Watch a short video and answer 4 questions

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PLEASE READ THE POST BEFORE START WRITING THE PAPAER

The paper should be in a Q&a format NOT IN AN ESSAY FORMAT

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This week we have been looking at Urban Drama in Film and Theater, its style, way of presentation, the people, the characters, and situations that fill up the pages of Urban Drama playwrights and screenwriters who seek to engage their audiences in very real and provocative ways. These movies and plays can be intense and searing at times with their topics and issues related to so called “street life” or stories that reflect the everyday struggles of so many that live in highly urbanized areas dealing with poverty, crime, family, drug abuse, gangs, race, and social and economic immobility, assimilation, gentrification and appropriation.

It is interesting to note that the style of these plays are not always supposed to be realistic. In fact many playwrights will create stories that are slightly more melodramatic or having more melodramatic characters in some situations to make their social commentary have more impact and perhaps more entertainment in the storytelling. Stephen Adly-Guirgis is one of these playwrights who tends to tell his stories in a melodramatic fashion or style. The Last days of Judas Iscariot, Jesus Hopped the A-train, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Mother F@$%*& With A Hat all have melodramatic characters and more theatrical elements that help to lift the drama in a potentially provocative and entertaining way. The language and often course vernacular of the people and characters that populate his plays is very important to him as way to convey aspects of behavior, culture, decorum and a certain point of view about the society around him.

Here are two clips from a fairly recent production of his play: Our Lady of 121st Street.

WARNING: There is a lot of course language used in the dialogue within this clip which is the first scene from the play.

One could make the argument that Urban Drama is a melding of particular aspects of so many of the other genres of Theatre and Film that we have looked at so far this semester, African American Theatre, Latino Theatre, Asian and LGBT Theatre. There are so many common themes that cross over these genres. Urban Drama will often purposely blend the characters and cultures to look more at the humanity of particular group of people rather than the specific cultural or ethnic background being the underlying through line. These plays tend to have a “melting pot” kind of casting that adds to the language, the conflicts and social angst in these stories.

For your discussion this week:

Reflecting on your studies this week including your own research and conclusions to what Urban Drama in Theatre and Film is:

What is your opinion of this genre of Film and Theatre?

What do you believe are some of the major themes or issues that this genre deals with?

Would you ever go to a play like Our Lady of 121st Street? Why or why not?

Would you seek out another Urban Drama film in the future. Why or why not?

Your post should be at least 150 words with a response to two other posts with 150 words.



Also respond to 2 answers:

First answers:

What is your opinion of this genre of Film and Theatre?

This genre has been the most interesting for me so far because this genre is the one that I can relate to the most. As discussed in class, we live in a concrete jungle, so we can’t escape the issues that Urban Drama brings to light. What I found the most interesting is that this genre deals with some of the social issues we learned throughout our models that occurred some time ago, but are still going on in the 21st century.

What do you believe are some of the major themes or issues that this genre deals with?

I believe that the biggest issue this genre deals with is the problems that arise from having such a culturally diverse set of people all in one place. Those problems were showcased without beating around the bush in the film we watched in class, Crash. Less than a minute into the film, one of them was being portrayed, that being racial stereotypes. All the races in the film were given their respective racial stereotypes. This was displayed pretty bluntly so as to avoid any sort of misunderstanding, which is great in my opinion.

Would you ever go to a play like Our Lady of 121st Street? Why or why not?

The biggest element that caught my attention from the play was the foul language being tossed around. I remember the other clip of the play, from another cast, that was shown in class, and that clip was also filled with constant profanity for minutes on end. I don’t mind the f-word being used, but I would mind sitting for two hours hearing the f-word over and over again, so more than likely I would not watch a play similar to Our Lady of 121st Street.

Would you seek out another Urban Drama film in the future. Why or why not?

I would definitely seek out another Urban Drama film because I really found Crash to be truly captivating. As said in class, the film didn’t touch on the LGBT issues, but every other module we studied during the semester was brought up in some sort of fashion in this film.




Second answer:

What is your opinion of this genre of Film and Theater?

In my opinion, I think Urban drama in Film and Theater is interesting. It has now grabbed the attention of many audiences. It is interesting to watch cultures interacting with one another because as an audience you can see the certain way they act. I kind of see Urban drama expressing reality issues, and usually, for example, reality shows are a big hit and I think Urban drama has that sense of style, because it shows those social issues personally. It makes the audience understand the actor/actress and where they are coming from. Or it also allows you to respect that individual and be more understanding.

What do you believe are some of the major themes or issues that this genre deals with?

I would say it focuses on specific ethnic and cultures, racism, social issues, violence. I believe those are the major issues that are dealt with in Urban drama.

Would you ever go to a play like Our Lady of 121st Street? Why or why not?

I would only watch Our Lady of 121st Street if I had to for class, but other than that I would not. I do like watching Urban drama films because they teach you about different social issues and it makes you think about the issues since they definitely are going on in our time. For example, the movie Crash, you can quickly identify the different issues that occur for each actor/actress. However, even though Our Lady of 121st street, may show those issues, it is not my style of play I would want to watch. Mainly, because of the language it is heavily foul, and in my opinion, it is not respectful, especially as we see they regard to adults in that manner.

Would you seek out another Urban Drama film in the future. Why or why not?

Yes, I believe I would because I do enjoy Urban Drama films and I have watched many, without knowing they were in the Urban drama criteria. For example, I really did not think Zootopia was an Urban dram film, and I have watched it a couple times and have enjoyed it overall. Now, I will have to watch it again after learning about the different topics in Theater. I think, it would be interesting to have to view this film and be able to pin point what is being taught.

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