Friday, 3 October 2014

The Structure of a Drama

Every drama, is built on the same fivepart structure:
1. Introduction. The beginning of the drama, during which the major character appears perhaps along with one or two other characters, the plot (action) is initiated, the dramatic conflict is begun or hinted at, and the theme is foreshadowed.
2. Development (with conflict). The main body of the drama, during which the plot advances and dramatic conflict develops.
3. Climax. The point where the dramatic conflict becomes so intense that something must happen to end it.
4. Resolution or denouement. The final portion of the plot, in which the dramatic conflict is resolved or the problem solved. The conflict may be resolved in an unpleasant manner, for example, by divorce, murder, war,or death. Alternatively, the conflict may be resolved amicably or even in an amusing way. In an Enter-Educate drama, a negative resolution demonstrates what can happen if the pro-social message is ignored; a positive resolution shows the rewards of a message learned and practiced.
5. Conclusion. The ending, during which the loose ends of the story are tied up, either by the writer or the audience. Some cultures enjoy “dilemma tales,” in which the action stops just before the conclusion
to allow audience members to fill in the ending for themselves.

What is structure?

The way a play is organised or shaped.Naturalistic Structure:
This structure is usually associated with Stanislavski.
It gives the illusion of real life presented on stage. There is unity of time and place.The action evolves through the situations and personalities of the characters. EastEnders is a good example of a naturalistic structure.
Classical Structure:
This structure is usually associated with the plays of Shakespeare.
This follows the shape of three acts. Act one usually introduces the main protagonist and an incident that needs to be solved. The second act will deal with the character and plot development. The final act resolves the action. If the play ends badly it is a tragedy. If it ends well it is classed as a comedy. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller follows a classical structure.

Surreal structure:

This structure is associated with Artaud, Stephen Berkoff and Absurdist theatre.
The play is not set in a recognisable place or time. The task is to take the audience on a journey into the subconscious or dream-world.

Episodic Structure:

This structure is associated with the plays of Brecht. Lots of relatively short scenes are linked together by the same character, place or theme. Scenes could be shuffled around and placed in a different order because there is no overall beginning, middle and end. Dr Kovak's Example and Stone Cold are examples of plays that use an episodic structure.


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