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ENGLISH CREATIVE WRITING 2009 Drama 9 May tutor Dr. Jack shu.

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Presentation on theme: "ENGLISH CREATIVE WRITING 2009 Drama 9 May tutor Dr. Jack shu."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENGLISH CREATIVE WRITING 2009 Drama 9 May tutor Dr. Jack shu

2 Elements of Drama Action, Conflict, Tension and Context Character/Actor and Characterisation

3 Dramatic action  Through action—what the characters do and achieve throughout the whole story (driven by super-objectives), e.g. Mr. Bean (tries to) pass the examination  Scene/Unit action(s)—what the characters do in individual scene/unit of an episode (driven by objectives), e.g. Mr. Bean looks at the answer paper, blows up the paper, etc

4 The protagonist’s predicament (the character’s struggles/conflicts) Drama is a representation of the will of man in conflict with the mysterious powers or natural forces which limit and belittle us; it is one of us thrown upon the stage, there to struggle

5 Cont’d against fatality, against social law, against one of his fellow-mortals, against himself, if need be, against the interests, the prejudices, the folly, the malevolence of those who surround him. --Ferdinand Brunetiere (1914)

6 Predicament/Struggle/Conflict  There are 3 types of conflicts:  “Human” vs Self  Physiological  Psychological  “Human” vs “Human”  Individual  Group  “Human” vs Nature  Supernatural  Natural

7 Tension  The tension of the Task, ie dramatic action  The tension of the Relationship  The tension of the Mystery, usually related to some supernatural forces or strange things deliberately unexplained --adapted from John O’Toole Tension is the felt force resulting from a conflict.

8 Tension and human relationship  An interest in the way that people relate to each other is a particular feature of modern drama, just as in modern communications studies there is an interest in what is called ‘inter-personal’ communications. This is all partly a result of the developing science of psychology that was in its infancy when Ibsen wrote his first naturalistic play in the late nineteenth century…

9 Cont’d (living drama vs dramatic life)  Modern playwrights are operating in a world that generally attempts to explain people’s behaviour in rational, scientific terms and that sees individuals as needing to succeed in their personal relationships in order to achieve a sense of well- being and social adjustment. Social order and personal happiness are threatened by tensions between individuals or groups; tensions force us into playing different roles, adapting our behaviour to suit a situation, while tensions themselves may also become obsessive fears. --Kenneth Pickering

10 Character Wants  What are the super-objectives of the main characters?  What do the main character want to happen in the scenes they appear in?  Are there conflicts or tensions between what different characters want?  Do the main characters wants significantly change or create contradictions?

11 Character Moral stance  How do culture, morality and upbringing shape the main characters’ behaviours?  How does the main characters moral stance encourage, justify or constrain the fulfilment of their wants?

12 Character/Actor  What does the personality of an actor affect the presentation of a character? (e.g. Rowen Atkinson, Stephen Chow, etc) What is the effect of casting on a character’s meaning?  Theatrical sign systems: e.g. white beard could mean old age (iconically) or wise (symbolically); a pair of big eyes with thick eyebrows could give a funny/fierce character (iconically) or could draw audience’s attention (deictically)


14 Themes in Frankenstein  Companionship  Revenge  Sacrifice  Fame  Love  Self-understanding  Death

15 Tasks  Task 1 Choose a theme, create a piece of 5-min drama in groups of 4-6. Not more than 3 scenes.  Task 2 Show the piece; give feedback.  Task 3 Improve the piece and rehearse.  Task 4 Show the piece again; give feedback.  Task 5 Write down the lines and submit in-class.

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