Theatrical production analysis | english 11

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Your next assignment is a theatrical production analysis. For this assignment, you must view a recorded or live version of Macbeth. You will analyze the production in the following areas: Note: each of these areas will be a separate and distinct section with a clear heading in your essay. 


  • What can you tell about the time period of the costumes? Are there specific costumes that convey meanings about specific characters?
  • Choose three characters’ costumes and describe them in detail. (Each character’s costume will be a subheading in your analysis.) Include details such as color, style, and any defining characteristics about these particular costumes. Make sure you address the following question: How does each costume affect your understanding of or the actor’s interpretation of the character?

Setting/stage backdrops

  • Is there something particularly unique about the setting or the stage backdrops?they  If you view a stage production, what is unique about the backdrops? Are they elaborate? If the movie is a theater stage that has been filmed, what is unique about the setting? Are there elaborate backdrops in the filmed production? If you are viewing a movie that is filmed outside, how does the setting affect your understanding of the play?
  • In addition to your discussion of the setting of the production overall, include three individual discussions of the settings of three separate scenes. (Each of these settings will be a subheading in your analysis.) What unique choices did the director make about these scenes? How did the setting of the scene affect the way the characters moved/responded to their surroundings? How did the setting of the scene affect your understanding of it?


  • Describe the use of props overall. Was the production such that they had all of the props the characters would need in the real world? Were the props very minimal instead?
  • Choose three specific props to discuss. (Each prop will be a subheading in your analysis.) What was unique about each of these props? How did each prop affect your understanding of the scene or the character’s actions?

Artistic interpretation of three of the characters

            Choose three characters from the production that you think were portrayed particularly well. (Each character will be a subheading in your analysis.) What was unique about each portrayal? What was your favorite scene with this character? Why? How did the actor/actress enhance your understanding/perspective of the character?

Music/Sound and Lighting

            Analyze either the music or the sound and the lighting in the production. Each will be its own subheading. Was there music used in the production? If not, focus on the sound–the sound effects in the production. Also discuss the lighting in the production. How did each of these affect or enhance your understanding of the production?

Specific analysis of Macbeth’s “dagger” soliloquy

Examine the “dagger” soliloquy in both the production you viewed and the Daniel Mays version you viewed in Lesson 3.1: 

  • Which version of the soliloquies did you prefer? Why?
  • Select two elements of the soliloquies to compare/contrast. For example, you might focus on props, volume, facial expressions, or tone and explain how this unique aspect enhanced/detracted from each version.

Unique aspects of this production

            Choose two other things from the production to discuss. For example, you might consider the following questions:

  • What symbolism was evident in the play? How were these symbols used to enhance the production?
  • How was the supernatural portrayed in the production? How did this affect the production and/or the audience experience?
  • What other elements of the production were significant and affected the viewer experience?

To help you complete a successful analysis of the production you watch, please visit this play review site and read the information on this site carefully:

Notice that in this assignment you should not summarize the plot of the play. Your audience (your teacher) has read and seen the play and is very familiar with it. Instead, I will be looking for careful analysis of all of the required elements described above.

Follow the following formatting guidelines:

  • I hesitate to put a length requirement on this assignment because there are so many elements to discuss and the length of various analyses will vary; however, please remember that I expect you to carefully analyze each element of the play outlined above, and your analysis must demonstrate that you have used critical thinking skills in completing this assignment. In order to adequately cover all of the required elements, your essay will be at least three pages in length, perhaps more.
  • Your essay should be double-spaced using a 12-point Times or Times New Roman font. Your margins may be no larger than one inch on each side (see the MLA formatting guidelines).
  • Include a header on each page with your last name and the page number. However, do not double-space between paragraphs; you may double space before headings and subheadings, but do not include an extra space after them.
  • REMEMBER: format your essay according to the MLA formatting guidelines included in this document from the BYU Writing Center: MLA Style Formatting
  • Include a works cited page. This page must follow MLA formatting guidelines and must include at least five outside sources.
  • Use informal diction in your writing. It is appropriate to use the personal pronoun in your essay; however, remember this is an analysis essay and should be written very carefully.
  • You must also submit a revised rough draft. This draft may be revised by you or someone else; however, in order to receive credit for this draft, your instructor must be able to SEE that you have completed the revision process. This means that highlighting a few words here and there does not suffice. Revise it carefully.

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