I am learning about Hamilton (the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda), and was given this question.

Your assignment is just to use the text box to note one thing that seems to be part of the performance CONTEXT (NOT the literal content of the performance)

I don't understand what performance context means, however.

  • Have you tried searching on Google? – NVZ Jun 6 '16 at 23:40
  • 1
    Yes. The only definition I got is from a medical dictionary. medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/performance+context – highlightman Jun 6 '16 at 23:42
  • Welcome to ELU -- but we really need more context ourselves to answer you. Where did you find the phrase? What sort of 'performance' is being talked about, what is being said about it? Give us a few sentences. – StoneyB Jun 6 '16 at 23:42
  • Context the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood. In this case, the "event" is presumably some kind of art/entertainment (a stage play?), where you're being asked to say something about how it was performed/acted, rather than critique the (play?) itself. – FumbleFingers Jun 7 '16 at 0:08
  • It is rather ambiguous, unless there is some jargon meaning within the entertainment industry. – Hot Licks Jun 7 '16 at 0:11

I believe this question is asking you to say something that is unique to the performance of the musical -- something that you can't know about the musical by just reading the story or lyrics. The "performance context" includes the acting, the dancing, and the singing. The director of the musical is responsible for bringing out great performances from the actors and for "breathing life" into the story, so you might want to mention some good (or bad) choices the director has made. But performance also involves other aspects, such as the musical direction, the lighting and special effects, and costumes and make-up -- anything that affects the live performance of the musical.

I think it's worth noting that "performance context" isn't some common phrase you can look up. It's just two words that your teacher put together in a sentence.

  • Performance context could also be a term of art from an academic discipline. Of so, however, the teacher ought to have introduced and defined the term. – phoog Jun 14 '16 at 3:01
  • If that were true, then would the "performance context" be the context of the musical as performance art? That would be a very different meaning than what I suggested. – user83454 Jun 14 '16 at 3:06

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