Drama and theatre are forms of art that have been used interchangeably over time or express the activities around playwright and Creator of theatrical events. Drama can be defined as an act form that tells a story through the speeches and actions of the characters in the story. Drama can also be said to be synonymous with play. A play is a work of story telling in which characters are represented by actors and actress. Drama is the specific mode of narrative, typically fictional, represented in performance.
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The term comes from the Greek word , drama, meaning action, to do or to act. The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception.
The early modern tragedy Hamlet (1601) by Shakespeare and the classical Athenian tragedy Oedipus the King (c. 429 BC) by Sophocles are among the masterpieces of the art of drama. A modern example is Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956) by Eugene O’Neill.
The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic division between comedy and tragedy. They are symbols of the ancient Greek Muses, Thaliana and Melpomene, the Muse of comedy represented by the laughing face, and the Muse of tragedy represented by the weeping face, respectively. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle’s Poetics (c. 335 BC)—the earliest work of dramatic theory.
PEOPLE INVOLVE IN DRAMA
There are different categories of people involve in drama/theatre. These includes Actors, Actress, Audience, Stage Manager, Producer, Stage Designer, Costumier, Prop Designer, Lighting Designer e.t.c.
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage.
The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word “theatre” as derived from the Ancient Greek meaning (“to see”, “to watch”, “to observe”).
Modern Western theatre comes, in large measure, from ancient Greek drama, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, and many of its themes, stock characters, and plot elements. Theatre artist Patrice defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing, and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts, literature, and the arts in general.
Western opera is a dramatic art form, which arose during the Renaissance in an attempt to revive the classical Greek drama tradition in which both music and theatre were combined. Being strongly intertwined with western classical music, the opera has undergone enormous changes in the past four centuries and it is an important form of theatre until this day.
Noteworthy is the major influence of the German 19th-century composer Richard Wagner on the opera tradition. In his view, there was no proper balance between music and theatre in the operas of his time, because the music seemed to be more important than the dramatic aspects in these works. To restore the connection with the traditional Greek drama, he entirely renewed the operatic format, and to emphasize the equal importance of music and drama in these new works, he called them “music dramas”.
Chinese opera has seen a more conservative development over a somewhat longer period of time.
These stories follow in the tradition of fables and folk tales. Usually there is a lesson learned, and with some help from the audience, the hero/heroine saves the day. This kind of play uses stock characters seen in masque and again commedia dell’arte, these characters include the villain (doctors), the clown/servant,, the lovers etc.
These plays usually have an emphasis on moral dilemmas, and good always triumphs over evil, this kind of play is also very entertaining making it a very effective way of reaching many people.
Mime is a theatrical medium where the action of a story is told through the movement of the body, without the use of speech. Performance of mime occurred in Ancient Greece, and the word is taken from a single masked dancer called Pantomimes, although their performances were not necessarily silent. In Medieval Europe early forms of mime, such as mummer plays and later dumb shows, evolved. In the early nineteenth century Paris, Jean-Gaspard Deburau solidified the many attributes that we have come to know in modern times, including the silent figure in whiteface.
Jacques Copeau, strongly influenced by Commedia and Japanese Noh theatre, used masks in the training of his actors. Decroux, a pupil of his, was highly influenced by this and started exploring and developing the possibilities of mime and refined corporeal mime into a highly sculptural form, taking it outside of the realms of naturalism.
Jacques Lecoq contributed significantly to the development of mime and physical theatre with his training methods.
Creative drama includes dramatic activities and games used primarily in educational settings with children. Its roots in the United States began in the early 1900s.Winifred Ward is considered to be the founder of creative drama in education, establishing the first academic use of drama in Evanston, Illinois.