Last updated on November 26th, 2023 at 06:39 am
CLASS: SENIOR SIX
TABLE OF CONTENTS
UNIT I: EUROPEAN LITERARY TRADITIONS
UNIT II: STRUCTURE IN MODERN PROSE
UNIT III: ELEGY AND EPITAPH
UNIT IV: LIMERICKS- RHYTHM AND RHYME
UNIT V: FREE VERSE
UNIT VI: THEATRE OF THE ABSURD
UNIT VII: RADIO AND TELEVISION DRAMAS
UNIT VIII: PERFORMING DRAMA
UNIT VIII: PERFORMING DRAMA
Drama is literature that is primarily written for theatrical performance. A dramatic text consists of two components: Literature for reading and performance. Drama is incomplete without the performative aspect. Every dramatic text contains of instructions, known as secondary text, for performance on stage. The following are the conventions of drama.
- Cast of Characters: refers to a group of people who have important roles in a drama. It is listed in the beginning of the play, before the action starts
- Act: a major division of a play
- Scene: a major division of an act
- Stage directions: a dramatist’s instructions for performing a play (secondary text).
VIII.1. REVIEW OF KEY ASPECTS OF DRAMA
Every drama play must have the following key aspects: plot, setting, character, theme(s) and message(s).
It has been delineated like a causal sequence of events. The “why” for the things that happen in the story. It draws the reader into the character’s lives and helps the reader understand the choices that the characters make. Its structure is the way in which the story elements are arranged.
It refers to the time and place of action. Time can include not only the historical period-past, present, or future- but also the specific year, season, or time of day. Place may involve not only the geographical place- a region, country, state, or town- but also the social economical or cultural environment.
A character/actor known also as a fictional character is a person, an animal or other being in a play, television series, film, or video game. The character may be entirely fictional or based on a real-life person, in which case the distinction of a “fictional” versus “real” character may be made.
The main character, or the protagonist, is the most important character in a story. This character often changes in some important ways as a result of the play’s events. The antagonist is the character who opposes the main character.
A theme is the central idea, message, or insight into life revealed by a literary work. It is the main subject that is being discussed or described in a literary work. A theme is not intended to teach or preach. In fact, it is not presented directly at all. You extract it from the characters, actions, and setting that make up the play. In other words, you must figure out the theme yourself.
Message or moral of the play has been defined as what a reader or audience member learns from a play. The moral can usually be expressed in a sentence or a proverb that teaches a lesson. In this sense, it can be also expressed as an important idea that is expressed in the play.
VIII.2. REVIEW OF DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES
In drama performance, an actor has to pay attention to the dramatic techniques used by the playwright or the script writer. Different playwrights/script writers use different dramatic techniques for different reasons in putting across their message.
The following are some of the dramatic techniques:
It refers to a conversation between two or more characters in a literary work. Characters may reveal their traits and advance the action of a play. In fiction or non-fiction; quotation marks indicate a speaker’s exact words, and a new paragraph usually indicates a change of a speaker. Quotation marks are not used in a script, the printed copy of a play. Instead, the dialogue follows the name of the speaker.
Monologue is from the Greek monos (“single”) and legein (“to speak”) is a long, uninterrupted speech delivered by one character to other characters who are on stage but remain silent. It can also be explained as a long speech given by a character in a story, movie, play, or by a performer such as a comedian, and that speech prevents anyone else from talking. A monologue in a play is a speech by one character that, unlike a soliloquy, is addressed to another character or characters
It comes from the Latin solus (“alone”) and loqui (“to speak”) is a speech in which a character alone on a stage reveals private thoughts and feelings that the audience is allowed to overhear. It is in few words, a long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on the stage.
It is explained as the process by which the actors appear on the stage. It is the first appearance of an actor in a scene. Also, it is the way the actors introduce to the audience on the stage when they are going to perform a play.
Exit is explained as the process by which the actors disappear on the stage after performing a play. This happens at the end of a play.
6. Stage directions
They are the words that tell how the work is to be performed or staged. Providing details about sets, lighting, sounds, effects, props, costumes, and acting, stage directions are usually set in italics type and set off in brackets in order to distinguish them from dialogue. Some playwrights use stage directions to provide additional direction about where on- or off stage a speech may be delivered. These include O.S. for offstage; D.S. for downstage; or close to the audience; and U.S for upstage, or far from the audience. The purpose of stage direction is to understand the directional terms for staging.
It is a brief remark in which a character expresses private thoughts to the audience rather than to other characters. It is a short speech delivered by a character in a play in order to express his or her true thoughts and feelings. Traditionally, the aside is directed to the audience and is presumed to be inaudible to the other actors.
Formally known as (theatrical) property, is an object used on stage or on screen by actors during a performance or screen production. In practical terms, a prop is considered to be anything movable or portable on a stage or a set, distinct from the actors, scenery, costumes, and electrical equipment.
The term has readily transferred to television motion picture and video game production, where they are commonly referred to by the phrase movie prop, film prop or simply prop.
It is explained as the clothes that are worn by actors who are performing a play. Actors must try to look like different persons or things. This clothing includes the prevailing fashion in coiffure, jewelry, and apparel of a period, country, or class… so, in costumes, actors must create the appearance characteristic of a particular period, person, place, or thing.
VIII.3. PLANNING AND PERFORMING DRAMA
Planning and performing drama: Planning for the performance of drama/ a play is a project.
Below are some tips on how you can plan and perform the play.
Set up a project schedule: A project schedule is a tool that communicates what work needs to be performed. It starts with the theme that goes with the organization of materials (props) that will be used to perform it. This includes;
Selecting the play: As a class, with the help of your teacher, choose a play from the set plays that you will perform. Your literature teacher will be the director of your performance.
Identifying the characters/taking roles: Each student can volunteer to take a role they feel they can perform. Each actor should study the characters they have chosen and understand them. Every student in your class should take a role. If the play has fewer characters than the number of students in your class, some students may take the same roles but act in different scenes. Other students may feature in the crew (the production team/behind the scenes team).
Reading the script/the play: All actors/characters should take their parts, read, reread and memorize their parts of the play.
Setting up the rehearsal schedule: With the help of your teacher, draw a rehearsal schedule (timetable) that favours the whole class whereby you will meet as the cast and crew to rehearse for the performance. The schedule will depend on the number of scenes for the play and how much practice is needed by the actors.
Identifying the costumes: Each actor/character identifies and makes a list of the costumes they will need for each scene.
Setting the stage: When all the preparation is complete, establish a spacious place where you will perform the play to your audience. Set the stage and equip it with the necessary props including lighting.