of questions answered.  Remember the rules of writing.  Introduce your ideas and spell out what you are going to accomplish with this critique, reinforce your thesis with information and examples, then summarize your points for final emphasis.

Prior to writing your critique, look up information about the playwright and the play.  This information may inform your review and how you address the production.  You may want to include some of this information in your critique.  Do not copy reviews.  You will receive zero points for this assignment if you use another’s words or ideas without citing the source.

Your critique should address what we’ve talked about so far in this course.  The following list contains things to consider and address in your critique of the production.

Give a very brief summary of the plot (no more than one paragraph).

What is the purpose of the production?  Why did the playwright write this play and why is it still relevant to today?  

What is the structure of the play?  Is there build to a crisis or is it more episodic?  Why do you think the playwright choose those specific scenes to tell the story?  Describe the characters.  What is their individual conflicts, and what is their conflict with each other?  Are there any recurring themes or motifs important to the play?

Is this play worth producing?  Why or why not?  Try to address what you liked and didn’t like about the production.  Use examples from watching the play.

Who do you think is the intended audience for this play?  How did this play affect an audience of college students?  Did you notice anything specific about the audience’s reaction(s)? 

Think about the collaboration of the design elements: music, lights, costumes, set, stage pieces, and even multi-media additions.  Describe what you saw on the stage and the individual design elements.  Does the collaboration of all these elements give an overall “feeling” to the production?

Remember, your experience and interpretation of a theater production won’t be exactly the same as anyone else’s.  This critique should reflect your experience and opinions of the production.

You can find examples of theater reviews online to see how others have written about theater.  I suggest googling “New York Time Theater Reviews” to read a variety of reviews.  Again, DO NOT take another’s ideas or words and claim them for your own in this critique