Literary and non literary aspects

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1 THE PLAYWRIGHT

2 The playwright -most central and most peripheral figure in the theatrical event -provides point of origin for production (the script) -in earlier periods playwrights acted as directors -today the director performs a separate role and is the playwrights representative to the artistic team -often asked to write the play then disappear -usually their involvement in actual production is limited to suggestions and rewrites -occasionally playwrights are more involved; may write from actor s improvisation, participate in rehearsals, or initially serve as director -usually a separation between playwright and director is needed - playwrights are considered an independent artist whose work is executed primarily in isolation -must write from their own lives not theatrical establishment -material must come from their own personal views in order to ring true

3 Literary and non literary aspects -play w-r-i-g-h-t versus w-r-i-t-e - a playwright makes a play. -writing for the theatre entails considerations not common to other literary forms -much more than an arrangement of words -a structured assemblage of vocal and physical interactions -a compilation of the many elements of the theatrical medium: movement, speech, scenery, costume, staging, music, spectacle and silence. -a play is only finished when performed -the written words may not be eloquent, instead must be created to foster great acting -while formal literary values are important to theatre they are only effective when fully integrated with the theatrical medium -literary brilliance is insufficient as theatre

4 Playwriting as event writing -the core of every play is action -plays are an ordering of observable dramatizable events -these events are the basic building blocks of a play -fundamentally the playwright works with two tools: Dialogue and Physical action -the inner story and theme of a play must be inferred by the audience from outward appearances -no matter the message plays must be conceived as an event or series or related events designed to be enacted on stage -the events of drama are always compelling and aimed at creating a memorable impression -to began playwriting one must first conceptualize events and envision them enacted in such a way as to hold the attention of an audience -events of a play can be connected chronologically or nonlinear, discontinuous, and structured as stream of consciousness. -the audience must be able to put the vents together in a meaninful and satisfying fashion

5 -credibility and intrigue -speakability, stageability, and flow -richness -depth of characterization -gravity and pertinence -compression, economy, and intensity -celebration

6 Credibility and Intrigue -credibility; The audiences requirement that the play s actions appear to flow logically from its characters, its situation, and the theatrical context the playwright provides. credibility requires -characters to act of their own interest not the plot development -characters must be consistent -thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, etc must appear to flow from human needs not theatrical -human characters must appear to think and act like humans -audiences agree to view the characters as human as long as the playwright doesn t shatter that image

7 Credibility and Intrigue -intrigue; the quality of a play that makes us curious to see what happens next -sometimes called suspense -whole plays can be based on artfully contrived plots -plot is not the only thing that develops intrigue, characters and theme also -making the audience care about the characters makes them care about what happens next -caring about the characters also makes us probe the mysterious of life -as theme develops audience becomes intrigued

8 Speakability, Stageability, and Flow -The goal of the dramatist is to fabricate dialogue that is actable and stageable and that flows in a progression leading to theatrical impact. -styled language is a historic feature in plays -lifelikeness does not always equal actable and stageable Speakablility means that a line of dialogue should be written so that it achieves its maximum impact when spoken. -playwrights have to be attuned to audial shape. The rhythm of sound that creates emphasis and meaning, focus and power. -not at all necessary for this to be everyday speech, though it can be -also requires that the spoken lines match the characters who are saying them

9 Speakability, Stageability, and Flow -Stageability requires that dialogue be written so that it can be spoken effectively upon a stage. -dialogue must be conceived as an integral element of a particular situation in which setting, physical acting and dialogue are inextricably combined. -the dialogue must give birth to the directing, acting, set, costumes, lights, etc.

10 Speakability, Stageability, and Flow -Flow requires a continual stream of information and a play that flows is one that is continually saying something, doing something, and meaning something to the audience. -addresses technical problems like scene shifts, entrances and exits, and act breaks -has no needless waits, arid expositions, incomprehensible plot developments

11 Richness -A play that is rich with detail is not necessarily one that is one that is rife with detail; it is simply one whose every detail fortifies our insight into the world of the play. -it is richness of dimension -means knowing what to leave as well as what to include -(read Wit example from text book)

12 Depth of Characterization -Capturing the depth, complexities, and uniqueness of real human beings -every character must possess an independence of intention, expression and motivation -must appear sensible in the light of our general knowledge of psychology and human behavior -must appear to act from motives that appear reasonable to them -some modern dramatist even study phsycotherapy

13 Gravity and Pertinence -terms to describe the importance of a play s theme and its overall relevance to the concerns of the intended audience -gravity means that the play s central theme is serious and has a lasting significance to humanity s spiritual, moral, or intellectual life. -Pertinence refers to the play s touching on current audience concerns, both in the moment and timeless. -both ephemeral and universal

14 Compression, Economy, and Intensity -Compression refers to the playwright s skill in condensing the story into a theatrical time frame -Economy relates to an author s skill in eliminating or consolidating characters, events, locales, and words in the service of compression -unlike other types of literature a play must unfold in a public setting and at a predetermined pace -locations are combined, two locations split by intermission, or unit set (scenery that can represent many locations) -the effects of economy and compression are both aesthetic and financial. -compression and economy help stimulate intrigue and focus audience expectations; a tightly written play makes the audience feel as if they are always winding up to something big

15 Compression, Economy, and Intensity -Compression and economy lead to intensity -Intensity is one of the theatre s most powerful attributes -gives audience the feeling that moment is unique and revelations are profound -intensity evolves out a carful development of issues, through the increasing urgency of character goals and intentions and the focused actions and interactions of the plot that draw characters and their conflicts ever closer to some sort of climatic confrontation -compression must increase and it s mood must intensify as it circles toward its climax and denoument

16 Celebration -A great play celebrates life; it does not merely depict or analyze or criticize it -a purely didactic theatre has never survived -grim depictions of realistic, ordinary life has also never been accepted -raise existence to the level of art

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