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 within a character and his or her circumstances 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 Comic complications always

occur before the conflict is resolved. In most cases, the play ends with a wedding. 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 Performance Playwright describes setting and characters actions and manner.

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

Setting the Stage A lighting director skillfully uses light to change the mood and appearance of the set. A blackout is a term for suddenly having all of the stage lights go off at the same time. 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 Diction is when a character speaks clearly so the audience can understand. Projection is when a character speaks loudly

so the audience can hear. The Audience Finally, a play needs an audience to experience the performance understand the story respond to the characters

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