Should Blasted be staged?

The prompt below is a fictional scenario. You should not necessarily write anything formal before our next class meeting on Thursday, March 26th to begin this response, but you should keep the assignment in mind as you read the essay on Blasted for Thursday. Think about your position, and how the Saunders article may or may not help your argument – perhaps note this down in your double-entry notebook as you read. You might also begin collecting some outside research using Evernote. Track your response to the Saunders essay using your double-entry notebook and keeping track of quotes that you want to use (no matter which side of the debate you fall on!).

The theatre department at LaGuardia has announced auditions for its next production: Sarah Kane’s Blasted. You have noticed flyers appearing from various student groups protesting the show, saying that such depictions of violence are not appropriate. In an era of trigger warnings on campuses and college rape scandals in the news, some say the play could challenge viewers (and not in good ways). You heard one person in the cafe line say that too many students might have immature reactions and not “get it,” thinking the violence is “cool” at a time when video games and movies glorifying blood and gore are popular.

The student newspaper has heard that our class is reading Blasted, and wants to publish an opinion forum (much like the NY Times‘ section “Room for Debate”) on whether or not Blasted should be staged. You must write an 800 word opinion piece addressing the larger LaGuardia community, using scholarly and critical responses to support why or why not the theatre department should mount this production, and further issues that may or may not touch upon the production’s reception. Feel free to include current events that are relevant to your position.

The rubric is available here.

Should you want to use any of the Helen Iball that we looked at on Monday, here’s the citation:

Iball, Helen. Sarah Kane’s Blasted. London: Continuum, 2008. Print.

You’ll begin writing this response in class on Thursday, March 26th. Bring in a rough draft for peer review on Monday, March 30th. You will upload a draft to share with me on Thursday, April 2nd.


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