Chapter Eight of your textbook discusses the role of the dramaturg in helping artists and audiences understand a particular play. Your textbook breaks down that responsibility into three main areas of study: the social context, the biography of the playwright, and the play’s aesthetic intent.
For this essay, I am asking you to apply the work of a dramaturg to the play A Raisin in the Sun. I want you to read the play ( http://azactorsacademy.com/uploads/plays/a_raisin_in_the_sun.pdf ) and then review some of the background materials at the Chicago Public Library’s website ( https://www.chipublib.org/a-raisin-in-the-sun-one-book-one-chicago-spring-2003/). Using information from the play and the website, I want you to write an essay that answers the following questions, preferably following this five-paragraph format:
Your introductory paragraph should establish a thesis that addresses the question of why Lorraine Hansberry wrote this play.
One paragraph should address the historical context for the play. What social, legal, and/or political circumstances was Hansberry responding to with this story? What point of view did she offer on these issues?
One paragraph should address Hansberry’s own biography. What was unique and interesting about Hansberry as a playwright? How did her own experiences inform the writing of this play?
One paragraph should address aesthetic intent. You can assume that this play, like Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, is a work of Realism. What did it mean for a play to be Realist**? How does this play meet the criteria for Realism established in your textbook?
Your conclusion paragraph should reiterate the importance of the play and suggest why the play may still be important today.
Your paper should total at least 1000 words.
Remember to upload your paper as a .pdf or .docx file. The essay is due Friday, November 13 and is worth 150 points.
**The biggest (and easiest) way to lose points on this paper is to incorrectly define Realism. Please use the criteria set out in your textbook. If you go Googling a word like “Realism,” you will get a hundred different definitions that are not pertinent to the artistic movement in theatre. (Textbook Definition- embraces the insight that people are products of their environment. In theatrical realism, theatre artists seek to put the material details of a character’s everyday life onstage, suggesting that a characters environment has a determining effect on their attitudes and actions.)
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