Short Response (10 pts. each)
1) Do you think that class divisions still exist in modern theatre audiences? To support your response, compare the strict divisions of theatre audiences in Shakespeare’s time to audiences of today and how such divisions might still be in force to some degree, albeit however subtle.
2) Explain why protest songs become dated. Then, identify a contemporary protest song (2010-2019) and discuss why it will eventually become dated. Be specific (provide artist’s name, song title, and date song was created and/or first performed).
3) In the lecture on Theatre and Gender, we saw mainly how the role of women in theatre has gone from non-existent to something approaching parity with male actors. Give your opinions and takeaways on this topic. You can write from a standpoint of what your comfort level was in seeing women in traditionally men’s roles and vice versa if you have seen such a production, or what you anticipate your reaction might be if you have not.
4) Create a hypothetical scenario centered on a music therapy session. Using your notes from our lecture on music therapy, in addition to any outside research, provide a setting/institution, a brief description of the patient and their disability, a musical approach the therapist might use, and an explanation of how the musical approach might help the patient accomplish their goal(s).
Short Essay (30 pts. each)
1) We saw through the course of the semester how theatre has mirrored and influenced the advancement of racial and gender equality. Theatre has often led the arts in championing these racial and gender struggles, perhaps in part because theatre, along with film, can confront these issues more directly, with or without symbolism and metaphor.
Do you think that theatre has a current-day influence on American society, in particular on social issues such as racial and gender equality? Or, do you believe that because we are now so divided into our “tribes”—each with different sets of belief systems dictating what we view regarding news, entertainment, and the arts—that theatre ends up merely “preaching to the choir” and not changing or enlightening minds outside of its established audience? Drawing upon racial and/or gender struggles in regards to theatre, explain your position.
2) Throughout the semester we touched on the idea of art commenting on a social issue, responding to a significant event, or defending a cultural group. Not all art is conceived for these purposes, nor should it be. However, we understand that when artists approach their craft in this manner they leave us with works that are particularly reflective of their environment and deeper in substance. For this short essay, think about your favorite artist and their work. The artist does not have to work in music, and they might even work in multiple fields (ex. music and painting, sculpting and dancing, etc.). Consider the following questions and use your answers to formulate your essay.
Has your favorite artist used their work to reflect culture or society? If so, do they regularly approach their art in this manner or only do so infrequently?
If your favorite artist uses their art only for entertainment, do fans—or you—wish the artist would use their work for one of the purposes mentioned in the first paragraph? This last question is most relevant, but not limited, to artists who are viewed more like celebrities.
Providing specific names, titles of works, and any cited quotes and/or referenced sources, respond to these questions in a manner that shows thoughtful consideration and a genuine stance.
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