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Drama

By Derick Miller

What Is Drama?
A drama is a story enacted onstage
for a live audience.

• 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

Dramatic Structure
Like the plot of a story, the plot of a play
involves characters who face a problem
Climax
or conflict.
point of highest tension;
Plot:
Sequence of events
that develop the
drama

Exposition
characters and conflict
are introduced

action determines how the
conflict will be resolved

Resolution
conflict is resolved;
play ends

Elements of
Drama

There are three types of Drama
Elements.
• Literary
• Technical
• Performance

Literary Elements
(What is needed to write a script or story?)








Script
Plot
Character
Story Organization
Setting
Dialogue
Monologue /soliloquy/aside
Conflict

Technical Elements
(What is needed to produce a play?)





Scenery
Costumes
Props
Sound and Music
Make-up

Performance Elements

(What do the actors do on stage to make a character come alive?)

• Acting
• Speaking
• Non-verbal Expression

But…what do all these
words mean?

All the elements of drama
combine to make a good
production. They are all
important. Some demonstrate
more of one element than
others.

Literary Elements
• Script?
• A script is the written words and
directions of a play.

Literary Elements
• Plot?
• The plot is the storyline or
arrangement of action.

Literary Elements
• Character?
• A character is a person portrayed in
a drama.

Literary Elements
• Story Organization?
• The story organization is how a story
is told – the beginning, middle and
end.

Literary Elements

• Setting?
• The setting is where the action takes
place.

Literary Elements
• Dialogue?
• A dialogue is a spoken conversation
between two characters.

Literary Elements
• Monologue?
• A monologue is a long speech made by
one person.
• Soliloquy? A character alone on stage
reveals private thoughts.
• Aside? A character briefly expresses
private thoughts to the audience that
other characters on stage cannot hear.

Literary Elements
• Conflict?
• The internal or external struggle
between opposing forces, ideas, or
interests that create dramatic
tension.

Technical Elements
• Scenery?
• The scenery is theatrical equipment
such as curtains, backdrops, and
platforms to communicate the
environment. An example might be
trees to show a forest environment.

Technical Elements
• Props?
• Props are any article other than
costumes or scenery used as part of
a dramatic production. An example
might be a table on the stage.

Technical Elements
• Sound and Music?
• Sound is the effect an audience
hears during a show, like the sound
of rain. And music – well, you know
what music is!

Technical Elements

• Make-up?
• Make-up is the use of costumes, wigs
and body paint to transform an actor
into a character.

Performance Elements
• Acting?
Acting is how speaking and moving
help to create characters.

Performance Elements
• Non-verbal Expression
Non-expression includes gestures,
facial expressions, and movement.

Performance Elements
• Speaking
Speaking is vocal expression,
projection, speaking style and
diction.

The ancient Greeks developed
drama, making two basic types of
play.
These two types are:
 A Tragedy
 A Comedy

Tragedy
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

Tragedy

The protagonist of most classical tragedies
is a tragic hero. This hero
• is noble and in many
ways admirable
• has a tragic flaw, a
personal failing that
leads to a tragic end

pride

rebelliousness

jealousy

Comedy
A comedy is a play that ends happily. The
plot usually centers on a romantic conflict.
boy meets girl

boy loses girl

boy wins girl

Comedy
The main characters in a comedy could be
anyone:

nobility

townspeople

servants

Comedy
• Comic complications always
occur before the conflict is
resolved.

• In most cases, the play
ends with a wedding.

Conclusion
A comedy ends happily after an amusing
series of problem.
Tragedy stresses human greatness, but
comedy emphasizes human faults and the
weaknesses of society

Thanks