Qcr520 lesson 20 teaching drama 2010Presentation Transcript
QCR520 Approaches - Drama
A drama tells a story, usually of human conflict, through dialogue and action.
“ A story in dramatic form, typically emphasising conflict in key characters and written to be performed by actors” (from Harris, et al. The Literacy Dictionary, IRA, 1995)
“… three necessary elements in drama: (1) a story (2) told in action (3) by characters who impersonate the characters of the story” (Thrall and Hibbert , A Handbook to Literature , Odyssey Press,1960)
Quick History of Drama
Started in 6th Cent BC (600-500 BC) Greece.
Drama - comes from the Greek word meaning “action” or “to do.”
First actor was Thespis ; thus, the term thespian (theater actor/actress).
Wore big masks so their facial expression could be seen from afar. (The amphitheater is big.)
Development of Drama
Western Drama: Began in Greece (600 BC)
Roman liturgical plays
Italian Renaissance Operas (1500)
Music plays an important role
English Renaissance: Elizabethan Theater (1500)
Queen Elizabeth promoted drama.
William Shakespeare wrote and staged his plays.
Forms of Western Drama
Tragedy - a death of a hero or a simple downfall of the hero.
Comedy - All’s well and ends well.
No particular hero.
Ends happily ever after; ends with a festivity (e.g. dancing, eating).
Themes: ridicules social norms; basically, comedy tends to be irreverent
Offshoots of tragedy:
Melodrama - fight between good and evil
Suspense - begins with someone’s death
To provoke thought and emotion
To present a visual and aural experience for the audience
Plays on your emotions.
Asks you to believe and be involved in it.
Makes you feel for the hero and the heroine.
Subject matter: reflection of the drama of everyday life – concentrates life, focuses it and holds it up for examination.
The fact of a live audience has an important impact on the way plays are created
Essential feature of a play – involves fact that audience and actors have a common experience.
Drama plays before a live audience of real people who respond directly and immediately to it.
Drama usually conceived by playwright for a particular response.
Worked with familiar story material
Relied on messengers to report off-stage action
Relied on chorus for interpretation, echo of reactions common to community
Written in metered verse arranged in elaborate stanzas
Minor characters play an important role in providing info & guiding interpretation.
Casually comment among themselves on major characters and plot development
Enables major character to reveal his thoughts
Remarks made to the audience but not heard by those on stage
Realistic depiction of everyday life
Characters may be unconventional & their thoughts turbulent and fantasy-ridden
Key word – experimentation
Narrator replaces the messenger, chorus and the confidante
Flashbacks often substitute for narration.
Provides substance of a play
Decorum what is said is appropriate to the role and situation of the character
Exposition of play falls on dialogue of the characters
Establishes relationships, tensions, conflicts
Drama uses the resources of the theater to show human actions in such a way that we gain a deeper understanding of the human experience .
Structured story which develops the action of the play
More than a story – involves causes & results, interactions of characters and a devt in time
Allows story to develop logically, presenting characters in an unfolding situation
Open Conflict plays
Rely on suspense of a struggle in which the hero, against all odds, is not doomed
Foreshadowing, in the form of ominous hints or symbolic incidents, conditions the audience to expect certain logical developments
Sudden reversal of fortune plays depict climatic ironies or misunderstandings
Fulfilment of a plan, action or expectation in a surprising way, often opposite of what was intended
Some mystery should be left in the revelation of character in a play, just as a great deal of mystery is always left in the revelation of character in life, even in one’s own character to himself (Tennessee Williams)
There is usually at least one antagonist and one protagonist.
Characters’ names are listed at the beginning of the drama/play, usually in the order of their appearance. This listing often includes brief information including: age, appearance, role in the play, and/or relationship to other characters in the play.
What they say
What others say about them
Interaction between characters
Times of silence
Motivation – what makes a character tick?
Things to look out for
How is character revealed?
Does the language of the play demand a particular style of acting or direction?
How significant are sound effects, on stage and off? Is music necessary?
How important are stage effects & the use of such aspects as: a revolving stage, different acting levels etc
How impt is costume in giving life to the play & in reinforcing the ideas and intention of the playwright?
How important is the audience to the success of the play?
The place(s) where the action occurs; created through the manipulation of sets, lights, scenery, and references.
Often revealed through stage directions.
Ranges from bare minimum to very elaborate, realistic or left to the imagination
Stage directions describe setting, lighting, movement of characters and props, intonation of dialogue, costumes
Setting for each scene is usually given in italics at the beginning of the text for that scene.
In your prose/drama package groups, work out a scene that begins:
“ Ma’am, it is done.”
What do you think are the challenges faced by a tutor in the teaching of drama and how can these be overcome?
Are there differences in management of a mixed gender class and a single gender class? If yes, what are the differences and how can they be managed?