During the next few weeks, we will be reading the play M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. The play is based around a true story involving a French ambassor to China and a Chinese opera singer. It is also inspired by the Puccini opera Madama Butterfly. It won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1988 and was adapted into a film.
Use the vocabulary links on the left side and the historical and context links on the right to prepare for our reading of the play.
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
CONTEXT/BACKGROUND: Our next play is a play in two parts by American playwright Tony Kushner. It has been made into a TV miniseries and an opera. The play is written for eight actors to perform, with all of them playing two or more roles.
We will be reading the first part, "Millennium Approaches." We will also be watching portions of the HBO miniseries, but only after you have had a chance to envision the characters for yourself.
TASK: (1) Research the topics using the "Historical Context & Production History" links in the right hand column & the Angels in America vocabulary in the left column as a way to ensure that you have the background information needed to fully appreciate the play.
(2) Use the outline to take notes in preparation for our class discussions.
During the next few weeks, we will be reading South African writer Athol Fugard's play entitled Master Harold and the Boys. Though written in the early 1980s, it is set in 1950, during the era of apartheid in South Africa. It was initially banned from production in South Africa. The play investigates race relations in an autobiographical manner, focusing on a young boy and the two African servants who work at his family's restaurant. To prepare for our reading of the text, use the vocabulary links on the left and the historical context links on the right as you complete the webquest with your group.
Working with the idea that Shakespeare's plays were meant to be performed rather than merely read, you will spend the next few weeks putting together your own acting company in order to present a staged version of a scene from Hamlet.
As you work with your group, you should continually return to the guidelines sheet in order to ensure that you have completed all the components.
TASK: Project Meeting 1 -- To begin your project, first discuss with your group what your overall "director's vision" will be for your scene. While discussing, use the links on the right to begin exploring costumes, sets, Shakespearean promptbooks, and other aspects related to your project. Finally, by the end of Wednesday's class period, you should have a rough draft of your group's "proposal" (proposed "director's concept").
During the next few weeks, we will be reading one of William Shakespeare's greatest plays, Hamlet. To prepare, you and a partner will be conducting an exploration of Shakespeare's England.
TASK: Use the vocabulary links to the left and the Shakespearean England links to the right to learn more about Shakespeare, his time period, and his plays. Complete the Shakespeare worksheet in preparation for class discussion.
CONTEXT: The choices we make define who we are and what we will become. But how much of our environment and the time we live in shapes us as well? Antigone is a product of Greek culture. Written in 442 BC, it shares with us the values of a culture that gave us our democratic ideals.
Antigone, the daughter of the ill-fated Oedipus, boldly defies the king to defend the honor of her brother, Polyneice. She acts out of both love for her brother and respect for the laws of the gods. Is her outcome justified? Could she have prevented it? Is she the tragic hero of Sophocles's classic Greek tragedy, Antigone, or just a foolish woman? We will investigate these questions as we begin reading.
Through this WebQuest, your group will journey to Ancient Greece to learn about ancient Greek life, namely the importance of religion and politics. You will also discover the role women played in Greek society and learn about Greek theater. Later, you will also use this information to begin to form an opinion as to whether or not Antigone is the tragic hero of the play.
DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to your assigned topic section on the right hand side of this site. Visit each of the links related to your topic & complete the topic worksheet. You will also need to quickly review the vocabulary links on the left hand side. 2)Use the Greek-English dictionary to find a Greek word for your topic. Choose a Greek word appropriate to your topic word. 3)Use a search engine (google, yahoo, etc.) and find an additional print source on your topic. Find one interesting related fact/tidbit that wasn’t included in the class website links. 4) After each person has completed the worksheet, your group will decide how to present the information to the rest of the class.