Drama vs. Short Stories
Drama When we were young, we all loved to dress up in costumes and outfits, say as cowboys or as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. We sang and danced or defeated the bad guys. We were the characters, the heroes and villains. Drama—acting or simply reading characters’ words—allows us to step into characters’ shoes and act like them. As we read, we can visualize what they’re doing, thinking, and feeling because we can hear their words as we interpret their emotions.
Essential Question How does drama provide the reader a different experience than prose (short stories, novels) or poetry? How is drama different from television?
Note Taking Create a double bubble map to compare and contrast short stories and dramas.
Drama Comes from the Greek Word, “Dran” Means “To do” or “To Act”
The Doing/Acting Makes Drama
Purpose and Definition
A drama is a story written to be performed by actors, using speech and movements in front of an audience.
Purpose of other genres
Short story? Speech? Informational text?
Elements of Drama Playwright-the author of a play
Actors-the people who perform Acts-the units of action Scenes-parts of the acts
Genres Short stories Dramas Fiction or nonfiction Realistic Fiction
Historical Fiction Science Fiction Etc. Dramas for the stage (play) For the movies (screenplay) For television (teleplay)
Elements of Drama The related events that take place in a drama are separated into acts. Most plays have two or three acts. Within an act, there are shorter sections called scenes. A play can have any number of scenes. Plot Characters Setting Acts Scenes
Structure of a Drama – Chronological Order
All the parts of plot Exposition Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution
Structure of other genres
Short story? Speech? Informational text?
Characterization Characterization-playwright’s technique for making believable characters
Dialogue An author tells a story mainly through a narrator, some description, and dialogue between characters. A playwright tells a story primarily through dialogue of the characters. Dialogue is conversation between two or more characters. Dialogue in a short story= partly responsible for revealing a character’s personality Dialogue in a drama = totally responsible for revealing the characters s and also carry the story forward.
Monologue Playwrights may also use a monologue, which occurs when only one character speaks for a while. The character may be with others onstage or may be alone. Christine from Phantom of the Opera
Their words are important clues to a character’s personality.
In the written form of a play, dialogue appears without quotation marks. Practice reading this dialogue from The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street: Mrs. Brand (from her porch). Steve? What was that? Steve (raising his voice and looking toward porch). Guess it was a meteor, honey. Came awful close, didn’t it? Mrs. Brand. Too close for my money! Much too close. from The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street by Rod Serling There are 2 characters in the conversation—Who are they? The name at the beginning of each line tells who is talking. When you read dialogue, keep track of individual characters. Their words are important clues to a character’s personality.
Stage Directions Mrs. Brand (from her porch). Steve? What was that? Steve (raising his voice and looking toward porch). Guess it was a meteor, honey. Came awful close, didn’t it? Mrs. Brand. Too close for my money! Much too close. from The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street by Rod Serling Stage directions are italicized words and phrases contained within parentheses or brackets. They are not meant to be spoken aloud. For the actors—and for a reader of the play—they offer guidance on what is happening and how to understand the meaning of certain lines.
Stage Directions Mary. Yes, I agree with you. (She really doesn’t.) As a reader, the stage direction “(She really doesn’t.)” helps you understand feelings as well as events that may occur later in the play. An actor delivering this line would show that Mary doesn’t mean what she says by pausing before speaking or moving in a way that shows she is not sincere. Stage directions are important elements of drama that convey meaning.
Group Review Dialogue Describe what dialogue looks like in a short story What does the dialogue reveal in a short story? (hint: look back at notes) What does dialogue look like in a drama? What does dialogue reveal in a drama? (look back at notes)
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