Diversity in Contemporary Theatre: Yellow Face (Research Paper Sample)
Diversity in Contemporary Theatre: Playwright Resarch Paper
The learning objectives of this assignment are:
• To gain a deep historical understanding of the world of the selected playwright and their w orks. The areas of research will include the artist’s biography, their work, and their socio-political, economic and artistic context.
• To engage with contemporary theatre artists while evaluating the previous artistic movements, individual artists and/or companies who influcnccd their work. To continue the discussion of artists and artistic movements creating new forms of expression and stories in reaction to what came before. Identify how the current time and technology of your chosen subject is reflected in their work.
• To examine a current theatre artist's training/education and personal interviews to
understand who may have been their influences.
• To engage with research sources that have not been required thus far in the course.
1. You must includc one primary source and three secondary sources.
2. You must include references to at least one source from: The JSTOR online scholarly database. Instructions for access will be provided.
3. You must include three quotes from: The coursc textbook. Theatre by Robert Cohen, 10h edition. All remaining chapters will be posted.
1. Research Paper
A list of plays and playwrights to choose from will be provided.
FORMAT: MLA Times New Roman Si/e 12 Font; double-spaced
LENGTH: 5-7 pages PLUS a Works Cited Page
2. The presenter will provide the class with a 1-sheet handout detailing key information, timeline, biographical details, etc of the playwright/theatre artist/company. Images may be included. The presenter will take a few minutes to introduce the class to their chosen playwright, using the handout as a rcfcrcncc. This way, the presenter gives a context for the topic and brief explanation of their research before the next task.
Examples provided on Google Classroom. (Email the instructor your pdf of your handout 24 hours before you present, and I'll make copics for the class.)
3. Each student will also provide a 3-5-minute scene or performance text to the class.
This will be an example of the choscn playwright’s work. The presenter willintroduce the scene, cast and direct the scene, and put the work on its feet.
Diversity in Contemporary Theatre; Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang.
Playwrights play the most significant role amongst the diverse artistic presence of a theatre as they often form the basis upon which the wide range of artists performs their distinct functions. David Henry Hwang serves such purpose in employing diverse techniques in impacting societal change in perception of the issue of racial discrimination or misrepresentation in the American society. The socio-political, and economic constructs of the American society played a significant role in determining various aspects of the community in the early 1990's. The issue of racial relations with respect to the theatre and its diverse artistic works is central to Hwang's career as a playwright. The Tony Award-winning playwright through takes a satirical approach in faulting the existing race relations by challenging the audience to review their racial identities while also shedding light on the biases within the American society directed towards the minority groups that are foreign to the American cultural heritage.
Theatrical works form an integral part of the society owing to their wide range of roles, purpose, or service it delivers to its equally diverse audience. One of the most common purposes it serves to the society is offering a source of pastime activity in the form of entertainment to which people attend such events to have or spend quality time (Cohen). People have an opportunity to spend their free time in structural outline adopted by the playwright in delivering their artistic works. Artistic works or plays displayed through the theatre can also double as social events through which cultural traditions of a particular community or society are portrayed with the goal of reviewing, enlightening, or engaging the perception of its members on their various traditional or cultural aspects. Perhaps of utmost importance is the fact that staged plays or dramas are capable of informing or elaborating contentious issues within the society in a simple and clear manner that is easy to comprehend for all the members of the society irrespective of their social, economic, or political status (Cohen).
Writing a play is usually the first stage of a playwright's intense career and demands a comprehensive engagement with the individual's creative mind to come up with an artistic work that will have one or all of the outlined purposes of a drama (Cohen). A common source for a playwright's ideas for a play includes their personal life experiences from which they highlight real issues affecting the community within which they live as being the thematic standpoints for their works. Hwang is one such artist who makes a name for himself as a playwright by relating to his frustrations with his futile efforts in championing for more recognition of actors and artists of Asian origin in the American theatre industry through one of his great works, Yellow Face (Lee). The eldest of three children was in Los Angeles, California in the year 1957 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 from Stanford after which he attended the Drama School in Yale to advance his knowledge by studying the history of theatre. It was during his time at Stanford that he wrote his first play named, fresh off the boat, portraying the life experiences of Asian immigrants in America (Lee). Fresh off the boat was published in 1983 and bagged the Obie Award for 1980-1981 best new play. The experiences of Asian American immigrants in the United States greatly influenced Hwang's subsequent work in The Dance and the Railroad which focused on the high expectations of better and quality life in the greener pasture of America. Hwang's diversity would, however, be seen through his branching out to writ...
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