What Is Drama?A drama is a story enacted onstage for a live audience. A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story,that is intended for representation by actors impersonating thecharacters and performing the dialogue and action.Drama is often combined with music and dance: the drama in operais generally sung throughout; musicals generally include bothspoken dialogue and songs.
A literary composition involving conflict, action crisis and atmosphere designed to be acted by players on a stage before an audience. A composition in prose or verse presenting, in pantomime and dialogue, a narrative involving conflict and usually designed for presentation on a stage. Aristotle called it “imitated human action.” "When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language."- James Earl Jones
Famous Statements of Authors:As David Berlo says, theatre is a distinguishedvehicle of communication, with a considerabletradition and heritage. Many people wouldclassify the theater as an „entertainment‟ vehicle.Yet countless examples could be given of playsthat were intended to have, and did have,significant effects on an audience, other thanentertainment.
Norris Houghton says that drama should participate in the “real” action - that it should express faithfully in the theater the artists conception of reality. "No literary form has more historical importance than drama," by Seymour Reiter.
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
In the 6th century BC, when the Trivia tyrant Pisistratus, who then ruled the city, established a series of new public festivals. One of these, the City Dionysia, a festival of entertainment held in honor of the god Dionysus, featured competitions in music, singing, dance and poetry. And most remarkable of all the winners was said to be a wandering bard called Thespis. According to tradition, in 534 or 535 BC, Thespis astounded audiences by leaping on to the back of a wooden cart and reciting poetry as if he was the characters whose lines he was reading. In doing so he became the worlds first actor, and it is from him that we get the word thespian.
Dramatic StructureLike the plot of a story, the plot of a play involvescharacters who face a problem or conflict. Climax point of highest tension; action determines how the conflict will be resolved Complications tension builds ResolutionExposition conflict is resolved;characters and conflict play endsare introduced
Elements of Drama Structure/plot Sub-elements: Imitation by actors Conflict Dialogue Theme Scenery Hand Properties Setting Costumes Gestures Character Sound Effects Audience
Dramatic StructureConflict is a struggle or clashbetween opposing charactersor forces. A conflict maydevelop . . . 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
TragedyA 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.
TragedyThe protagonist of most classical tragedies is atragic hero. This hero pride• is noble and in many ways admirable• has a tragic flaw, a rebelliousness personal failing that leads to a tragic end jealousy
ComedyA comedy is a play that ends happily. The plotusually centers on a romantic conflict. boy meets girl boy loses girl boy wins girl
ComedyThe main characters in a comedy could beanyone: 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 DramaA modern play• may be tragedy, comedy, or a mixture of the two• usually focuses on personal issues• usually is about ordinary people
Modern DramaModern playwrights often experiment withunconventional plot structures. long flashbacks music visual projections of a character’s private thoughts
Performance of a PlayWhen you read a play, remember that it is meantto be performed for an audience.Stage Directions PerformancePlaywright describes setting Theater artists bring theand characters‟ actions and playwright‟s vision to lifemanner. on the stage.[Wyona is sitting on the couch. The audience responds toShe sees Paul and jumps to her the play and shares thefeet.] experience.Wyona. [Angrily.] What doyou want?
Performance of a Play Theater artists include Actors Directors Lighting technicians Stage crew
Setting the StageStages can have many different sizes andlayouts.“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 anaudience on all sides.
Setting the StageProscenium 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 StageStages in Shakespeare’stime were thrust stages.
Setting the StageScene design transforms a bare stage into theworld of the play. Scene design consists of• sets• lighting• costumes• props
Setting the StageA stage’s set might be realistic and abstract detailed and minimal
Setting the StageA lighting director skillfully uses light to changethe mood and appearance of the set.
Setting the StageThe costume director works with the director todesign the actors’ costumes.• Like sets, costumes can be detailed minimal
Setting the StageProps (short for properties) are items that thecharacters 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 CharactersThe characters’ speech may take any of thefollowing forms.Dialogue: conversations of characters onstageMonologue: long speech given by one character to othersSoliloquy: speech by a character alone onstage to himself or herself orto the audienceAsides: remarks made to the audience or to one character; the othercharacters onstage do not hear an aside
The AudienceFinally, a play needs an audience to experience the performance understand the story respond to the characters
The theater must "make its appeal to the audience rather than to the individual,”opines Edward A. Wright. Without an audience there is no theater, and the symbolic affinity interplay and affinity between the two prevail. A bifurcation between them would writethe total failure of drama and the theater. Wright even insists that the theater artist” must never forget that he is the servant of the crowd.”
The Philippines has an old theater tradition. Ma. Teresa Muñoz, in a comprehensive study of theater in pre-Hispanic Philippines based on anthropological findings, attests to the fact that even if it is difficult to ascertain the theatrical forms of the early Filipinos, much of it being “lost on contact with the new and more aggressive culture,” the early Philippine drama stemmed more from historical sources, since “that theater which had its roots in religion and religious practice was barely at the threshold of the structure that constitutes that art.”
We had drama even many Men assemble now as their centuries before the forefathers did to discover Spaniards set foot on themselves and feel their Philippine shores in 1521. pulse as they experience The many external life‟s processes, what manifestations of this August Strindberg terms imitation of action—dance, “life‟s two poles, life and pantomime, acting, song, death, the act of birth and chant, recitation—be they the act of death, the fight for performed solely on in the spouse, for the means of combination, were found in subsistence, for honor, all the numerous rituals these struggles—with their observed by the early battlefields, cries of woe, Filipinos. wounded and dead.”
It is said that Ferdinand Magellan himself was treated to a very rare presentation of a native play “to celebrate the fact that the Filipinos and Spaniards were now brothers.” Father Gaspar de San Agustin also mentioned that the early Filipinos were “especially fond of comedies and farces, and therefore, there is no feast of consequence unless there is a comedy.”
Lucila Hosillos, in her treaties on the motive power Well-known Filipino drama for Philippine identity and director and poet Rolando greatness, states: Tinio expounds in his “Nationalism has helped “Theater and Its Sense of create the literature of the Nationality” . “It is perhaps Filipinos, and in the the theater,” he stresses, country’s search for “which is the most national national identity today, of all the arts in the sense literature has assumed that it is the most revelatory significance in the of the specific quality of definition of the Filipino civilization of its audience.” personality towards the creation of a national image.”
Three Categories:Mga Katutubong Dula (Ethnic Plays)The Filipino Ethnic Plays or “Katutubong Dula” are plays basedon old Filipino folklore and old traditions. They show thecountry‟s indigenous culture and traditions. The play,Pamanhikan (Courtship), for example, focuses on the courtshiprituals in the pre-colonial times.
Mga Dula sa Panahon ng Kastila (Plays from the Spanish Era).PlaysFrom the Spanish era have a decided influence from thecolonizers. A lot of them revolve around Catholic festivities likeSenakulo (Passion of the Christ), Pinetencia (Penitence) andFlores de Mayo (May Procession). Some also portray the strainbetween the Catholics and the Muslims, like the play Moro-Moro(The Moors).
Dula sa Panahon ng Amerikano (Plays from the American Era) Finally, the American era ushered in the “sarsuwela” or plays with singing and dancing. The sarsuwelas in this era were mostly used as subversive propaganda and had themes about patriotism and revolution.The most famous of these sarsuwelas are those made by Severino Reyes, also known as “Ama ng Dulang Pilipino” or “Father of Philippine Drama”. His most popular works are: Walang Sugat (Not Wounded, 1902), Paglipas ng Dilim (After the Darkness, 1920) and Bungangang Pating (At the Mercy of the Sharks, 1921).
The age of thezarzuelas isconsidered the“Golden Age ofPhilippineDrama,” as manytheaterauthorities havepronounced.
Famous Filipino Authors Nick Joaquin Wilfrido Ma. Guerero Roland Tinio Jose Rizal Francisco Balagtas Orlando Nadres Alberto Florentino Estrella Alfon