Elements of Drama

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Elements of Drama
Writing Course
Course CodeDRAM
Year Opened1996-2011
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (1996):

A playwright uses the same tools as any other author words and the imagination. Yet drama differs from most poetry and fiction because it is written, not to be read in the privacy of a quiet room, but to be performed on a stage in front of other people. When we read plays, we need to understand how the ultimate goal of live performance influences the playwright's creative process.

Students explore the ways a playwright crafts a play using vivid language for actors to bring to life on the stage. By examining play scripts, and in some cases the source material for those plays, students learn to analyze the elements of drama: how characters are created; how the play's action is developed through scenes and acts; how sets and lighting are used to establish mood. In addition, students experience the playwright's process firsthand: they write their own scenes, see them performed, and learn how to revise their work based on audience reaction and peer feedback.

A variety of periods and genres, including comedy, tragedy, and satire, is covered. Readings may be drawn from works by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Wilde, Shaw, Williams, Hansberry, Wilson, and Fugard, among others.