varieties of drama ppp

Chapter 6
Varieties of Drama
The protagonist fails to achieve goals, is
overcome by opposing forces, often dies
 Sober, thoughtful plays that are based on
profound human emotions and conflicts
that do not change with time or place
 Based on Aristotle’s rules (tragic flaw,
unities, catharsis)
Protagonist “wins”
 Humorous characters and situations
 Happy ending
 Based on “thought”
 Comes from Greek word “komos” meaning
“revel song”
Tragicomedies – plays that have qualities
of both tragedy and comedy
 Dramas – plays that do not fit the
definition of tragedy but are serious in
nature are simply called dramas.
7 causes of laughter
 Overstatement in dialogue, action, or
physical characteristics
 Understatement
Anything that is out of time, place, or
Looking forward to a potential laugh
 At least 3 exposures – the plant, establish,
and the clinch
Double meaning
 Puns
Discovering hidden or obscure meanings
 “getting it”
Knowing that cruel, violent, grotesque and
abusive actions and events are not real
Anything humorous used to release built
up pressure (often used in tragedies)
Types of comedy
Low – quite physical, sometimes vulgar,
and highly exaggerated
 Farce – clowning, practical jokes,
“slapstick,” improbable characters and
 Burlesque – mocks a broad topic
 Caricature – impersonations – often
exaggerations of physical features or
personality traits
Middle comedy – humor that appeals to
the heart
 Romantic comedy
 Melodrama – flawless hero + evil villain
High comedy – very intellectual
 Comedy of manners
 Satire
 Clever lines, word play, and allusions
Style theatrical conventions
Representational – “fourth wall” theater
The play is performed as if the audience
were watching through an imaginary
fourth wall. (most common)
 Presentational – acknowledges that an
audience is present. Characters may even
address the audience.
 Avant-garde – new experimental styles of
any art form
Styles of Drama
Classicism – based on Greek, Roman, or
Shakespearean theater
 Fantasy – unreal characters in imaginary
time and place
 Romanticism – shows life as it could be
 Realism – shows life as it is
 Naturalism – realism to the extreme “no
holds barred”
Symbolism – where at least one element
represent something else
 Expressionism – the uselessness of human
hopes in the face of the evils of the
modern age – social injustice
 Impressionism – shows the inner reactions
of characters under great stress
Theater of involvement – audience
 Theater of the absurd – deal with the
“absurdity” of life
Special styles
Children’s theater – written, designed, and
performed for children
 Puppet theater –
 Monodrama – “one man show”
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