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Drama One Act Play Report

Drama One Act Play Report

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A Report Presented to: Prof. Rosario Dumagpi Division of Professional Education University of the Philippines Visayas

Submitted by: Ma. Luisa P. Alba M Ed. ESL- II August 14, 2010

DRAMA WHAT IS DRAMA? Drama is a literary composition to be acted by players on a stage before an audience. Its successful portrayal depends on the cooperation that must exist among writers, actors, producers and audiences in accepting the limitations and the conventions of the stage. Since the turn of the twentieth century, modern drama has become the greatest form of mass entertainment in the western world. Experimentation and innovation are basic to this century’s dramatist. Through movies and television, everyone has experienced the excitement and emotional involvement that gives the drama its important place in our lives today. The drama is difficult to read because it is meant to be seen, not read. It demands much imagination and attention on the part of the reader to enable him to hear the tones and see the actions of the actors against an imaginary background. The reader has only the dialogue form which to visualize the costumes, the situation, the facial expressions, and the movements of the actors.


Setting B. lighting. characters and theme. and the visual presence of the actors. Conflict E. A. structure. and sound effects to carry the actions and events that cannot be presented visually. lighting effects. and depend on dialogue. Suspense and Atmosphere The literary elements of the drama include setting. ELEMENTS OF THE DRAMA A. The actions must be physically restricted on the stage. The playwright must confine his locations to scenes that can be constructed on the stage and limited to as a few changes as possible. B.The drama is also difficult to write because the playwright must be aware of the interests and opinions of the actors and producer as well as his audience. It is this physical confinement that makes writing plays more difficult than any other narrative form. Plot 3 . suspense and atmosphere. Theme F. Each of these elements are inherent in any narrative composition. the set and costumes. Characters and Characterization D. plot. Setting The setting of a drama presented on stage must be adapted to the limitations of the stage area. Essential to the effective presentation of these elements are conflict. but drama adds extra elements of stage direction. He must also recognize the limitation of the stage and work within the many conventions and restrictions it imposes on the actions of his characters and the locations of his settings. Plot and Plot structures C.

the modern theatre audience is accustomed to sitting for only two to three hours to watch a play. Diagram of the Six-Fold structure of Drama 4 . Technical Divisions – Acts and scenes are the divisions of a play. presenting background information and any necessary explanation of the situation. 2. However. It introduces the characters. This means the average modern play must be limited to three acts. is similar to that of the novel or short story. Structure of the play: The technical development or structuring of the action in a drama is similar to that of a novel: • A preliminary exposition opens up the play. It must have the same characteristics of development and structuring. • The falling action follows the climax as the conflict works itself out either for or against the protagonist. Shakespeare’s plays are mainly five acts in length. A few modern plays run longer and have five or six acts. which also has the benefit of keeping set changes minimum. and depend on conflict. although limited in its physical actions and changes of location or scene. with many changes of scene with each act. • The rising action then develops through a series of incidents and minor crises which lead up to the climax or the turning point of the struggle when the action turns against the protagonist. • The denoument presents the final outcomes of the struggle. • The moment of inciting force follows the preliminary exposition in which the conflict is presented and the main action begins. 1. but it is necessarily a tragic ending. sometimes referred to as the catastrophe which is the end of the struggle. suspense and mood to carry the action forward.The plot of the drama.

It can be accomplished through a series of crises and a major crisis or climax. inevitable in its solutions. brief. 5 . surprise or use of the unexpected. and realistic in its purpose. moves in waves of emotional crises. They develop through series of crises that move in waves of heightened emotion. Every detail must have a purpose: characters are introduced in their roles. unless it is a surprise ending. the time and place are given. all moving upwards to a peak of crisis or climax where the action reverses from the previous rising action and the events go for or against the protagonist towards a final outcome. • Suspense: Suspense in situations which rouse our concern for the welfare of the characters can be created in many ways in a play. • Complications: The complications which keep the plot moving forward must have some basis in real life. Developing the Action Preliminary Exposition: The beginning must be clear.3. disguise. the mood and tone are established. and the intervention of chance or fate. foreshadowing. The falling action. The denoument should be natural in its outcome. like the rising action. and any necessary hints at the outcome or suggestion of theme that will give understanding to the plot is provided. withholding information. background information is given. and interesting.

• Dramatic Emphasis: Emphasis is maintained by demonstrating every point to the audience. and the growing tension of the plot. and sound effects. everything in them. the music or sound effects. All information. furnishing. 6 . permitting no waste of movements. emotions. Artistic economy must be observed at all times. the opening dialogue. as well as the behaviour of characters and interpretations of their speeches. lighting. An epilogue is a speech made by an actor after the play is over. while maintaining a naturalness that does not destroy the continuity of events. Its purpose is to present an explanatory poem or speech that introduces information that is needed to start the play. and reactions must be presented through speech and action. • Atmosphere: The atmosphere and mood of the drama is created by the set. words. This means that stage direction must succeed in reaching the audience through effective use of speech. dialogue must not wander away from the major concerns of the plot nor must it be directed towards superfluous or unrelated detail. or events to obtain an overall unit and emphasis of purpose. Every scene or conversation between characters must have a purpose. • Stage Directions and Their Value: As plays are intended to be seen. Exits and entrances must be managed with purpose and be properly timed to gain dramatic emphasis. the facial expressions and gestures of the actors. exits. • Prologue and Epilogue: A prologue is generally given by an actor before the play begins. not read. must be seen or heard. entrances. Stage directions must determine the actor’s movements. choice of costumes. attitudes. the furnishings. the lighting. It may be used by the playwright to reveal what happened afterwards or to point out the lesson of the play. action. In this way he is able to convey the meaning behind his play and its outcomes which could not be done naturally within the plot.

Sudden changes in character. There may be a clash of wills in a conflict of purposes. Characters and Characterization Characters in a play are portrayed by actors who speak the dialogue and carry out the action of the play. • All characters must appear natural so that their motivations and reactions as well as their exits and entrances seem realistic to the audience. Some dramatists introduce a wider range of characters into their plays than other authors. sometimes internal and psychological. they have control of the action.C. Conflict Drama is created by conflict. mistimed facial expressions or smiles when the mood is sad or hostile must be avoided if the play is to be consistent in its portrayal and effective emotionally and intellectually for the audience. D. sometimes external and physical. inappropriate gestures. at other times. • Characters must be strongly drawn. Their dialogue carries the plot and theme of the play and must be adapted to their individual characters. Theme Theme in a drama is similar in its aspects to those of the short story or novel. it must still reveal their character. It usually involves opposing forces. wrong dialogue. E. If dialogue is unrealistic. or there may be a mental or emotional conflict within on person. Sometimes characters may be merely instruments in the plot. 7 . most developed range of any playwright. consistent and believable. Shakespeare has the widest. • Characters are developed through their dialogue and their actions.

Thought 4. which in turn provides the blueprint for performance or the script.” citing epic poems of his age as 8 . By the term unity of action. unlike the historian or journalist who reports events that may be the result of accident or anomaly. a play’s action is of the utmost importance. Song and Dance 6. the skillful tragedian introduces only those incidents that follow probably or logically from those that precede them. but it can without characters. Language 5. Different plots or actions demand different kinds of characters thought. This action is constructed in a play. he means that the best drama. unified means that all the scenes in the play are linked together by “probability and necessity. Character 3.ARISTOTLE’S SIX ELEMENTS OF DRAMA 1. In this instance. are limitations of an action that is unified and complete. particularly tragedies. Spectacle or Visual Excess • Action or plot – For Aristotle.Aristotle believed that dramatic action was so significant that a tragedy “cannot exist without a plot.” That is to say. • Character . and language. originate in a plays action. Action or plot 2. but all of these elements of drama.

This also means the visual elements of the production of a play. or issue the play will develop as the action progress. it may help orient the audience to the fictive space in which the action occurs. • Spectacle.Language in drama is generally communicated in one of the three forms: dialogue. frequently accomplishes several things at once: It reveals something about the characters speaking. it may imply a larger. the scenery. One Act Play 9 . it may contribute for the or rhythm of the play.’ • Though and Language . he seemingly was referring to excess: to violence on stage and lavish visual displays. and soliloquies. Comedy D.When Aristotle denigrated “the visual adornment of the dramatic persons” as the “least artistic element” or tragic drama.examples. TYPES OF DRAMA A. it may aid in advancing the plot. drama in performance appeals to both the eye and the ear. But in fact. it usually reveals something about his /her attitude towards the characters with whom he or she is speaking and about the topics they are discussing. Social Criticism E. Historical B. monologue (including asides or direct addresses to the audience). costumes. in topic. the history of drama since Aristotle often appears to suggest just the opposite: that the most influential plays are so influential precisely because they create unique characters or “personalities. either by providing necessary exposition of the past or foreshadowing of the future. Tragedy C. and special effects in a production. Nevertheless. meaning. Dialogues like that in André’s Mother.

as defined by Aristotle is designed to “ arouse the emotions of pity and fear and thus to produce in the audience a catharsis of these emotions” (relieving of emotional tension). Costume. dealt with the lives of the saints. Masques originally were adaptations of pagan ceremonies in which the actors. like the Miracle plays. dancing and singing were more important than the action. satirical or moral qualities. His actions bring calamity to all concerned. and Othello. Modern tragedy includes Death of a Salesman. In doing so. ambition or overconfidence. 2. Masques became rather elaborate productions during the Elizabethan period. HISTORICAL DRAMA: 1. Classical Tragedy. 4.A. Hamlet. TRAGEDY Is drama which involves the ruin of the leading character(s). In Greek tragedy the nemesis or punishment for such hubris was retribution equal to or greater than the offense. The medieval Miracle Play dramatized the lives of the saints. Classical tragedy requires a protagonist to make a choice that is the result of tragic flaw. Examples are Shakespeare’s tragedies. the actors personified religious. hubris. political. B. 1. 3. dancing silently and then moving on. In classical tragedy nemesis demands 10 . Usually allegorical. God’s enactments were dramatized for the congregations who were unable to read or understand the Latin Services. Chronicle Plays. he rises above his place in the natural order of men and gods and takes the life of another human being. wearing masks paraded through the streets and moved in and out of houses. Macbeth. The Medieval Mystery play dealt with stories of the bible and its characters. His choice is an error in judgement which he makes out of excessive pride.

combines all forms of tragedy and uses plays from each of the previous centuries. Shakespearean plays continue to find large audiences. Pride and ambition lead him to break a moral code or to ignore divine warnings for which he is punished by death. and modern tragedies. Romantic Tragedy. for example. The antics of the Three Stooges are farce.also has a protagonist who is a tragic hero who falls victim to a tragic flaw in his character. Modern Tragedy. Comedy is drama which involves real but temporary difficulties of the leading characters. 4. Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 3. and Macbeth in battle at the hands of Macduff whose family Macbeth also murdered. based on the same Greek and Shakespearean use of the tragic hero with his tragic flaw have become classics of the twentieth century. There are several types of comedy: 1. C. resulting from her guilt and ensuing insanity. Allows for humour and the grotesque. conspires with his wife to kill Banquo so they may usurp the throne Nemesis for such an immoral crime is death for them both. 11 . The ending is happy in that the conflict is resolved to the advantage of the protagonist(s). 2. Elizabethan tragedies are mainly romantic tragedies. Elizabethan Tragedy.the death of the hero in the final scene and generally all those who were implicated in his crime. It involves ridiculous or hilarious complications. Farce is comedy which depends wholly on laughable situations. she by illness.Requires a greater development of character and theme of plot.

One-Act Plays Is similar to a short story in its limitations. Tragi-comedy is drama which does not involve death or disaster but which verges on tragedy or bitter satire. ONE ACT PLAY 12 . 3. condensed. Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice uses this to present this infamous Shylock. Drama of Social Criticism This category includes plays in which social. Fantastic Comedy deals with impossible situation in terms of ordinary human nature. screen. An example is Peter Pan. and very limited in character development. It aims at emotional thrills. but an unexpected turn of events leads to a happy conclusion. Dialogue and plot must carry the action forward smoothly and quickly. economic or political problems and themes are portrayed. Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan or James Barrie’s Admirable Creighton are good examples. 4. One situation or episode is presented. D. Serious in theme and plot. overly dramatic characters and situation. It is brief. 6. while paying little attention to human values or reality. and single in effect. Comedy of Manners treats of polite society satirically and superficially. There is a complete drama within one act. Melodrama depends on exciting scenes. quickly introduced. but not laughter. and television fall into this category. Burlesque depends on laughable or exaggerated imitations of well known characters or events. Characters are few in number. permitting no minor plots or side actions that may distract attention for the single purpose and effect being developed.2. 5. and highly charged emotional reactions. tragiccomedy seems to be leading to catastrophe. Many modern plays on stage.

In a full-length play. Like all drama.the hero. Theme The one-act needs to have a theme or thought just as a full-length does. Character. What is the play about? Revenge? Self-discovery? Whatever your choice. and dialogue. For a full-length play. plots. In a one-act play there is really only time for one significant event. and subplots need to point to and support the theme. The origin of the one-act play may be traced to the very beginning of drama: in ancient Greece. Plot. And any events that follow must be inferred or understood by the audience that they will occur. one act plays are made up of the same elements that are necessary for short stories : Theme. Some characteristics of the supporting 13 . it needs to be clear in your mind what your theme is. Character There is really only enough time in this to get to know one character well -. The one-act is not much different. In the short time that the one-act play is going. is an early example. a satyr play by Euripides. again. One-act plays may consist of one or more scenes. as distinct from plays that occur over several acts. especially in writing competitions.A one-act play is a play that has only one act. In recent years the 10-minute play known as "flash drama" has emerged as a popular sub-genre of the one-act play. except the subplots will likely be absent. where all is won or lost. all characters. This is the determining place for the hero. Cyclops. Plot This is much different in the one-act than in the full-length. Events that lead up to this must be incorporated into the script without the benefit of the audience seeing them. it is the hero's event that the audience is experiencing. there isn't time for more than that. the plot is the series and sequence of events that lead the hero (and the audience) on the journey.

Observe details of speech. The Technic of the one act play a. The plot of the one act play 1. 14 . Any lines that do not point to the focus of the play should be carefully considered whether they are needed. including the antagonist. The Theme of the On-Act play 2. The dialogue need not be terse.characters. 1. The middle of the play 3. Each line must be crafted carefully to focus on the theme. the incident. and the character of the protagonist. We can isolate four aspects of interpretation that we perform almost automatically. Dramatic Analysis and Construction of the One-Act. The end of the play A. setting. Dialogue Economy is the key here. but must be concise and full of meaning. but it is the character of the protagonist that is vital to the story line. and action. The characters in the one act play b. will need to be portrayed for the story to move forward. Dialogue of the play THE INTERPRETATION OF DRAMA Interpretation is a series of intellectual and analytical mental acts that lead to a conclusion about the play’s meaning and significance.Play 1. The beginning of the one act play 2.

In reading (or viewing ) any play. We ask ourselves not so much: How do I respond to the speech and actions of the characters?” but instead “ What do their speech and actions signify: what do they mean?” THE EVALUATION OF DRAMA What do we mean by the values displayed in a play? Generally speaking. and social norms.2. 3. it is important to distinguish between our experience of a play and our interpretation of it. we relate them so they begin to make sense to us.based on these connections. In considering such values as they emerge from our reading of any play. our perception of the characters’ values will affect to a considerable degree. and ethnicity. interpretation concerns our comprehension of the work after we have finished reading or seeing it performed. we try to discover what it might mean for others as well. religious beliefs. Our experience of a play involves our emotions and subjective impressions of the plays dramatic action. moral dispositions. Draw inferences ----educated guess or hypotheses----. or otherwise affects us. as well as religious and cultural identity. Since the values a play’s characters display typically constitute an important focus of dramatic interest. 4. 15 . pleases. Our interpretation of a play involves our ideas and thought about the meaning of that action. and evaluation of the overall work. Connect these details into patterns. and subjective: we discover how it entertains. we mean such things as cultural attitudes. Our experience concerns our direct apprehension of the ongoing performance either on stage or in our mind’s eye. we should be careful to distinguish between the attitudes and dispositions of individual characters and those of the play (those of the author). interpretation. moves. is important in assessing its worth both for ourselves and for others. personal. Our experience of a play is private. In interpreting a play. We should also be aware of how our social and perspectives may differ in important ways from the social norms and cultural attitudes of earlier times. To acknowledge how our individual way of responding to a play is influenced by gender. or own experience. Formulate from our inferences a consistent and coherent interpretation of the play. frustrates. race.

a small stage is inadequate for the movement of many people. in conjunction with a subjective and immediate response to our experience of it. 16 . We evaluate and interpret a play. moreover. and evaluation) affects the other. We may derive aesthetic pleasure from these and many other exhibitions of stagecraft. we may admire the way playwrights structure plots. constitute the basis for our evaluation. So the evaluation of any play is tied to our interpretation of it. The preparation of the prompt book 5. moreover. that each aspect of reading (experience. And the enjoyment we derive. The assignment and responsibilities 4. But our interpretation is affected by our perception of the moral and cultural values it exhibits. For example.Further complicating our evaluation of a play is the extent to which we appreciate and enjoy its literary and theatrical artistry. then. coupled with our assessment of what we understand as the playwright’s central values or controlling idea. if possible. should offer parts which are quite different from those played previously. We may find merit in portrayals of characters or the symbolic use of costume and setting. We do not first interpret the play and then evaluate it. 1. largely by dangling before us a series of temporarily unanswered questions. interpretation. We may be affected by the language of the play. We perform the two acts together. In identifying the play’s central concerns and in deciding which values are endorsed by the playwright. both on long speeches and in briefer exchanges of dialogue. We can say. we shift back and forth between interpretation and evaluation. A play having not more than five or six characters is usually most satisfactory. and the three aspects of reading drama taken together define or “reading” of any play. Selection of the play 2. Casting of characters 3. Schedule of rehearsals. The characterizations should be stimulating to all members of the cast and. In the planning of a production there are several important steps. The play selected should be one in which everyone will enjoy working. since larger groups find it difficult to schedule rehearsals.

but rather the result of organized planning. Cast of characters and staging responsibilities. and coordinated responsibilities. Breakdown of the play 6. Director A. prop manager. 2. sound music. without which there is chaos. It is important because the production of a play is not a haphazard affair. Ground plan 5. mood.is one of the important techniques to be learned from the project. which will contain 1. sound and music manager. and business or publicity manager Prompt book. major conflict. Prop plot 8. stage manager. Make-up plots 10. Complete script with movement and business 17 . lights 11.As soon as you have decided upon your play you will need to order additional copies from the publisher. Interpretation of the play—theme. effective leadership. climax 3. Supervise the preparation of the prompt book. The prompt book for a major production is compiled and kept by the director. Costume plot 9. Cue sheets for curtain . It is a working handbook of all of the details connected with the play. costume manager. Style of production 4. While awaiting the arrival of these you will have an opportunity to plan all the details of the production. Rehearsal schedule 7. All production duties should be assigned to and agreed upon by a director. make-up manager.

Supervise all the collection of necessary props and safe return of all borrowed items. Record of other details 14. C. Hold the prompt book during the rehearsals. 2. Set up the stage for rehearsals and production. Stage Manager A. Supervise rehearsals 1. Names. Draw the ground plan and make set sketch or model set if needed. II. Prepare the personal prop chat. which lists all necessary props on stage and in the wings when necessary props on stage and in the wings when the curtain rises. Publicity management 13. III. B. Make the cue sheet for curtain. in which the play and character relationships are discussed and agreed upon. tempo and projection. D. F. B. be responsible for unity. Prop Manager A. 18 . Supervise all backstage activity during rehearsals and production. Conduct reading rehearsal. Prepare for the set the prop plot. which lists by character all props carried or handles by the actors. addresses. Be familiar with the movement and business of each character so that you can take an actor’s play during the rehearsal. Study the principles of movement and design. C.12. E. and phone numbers of entire cast B.

Supervise the costume wardrobes during the dress rehearsals and production. D. Design the make-up charts for each actor. and draw costumes sketches for each character. Acquire the necessary make-up materials. Supervise props used during rehearsals and productions. Supervise the collection of sound-effect equipment. IV. Sound and Music Manager A. 2. Be responsible for the safe return of all borrowed items. C. Coordinate the costume ensembles as to color and style. the making and pressing of costumes. C. Supervise the selection and collection of music effects: 1. VI. Supervise the application of make-up. D. Make-up Manager A.D. and the safe return of all borrowed items. Establish and maintain clean. orderly dressing rooms V. specifying the exact materials used. Supervise the collection of costume articles. Prepare the costume plot. do any necessary research on period costumes. C. Music required in the script. B. Operate the sound and music effects during the rehearsals and production. B. Music to establish mood. E. Make the cue sheets for sound and music effects. 19 . B. Costume Manager A.

if this is required. amount. and tme. Provide ushers. a host for invited guests. VII. Organize the development of publicity as to kind. 20 . Make necessary preparations if other cases or guests are to be invited.D. E. and an announcer for the production. Make the posters and programs. B. D. Be responsible for the cleanliness of the make-up room and for returning make-up supplies. Publicity Manager A. C. See that royalty is paid.

com. Tennessee Williams: A Guide to Research and Performance.G and Sutcliffe.kyshakes. P.d.) Retrieved last August 8. W. Kalaidjian. New York: McGraw-Hill.BIBLIOGRAPHY: - Barnes.all ( 2004) Understanding Literature: An understanding to reading and Writing. CT: Greenwood Pulishing Group “Aristotle’s Six Elements of Drama” (n. New York: MacMillan Company DiYanni. Everyone. Poetry.ph/book 21 - - - - - .).2010 from http://books. Drama. Inc. and the Essay (3rd ed.google.(1954) On Stage. R.et. ( 1998).J. (1994) Literature: Reading Fiction.org/Resources/Aristotle.d) Retrieved August 8.html “Contemporary One Act Plays” (n.2010 from http://www. Houghton Mifflin Company Kolin. M.

2010 from http://www.d.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-act_play “What’s in a One Act Play” (n.d) Retrieved last August 8.suite101.cfm/playwriting/72788/1#ixzz0ufadW0I2 - : 22 .- “One Act Play” (n.com/article.2010 from http://en.) Retrieved last August 8.

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