Collection 11: Drama Forms and Stagecraft A Play play is a story that is acted out live and on stage. Tragedy A presentation of serious and important actions that end unhappily. Tragic Hero A noble character who has a personal flaw that leads to his or her downfall or destruction. Tragic Flaw Imperfections that lead an otherwise honest and good character to make poor decisions that ultimately doom him or her. Comedy A play that has a happy ending that forces the audience to consider and question an important aspect of society. Satire A type of comedy that insults someone or something with the intent to change it for the good. Slapstick Comedy Comedy that involves absurd physical violence that does not truly harm the characters (ex: The Three Stooges) Stage The location where a play takes place. Proscenium Arch Stage The traditional stage. The stage is a semi-circle with a large rectangular arch in the background that holds portions of the set and the curtain. Three-Quarter Thrust Stage The stage is “thrust” out into the audience. The audience sits on three of the four sides of a rectangular stage, thus giving some audience members a profile view of the play. The Round Stage The stage is a circle or rectangle where the audience sits completely around it. There is no “off-stage” Set The physical details added to a stage to communicate to the audience the place and time where the play takes place. Costumes The clothing actors wear to portray a character. Costumes communicate status, gender, and role to the audience. Props Short for “Properties” They are portable items that actors can move or carry as they perform. Dialogue Characters speaking out loud to one another. Monologue One character speaking out loud to other characters on stage. Soliloquy One character speaking out loud to him/herself. Aside One character speaking out loud directly to the audience. Tension Suspense and anxiety built up in the audience as the conflict escalates. Climax The turning point in a play. The point at which a character’s fate is ultimately decided. The Climax is not necessarily at or near the end of a play. Resolution The portion of the play where the audience finds out what ultimately happens to the characters. Exposition Often, the beginning of a play where a character or a chorus introduces the basic situation. When not at the beginning, a portion where a character or chorus fills in the audience on information not performed by the actors. Stage Directions Commands by the playwright describing where the actors should stand or move, how they should speak, or what props to use.