Everyone's A Critic, Episode I
Although the works of Shakespeare are brilliant and eternal, why is it
that the works of the Bard seem to be the sole source of dramatic
literature available to US high school students? If it wasn't for an
accelerated 10th grade English class and an AP English calss, I
personally wouldn't have have been introduced to the works of Miller,
Ibsen, and Chekhov. The same cannot be said of the typical academic
student at my former high school
I would like to offer you the approximately 1,200 to 1,300 word
article, "The Exile of Dramatic Lit in American High Schools."
Generally it will discuss how the exclusion of dramatic literature in
high schools is systematically hampering the education of students. For
1. Drama polishes the mind: This is the cognitive benefits to studying
2. Drama fosters understanding: This includes the empathetic and
sympathetic benefits to the studies of drama.
3. Drama engages the students: This discusses how drama can bring
students literally into the world of a piece of literature.
4. You think all modern drama is inappropriate? Have you read "Romeo
and Juliet?": This final section discusses the fallibility of the
argument that modern drama is inappropriate by taking a look at the
seedier side of the typical, sole high school exposure to dramatic
This subject really fascinates me because I am both working on a degree
in secondary education, and I have a vested interest in dramatic
literature (also being an acting major). I really hope that you find
this topic intriguing. I look forward to your response. I really think
that with the current atmosphere of negativity towards standardized
testing this article is quite applicable. I can get this article to you
within 3 to 4 weeks of receiving the green light. I cannot wait to hear
Dear Ms. Rosenfield:
The issue concerning the updating of classic works of drama confronts any theatre seeking to bring the works of great playwrights of the past to a contemporary audience. Even when a change unlocks new elements of the text, some viewers may find it off-putting to see a great work so "twisted." Yet Mauckingbird Theatre Company is breaking new ground in how to capture the spirit of classic playwrights while applying their texts to their own struggles. Their productions of The Misanthrope, R+J, and Hedda Gabler strive to examine gay culture and its place in our society.
I'd like to offer you an 800 word article titled "Reinterpretation Done Right." This article delves into how Mauckingbird Theatre Company has managed to find ways to make these classic works so relevant to the social themes and issues facing the gay community. The piece looks both at how these productions reinterpret the plays and how they critique our own culture. It specifically discusses the following:
Mauckingbird Theatre Company does not impose ideas upon the text. Rather, it links the themes central to these classic works to their own passions as artists and people.
The Misanthrope proves that Mauckingbird is willing both to critique society as a whole and, more specifically, gay society. Just as Moliere's criticism comes from a hope of bettering French society, Mauckingbird's reinvention embraces gay culture while striving for more depth within that culture.
Mauckingbird's choices of R+J and Hedda Gabler showcase the company's willingness to critique the forces outside the gay community as well. The two productions challenge the established ideas of male and female sexuality, respectively.
As a theatre artist coming out of Villanova University's graduate school, I find it is important to highlight how these artists are reshaping our theatrical community. I believe this article could help expose their work to a larger audience.
I would like to thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Dear Ms. Rosenfield,
Have you ever wondered how the current recession affects the Philadelphia-area theatre community? The auto, credit, and housing industries as well as job markets across the country have been drastically impacted by the recession, a problem of which most Americans are well-aware. What effect has the recession had on our theatres and arts organizations? Michael Kaiser's recent Washington Post article "No Bailout for the Arts?" addressed this concern at a national level, but how is the ever-more-dismal economic situation affecting our local theatre community?
I'd like to offer you a 1500-word article titled "Philadelphia Theatres: Dark Days Ahead?" The article would discuss the prospective outlook of the Philadelphia theatre community through an examination of specific situations at a range of local theatre companies: small and large companies as well as long-established and recently created theatre companies would be consulted in order to provide a true picture of our diverse theatre community.
My article would describe the recent and projected changes in subscriber bases and gifts from corporate and individual donors. It would probe into the effect of reduced budgets on season selection and hiring practices at area theatres, as well detail creative solutions that individual theatres are investigating. Finally, the article would explore long-term projections for the theatre community as a whole, considering such questions as the number of theatres which expect to weather the storm of recession, and the number of years that it may take to regain previous subscriber numbers and theatre community diversity.
I believe that this article would prove engaging for your readers, and I look forward to receiving your response. If the article interests you, I can provide the piece within 15 days of your go-ahead. Thank you for your time!
Comedic improvised acting is a trend in theater that has only truly come into the spotlight in modern times. While some "improv" has managed to make it to the national scene (the most prominent of which being the incredibly popular "Who's line is it Anyway?" series), the greater majority of live improv is limited to professional troupes in urban areas. Subsequently, a great deal of theater enthusiasts who also live in the suburbs and the country are forced to miss out on this greater jewel of live performance. However, at the same time there are high school students banding together across the country--forming their own amateur improv troupes simply for the joy of it--and they are desperate for an audience.
I would love to present to you an article titled "Startling Amateur Theater: High School Improvisational Troupes Amaze." It would be a 1500 word piece on high school Improv Troupes in the Deleware valley area, how long they've been around, how often they perform, and how readers can find out if their local high schools have an improv troupe of their own.
First, the article would give a description of what improvised acting is. Improvised acting being the method of doing theater without a script--simply going on stage, taking a suggestion from the audience, and performing a scene based off of that. It would then discuss the perks of high school improv . Amateur improv performances are a great way to spend an evening. Since their members are invariably performing for their families, the shows are usually kept at a PG rating, so one can bring their whole family to the shows. Since the performers improvise for the simple joy of the art and desperately need publicity--the shows are usually free, giving theater enthusiasts a cheap way to enjoy theater performances in this terrible economy.
After this, several examples of prominent local troupes would be highlighted, such as the North Penn High School improv troupe in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Following this, it would give readers in other parts of the Deleware Valley tips on how to figure out of their own local high school has an improvisational troupe of it's own. Readers can do this via school website and google searches.
I am interested in doing this article because I am a graduate of a high school improv troupe myself. I know how to find other high school troupes, as my alma mater's group was in a constant search for fellow improvisers to work with. After high school, I taught informal improv classes for high school students and subsequently have an extensive improv background.
I hope I am right in thinking that this would be of some interest to your readers, and I wait eagerly for your reply. I can have a final draft of the manuscript delivered to you within a week of your decision.
Peter Starr Northrop.
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