Film & Theater studies

Instructions for Viewing the Production of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

What to watch for in design and acting:

Scenic Design: Take notes on this when you arrive and draw a diagram, it is very helpful. In your paper, you will need to devote a paragraph to describing, in good detail, the scenic design. You describe for a reader who has not seen the production but could get an understanding of what it looked like through your description. Be able to describe the shape of the scenic design, anything unique about the design, and the color of the design. You will also want to describe how the audience configuration for this performance because it is very different. Hint: You will have a modified Thrust created with this set design.

Lighting Design: Write thoughts on this at Intermission and after the performance is over. You will write about how lighting was used on the scenic design. This can be included at the end of your paragraph on scenic design. We all know lights go and go off, but colors, special focus and special effects may be used and you should be able to describe how this appeared on the set. Look up from time to time to see what’s happening, notice the changes you see.

Costume Design: Write notes on this at Intermission and after the performance. You will devote a full paragraph to describing costume design. You should be able to describe costumes for a reader who has not seen the production. Details will be important. As a hint, there is a general similarity to the costumes of a performance of this kind, with small differences used for specific reasons in creating the social and economic status of characters. Helmets, swords, chain mail and such will be uniform and not unique from character to character but should be noted. Pay specific attention to the major characters of Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia, Horatio and Laertes. There may be some specifics here.

Sound Design: Write notes on this after the performance. Again, you need to describe the use of sound and music for a reader who hasn’t seen the production. You will write a full paragraph on this if it is a significant part of this performance. Listen for recorded sounds, sound effects, and music. Try to figure out what genre of music is being used and make a decision on why you this this was chosen.

Acting: After the performance is over, pick you three actors you particularly enjoyed. They do NOT have to be leading characters. You will describe what was enjoyable about their performances, in detail. When you write about them, you will use their given name and not their character name. You are not to write about actors you felt were not enjoyable. You are not being asked to write as a critic at this performance, only as a reviewer.

Central Idea: Your paper’s conclusion will be a discussion of what you felt the Central Idea was for Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ultimately this play is about something. You decide what that is and make a great conclusion to the paper.

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