Urban Drama and Your Thoughts.

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Urban Drama and Your Thoughts.
This week we have been looking at Urban Drama in Film and Theatre, 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.
student name : Sarah McFadden
What is your opinion of this genre of Film and Theatre?
-From the films that I’ve seen such as Crash, Save the Last Dance and
ATL, I truly enjoyed this genre of film. I love watching movies that involve
real life situations because it not only teaches me but the whole world
about what’s going on with racism and treating others unfairly. I find Urban
Drama more meaningful to watch because I feel as though I learned
something, rather than watching a comedy movie. Learning about the
hardships many people go through make me grateful for what I have and to
always treat others with kindness and respect.
What do you believe are some of the major themes or issues that this
genre deals with?
– I believe this genre deals with lots of racism and how others are treated
unfairly. In the movie Save the Last Dance, people didn’t like interracial
couples and didn’t appreciate the diversity with being with other ethnicities.
For Crash as well, that movie is a great example of how many different
people are mistreated because of their ethnicity. I also think crime and
murder are major issues as well in Urban Drama films
Would you ever go to a play like Our Lady of 121st Street? Why or
why not?
– My honest answer, no I wouldn’t go. I don’t really enjoy watching plays,
I’d rather go to the movies.
Would you seek out another Urban Drama film in the future. Why or
why not?
– Absolutely! The past films that I’ve seen have been excellent and I love
the lesson that comes with watching these kinds of movies. It’s interesting
to learn about our history with other cultures and ethnicities. I believe it’s
also important to teach our younger nephews, nieces, cousins or children
about the importance of being kind and to treat others how you would want
to be treated. I would definitely seek out another Urban Drama film in the
future to teach the younger generation the importance of kindness towards
other races.
student name : Urban Drama
What is your opinion of this genre of Film and Theatre?
I believe that this genre of film and theatre is a strong form of artwork of
delivering a message to audiences about the issues of society. Urban
Drama reflects the going ons of society and creates an atmosphere that the
audience can relate to making for an enjoyable film.
What do you believe are some of the major themes or issues that this
genre deals with?
Some of the major issues that this genre deals with is, racism, police
brutality, stereotypes, and even poverty amongst minorities.
Would you ever go to a play like Our Lady of 121st Street? Why or
why not?
I might consider going out to watch a play like Our Lady of 121st Street.
The videos on YouTube failed to truly enrapture my attention and was
rather difficult to understand the dialogue, but the premise was intriguing.
Would you seek out another Urban Drama film in the future. Why or
why not?
I will definitely be seeking out another Urban Drama film. I very much
enjoyed irony and realizations that came about throughout the film, Crash.
The African American car robbers speaking out against racism yet living up
the stereotype was very satirical in my opinion. And the hypocritical
realization of the officer of social justice accidentally firing his weapon at
the African American kid was a shocking sad twist. The themes of Crash,
very much have me looking for similar films.

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