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Campus Alert

Elizabeth Vinson

The Book of Everything

Submitted to Jane Frazier for Theatre Appreciation (THTR-101)

Summary:

My project was a reflection on an oral presentation. My group read, analyzed and created models for the play “The Book of Everything” by Richard Tulloch. In my signature assignment, I discuss how I prepared the oral presentation with my group members, how I planned out and created my set and lighting models, how I met the General Education goals specific to the course, and how this course changed my approach to theatre.

General Education Connections

  • Communicate ideas in written, oral and other modes as appropriate to a situation and audience
  • Communicate ideas in written, oral and other modes as appropriate to a situation and audience
  • Apply quantitative and scientific reasoning skills relevant to a field of study
  • Employ various thinking strategies to develop well-reasoned judgments
  • Evaluate sources of information for accuracy, relevance and reliability
  • Use technology tools to manage, integrate and evaluate digital information
  • Explore issues through creative, interdisciplinary and innovative approaches

Communication was key during the process of creating the group presentation that led to my signature assignment. My group members and I had to meet (virtually) outside of class to discuss a cohesive vision of our technical models, as well as the themes we wanted to portray to the rest of the class. During rehearsals and group presentations, we used a more formal type of communication; this way, we appeared confident in our research and work. 

I developed well-reasoned judgments through planning. Not only did I have to meet the deadline that Professor Frazier gave us, but I had to rehearse with my partners, meaning that my individual models would have to be complete before my final meeting time with my group. Time management and planning were essential. For example, I started with the painting portion of my project so it would have time to dry.

I had to conduct research to create accurate portrayals of the play. To paint a scene modeled after Amsterdam in the 50s, I had to study photographs from that location and time period. Instead of googling images, I examined multiple articles/archives for accuracy.

I had to use innovative techniques to create my models. For example, when cutting out the shape of the gobos, I noticed that I would not be able to cut a precise outline with scissors. Instead, I used a thumb tack to poke small holes in the paper so I could carefully push the design out.

Challenges

I am proud of myself for tackling the technical models of this project. I have never participated in the tech side of theatre, but it was a challenge I was excited to take on. I used what I have learned in this course to produce creative models that reflected important plot points and themes from the play.

Application

I am planning on becoming a high school theatre and English teacher after I graduate from a 4-year college. It is important to be well-rounded in all aspects of theatre if one wishes to pass down this knowledge to others. While I am familiar with directing, acting, business and script analysis, I was not at all familiar with the technical elements. This assignment exposed me to set and lighting design, and I am grateful to have had a gateway to these elements so I may expand my knowledge on them even further.

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