Discussion: Performances and “Problem Plays”

Your initial post should respond to all three questions below and should be around 300 words. In your response, be sure to include reference to specific evidence.

1. In one of the clips you watched this week, August Wilson says that the director’s responsibility is to “illuminate the text” rather than “imposing a vision.” Explain your impression of one of the performances you viewed this week (Trifles, Trying to Find Chinatown, or No Child…) and how the performance either illuminated the text of felt like an imposed vision.

2. According to Bedford, a problem play is “a type of drama that presents a social issue in order to awaken the audience to it.” What is the social issue that is raised in each of the plays you read this week (No Child…,Trying to Find Chinatown, and Fences)?

3. Another important definition to consider is antagonist: “the character, force, or collection of forces in fiction or drama that opposes the protagonist and gives rise to the conflict.” What force or collection of forces do you see operating as the antagonist in each play you read this week? In other words, what aspect of society is implied to be responsible for the social issue in the play?

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