Reaction Paper Assignment


Throughout the semester, you will be asked to attend theatrical productions and write a reaction paper. There will be numerous opportunities to attend these performances – please pay close attention to the schedule information provided in class and on Blackboard, and plan accordingly! You are required to write three Reaction Papers this semester. Due dates for each paper can be found in the course schedule.

The Assignment

In this paper, you are asked to summarize the theatrical production that you attended and discuss the experience in detail. This is not just an assignment where you talk about watching the show – you should use class content in your analysis of the theatrical production! Be sure to familiarize yourself with the rubric before writing your papers – and make sure to double check your completed papers against the rubric before submitting them!

Sections of the Paper

  1. Theatrical Production: In this first section, provide identifying information for the theatrical production (title of the production, place and date of the production, original author/playwright) and a brief (but complete!) summary of the theatrical production’s story. This section should be written in your own words – please do not use quotes. Classify the theatrical production – which of the five categories of theatre does this production belong in, and why? This section will serve as the introduction to your reaction paper.


  1. Theatrical Critique: This section begins your analysis of the theatrical production you attended. Answer the following questions, in order:
    1. What is the artist trying to do? Think from the perspective of the playwright – what the central message of this production? This question goes beyond the plot summary of the show and asks you think about the intention of the artist him or herself – what worldview is the artist trying to express? How do you know? Provide specific examples to support your claim.
    2. How well has the artist done it? Discuss your judgment of whether the artists involved in this production achieved the playwright’s goal. How effective is this particular production at accomplishing the playwright’s goal? What role do the actors and director have in this achievement?
    3. Do you consider this theatrical production to be art? As discussed in Chapter 1, all works of art share five basic qualities to some extent. How does this theatrical production achieve each of those qualities? Provide specific examples for your claims.


  1. Personal Perspective: Overall, what did you think of the theatrical production you attended? Did you enjoy the show? Why or why not? Provide at least one specific example of something you liked about the production and something you did not like about the production. This section will serve as the conclusion to your reaction paper.


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