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Promptbook Project

This project is designed to show an understanding of the concepts and lectures of this class. You can be as creative as you’d like, provided you complete each of the sections. For this assignment, we will be using the play “A Streetcar Named Desire,” by Tennessee Williams. For each section be sure to include your thoughts and explain your choices in your own words (when applicable). Don’t just print out information and stick it in the PDF.

Section 1 THEATRE
Find a theatre anywhere in the world and tell me everything you can about it. What kind of stage is it, do they have a seating chart, do they have a dressing room, green rooms, scene shop? Parking, subway, etc. The theatre MUST be standing today. (No environmental theatre or found space.)

Section 2 BIOGRAPHY OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
In your OWN words… tell me about Tennessee Williams. Include his life and anything that may have been reflected in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” What were some of his other plays? Did he win any awards? Tell me anything of importance.

Section 3 PLOT SUMMARY
Tell me the story of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Describe what happens in the play, climatic moments, etc.

Section 4 THEME
What is the theme of the play? What is the message that Tennessee Williams wants you to get from the play?

Section 5 CHARACTER DESCRIPTION
Describe each of the characters. In three to five lines, use words to describe them- age, height, disposition, etc.

Section 6 DIRECTOR’S RESUME
Find a resume of a theatre director to direct your production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Include the resume in the book and explain why you chose this director. They must be alive and have directed for the stage in their career.
Section 7 DREAM CAST
Who would you cast from today’s pool of actors? They can be from theatre, movies, television, etc. They must be alive, and the age they are today. Explain your choices.

Section 8 GROUND PLAN
Draw the “ground plan/ floor plan” of one of the scenes in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” It must be able to fit on the stage that you have chosen for Section 1.

Section 9 COSTUME DESIGN
Choose a costume (clothing) for each of our characters. Make sure the clothing fits the time period and area that the play in set in.

Section 10 PROP LIST
This is a list of all the props they use in the play. These are things that the actors handle- not clothing that they wear. There should be at least 60 items on this list. You can organize it by scene or make a running list. (No explanation is needed for this section.)

Section 11 POSTER DESIGN
The poster should be original for your production. It MUST have the name of the play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the name of the playwright, Tennessee Williams, and the name of the theatre you chose in Section 1. Other than that… be creative.

Sample Solution

1th Century Scotland was deemed a very much patriarchal society. There was a clear concept of hierarchy in society, which Shakespeare demonstrates at different points within the play. The witches have been said to represent women’s attempt to gain power in a society that’s set up to give power only to men. In Jacobean society, women would have been towards the bottom of the Chain of Being and certainly below men. Similarly to Lady Macbeth in act 1 scene 5, the Witches endeavour to make appear increasingly manly in an attempt to acquire more power. Shakespeare gives the characters of the witches beards (You should be women, yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so’) to symbolise this desire. Macbeth’s hallucinations, or visions present the impact of the supernatural. One example of a hallucination is when Macbeth asks, ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me’. The fact that Macbeth is seeing a floating dagger, in his mind is another demonstration of the supernatural. Here, the supernatural is essentially pressing Macbeth to murder Duncan. Shakespeare could be purposefully highlighting how evil the supernatural is as it is not only telling him to kill – but commit the act of regicide, which in the 11th Century, was possibly the worst crime anyone could commit, along with communicating with the supernatural. During Macbeth’s soliloquy he questions if the dagger is just ‘a dagger of the mind’ or a ‘false creation’. This causes Macbeth to question his own psychological state and whether the dagger is just a hallucination, caused the pressure of Duncan’s homicide and the pressure placed on him by his manipulative and cunning wife, Lady Macbeth. The audience at the time will have been shocked by this as Jacobean society saw king’s as almost holy since they respected the divine right of kings. Furthermore, here, Shakespeare is displaying the power that the supernatural has over events in the play since Macbeth has been driven to insanity by a supernatural prophecy.
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