Third “paper.” A playwright brings us into the space and time of a play in a specific and intended way. The plays allows us to occupy it in a way as specific as a piece of architecture. The architect has decided where to place the front door, and that is the way we must enter the building. What do we encounter inside? A stairway? A lobby? A living room? Different buildings (different plays) will give us different experiences of entering. What character do we meet first? When do we first get a hint of a problem that must be resolved? Should we laugh or be sympathetic? Where do we go next? Right or left? Up or down? The playwright knows. (In another way, the director knows, the cast knows, the stage manager knows.) By the time we get to the play’s end, we know. When the play is a good one, we realize that even the first step we took into the play is exactly the right one to get us to this end. To be clear, my use of idea of architecture is a metaphor, a way of understanding a play’s structure in terms of how we go through it. I am not asking you to analyze the buildings or scenery in the play, though those things might be a factor in how we go through the play. Choose either Fires in the Mirror or Airness and apply this “architectural” analysis. You won’t have space or time to do a minute study of every moment of the play in these terms, so be selective. At the least, write about how the play begins and how it ends, and try to show the logic of why the endpoint is well-suited to the beginning. Since we both read and saw these two plays, you can use either experience, or both, in your analysis. Due March 11 by the beginning of the class. Four to five pages.
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world and the world ref uses 10 be healed! (Sborl p,,111,.) If T don’t place here
1oni g1a, l’111 out. I don’t have ,a home1own c1u�lifier like ¥OU, Shreddy, or a
free ride ro N:nionA1s like his highness over here. If] c;11;’t get my message
across tonight, l’m out for che se::.son.
VICIOUS. And this will be, what, the fourth year you don’t qualify for
SHREDDY. Come on, dude.
VICIOUS. lw, is that not a fact? Am I not allowed co bring up the
actual foct that neither one of you have ever c1lalified for the Nation:.!
Originality only gets you points if rhe judges can figure out what the hell
SHREDDY. Don’t listen to this guy. It’s our year, Golden. We’re both going
to the finals, for sure.
(To D VICIOUS.}
V’e’re com.in’ for you, Ch-amp.
VICIOUS. I’m fuckin’ terrified over here.
SHREDDY. What? Last year was your first rear at Nationals, and you won
the whole thing. One of us could pull that off. Plus, this season, my song is
untouchable. X”hich you would know, if you’d been to any of the qualiFiers.
VICIOUS. You•e always got the perfect song, Shrcddy. That’s never yout
proble1n. Yolr “�ngry record store dude” persona’s got ltis head so far up
his ass, that rou’rc not giving anything lO the Cl’Owd. le doesn’t mauer how
superior your fflSle is, if you can’t pm on a show.
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Anna Deavere Smith
Fires in The Mirror Play
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