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ELEMENTS OF DRAMA. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND DEFINITIONS OF TERMS STAGE APPLICATIONS. DRAMA TERMS. Drama A story written to be performed by actors. 

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elements of drama

ELEMENTS OF DRAMA

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

STAGE APPLICATIONS

drama terms
DRAMA TERMS

Drama

A story written to be performed by actors. 

  • There are several different forms of presenting a drama; each has a very specific format.  Plays have a very simple format; teleplays, for television shows, or screenplays, for movies, have more complex and strict rules for formatting. 
  • The first dramas to be written for the express purpose of being performed were created by the Greeks.  Many of our modern drama terms derive from Greek origins.
two basics types of drama
TWO BASICS TYPES OF DRAMA

Tragedy

In the Greek sense, a play that ends with the death of at least one of the main characters.  In modern usage, refers to a play that doesn’t have a happy ending.

Comedy

In the Greek sense, a play that doesn’t end in death and wherein the main character moves from adversity to prosperity.

In modern usage, refers to a play that is humorous

drama terms1
DRAMA TERMS

2. Dramatis Personae - "People of Drama" in Latin; a list of the characters in a play, usually found on the first page of the script; often includes important information about the character.

1. Script – the written text of a play.  Usually includes a list of characters that appear in the play with a brief description of what the character is like (Dramatis Personae), brief descriptions of the sets or setting, and the lines the characters will speak.

drama terms2
DRAMA TERMS

3. Character - as in a story, people or creatures that appear in a script by speaking or doing something (the "something" may be as simple as walking on stage, then walking off again); someone in a script who is involved with a plot

drama terms3
DRAMA TERMS

4. Dialogue– the lines spoken by the actors; in the script, preceded by the name of the character that is to speak the words.

5. Monologue – A speech given by a single character while that character is alone on stage; also called a soliloquy

6. Soliloquy – In drama (especially [Shakespearean]), an extended speech by a solitary character expressing inner thoughts aloud to him-or herself and to the audience; a monologue

drama terms4
DRAMA TERMS

7. Aside– A monologue performed by a character while other characters are on stage; the information in an aside is not heard by the other characters on stage, even though they may be standing very close by; it is intended to convey the character’s private thoughts to the audience. 

drama terms5
DRAMA TERMS

8. Stage directions – a description (as of a character or setting) or direction (as to indicate stage business) provided in the text of a play, usually indicated with italics and/or parentheses.  May indicate where the scene takes place, what a character is supposed to do, or how a character should deliver certain lines.

drama terms6
DRAMA TERMS

9. Enter – A stage direction – tells the character(s) to come onto the stage.  Often includes a direction (left or right) or additional information about how characters are to enter the scene.

10. Exit– A stage direction – tells the character(s) to leave the stage and the scene. Often includes a direction (left or right) or additional information about how characters are to leave the scene.

drama terms7
DRAMA TERMS

11. Act– A major section of a play, similar to a chapter in a book; an act is usually made up of several scenes

12. Scene– a subdivision of an act; usually, a scene indicates a specific location or time, and changes if another location or time is supposed to be presented.  A scene usually ends when all the characters in the scene leave the stage.

drama terms8
DRAMA TERMS

13. Proscenium stage – a traditional stage

drama terms9
DRAMA TERMS

14. House - The portion of the theater where the audience sits; the area that is not the stage