Reading the Play: Questions Costumers Should Ask

Questions you should ask yourself after reading the play script:
What is this play about in literal terms?
What is this play about in general or metaphorical terms (see Dramatic Metaphor and Concept below)?
What is the style of the play?
  • Realism?
  • Expressionism?
  • Romanticis?
What is the location of the play?
  • Country/Continent?
  • City/Country?
  • Indoors/Outdoors?
  • Specific Space?
What is the time of the play?
  • Year/Time/Period?
  • Season/Weather?
  • Time of Day/Occasion?

What does the physical action of the play call for?

Are there any references to clothing in the text?
Where (to whom) does focus need to be pulled to and when?
What is the play concept? Examples:

  • A light-hearted romp in the Woods
  • A Mel Brooks Vaudeville routine?
  • A violent page ripped out of the newspaper
  • A giant Polish joke
  • An Art Deco jukebox

Also ask about each individual character:

  • What is the character’s Age?
  • Social class?
  • Financial position?
  • Social Attitude?
  • Marital Status?
  • Health?
  • Moral Attitude?
  • Job?
  • Mental State?
  • Education?
  • Country of origin?
  • Present home?
Dramatic Metaphor: My love is like a red red rose vs. My love is a red red rose.
  • The Tailor is a prancing pincushion
  • Kate is too hot to handle
  • Hortensio is a horny toad
  • Bianca is good enough to eat if you don’t mind sugar poisoning
What does the action require the character to do?
Are there any textual references that mention a character is dressed certain way?
What was the character planning/thinking when he/she put on his/her clothes?
What kind of body does the character have?
How does he/she walk? Sit? Gesture? Stand?