A drama is a story enacted onstage for a liveaudience.
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
A 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.
The 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
A comedy is a play that ends happily. The plot usuallycenters on a romantic conflict. boy meets girl boy loses girl boy wins girl
The main characters in a comedy could be anyone: nobility townspeople servants
• Comic complications always occur before the conflict is resolved. • In most cases, the play ends with a wedding.
The Elements of DramaElements of Drama: The elements of drama, by which dramatic works can be analyzed and evaluated, can be categorized into three major areas: literary elements, technical elements, and performance elements. literary elements technical elements performance elements
Plot: the series of events that takeplace in a play. There are 6 stagesin a plot structure:Initial incident- the event that “gets the story going”Preliminary event whatever takes place BEFOREthe action of the play that is directly related to thePlayRising action: a series of events following the initial incident and leading up to thedramatic climax.Climax: the turning point or high point of a story, when events can go either wayFalling action: the series of events following the climax.Denouement or Conclusion : another term for the ending-it is the French word for “unraveling”).
Character: a person portrayed in a drama, novel, or other artistic piece. Exposition is the “who, when, where and what” part of the play.Story organization: beginning, middle, endConflict: the internal or external struggle between opposing forces, ideas, or interests that creates dramatic tension.Suspense: a feeling of uncertainty as to the outcome, used to build interest and excitement on the part of the audience.
Theme: the basic idea of a play; the idea, point of view, or perception that binds together a work of art. Language: in drama, the particular manner of verbal expression, thediction or style of writing, or the speech or phrasing thatsuggests a class or profession or type of character.Style: the shaping of dramatic material, settings, or costumes in a deliberately nonrealistic manner.
Aconversationbetweencharacters in aliterary work.
Dialogue brings characters to life by revealing their personalities and by showing what they are thinking and feeling as they react to other characters.
A long speech delivered by a character who is alone onstage.
Asoliloquy typically revealsthe private thoughts andemotions of the character.
A character who provides a strong contrast to another character.
A foil may emphasize another character’s distinctive traits or make a character look better by comparison.
Scenery (set): the theatrical equipment, such ascurtains, flats, backdrops, or platforms, used in adramatic production to communicate environmentCostumes: clothing and accessories worn by actors to portray character and period.Props: short for properties; any article, except costume or scenery, used as part of a dramatic production; any moveable object that appears on stage during a performance, from a telephone to a train.
Lights: the placement, intensity, and color of lights to help communicate environment, mood, or feelingSound: the effects an audience hears duringperformance to communicate character,context, or environmentMakeup: costumes, wigs, and bodypaint used to transform an actorinto a character.
Acting use of face, body, and voice to portray character Character motivation: the reason or reasons for a character’s behavior; an incentive or inducement for further action for a character Character analysis: in responding to dramatic art, the process of examining how the elements of drama— literary, technical, and performance—are used empathy: the capacity to relate to the feelings of another.
Nonverbal expression: Gestures any movement of the actor’s head, shoulder, arm, hand, leg, or foot to convey meaning Facial expression physical and vocal aspects used by an actor to convey mood, feeling, or personality Movement stage blocking or the movements of the actors onstage during performance; also refers to the action of the play as it moves from event to event.