Studyguide Theatre and Drama

Studyguide Theatre and Drama - 1. Fires in the Mirror a....

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1. Fires in the Mirror a. Characters: i. Ntozake Shange, Anonymous Lubavitcher Woman, Aaron M. Bernstein, Reverend Al Sharpton, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Minister Conrad Mohammed, Anonymous Young Man #1, Angela Davis, Norman Rosenbaum, Rivkah Siegal, Roslyn Malamud, Carmel Cato (Know the content of their monologues. It will be helpful to know the titles, as well.) b. Plot : c. Structure : i. First people we meet from Crown Heights are anonymous 1. Static 2. Look in the Mirror ii. Surrounded by high-profile outsiders 1. Ntozake Shange 2. Angela Davis 3. Letty Cottin Pogrebin iii. Next we meet leaders from Crown Heights 1. Rabbi Joseph Spielman, Robert Sherman, Reverend Canon Doctor Heron Sam iv. Finally we meet people who were there v. Episodic Plot d. Language: Language of the people
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e. Setting: Racially divided community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn i. 90% African-American/Afro-Caribbean ii. 10% Lubavitcher iii. Tensions on both sides iv. August, 1991*, Crown Heights, Brooklyn v. vi. *Note the temporal proximity to Rodney King’s beating in March, 1991 f. Significant props: smith uses mimesis, or imitation of other characters to convey that se can take on the identity fo another. g. Actions of the central characters. What factors influence those actions? h. Major ideas: “Early on in my work, I wanted to use my body as the evidence that a human being can take on the identity of another. I think we all have immense potential for compassion as individuals. But that gets stopped when we take on fixed positions.” i. Author and date: Anna Deavere Smith’s Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and other Identities, 1992 2. Death of a Salesman a. Characters i. Willy : An insecure, self-deluded traveling salesman. Willy believes wholeheartedly in the American Dream of easy success and wealth, but he never achieves it. Nor do his sons fulfill his
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hope that they will succeed where he has failed. When Willy’s illusions begin to fail under the pressing realities of his life, his mental health begins to unravel. The overwhelming tensions caused by this disparity, as well as those caused by the societal imperatives that drive Willy, form the essential conflict of Death of a Salesman. ii. Linda : Willy’s loyal, loving wife. Linda suffers through Willy’s grandiose dreams and self-delusions. Occasionally, she seems to be taken in by Willy’s self-deluded hopes for future glory and success, but at other times, she seems far more realistic and less fragile than her husband. She has nurtured the family through all of Willy’s misguided attempts at success, and her emotional strength and perseverance support Willy until his collapse. iii.
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2009 for the course THEATER AN 120 taught by Professor Kristinhunt during the Spring '08 term at Wisconsin.

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Studyguide Theatre and Drama - 1. Fires in the Mirror a....

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