Unit 3 Devising Guide & Narrative


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Basic framework for KS4 and 5 Drama and Performing Arts students. Also contains some slides about Narrative theory useful to cross over with Media Studies/Film students

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Unit 3 Devising Guide & Narrative

  1. 1. Unit 3Devising Guide
  2. 2. • SHARE – your ideas so far. Equal voice for every member and every idea, rule nothing out.• FOCUS – on your brief, your target audience and your skills as a group.• CREATE + EXPLORE – Practically explore the work as a process. Try things even though you might not agree with them – be professional.• REVIEW+ OVERVIEW – set aside a time to reflect on the progress so far• ADAPT IDEAS – make changes to material, use additional skills such as movement/abstract sound• CONSOLIDATE –come together and agree on progress and direction of the process. What are the next steps to make?• SHARED RESPONSIBILITY – who is doing what to prepare for next time – specific, measurable targets.• CHECK- double check rehearsal times and contacts for meeting outside of class time.
  3. 3. Elements of DramaSurprise SuspenseEmpathy Humour Fear Anger Status
  4. 4. Narrative Theory - TodorovTzvetan Todorov’s Theory of NarrativeTodorov suggested that conventional narratives arestructured in five stages:1. a state of equilibrium at the outset2. a disruption of the equilibrium by some action3. a recognition that there has been a disruption4. an attempt to repair the disruption5. a reinstatement of the equilibriumThis type of narrative structure is very familiar to us andcan be applied to many ‘mainstream’ film narratives.
  5. 5. Narrative Theory – Progression• Equilibriumstarting point of the story• Inciting Incidentsomething which changes the situation for those involved• Rising Actionhow the quest/relationship develops• Dramatic Climaxpoint of confrontation• Resolutionoutcome of dramatic climax• New Equilibriumhow the situation is at the end
  6. 6. Vladimir Propp’s Theory of NarrativeVladimir Propp suggested that characters took on the role of narrative spheres of action or functions. From a comprehensive study of folktales Propp came up with seven different character types:The hero, usually male, is the agent who restores the narrative equilibriumoften by embarking upon a quest (or search). Propp distinguishes betweenthe victim hero, who is the centre of the villains attentions, and the seekerhero who aids others who are the villains victims. The hero is invariably thetexts central character.The villain who usually creates the narrative disruption.The donor gives the hero something, it may be an object, information oradvice, which helps in resolution of the narrative.The helper aids the hero in the task of restoring equilibrium.
  7. 7. The princess (the victim) is usually the character most threatened by the villain and has to be saved, at the climax, by the hero. The fathers (who in fairy tales was often the king) role is usually to give the princess away to the hero at the narratives conclusion. He may also despatch the hero.The dispatcher sends the hero on her or his task (who can typically be the princess father)The false hero appears to be good but is revealed, at the narratives end, to have been badCharacters can fulfil more than one sphere character type, for example, a princess may also be a helper.
  8. 8. Seven Basic Plots• [wo]man vs. nature• [wo]man vs. [wo]man• [wo]man vs. the environment• [wo]man vs. machines/technology• [wo]man vs. the supernatural• [wo]man vs. self• [wo]man vs. god/religion
  9. 9. 20 basic plotsQuest AdventureTransformation PursuitMaturation RescueLove EscapeForbidden Love RevengeSacrifice The RiddleDiscovery RivalryWretched Excess UnderdogAscension TemptationDescension. Metamorphosis
  10. 10. 36 PlotsSupplication Falling Prey to Enmity of Kinsmen Slaying of a Adultery Conflict with a God Cruelty of Kinsman Loss of Loved Misfortune Ones.Deliverance Revolt Rivalry of Kinsmen Unrecognized Crimes of Love Mistaken Jealousy Self-Sacrificing for an IdealCrime Pursued by Daring Enterprise Murderous Self-Sacrifice for Discovery of the ErroneousVengeance Adultery Kindred Dishonour of a Judgement Loved OneVengeance taken Abduction Madness All Sacrificed for Obstacles to Love Remorsefor kindred upon PassionkindredPursuit The Enigma Fatal Imprudence Necessity of An Enemy Loved Recovery of a Lost (temptation or a Sacrificing Loved One riddle) OnesDisaster Obtaining Involuntary Crimes Rivalry of Superior Ambition Loss of Loved of Love and Inferior Ones.