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Outclass Drama Essay

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The place of women in the society is the overriding theme in Marsha Norman’s 'night, Mother and Susan Glaspell’s Trifles. The women in the two plays assume the traditional position of women, whereby they stay in their homes doing the domestic chores and raising children they care for. Significantly, the action of the two plays takes place in the kitchen, because they are about women interacting with the other characters in their homes. The reader can see the similarity of setting from the initial scene description in each play. The purpose of setting both plays in the kitchen is probably to show that the traditional place of women is in the kitchen. 'night, Mother begins with the dialogue between Jessie and her mother in the kitchen setting. Similarly, Trifles starts off from the kitchen setting in John Wright’s home, where murder investigation takes place. Margaret Hossack, the woman in Trifles who is imprisoned for murdering her husband gave birth to nine children. In 'night, Mother, Jessie’s mother cannot believe her daughter is going to commit suicide. The incidences regarding the roles of women in the two plays reveal that they remain reserved in the home environment. They belong to the kitchen, and they raise children without adequate support from their husbands.

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Stage directions reveal to the reader the aspects of the actions that are important, but not part of the actors’ utterances. Consequently, they make Trifles and 'night, Mother lively and more meaningful because they indicate the unspoken actions in the scenes as the actions progress. From the very beginning of 'night, Mother, the reader knows what is going on through the stage directions. For instance, the directions say that the action begins with Mama unwrapping the cupcake. Also, the reader knows Mama’s response to Jessie’s question whether she wants the beach towel. The stage directions indicate that she shakes her head suggesting negative answer. It means that the stage directions also add cohesion to the play because they contain meaningful information that improves the reader’s understanding of the play. Similarly, the stage directions in Trifles are meaningful and make the play coherent. Examples of the stage directions that emphasize the significance of the devices include: the attorney taking out the notebook and sitting at the left of the center-table, Mrs. Peters crossing to the cupboard upright, and Mrs. Hale putting the jar on the kitchen table with a sigh. It would be difficult for the reader to understand some actions without the stage directions.

In 13 ways to Screw Up your College Interview, each scene raises an issue about what a person who comes for a college interview should do or avoid; and collectively, the thirteen scenes advance the play theme. In scene one, it becomes clear that the interviewers do not carefully assess their interviewees. They accepted a pyromaniac student who burned the science center. They just made their choice in favor of that particular student because he had an amazing essay. In scene two, Harold, another candidate appears for the college interview but he does not understand the interviewer’s questions and answers all of them wrongly. He says he has a rare neurological disorder that does not allow him to hear the questions correctly. In scene three, Kimberly, who is the interviewee, starts narrating how busy she has been instead of focusing on the interview. Kimberly also comes with the producer who wants to film the interview for a documentary. In short, all the scenes have the interviewees committing silly mistakes that disqualify them from being enrolled in the college. The essential message that the scenes combine to develop is, therefore, the proof of the play title. Truly, the play is about the ways to fail in college interviews.

The play “The Absolutely Most Cliched Elevator Play in the History of the Universe” has characters who act in an extraordinary way. It is challenging to explain or justify the behaviors of characters due to their strange nature. The characters do not act in an expected way under real-life circumstances, making it easier for the reader to consider everything that is going on as a mere play that does not deal with anything serious. Restraining the characters to a single scene of the elevator puts them under pressure to act and expose their conflicts, and the reader feels that they interact with each other, not because they want to, but because they are confined under a similar setting, and they have to talk to each other. Most of the characters in the play do not act according to expectations, including the Instructor in the play who distorts it as a poorly written piece.

The play brings characters with highly contrasting qualities together, which is not a bad idea. However, an unbelievable choice that the author makes is the decision to include the Instructor as one of the play characters. The Instructor emerges as a person who has command of what a good play should achieve. He reveals his competence through his words, for example, commenting that the play needs to proceed to the second act. The reader develops the opinion that a play is being recorded within another play. It appears that the other characters are like students to the Instructor. For example, he says that he has taught the class for several years. The utterance creates the impression that the other characters are on the stage, and under the guidance of the Instructor who passes his judgment about their actions in relation to what he has taught them. However, including the Instructor, who is not acting but evaluating the actions of the others , it is a choice that undermines the genre’s quality. The play sounds like a recorded recital whereby the instructor sits aside, judges the other characters, and corrects their mistakes instantly. The Pregnant Woman’s action is also difficult to comprehend just like the presence of the Instructor, though her role adds conflict to the play. She is trapped in the elevator when she starts feeling the labor pains. However, it is challenging for the play to contain a woman under such circumstances. For example, the ordinary situation would be that such a character would be groaning in pain, but she does not act as expected. The Pregnant Woman interacts verbally with the other characters as though nothing special is happening. She asks the character called Normal Girl if she is a playwright. She also asks Instructor if he knows anything about playwriting. Such actions do not justify the character as a pregnant woman who is in panick because she will have to give birth to a child in the elevator.

Some of the play characters have extreme qualities. The characters with extreme roles that are unbelievable include the Biker, the New Age Woman, Missfit#1, and Misfit #2. The Biker has the kind of anger which is extraordinary. The only time he does not use violence is when he hears the threat of death penalty. Otherwise, all the other situations warrant violence according to him, and it is for that reason that he is going to protest against the penalty, but he finds himself trapped in the elevator. The decision to assign Misfit #1the quality of a doctor is hard to believe. The character is a joker, yet the role that the playwright assigns to him is a serious one. The reader questions the possibility that a doctor who jokes to the character’s capacity can exist in reality; the answer is rather no. The unbelievable notion about Misfit #2 is that this character finds a lot of satisfaction from the dark side. He chooses to be a Goth because he was denied the cheerleading role. He, therefore, resolves on writing poems from the Goth side of life. Stephanie’s action too is difficult to comprehend. Stephanie emphasizes spirit a lot, which she says is equal to life. She wants her fellows in the high school’s cheering to squad to demonstrate the spirit in them, and she threatens that she will shoot them if they continue frowning instead of putting up the spirit. Such a threat symbolizes that Stephanie’s character is abnormal, because she wants the others to demonstrate an abstract concept of the spirit, failure to which will result in her shooting them. It is not easy to validate the use of many bizarre characters in the play, but their mere presence makes it farfetched and difficult to accept it as a good play.

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In conclusion, most of the characters in the play “The Absolutely Most Cliched Elevator Play in the History of the Universe” act extraordinarily. The choices that the playwright makes with regard to the characters do support it positively. The Instructor’s presence in the play distorts and reduces it to the level of a recorded recitation because his role is not to develop the storyline, but to correct the other characters as they act. The comments the Instructor makes show that the characters do not follow what he taught them about staging a play. The Pregnant Woman does not act in a manner that warrants her situation; while the other characters like Stephanie, the Biker, Misfit #1 and Misfit #2 have roles that are not plausible by considering their traits. From the perspective of the characters and how they act in the play, therefore, it does not pass the judgment of a well-written play, but it qualifies as a recital because the available evidence points towards such a verdict.

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