Media Theory Reviews

Scene Counts & Contemporary Plays

I’m noticing a trend that I wanted to share. It seems like the contemporary plays I’m reading have much more scenes than the older ones. For example:

Bethany – 2013 – 10 scenes (and only 43 pages!)
She Kills Monsters – 2011 – 17 scenes
Reasons to be Pretty – 2008 – 8 scenes (with 4 optional monologues)

Long Day’s Journey into Night – 1956 – 5 scenes
Streetcar Named Desire – 1947 – 11 scenes (in 3 acts)
The Little Foxes – 1939 – 3 scenes

In addition, the transition between scenes of the contemporary plays feel like “cuts” as opposed to self contained story units. My guess is that this is the influence of film/television on theatre. Honestly, I don’t like it. She Kills Monsters for example feels like it wants to be movie.

I think this also separates the films of someone like Quentin Tarantino, from his peers. Inglourious Basterds certainly feels like a play with its long scenes of endless dialogue.

Media Theory

Dance Moms; and the broken promise of reality television

Ultimately, what’s so bothersome about Dance Moms and so much of its ilk is that they aim to confirm biases, not to subvert them.

This. Good entertainment surprises us. We don’t need more of the same.

Dance Moms; and the broken promise of reality television