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Use the link or copy-and-paste it below for the YouTube video “Buried Child-Sam Shepard-2016”
Buried Child – Sam Shepard- 2016 Broadway – YouTube (Links to an external site.)
Once you’re in, watch the recorded play. It’s approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes. Then, answer the five questions/prompts below. You must provide specific examples from throughout the play (beginning, middle, and end). It should take you one-to-two substantial paragraphs to answer each question/prompt. The total word count of your five responses should be 500-to-1000 words. (That’s 500 minimum all together, not 500 per question/prompt.)
Explain how the costume and set designs lend to the play.Be especially specific with costume designs.
Describe the subtle actions from four of the seven actors that help establish relationship to the other characters. These are complicated relationships, so in some cases the actors may present paradoxical behaviors (i.e. as with “love/hate relationships”). And remember, we’re not looking for the words spoken (that’s the playwright’s work). For the actors’ influences, we’re looking at gestures, facial expressions, vocal gestures, phrasing/rhythm of the lines, proximity to other actors, posture—anything the actor does while speaking and listening.
This play is constantly unraveling backstory (the story of what happened before the play begins.) But most of the backstory is not explicit in Sam Shepard’s dialogue. Rather, the playwright gives you hints; Big moments that imply what happened in the past. Identify and explain seven of those “hints”. What were the lines and moments of action that imply the past. Do NOT include Tilden mentioning to Shelly about the baby, nor Dodge’s or Vince’s big monologues in the last act–those are very clear explicit moments.
What are the moments that present metaphor? Moments that stand out and make a statement about people, family, society, etc.? (These metaphorical moments can be logical/plausible or slightly implausible—something that probably wouldn’t happen like that in life)
At the beginning of Act 3, Shelly says she was “scared last night”. Do you buy it? I didn’t. I think the actor did not play the fear that would have been plausible according to the lines, and that affected what how I viewed Act 3. But what do you think? The actor didn’t play the fear she says she felt, and it made the actor’s portrayal a bit illogical? She did play that fear and you did buy it?
Any illogic or incongruity between the behavior and the lines is what Sam Shepard intended (and you missed the obvious Professor!)?
Whatever you think, defend your point using the actor’s behavior, the character’s lines, and anything else.