Elements of Drama

Elements of Drama

Drama What Is Drama? A drama is a story enacted onstage for a live audience. What Is Drama? Origins of Drama The word drama comes from the

Greek verb dran, which means to do. The earliest known plays . . . were written around the fifth century B.C. produced for festivals to honor Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility

Dramatic Structure Like the plot of a story, the plot of a play involves characters who face a problem or conflict. Complications tension builds Exposition characters and conflict

are introduced Climax point of highest tension; action determines how the conflict will be resolved Resolution conflict is resolved; play ends

Dramatic Structure Conflict is a struggle or clash between opposing characters or forces. A conflict may develop . . . between characters who want different things or the same

thing between a character and his or her circumstances within a character who is torn

by competing desires Tragedy A tragedy is a play that ends unhappily. Most classic Greek tragedies deal with serious, universal themes such as right and wrong justice and injustice life and death Tragedies pit human limitations against the

larger forces of destiny. Tragedy The protagonist of most classical tragedies is a tragic hero. This hero is noble and in many ways admirable has a tragic flaw, a personal failing that leads to a tragic end

pride rebelliousness jealousy Comedy A comedy is a play that ends happily. The plot usually centers on a romantic conflict.

boy meets girl boy loses girl boy wins girl Comedy The main characters in a comedy could be anyone:

nobility townspeople servants Comedy Comic complications always occur before the conflict is resolved.

In most cases, the play ends with a wedding. Modern Comedy Modern Comedies In modern comedies, the genders in this romantic plot pattern sometimes are reversed.

Modern Drama A modern play may be tragedy, comedy, or a mixture of the two usually focuses on personal issues usually is about ordinary people Modern Drama Modern playwrights often experiment with unconventional plot structures.

long flashbacks visual projections of a characters private thoughts music Performance of a Play

When you read a play, remember that it is meant to be performed for an audience. Stage Directions Playwright describes setting and characters actions and manner. Performance Theater artists bring the playwrights vision to life

on the stage. [Wyona is sitting on the couch. She sees Paul and jumps to her feet.] Wyona. [Angrily.] What do you want?

The audience responds to the play and shares the experience. Performance of a Play Theater artists include

Actors Directors Lighting technicians

Stage crew Setting the Stage Stages can have many different sizes and layouts. Thrust stage The stage extends into the viewing area.

The audience surrounds the stage on three sides. Setting the Stage In the round stage is surrounded by an audience on all sides. Setting the Stage Proscenium stage

The playing area extends behind an opening called a proscenium arch. The audience sits on one side looking into the action. upstage stage right stage left downstage

Setting the Stage Stages in Shakespeares time were thrust stages. Setting the Stage Scene design transforms a bare stage into the world of the play. Scene design consists of sets lighting

costumes props Setting the Stage A stages set might be realistic and detailed abstract and minimal

Setting the Stage A lighting director skillfully uses light to change the mood and appearance of the set. Setting the Stage The costume director works with the director to design the actors costumes. Like sets, costumes can be detailed

minimal Setting the Stage Props (short for properties) are items that the characters carry or handle onstage. The person in charge of props must make sure that the right props are available to the actors at the right moments.

The Characters The characters speech may take any of the following forms. Dialogue: conversations of characters onstage Monologue: long speech given by one character to others Soliloquy: speech by a character alone onstage to himself or herself or to the audience Asides: remarks made to the audience or to one character; the other characters onstage do not hear an aside

The Audience Finally, a play needs an audience to experience the performance understand the story respond to the characters The End

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