Topic: ArtDance

Last updated: March 1, 2019

Drama is the act of portraying a story in front of an audience. It involves the charactersand events of the story being brought to life on a stage by actors and their interactions(verbal and non-verbal) through its events.

Of various forms of drama plays are themost popular. Some other formats are dance performances, radio shows, puppet showsetc.The history of drama goes back to Aristotle and his treatise ‘Poetics’ which gives acritical analysis of Sophocles’ Greek play, ‘Oedipus Rex’.Plays aim to show through action and dialogues what the written text of the storydelineates. It has a written blueprint called script which has all the informationregarding the characters, their dialogues, and the stage setting like mise-en-scene etc.The various characteristics of drama are:Thought or ThemeIt represents the basic idea of the text. It can be as direct as the title of the drama tovery obscure and needs careful thought and analysis.

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The action and its plot makes theaudiences immerse in the drama and try to extract the theme behind it.PlotThe sequence of events or actions in a play is called its plot. It represents what happensin the drama. The clarity and coherence of the plot is essential to give the drama alogical and undisturbed flow.The various characters follow a pattern of interactions and movements through variousstages of the plot. These stages are initial disturbance or conflict, rising action, climax,falling action and finally the resolution of the conflict.CharacterizationThe way in which the characters are portrayed and developed is known ascharacterization.The characters act out the story in front of the audience.

They are the agents ofmovement and progression in a drama. They are responsible for perusing and traversingthe plotlines. A character has its distinctive appearance, beliefs, thoughts, flaws,personality, age, and dialogues.Actors in the play have the responsibility of bringing the characters to life. The variouscharacters in any drama are the protagonist (represents the theme), the antagonist(villain of the drama), anti-hero (the object of sympathy) etc.

Characters may includethe narrator who introduces other character and informs about the various interactionsand happenings in the drama.Setting, Spectacle and DescriptionsSetting represents when and where the drama unfolds. It can have multiple places orconfined to as single space. The historical and social context, time period and thelocation of the story is set are all included in the design of the setting of any drama.Example: Merchant of Venice is set in the 16th century Venice.

Spectacle involves the complete range of aspects of dramatic production from thesetting, make-up, costumes to special effects. The visual elements add more information for the audience to register and help create aunique world or atmosphere and bring to life the playwright’s ideas. Direction is anessential constituent of effective stagecraft. Stage directions are provided to the actors tofollow and ensure a unity of movement on stage.

The organization of props and lightingare also crucial in any performance.Descriptions provide a wealth of information about various things from the setting andits elements, characters and their thoughts, plot and its web of action etc. The coherenceof details is important to keep the audience engaged and richness is important to keepthem entertained.LanguageThe word choices made by the playwright and the enunciation of the actors of thelanguage.  The dialogues are the lines that the characters speak and often represent theirfeelings and emotions.

Language and dialogues delivered by the characters moves the plot and action along,provides exposition, and defines the distinct characters.  Each playwright can createtheir own specific style in relationship to language choices they use in establishingcharacter and dialogue. Monologues and soliloquies help are speeches that incorporate information difficult tobe extracted through dialogues. Example:"To be, or not to be", a soliloquy from Hamlet.

MusicIt provides the cadence to the dialogues and adds an element of theatrical presentation.Though not indispensible in a drama, music provides sounds to the action in the drama. It creates patterns and rhythm of those patterns. It is used to enhance the experience of the audience and provide heightened sensorialstimulation for the audience.  It also adds more power to the ideas presented in the playlike tragedy, heroism, optimism, loss etc.  Even the thoughts and desires of thecharacters are depicted through various musical elements and compositions.The right kind of sound effects or music greatly supplements to the ebb and flow ofemotions in the play.


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