There are some who believe that performance is only present at an artistic experience much like the plays that we have attended throughout the semester. However, there are others who conjecture that performance can be an everyday occurrence in our lives.
Remember that originally theater evolved from a combination of ritual and storytelling. Many of us have rituals that we perform every day. An example could be the order in which you execute your wake-up routine. But this is an example of a personal ritual. There are also rituals (spiritual and otherwise) that, by their nature, have audience. And once audience is introduced we have performance.
One clear example is a wedding. When we go to a wedding, we don’t usually refer to it as a show, but it is one none-the-less. The key factors in making it a performance are that there is a clear audience and people who are participating have defined roles. There is also design involved with weddings; costume, set, sound design etc. As is the case of a wedding and most other rituals, even though it is performance, it is not theater because the ritual is ultimately more important than the performance.
There are also more subtle performances; a classroom, your friend who always has a dramatic moment at the bell tower, or a family meal or fight that happens over and over again.
I want you to identify one of these types of everyday performances in your lives.
• Describe the event
• Explain how it was a performance. Use the traits shared by performances as outlined in chapter one in your textbook as a guide to your description. Give special attention to the many people involved and their different roles, making sure that you specifically identify the audience. Please note, that you can’t be a participant and an audience member.
• Explain in more detail your role and your experience at the event.
• Does this performance happen often? If so, what are the recurring elements? Time of day, occasion, characters?
• Was there a design element? Describe it.
• Speculate what would happen if you changed one element of the performance. How would that affect the rest of the performance?
You can do the blog in the same form you have done all of the other blogs. Or you could be more creative in your execution by creating a script.
I do not want you to write about going to or working on an actual artistic performance; theater, dance show, music event, a film. I also don’t want you to comment on a class; unless something unusual happened within the traditional structure. Write about something that would not traditionally be considered a performance.
And as a reminder, a ritual is not a performance unless there is an audience member.
Read the syllabus to make sure that you know all of the parameters.