PERFORMANCE TREATMENT #1 The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe (submitted through Compass):
11pm (CT) Monday, March 2nd
The performance treatment assignment is meant to apply things we’ve been learning in class
directly to a theatrical production created by the Department of Theatre.
via SafeAssign in Compass and any document in violation of the policy (having improper or
lacking citations, overt similarities to other works, copying, facilitating, improper consultation)
will result in the policy being strictly enforced.
QUESTIONS YOU MUST ADDRESS: We do expect formality and proper academic writing style in
your answers. Any supporting, outside research or resources should be cited properly using the
appropriate MLA style guide. For such a style guide you might visit the library or the Writing
Center. It should be about 2 pages in length.
1. Describe the central conflict of The Wolves as you understood it from the production.
(See text pg. 33 for definitions. The central conflict drives the story forward.) Give
specific examples to support your conclusions.
2. Describe the actors’ use of “the actor’s instrument” (See text pgs. 46-49 for definitions)
in their performances. How did the actors use or manipulate their voices and bodies to
create characters? What did their work communicate about the character to the
audience? Were they successful in creating their characters, if so, why or why not. Give
specific examples to support your conclusions.
3. Describe, in specific detail, the final moments of the play in terms of actual events as
they were viewed on stage. How did the final moment relate to the central conflict?
Was the central conflict resolved? If so, or if not, how did you reach your conclusion?
Give specific examples to support your conclusions.
4. Please offer your thoughts as to why the University of Illinois Department of Theatre
would choose to produce The Wolves. Support your conclusions with specific
5. What do you feel this production of The Wolves communicated (theme or message) to
the audience? Support your conclusions with specific examples.
6. What appealed to you about the production and why? (You don’t have to “like” the
whole production, but we do want you to focus on at least some things that appealed to
you. Provide specific examples and explain why.)
HOW WILL I BE GRADED? This assignment is worth 150 points. 30 points will be assigned based
on evaluation of format (spelling, grammar, punctuation, citations and the like). Each question
will be worth 20 points. You will be evaluated by assessment of the following: Did you
completely answer the questions provided? How successfully did you apply concepts from class
to practices in production through your brief answers? Is it clear you attended the production?
©JW Morrissette. All Rights Reserved.
Note: Should it be determined that you did not attend the performance, you will forfeit the
grade for this assignment. By submitting a performance treatment for a production which you
did not attend you will also be subject to the course academic integrity policy- please see the
syllabus for details.
EXAMPLE OF PARTIAL ANSWERS: Below are examples that we would consider to be only
PARTIALLY successful. These are offered as a starting guide for your writing- for full credit you
should expand the following: offer multiple observations per individual question, expand the
number of your supporting examples in each question, and offer a clear and discernable
conclusion based on your observations and supporting examples. AGAIN- these are examples
we would consider to be only partially successful.
1. Baby Don’t Cry’s central conflict comes from the Cindy dancers finally accepting the
Baby singers as artists in their own right. Symbolically that conflict represents the
acceptance of all artists’ craft as having value. It might be taken further as a message of
acceptance for all human endeavors. This conflict is best seen in the climactic scene of
the play when the dance-off ends in a tie and the teams come together in one dance.
2. The actors’ use of “the actor’s instrument” brought the main focus of their character
creation on their use of voice and body. Watching Tim Guttmann’s portrayal of Robert
brought focus to an actor’s need for strong vocal training and physical endurance.
Guttmann’s Robert became the loudest member of the ensemble during his leading of
the revolution in Dance or Don’t Dance. The performance demanded a strong voice that
could pierce through the action as well as a spot-on Scottish accent. At the same time
the physical portrayal of Robert required Guttmann to use acrobatics (primarily back
hand springs) that showed Robert to be young, athletic, and energetic. The audience
could better understand Robert as a character of strength because of his mastery in
voice and body and the result was tumultuous applause as the character decided to
follow Robert to revolution.
3. The final moments of Baby Don’t Cry were a visual feast. The unit set that had been
used throughout the second act suddenly exploded into slivers of the original set. All
this happened while Cindy stood center stage screaming her anthem What I Did I Would
Do Again! Cindy’s song clearly resolved the central conflict of accepting the Baby singers
as artists and offered her justification for the choices she would gladly make again.
4. Clearly a production of Baby Don’t Cry offered the Theatre Department a chance to train
their students in the genre of musical theatre. I think the department also chose to
produce this classic tale to further explore the popularity of American Idol; the musical
offers a fresh perspective on celebrity and the trappings therein. For example- when
Cindy loses all of her friends for a chance in the dance off the point is clearly made that
with celebrity comes loss.
5. Baby Don’t Cry seems to clearly provide a metaphor for the loss of one’s dreams. The
audience is presented with an entertaining evening of song and dance but each number
covers the human experience of compromise of self in the pursuit of happiness. It is
©JW Morrissette. All Rights Reserved.
difficult to imagine this play not sending the message of, “live for today but realize there
are costs.”
6. Not being a big fan of musicals I thought I would dislike this production. However, the
acting and dancing were so superb I found myself moved by the show. Todd Handig’s
performance of the song “Why Men Don’t Dance” was a spectacular example of actors
not only using their craft but also seemingly enjoying themselves in the process.
©JW Morrissette. All Rights Reserved.

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