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noun / drm / dramas, plural 1. A play for theater, radio, or television - a gritty urban drama about growing up in Harlem Such works as a genre or style of literature - Renaissance drama An exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances - a hostage drama - an afternoon of high drama at Fenway Park



Web definitions

play: a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage; "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"

an episode that is turbulent or highly emotional

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance.Elam (1980, 98). The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" (Classical Greek: , drama), which is derived from "to do" (Classical Greek: , drao). ...

A composition, normally in prose, telling a story and intended to be represented by actors impersonating the characters and speaking the dialogue; Such a work for television, radio or the cinema (usually one that is not a comedy); Theatrical plays in general; A dramatic situation in real life; ... Drama (literally translated as action, from a verbal root meaning "To do") is the branch of theatre in which speech, either from written text (plays), or improvised is paramount. And the companion word drama is also Greek, dran meaning to do. ...

voice, movement, gesture, focus, language, sound, silence, tension, conflict, climax, contrast, mood, symbol. Drama also uses stagecraft elements including acting, direction, dramaturgy, stage management, sound effects and/or accompaniment, properties, lighting, costume, make-up and set design. The art of composing, writing, acting, or producing plays; a literary composition intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions exhibited through action and dialogue, designed for theatrical performance.

Welcome to TheaterPedia -- The Theater Encyclopedia

We search the major search engines and remove the duplicates, the advertising sites, the pop-up ads, and anything that might harm your computer. Then we include all the related products and services in this easy-to-remember place Theater: From the French word "thtre", from Greek "theatron", meaning "place of seeing", is the branch of the performing arts defined as simply as what "occurs when one or more human beings, isolated in time and/or space, present themselves to another or others." By this broad definition, theatre has existed since the dawn of man, as a result of human tendency for story telling. Since its inception, theatre has come to take on many forms, often utilizing elements such as speech, gesture, music, dance, and spectacle, combining the other performing arts, often as well as the visual arts, into a single artistic form. Modern Western theatre is dominated by realism, although many other forms, including classical and experimental forms, as well as Eastern forms, are frequently performed. The earliest recorded theatrical event dates back to 2000 BC with the passion plays of Ancient Egypt. This story of the god Osiris was performed annually at festivals throughout the civilization, marking the known beginning of a long relationship between theater and religion. The Ancient Greeks were the first to begin to formalize theater as an art, developing strict definitions of tragedy and comedy as well as other forms, including satyr plays. Like the passion plays of Ancient Egypt, Greek plays made use of mythological characters. The Greeks were also the first to develop the concepts of dramatic criticism, acting as a career, and theater architecture.

Western theater continued to develop under the Roman Empire, in medieval England, and continued to thrive, taking on many forms in Spain, Italy, France, and Russia in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. A uniquely American theater developed along with the colonization of North America. The history of Eastern theater is traced back to 1000 BC with the Sanskrit drama of India. Japanese forms of Kabuki, Noh, and Kyogen date back to the 17th centuries. Other Eastern forms were developed throughout China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Types of Theaters:< Drama: Drama (literally translated as action, from a verbal root meaning "To do") is the branch of theatre in which speech, either from written text (plays), or improvised is paramount. And the companion word drama is also Greek, dran meaning to do. The first theatre, the Theatre of ancient Greece, created the definition of a theatre: an audience in a halfcircle watching an elevated stage where actors use props staging plays. Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance routines, and spoken dialogue. However, theatre is more than just what one sees on stage. Theatre involves an entire world behind the scenes that creates the costumes, sets, and lighting to make the overall effect interesting. Political Theatre: There is a long tradition of political theatre, which aims to educate audiences on contemporary issues and encourage social change. The Catholic church took advantage of the entertainment value of theatre to create passion plays, mystery plays, and morality plays. Sanskrit Theatre: The Kutiyattam Sanskrit theatre from the province of Kerala, is one of the oldest living theatrical traditions in India. It is traditionally performed in the Kuttampalams, theatres located in Hindu temples. The Kutiyattam goes back more than 2000 years and represents a unique synthesis of Sanskrit classicism and local traditions of Kerala (particularly the comic theatre in the Malayalam language). Artist Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar as Ravana in KutiyattamAn overview of the traditional theatres of India suggests that multiple systems of communication are ordered into hierarchies that vary from theatre to theatre. Abstract masks and song-less mime dominate the Seraikella Chhau of Bihar, while the shifting use of municipal space flavours the grand Ram Lila at Ramnagar in Uttar Pradesh. In the Kuchipudi theatre (Andhra Pradesh) and the Bhagavatamela (Tanjore district, Tamilnadu), elaborate dance and stylised hand gestures prevail. Spectacular headdresses, costumes, and colour-coded makeup distinguish both the Kathakali theatre of Kerala and the Yakshagana of Karnataka. Other Types of Theater: There are a variety of genres that writers, producers, and directors can employ in theatre to suit a variety of tastes:

1. Black Comedy: Comedy that tests the boundaries of good taste and moral acceptability by juxtaposing morbid or ghastly elements with comical ones. 2. Comedy: Comes from the Greek word komos which means celebration, revel, or merrymaking. It does not necessarily mean funny, but can focus on a problem that leads to some form of catastrophe which in the end has a happy and joyful outcome. 3. Comedy of Manners: Witty, cerebral form of dramatic comedy that depicts and often satirises the manners and affectations of a contemporary society. A comedy of manners is concerned with social usage and the question of whether or not characters meet certain social standards. 4. Commedia dell'Arte: A very physical form of comedy which was created and originally performed in Italy. Commedia uses a series of stock characters and a list of events to improvise an entire play. Devised theatre, also called 'collaborative creation': Where the piece is originally created not by a writer or writers, but by the performers themselves. 5. Domestic Drama: Drama that focuses on the everyday domestic lives of people and their relationships in the community where they live. 6. Farce: A comic dramatic piece that uses highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters, extravagant exaggeration, fast pacing, and violent horseplay. 7. Grand Guignol: Now broadly used to refer to any play with on-stage violence, the term originally referred to the bloody and gruesome melodramas produced at the Theatre du Grand Guignol in Paris, France. Improvisational theatre: A form of theatre where some or all of the action is created by the performers during the performance. 8. Melodrama: Originally, a sentimental drama with musical underscoring. Often with an unlikely plot that concerns the suffering of the good at the hands of the villains but ends happily with good triumphant. Featuring stock characters such as the noble hero, the long-suffering heroine, and the cold-blooded villain. 9. Meta-Theatre: A genre of theatre made popular with mostly modern audiences, although it did start back in the Elizabethan Era. Meta-Theatre is when a play often completely demolishes the so called "fourth wall" and completely engages the audience. Often about a group of actors, a director, writer and so on. It usually blurs the line between what is scripted and what goes on by accident. 10. Morality Play: An allegory in which the characters are abstractions of moral ideas. 11. Musical Theatre: A theatrical genre in which a story is told through the performance of singing (with instrumental music), spoken dialogue, and often dance. 12. Natya: Sacred classical Indian musical theatre that includes natya proper (mime) and nritta (pure dance). 13. Nautanki: A diverse Indian form of street plays consisting of folklore and mythological dramas with interludes of folk songs and dances. 14. Opera: A theatrical genre in which a story is told and emotion is conveyed primarily through singing (with instrumental music). 15. Pantomime: A form of musical drama in which elements of dance, mime, puppetry, slapstick, and melodrama are combined to produce an entertaining and comic theatrical experience, often designed for children. 16.Poor Theatre: Jerzy Grotowski coined the phrase "poor theatre" in reference to the work he was doing with his theatre troupe in Poland. Grotowski's style of poor theatre consisted of many important fine points. For one, there was not a separate stage and place for the audience; instead the actors and the audience shared the same space.

There were no sets, props, lighting, music, or any other technical features. The actors were paramount, although their costumes were simple. Grotowski had his actors go through physical training, and even would spend many months rehearsing a play. Some of these poor theatre plays would only be performed once, to a small audience. This theatre style was very popular during the 1960s and 70s, and later on, was used by many acting troupes around the world. 17. Physical Theatre: Theatrical performance in which the primary means of communication is the body, through dance, mime, puppetry and movement, rather than the spoken word. 18. Rock opera: Concept albums and stage works performed in a dramatic context reminiscent of opera, except that the musical form is rock music. 19. Romantic Comedy: A medley of clever scheming, calculated coincidence, and wondrous discovery, all of which contribute ultimately to making the events answer precisely to the hero's or heroine's wishes, with the focus on love. Satire: Plays of comedy/drama where the use of wit (mainly via humor), especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to attack the vices and follies of humankind drives the story. Also: mocking, ironic, spoof, sardonic, humorous, tongue-in-cheek, and sarcastic themes, sayings, quips and tones of speech support the style. 20. Theatre for Social Change: Theatre that addresses a social issue and uses performance as a way of illustrating injustice to the audience. 21. Theatre of the Absurd: Term coined by Martin Esslin to refer to playwrights in Europe and the United States after World War II whose work reflected a sense of being adrift in a world where known values had been shattered. No playwrights ever dubbed themselves "Absurdists," although it has become commonplace to refer to Samuel Beckett, Eugne Ionesco, Harold Pinter, and Jean Genet, among others, by this term. It can be seen as related to the philosophy of existentialism. 22. Total Theatre: Most frequently invoked in reference to Richard Wagner's concept of a Gesamtkuntswerk, or "Total Art Work," in which music, drama, and dance operate together. It has also been used by artists such as Steven Berkoff, who created a style where the actors become both characters and set, often using just one prop throughout the entire play. The style uses features of Greek theatre (eg. a chorus or didactic message), exaggeration and surrealism. 23. Tragedy: A drama that treats in a serious and dignified style the sorrowful or terrible events encountered or caused by a heroic individual. The word "Tragedy" comes from the Greek word "Tragos" which is translated to "Goat". The original meaning may come from the mystery plays of the cult of Dionysos, which centered on the god being killed and his body ripped to pieces, and with a goat or other animal as a proxy for the bloodshed. 24. Tragicomedy: A drama that has a bitter/sweet quality, containing elements of tragedy and comedy. Theatrical Philosophy: Amazonas Theatre in Manaus, Brazil.There are a variety of philosophies, artistic processes, and theatrical approaches to creating plays and drama. Some are connected to political or spiritual ideologies, and some are based on purely "artistic" concerns. Some processes focus on a story, some on theatre as event, and some on

theatre as catalyst for social change. According to Aristotle's seminal theatrical critique Poetics, there are six elements necessary for theatre: Plot, Character, Idea, Language, Song, and Spectacle. The 17th century Spanish writer Lope de Vega wrote that for theatre one needs "three boards, two actors, and one passion". Others notable for their contribution to theatrical philosophy are Konstantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Orson Welles, Peter Brook, and Jerzy Grotowski. Some theatre theorists argue that actors should study all of the commonly-taught acting methods to perfect their craft (though many others disagree), such as the Meisner, Stanislavsky, Strasberg, and Hagen acting methods. Theater, overall, encompasses people, ideas, and the works of art that result from their collaboration. Technical Theatre: The most recognisable figures in theatre are the directors, playwrights, and actors, but theatre is a highly collaborative endeavour. Plays are usually produced by a production team that commonly includes a scenic or set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, sound designer, dramaturg, stage manager, and production manager. The artistic staff is assisted by technical theatre personnel who handle creation and execution of the production. If you have information or links that you would like included in TheaterPedia, please email us at where you spend less time searching, and more time finding what you want.
Drama A Drama is a serious, intense, or well plotted story that elicits emotion; Traditionally performed on stage before an audience, but nowadays can refer to a TV show/movie/Broadway etc... 3 Types of Drama Genres

2. 3.

Tragedy Comedy Melodrama

Features of Drama -to be performed on stage/ to be performed in an audience -dialogue -actors -actions

Elements of Drama Collaboration/Convention starting point of theatrical performance Plot sequence o events Audience

- Dialogue - Theme - refers to the idea/ thought/moral lesson - Stagecraft - Music/Sound - Character - Spectacle - scene costumes Read more:


Drama is a literary composition involving conflict, action crisis and atmosphere designed to be acted by players on a stage before an audience. This definition may be applied to motion picture drama as well as to the traditional stage. Apply these questions to a recent movie you have seen or a radio or television drama, Conflict
1. 2.


What did the leading character want? What stood in his way? (People - environmentpersonality, etc,) What was the high point of tension or the crisis? (This is where the leading character must make a crucial decision that will effect the outcome of the play.)

Character analysis

2. 3.


Are the characters true to life or are they types or caricatures? How is the character revealed? What is the driving force of each leading character? If a character changes, are the causes convincing and true to life?

1. 2. 3.

Are the sets appropriate? Are they attractive? Are they authentic?

Critical standards useful for drama, novel, motion pictures:



3. 4. 5. 6.

What is the chief emphasis (ideas, character, atmosphere)? What was the purpose? (entertainment, humor, excitement)? Is it realistic or romantic? Does it show life as it really is or distort life? Does it present any problem of human relationship? Does it glamorize life and present an artificial happy ending?

Types of Drama:






Tragedy -- In general, tragedy involves the ruin of the leading characters. To the Greeks, it meant the destruction of some noble person through fate, To the Elizabethans, it meant in the first place death and in the second place the destruction of some noble person through a flaw in his character. Today it may not involve death so much as a dismal life, Modern tragedy often shows the tragedy not of the strong and noble but of the weak and mean, Comedy -- is lighter drama in which the leading characters overcome the difficulties which temporarily beset them Problem Play -- Drama of social criticism discusses social, economic, or political problems by means of a play. Farce -- When comedy involves ridiculous or hilarious complications without regard for human values, it becomes farce. Comedy of Manners -- Comedy which wittily portrays fashionable life. Fantasy -- A play sometimes, but not always, in comic spirit in which the author gives free reign to


his fantasy, allowing things to happen without regard to reality. Melodrama -- Like farce, melodrama pays almost no attention to human values, but its object is to give a thrill instead of a laugh. Often good entertainment, never any literary value.

Types of Drama of Historical Interest:




Medieval mystery plays -- dealt with Bible stories and allegorical mysteries. Chronicle plays -- dealt directly with historical scenes and characters. Masques -- were slight plays involving much singing and dancing and costuming. They were usually allegorical.

Drama is the most dependent of art forms -- director, actors, scene and costume designers must interpret before the audience does. The Place of the Actor


The player should respect his play, his part, his fellow players, and his audience. He should have imagination enough to create character for us instead of merely exploiting his own personality.


He should have a technical equipment in his 'voice, facial expression, bodily poise, gesture, and by-play that enables him to project the character as he conceives it.

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More Literary Terms

1. Allusion - an indirect reference by casually mentioning something that is generally familiar (In literature we find many allusions to mythology, the Bible, history, etc.) 2. Aside - Lines whispered to the audience or to another character on stage (not meant to be heard by all the characters on stage) 3. Catastrophe - the final event in a drama (a death in a tragedy or a marriage in a comedy) 4. Comedy - A light play with a happy ending

5. Comic Relief - A bit of humor injected into a serious play to relieve the heavy tension of tragic events 6. Crisis or Climax - the turning point in the plot (This occurs when events develop either for or against the main character and a crucial decision must be made.) 7. Dramatic Irony - occurs when the audience knows something that the character on stage is not aware. 8. Foreshadow - Lines that give a hint or clue to future events (It doesn't tell the future but hints at it.) 9. Irony y

A method of expression in which the ordinary meaning of the word is opposite to the thought in the speaker's mind Events contrary to what would be naturally expected

10. Metaphor - an implied comparison between two different things; identifying a person or object as the thing to which it is being compared. Example: 'It is the East and Juliet is the sun.' 'tossed on the sea of life'

11. Metonymy - a figure of speech whereby the name of a thing is substituted for the attribute which it suggests. Example: The pen (power of literature or the written word) is mightier than the sword (force). 12. Nemesis - agent of retribution (the person who punishes) 13. Personification - giving the quality of life to inanimate things 14. Poetic Justice - The operation of justice in a play with fair distribution of rewards for good deeds and punishment for wrong doing 15. Simile - an expressed comparison between two different things using 'like' or 'as' - Example: 'eyes twinkle like stars' - 'as loud as the roaring sea' 16. Soliloquy - A single character on stage thinking out loud (a way of letting the audience know what is in the character's mind) 17. Tragedy - A serious play having an unhappy ending 18. Tragic Flaw - A character trait that leads one to his/her own downfall or destruction top of page

Exclusive Features of Drama What is Drama?

Drama is an art of writing which can be personified, leading to the climax through series of events; dialogues are also presented between the characters. Here are some critical comments of some famous critics: A play ought to be a just and lively image of human nature, representing its passions and humors, and the changes of fortune to which it is subject for the delight and instruction of mankind. __________ John Dryden

The business of plays is to recommend virtue, and discountenance vice; to show the uncertainty of human greatness, the sudden turns of fate, and the unhappy conclusions of violence and injustice, it is to expose the singularities of pride and fancy, to make folly and falsehood contemptible, and to bring everything that is ill under infamy and neglect. ___________Jeremy Collier

Types of Drama
There are three types of drama which are discussed here:

Aristotle defined tragedy in a comprehensive way. According to him, Tragedy is a representative action, which is serious, complete in itself, and of a certain length; it is expressed in speech made beautiful ways in different parts of the play, it is acted, not narrated and by exciting pity and fear, it gives a healthy relief to such emotions. He has defined logically firstly what tragedy is and what it represents. Secondly, the form it employs is closely elaborated by him. Thirdly, he mentions the manner in which it is communicated, and lastly the function it fulfills. A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also as having magnitude, complete, in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories; each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish the catharsis of such emotions.

Comedy is a story of various habits and customs of public and private affairs, from which one may learn what is of use in life and what must be avoided.

____________ Aelius Donatus Comedy is the mirror of everyday life. ___________ Livius Andronicus Comedy is an imitation of life, a mirror of customs, an image of truth. ___________ Cicero

The fusion of tragedy and comedy, having significant elements as mixture of sorrows, romances, sufferings, forgiveness and reconciliation is called a tragic-comedy. There is no theatre in the world has anything so absurd as the English tragic-comedy. Here a course of mirth; there another of sadness and passion; a third of honor; and the fourth deed. Thus in two hours and half we run through all fits of Bedlams. __________J. Dryden

Who is Dramatist?
The dramatic author has to paint his beaches with real sand, real live men and women move about the stage; we heard real voices; what is feigned merely puts a sense upon wht is; we do actively see a woman go behind screen as Lady Teazle and after a certain interval we do actually see her very shamefully produced again.

Who is Hero?
The legacy of heroes__the memory of a great name and inheritance of a great example. ___________Benjamin Disraeli

What is Heroism?
When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down the fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death____this is heroism. ___________R.G. Ingersall Heroism is the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh; that is to say over fear, fear of poverty, of suffering, of calamity, of sickness, of isolation and of death.

Tragic Hero

Aristotle defines the tragic hero in his own words, There remains, then the intermediate kind of personage, a man not pre-eminently virtuous and just, whose misfortune, however is brought upon him not by vice and depravity but by some error of judgment, of the member of those in the enjoyment of great reputation and prosperity. The tragic hero will most effectively arouse pity and fear, if he is neither thoroughly good nor thoroughly evil but a man likes any of us, though the tragic effect will be stronger if he rather better than most of us. Such man is exhibited as suffering or change in fortune from happiness to misery because of mistaken act due to his Hamartia___that is his tragic flow or tragic error in judgment.

Plot of Tragedy
The plot of tragedy has three characteristics according to Aristotle, It must be of certain size, secondly it must be of a certain structure, finally, the most important thing is that it is the soul of drama. It means that it must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is a situation which has definite consequences, though not very obvious causes, a middle is a situation with both causes and consequences; and an end is the result of the middle but creates no further situation in its turn. The Opening Scenes contain the exposition of the subject. In other words, we are introduced to the principal characters, their stations in life, their viewpoints and interests. We are put in touch with their affairs at the time when the play opens and enough of the story is conveyed to us to stir up our curiosity and to enable us to understand the later parts of the play. The Middle Part, the next step is called the growth or development of the plot towards the climax. The part of the action of this phase is the Tying of Knot. The different motives and interests of the leading characters become involved. Then the complicated situation arises. As the story develops, the suspense and interest of the audience are aroused more and more until we reach a turning point which is called as the climax or crisis. Till this point, the actionmovement has been an ascending one. It now begins to descend. After the turning point has been reached there begins what is known as denouement i.e. the Untying of Knot. The Denouement or resolution must proceed rapidly in order to keep alive the interest of the spectators and not to weary their patience. What is more important, it should proceed naturally from antecedent actions. The final phase of the structure of tragedy is called Catastrophe that is in the case of tragedy, there is the unhappy ending and in the case of the comedy, there is the union of hero and heroine. It is very essential that the Catastrophe must be very simple. It must depend on few events and few passions. It must be brought about by probable and natural means. Thus in the development of the structure of a tragedy, there are five parts namely, the exposition, the complication, the climax, the denouement and the catastrophe.


The catharsis implies not only an emotional relief but a refining or clarifying of emotion. Apply this to tragedy; we observe that the feelings of hate and fear in real life contain morbid and disturbing elements. In the process of tragic excitation, they find relief, and the morbid element is thrown off. As the tragic action progresses when the tumult of the mind, first roused, has afterwards subsided, the lower forms of the emotions are found to have been transmuted into higher and more refined forms. The painful elements in the pity and fear of reality are purged away; the emotions themselves are purged. The curative and tranquilizing influence that tragedy exercises follows as an immediate accompaniment of the transformation of the feelings. Tragedy then does more than homeopathetic cure of certain passions. Its function on this view is not merely to provide an outlet for pity and fear but to provide for them a distinctively aesthetic satisfaction, to purify and clarify them by passing them through the medium of art.

The chorus is a noteworthy element in Greek Tragedy. It consists a group of actions whose aim is to report what happened off the stage and to make such moral comments from time to time, as would be desired effects. It is sometimes an integral part of the plot.