The Process of Drama: Negotiating Art and Meaning

The Process of Drama: Negotiating Art and Meaning

The Process of Drama: Negotiating Art and Meaning

The Process of Drama: Negotiating Art and Meaning

Synopsis

The Process of Dramaprovides an original and invaluable model of the elements of drama in context, and defines how these are negotiated to produce dramatic art.
John O'Toole takes the reader through a lively, fascinating account of the relationships between the playwright, the elements of dramatic art, and the other artists involved in this most interactive of creative processes. In doing so he demonstrates - with clarity and wit - how dramatic meaning emerges; how the dramatic event is constructed. Areas covered include:
roles and relationships
the drama space
language and movement
tension and the audience
gesture and movement
This is an essential book for every student of drama who wants to understand how the theatrical art form operates

Excerpt

The word 'tension' is not one which most schoolteachers are likely to regard positively as a key element of their teaching, rather than as something to avoid. the definition which we are using would probably be even less popular: that the source of tension is the gap between people and the fulfilment of their internal purposes, a gap created by deliberately imposing constraints in order to create an emotional disturbance (the tension itself) in the participants. Recently, to test this out informally, I asked two classes of teacher-training students, one pre-service and one in-service, whether they saw it as an objective of their teaching for their students to attain their goals as easily as possible. Overwhelmingly they did, and they reacted with disagreement and even hostility to my counter-proposal that one purpose of the teacher should be to create motivation and then deliberately place frustrations in the children's way. Part of the problem is semantic; the word 'challenge' might have been more acceptable to teachers than 'tension' and 'frustration'. Similarly, of the key words and phrases to be used in this section, they might find the word 'tasks' quite acceptable in the classroom, but not 'conflict', 'dilemma', 'secrecy', 'ritual', 'surprise' and 'deception'-all among the terms I shall be using to denote manifestations of the source of tensions in drama. While teachers are flattered to use the term 'the art of teaching' for what we do, we usually consciously perceive our operation in cognitive and behaviouristic terms-the systems we work in see to that. On the other hand, effective teachers may be seen to use retardation devices like 'wait and see' very frequently in all types of lesson

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