Introduction to Drama.
Essential Questions: What is drama? Why use drama to advocate?
Types of Drama to be discussed:
• To understand dramatic structure
• To be able to define drama and discuss the role of drama in advocacy
• To look at various types of drama that can be used for advocacy
• To write, find, or adopt a script for a dramatic performance
• To discuss short plays and look at sections of plays that may have an
(The Tempest, The Birds, Doctor Faustus, A Midsummer Night’s Dram)
Drama was considered a genre of poetry by the ancient Greeks. Aristotle offered
drama as a general term to describe forms of poetry that were acted. The
Roman writer Horace stated that the purpose of drama was either to delight
(comedy) or instruct (tragedy).
“Drama is about imperfection. We don’t always like morally good people.”
“Cut quarrels out of literature, and you will have very little history or drama or
fiction or epic poetry left.” -- Robert Lynd
“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” – Hitchcock
Great drama is all about conflict. Every scene, every line of dialogue must move
the conflict along.
So what is conflict? The clash of opposing forces. These forces can be other
people, nature, society, our own selves, or fate or God.
What does a successful drama need?
Conflict, characters, setting, dramatic structure and good dialogue.
Characters: you need at least one (dramatic monologue). Your character should
be someone with magnitude. Or importance. Some common person who stands
for all of us. He needs to be a person who faces some sort of conflict. The
setting/plot should reflect the time in which you live.
If where talking about the environment, it could be a story about a person who
lives in a place where there is no clean water and this person’s mother is dying
from disease associated with drinking polluted water.
So what’s the conflict here?
What must the main character overcome? How will they overcome it? Or will
they overcome it? Is there a solution?
Dramatic Structure: Exposition, inciting event, rising action, climax, falling action,
Dialogue: characters need to have a goal every time they speak. They want to
get something from the other character(s). There must be conflict in the
“Your dialogue shouldn’t be – what’s called—too much on the nose. You
character shouldn’t be saying exactly what they’re thinking.” -- Marcy Kahan
“Characters shouldn’t actually answer each other’s lines, they should jump off
each’s lines onto something else, or turn corners or surprise people. This will
also create movements.”
LET’S LOOK AT SOME MASTERY DIALOGUE and discuss how it performs the
above: contains conflict and moves it along; the speakers seek some information
or objective from each other; the dialogue jumps off of each others.
Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?
I noted her not; but I looked on her.
Is she not a modest young lady?
Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for
my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak
after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
No; I pray thee speak in sober judgment.
Why, i' faith, methinks she's too low for a high
praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little
for a great praise: only this commendation I can
afford her, that were she other than she is, she
were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I
do not like her.
Thou thinkest I am in sport: I pray thee tell me
truly how thou likest her.
Would you buy her, that you inquire after her?
Can the world buy such a jewel?
Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this
with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack,
to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder and Vulcan a
rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a man take
you, to go in the song?
In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I
I can see yet without spectacles and I see no such
matter: there's her cousin, an she were not
possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty
as the first of May doth the last of December. But I
hope you have no intent to turn husband, have you?
I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the
contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
Is't come to this? In faith, hath not the world
one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion?
Shall I never see a bachelor of three-score again?
Go to, i' faith; an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck
into a yoke, wear the print of it and sigh away
Sundays. Look Don Pedro is returned to seek you.
Re-enter DON PEDRO
What secret hath held you here, that you followed
not to Leonato's?
I would your grace would constrain me to tell.
I charge thee on thy allegiance.
You hear, Count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumb
man; I would have you think so; but, on my
allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance. He is
in love. With who? now that is your grace's part.
Mark how short his answer is;--With Hero, Leonato's
If this were so, so were it uttered.
Like the old tale, my lord: 'it is not so, nor
'twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be
If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it
should be otherwise.
Amen, if you love her; for the lady is very well worthy.
You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
By my troth, I speak my thought.
And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.
And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine.
That I love her, I feel.
That she is worthy, I know.
That I neither feel how she should be loved nor
know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that
fire cannot melt out of me: I will die in it at the stake.
Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the despite
And never could maintain his part but in the force
of his will.
That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she
brought me up, I likewise give her most humble
thanks: but that I will have a recheat winded in my
forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick,
all women shall pardon me. Because I will not do
them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the
right to trust none; and the fine is, for the which
I may go the finer, I will live a bachelor.
FLASH DRAMA –
This is just a short play that is less than ten minutes in length.