Chapter 11- The Critic

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A play’s final repository is

the minds and memories of its audiences.

The public form of play analysis following a production is called

dramatic criticism.

Dramatic criticism usually appears in all the following forms EXCEPT

annotated versions of a playscript used in production.

Examples of theatres that have been created or sustained by governments or ruling elites include all of the following EXCEPT the

theatre of the absurd.

Why is the theatre in a strong position to force and focus public confrontation with social issues?

Most productions do not act as propaganda but present the issues in all their complexity as food for thought and as such focus public debate, stimulate dialogue, and turn public attention and compassion to important issues.

A play’s relation to the individual stems from the fact that the best plays

link up with our deepest musings and help us to put our unconnected ideas into some sort of order or philosophy.

An audience member’s aesthetic sensibility and response is

a composite of many individual reactions and therefore subjective.

Plays that deal with theatrical matter not simply as a vehicle but as a theme are called

metadrama or metatheatre.

Which of the following is NOT an example of a play that makes the theatre a matter in the play itself?

Sophocles’ Oedipus The King

What word fits the definition of "that which holds the attention?"


Theater can be seen as entertainment

in all cases.

A member of the audience may see a play from five different critical and dramaturgical perspectives. What are five perspectives?

Social, personal, artistic, theatrical, and entertainment value

What form does professional dramatic criticism take?

production reviews, scholarly works, and online blogs and journals.

The journalist’s review generally is

limited to a brief, immediate reaction written within a few days of seeing the performance.

Which of the following is the journalist critic’s principle job qualification?

Writing ability

Scholarly critics generally write

detailed, comprehensive, and rigorously researched articles without the deadline or space limitations of newspapers.

Dramaturgy gained in popularity in the United States during

the 1960s, even though Europe has a long history of dramaturgical work.

The professional scholar

seeks fresh insights from a body of literature while working within accepted methodologies

Scholar means

one who studies

Which is NOT one of the tasks a dramaturg may under take in a play’s artistic development?

take over for the director during the theatrical run

The poet, playwright, philosopher, librarian, and scholar who is widely recognized as the first dramaturg is

Gotthold Lessing

Which type of critic needs sufficient background to provide a context for opinion and evaluation? His or her judgment are made against a background of knowledge.

the informed critic

Which type of critic holds the theatre to its highest possible standards and cuts against the inherent danger in drama to turn toward pure entertainment or sensationalism?

the demanding critic

Which type of critic expresses thoughts with precision, clarity, and grace, through the careful building up of ideas, a presentation of evidence, logical argument, the use of helpful analogy and example, and clear style of expression?

the articulate critic

The presence of a critical focus in the audience has the effect of keeping the theatre


All plays an play productions can be usefully analyzed and evaluated on the way they use the theatrical format to the best advantage and make us rethink the nature of theatrical production


Scholarly dramatic criticism is itself a literary art, of which works by Aristotle, Goethe, Shaw, and Nietzsche have outlasted their presumed subjects and helped shape out vision of life.


Generally the playwright is more intelligent and better informed than the members of the audience.


Entertainment includes theatrical flourishes such as brilliant debate and witty epigrams; qualities such as the spectacular the suspenseful, and the adventurous; and can include any form of drama that stirs our feelings and heightens our awareness.


Dramaturgy is essentially a subset of directorial responsibilities.


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