A True Crime Report – Summarizing the Plot and Action of Trifles
For this activity, you will role-play serving first as a newspaper reporter and then as a newspaper editor in the year 1900. You’ll walk in the shoes of Susan Glaspell who as a journalist reported on the Hossack Murder.
1. You are asked first to assume the role of a journalist and write a newspaper article summarizing the plot and action of the play.
2. In your response to this, you will next assume the role of the newspaper editor, preparing the report for publication.
Read the following:
• ALL of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles
Glaspell, Susan (1916). Trifles: A Play in One Act. [Glaspell’s first play for the Provincetown Players, produced at the Wharf Theater in Provincetown, Massachusetts, sharing the stage with Eugene O’Neill’s Bound East for Cardiff]. Full text retrievable from University of Virginia Library at http://xtf.lib.virginia.edu/xtf/view?docId=modern_english/uvaGenText/tei/GlaTrif.xml or athttp://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/GlaTrif.html
• “The Hossack Murder,” the report by Glaspell from “The Story of the Week,” page 1 of 17
“The Hossack Murder: Susan Glaspell” (1876-1948). (May 13, 2011). From Story of the Week by the Library of America/ [From True Crime: An American Anthology]. Retrieved from http://storyoftheweek.loa.org/2011/05/hossack-murder.html
In a primary post of 250 words or more, respond to the following prompt:
Quoting Glaspell’s play at least two (2) times; write a 250 word newspaper article summarizing the plot and action of the play. Remember, you are a newspaper reporter, and you must report on the facts only as they are revealed at the scene in the play. You may not discuss the innocence or guilt of the murderer; you are not to write an opinion about any of the characters or events. Only report the news as a careful observer.
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