Production for Presentation
The art of drama is the presentation of life in the theater: the art of theater is the presentation of drama. -- ELIZABETH DREW, Discovering Drama
THE THEATER AND STAGE together comprise a wonderful workshop, a machine, and a showcase. In it and through it a whole company of artists join their several talents in the co- operative creation of a stageplay. This they purvey, as a perishable commodity, directly to their customers, who consume it on the spot.
In the preceding essay we centered our attention upon the playscript--its creation by the playwright. It is hoped that, with some little knowledge of dramaturgy and the art of playwriting, you will read dramas and see plays with greater understanding and appreciation, and that your complex drama experiences will be more clearly structured and more meaningful.
Now, approaching the drama from a different point of view, we shall focus our thoughts upon the stageplay and its creation by the artists of the theater. Even this brief survey of play production may increase your understanding and appreciation of the theater and enrich your enjoyment both as a playgoer and as a playreader.
Earlier we spoke of a playscript as a blueprint for the building of a stageplay. Just now we have said that the playscript is created by the playwright, and that the stageplay is created by various other theater artists. It is high time we distinguish two different sorts of creative art activity carried on by two general sorts of artists. We shall call the one sort "primary" and the other sort "interpretative."
The sculptor carves a statue, the painter designs and executes a picture, the poet writes a poem. We shall in each case call this primary creative activity because the artist gets his inspiration and ideas from within himself, from his imagination and his observation