Monsters are Due on Maple Street
The Elements of Drama Monsters are Due on Maple Street
Introduction Reading a play, or drama, is very different from reading a short story or novel. In a play, there are no long descriptions of setting or characters. Instead, the entire action of the play is told through dialogue and stage directions. Like a short story or novel, however, a drama does contain the basic elements of fiction and plot.
Drama Comes from the Greek Word, “Dran” It means “to do” or “to act”
The doing/acting makes drama
Drama… A drama tells a story and includes such elements as character, setting, plot, and theme. A drama is written to be performed in a theater OR to be performed on screen or film.
Drama… A SCRIPT is the written form of a play.
Scripts are used in stage productions, for movies, and for television shows. A PLAYWRIGHT is the author of a play. A SCRIPTWRITER is the author of a television or movie script.
THE ELEMENTS OF DRAMA Important Terms
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA Acts and Scenes Cast of Characters Dialogue
Monologue Plot Setting Stage Directions Theme
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: ACTS AND SCENES
An ACT is a group of two or more scenes that form a major division of a play. A SCENE is one part of the action, usually happening in a particular time and place.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: DRAMATIC SPEECH
Dialogue- A conversation among characters in a play Monologue-A long speech by one single character (private thoughts). Also, referred to as a soliloquy.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: CAST OF CHARACTERS
A cast of characters is a list that describes who is in the play and often how they are related to each other.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: PLOT
Plot is the action of main events of a drama. Plot follows the plot diagram like in a novel or short story: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: SETTING
Setting is where and when the play takes place. In a play, the setting is usually described in a note or stage direction at the opening of the play and each scene.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: STAGE DIRECTIONS
Stage directions describe details of the setting and sound effects as well as directing characters how to speak their lines, move, act, and look. Found in brackets [ ] Describe scenery and how characters speak C, Center Stage L, Stage Left R, Stage Right U, Upstage or Rear D, Downstage or Front
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: THEME
Theme is a statement about life around which the playwright builds the play. A play’s theme is its central idea or message.
Before, During, and After Reading Strategies
READING DRAMA Before, During, and After Reading Strategies
DRAMA: BEFORE READING SET A PURPOSE FOR READING BY ASKING YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING: What are the main characters like, and what is the relationship among them? What is the central conflict, and how is it resolved? What is the theme of the play?
DRAMA: BEFORE READING PREVIEW THE PLAY BY USING THE FOLLOWING CHECKLIST: the title page, including the title and playwright the cast of characters the general setting the number of pages, acts, and scenes any background information, photos, or illustrations
DRAMA: BEFORE READING PLAN A STRATEGY TO HELP YOU ORGANIZE THE PLOT OF THE PLAY AS YOU READ. For The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, you will be using reading check questions and a plot diagram to help organize the events as they unfold.
DRAMA: DURING READING READ WITH A PURPOSE BY ASKING THE FOLLOWING BEFORE READING QUESTIONS AGAIN: What are the main characters like, and what is the relationship among them? What is the central conflict, and how is it resolved? What is the theme of the play?
Teleplay Terms Fade In: The picture gradually appears on the screen.
Pan: A swiveling movement of the camera from one side to another. Long Shot: A camera shot from far off. Fade to Black: The picture gradually disappears until all that remains is a blank screen. Cut To: A sudden change from one scene or character to another.
Terms cont. Close-Up: A camera shot that is very close to its subject.
Play Synopsis Synopsis: The screenplay explores the affects of prejudice and suspicion. After a bright, unknown object flashes across the sky, the neighbors of Maple Street discover that their electricity is gone, their cars have stopped working, and the telephones are out of order. A boy, Tommy, tells the neighbors stories he has read about aliens from outer space. He tells the neighbors that there is always a family that is “sent ahead” who appears to be human…but really isn’t.
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