In this unit students will use an ethnographic approach to engage with theatrical writing. Drama, like all forms of representation, demands that the creator make choices about how to best present the story of others on the stage, on the page, the screen, etc. In doing so, artists' choices impact the aesthetic presentation of the work but also impact the meaning. These decisions sometimes have thematic implications and certainly alter the reader/viewers interpretation of the text but they also have larger sociopolitical ramifications. For example, the choices a stage manager makes regarding a female character including her costume and positioning on stage may communicate ideas about women as a social grouping in addition to illustrating the character individually. This The relationship between staging choices and representation becomes more significant when the writing is political in nature or seeks to represent specific communities or populations such as the Laramie Project by Moises Kauffman and, Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith. Both of these texts (which are further described in the Anchor Text section of this unit) are the work of interview and ethnographic study. Both represent marginalized populations in the wake of tragic social unrest and allow for investigation of the communities' understanding of itself.