Qcr520 lesson 20 teaching drama 2010

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Qcr520 lesson 20 teaching drama 2010

  1. 1. QCR520 Approaches - Drama
  2. 2. Definition • 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)
  3. 3. 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.)
  4. 4. Development of Drama • Western Drama: Began in Greece (600 BC) – Greek tragedies – Roman liturgical plays • Miracle plays • Passion 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.
  5. 5. Forms of Western Drama 1. Tragedy - a death of a hero or a simple downfall of the hero. 2. Comedy - All’s well and ends well. a) No particular hero. b) Ends happily ever after; ends with a festivity (e.g. dancing, eating). c) Themes: ridicules social norms; basically, comedy tends to be irreverent 3. Offshoots of tragedy: a) Melodrama - fight between good and evil b) Suspense - begins with someone’s death
  6. 6. Purpose • To entertain • To provoke thought and emotion • To present a visual and aural experience for the audience
  7. 7. Drama… • 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.
  8. 8. Audience • 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.
  9. 9. Conventions • Greek – 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
  10. 10. Conventions • English Drama – Minor characters play an important role in providing info & guiding interpretation. • Casually comment among themselves on major characters and plot development – Soliloquy • Enables major character to reveal his thoughts – Asides • Remarks made to the audience but not heard by those on stage
  11. 11. Conventions • Realism – Realistic depiction of everyday life – Characters may be unconventional & their thoughts turbulent and fantasy-ridden
  12. 12. Conventions • Contemporary – Key word – experimentation – Narrator replaces the messenger, chorus and the confidante – Flashbacks often substitute for narration.
  13. 13. Dialogue • 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
  14. 14. Plot • 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
  15. 15. Plot • Open Conflict plays – Rely on suspense of a struggle in which the hero, against all odds, is not doomed • Dramatic thesis – Foreshadowing, in the form of ominous hints or symbolic incidents, conditions the audience to expect certain logical developments • Coincidence – Sudden reversal of fortune plays depict climatic ironies or misunderstandings • Dramatic Irony – Fulfilment of a plan, action or expectation in a surprising way, often opposite of what was intended
  16. 16. Dramatis Personae • 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)
  17. 17. Dramatis Personae • There is usually at least one antagonist and oneThere is usually at least one antagonist and one protagonist.protagonist. • Characters’ names are listed at the beginning of theCharacters’ names are listed at the beginning of the drama/play, usually in the order of their appearance.drama/play, usually in the order of their appearance. This listing often includes brief informationThis listing often includes brief information including: age, appearance, role in the play, and/orincluding: age, appearance, role in the play, and/or relationship to other characters in the play.relationship to other characters in the play.
  18. 18. Character • Studying Character – Costumes – Appearance – What they say – What others say about them – Interaction between characters – Times of silence – Motivation – what makes a character tick?
  19. 19. 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?
  20. 20. Setting • 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
  21. 21. Stage Directions • 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.
  22. 22. Activity • In your prose/drama package groups, work out a scene that begins: – “Ma’am, it is done.”
  23. 23. Reflection • 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?

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