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NOCTURNE STUDY QUESTIONS

A list of questions for discussion of Adam Rapp's play Nocturne

  1. Do you agree with the critic who wrote "Mr. Rap's skills as a playwright have been overwhelmed by his plush language" or the critic who wrote "The language in Nocturne is visceral and, literally, a saving grace"?
  2. Who is the protagonist in this play?
  3. Who is the antagonist?
  4. How many lines does it take to establish the attack of the play?
  5. How could a director use the silent characters in Nocturne to help convey the struggle of this play?
  6. Should the playwright have described the actions of silent characters in more detail, or do you like the fact that he gave the director complete freedom?
  7. What is theme of Nocturne?
  8. What character represents the son's hope of getting better--of having a real life?
  9. As he moves towards his goal of a life with the Red Headed Girl with the Gray-Green Eyes, what stands in the son's way?
  10. At the end of the play, do you believe the son has overcome his past? Has he found redemption? Or is he still haunted by his own memories?
  11. What activity offers the son some hope of salvation?
  12. What objects does he use to construct furniture? Why this item? Is there symbolism at work here?
  13. At the end of the play, what calls to the protagonist through the "rich, oblivious darkness"?
  14. Would you define this play as poetic realism? Why or why not?
  15. Is it possible for a play to be both drama and poetry? Does one trait detract from the other?
  16. How does the son change through the course of this play? What is his journey?
  17. What difficulties did the author encounter writing such a long monologue? Did he overcome them?
  18. If you were directing this play, would you take a realistic or stylistic approach? Why?
  19. What kind of set would you design?