Theatre Analysis Paper: Stick Fly

Your assignment is to write a three to five page essay that features close analysis of some aspect of Stick Fly.  You can focus on issues of race, class, character, gender, or whatever lens you want.  The important thing is that you use our theatre analysis terms relating to plot, character, style, and theme to prove your opinion. Perhaps your interest is in character, or in character change; you then might wish to explore how the language you have selected works to establish some aspect of a character.  Perhaps your interest is in some other topic, such as sexuality or power or gender; again, you need to use close analysis to address this topic, picking passages strategically so that they can serve to represent a larger theme in the play.


The essay should have

  •  An introductory paragraph with a short summary of the play, aclear topic and thesis, and should indicate, from the start, your agenda in the close analysis.I expect you to approach this assignment with a claim—an idea about where you think your argument and thesis might go, together with an open mind that will allow you to revise your thinking and writing and formulate a new argument and thesis if the evidence demands it. While all of your evidence should come from Stick Fly, you can use the intro to connect themes of the play to your own personal experience. 
  • 3-4 body paragraphs where you provide specific examples from Stick Fly that prove your thesis, which you will analyze using the terms we have discussed in class.  You will use APA style to cite your sources.
  • A concluding paragraph that returns to your thesis statement and summarizes how your examples helped prove it.

Tips to help you in your process:

  • While a thesis is crucial, begin by making a list of 5-7 of moments the play that most speak to you.  Once you have done this, look at the list and see if any common themes emerge.  Are you most drawn to moments that deal with wealth?  Sexuality?  History?  Symbolism?  From there you will figure out what your thesis should be.
  • With your list of moments, try to explain using theatre analysis terms what they mean and why they help prove your thesis.  For instance, what are the internal or external conflicts the character is struggling with in this moment?  What does the character want, what sort of actions do they take to achieve that objective, and what are the obstacles that get in their way? What sort of symbols represent the theme of the play?
  • Just like a play has a beginning, middle, and end, so should your paper. 

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, March 3rd: Outline due on Canvas  This outline should contain a rough thesis, along with a list of examples from the text you will be using for your body paragraphs. 
  • Wednesday, March 9th : Final draft due on Canvas

Your Grade Will be Based On:

  • Accurate understanding of Stick Fly and use of specific examples from the play to prove your point.
  • A clear sense of organization, including a thesis, topic sentences, analysis and citation of sources using APA format, and a conclusion.
  • Use of theatre analysis terms to discuss your insights about the text.