2008-2009 : groups.yahoo.com/group/dramlit

... and notes @ T-Blog !

video & web pages


2007 -- 2008 (script analysis)
2004 : I am directing Four Farces & One Funeral based on Chekhov's one-acts, read the plays (online or in the library). We will start with this "mini-chekhov"! Poetics *

DramLit Forum

One-page report (200 words) on each play read is required -- submit through DramLit Forum!

The notes were taken by the students and I do not know how usefull it can be without editing. A.

See 215 DramLit subdirectory (new)

2003 new (last): paula vogel
How I Learned to Drive

...“we can receive great love from the people who harm us.” Vogel

study questions

around the play: ART Aristotle's Six Parts of a Tragedy : 1. Plot 2. Character 3. Thought (theme, idea) 4. Diction (Language) 5. Music (sound) 6. Spectacle


200 Words Post (after reading each play):

Paragraph 1: Plot Summary -- Describe in one paragraph the storyline of the play (six or seven sentences).

Paragraph 2: Theme(s) (Meaning or premise) -- What is the playwright saying to us? What is the point of the story or plot? What comment is the writer making about society? Support your theme statement from an action, dialogue or scene from the play.

Paragraph 3: Form -- tragedy, comedy, melodrama, or tragicomedy? Why you believe it is a particular type of play by using examples from the play (refer to definitions in texts to justify your selections).

Paragraph 4: Conclusion -- Discuss the play's universality. Will it withstand time? 100, 1000 years? Why? Personal Opinion (Summary).


Format? I like "seminar-style"!


Course Objectives: to develop
* the basic skills of play analysis
* approaches to uniform play analysis
* a basic understanding of the approach to play analysis in regard to a historical perspective of dramatic literature
* understanding how play analysis is essential to play production
* the applications of play analysis with regard to each of the collaborative theatre artists

^ This is DramLit "showcase" ^ THR215 Dramlit -- for actors? THR413 Playscript Analysis -- for directors?

Bedford Intro to Drama

The term dramatic literature implies a contradiction in that literature originally meant something written and drama meant something performed. Most of the problems, and much of the interest, in the study of dramatic literature stem from this contradiction. [britannica]

* 2005 Question: Theatre with Anatoly: what are your webpages for? Dramaturgue (Don Juan) or Dramaturg? See Theatre Theory and read The Possessed D page!

Old choice: the 20th century decades -- after "Chekhov - Ibsen - Strindberg" to go to Pirandello (Meta-Theatre), Brecht (Epic Theatre) and other styles in Europe... or go to the "American Trio" (O'Neill - Williams - Miller)? [ "The Three Great American Fathers of Drama" is very tempting -- formal, not just chronological, approach = "New Realism" (After "New Drama").

... And to return to Europe for Beckett ("Adsurd and After", when National Theatres come to the "Global Theatre" history with Postmodern of 1969)...

Then the "Last Americans" (Shepard, Mamet to Kushner and Vogel, and etc.) are at the very end of the last century DRAMA trip...

* New: Albee's The Goat. One of the Post-American Americans.

Tempting, the North Idea in Theatre (not film). North - North line (two continents), vs. the rest of the world. "Western Theatre" -- the sunset of the great drama. "A 25 centuries story": from Oedipus to Godot.


from biblio page: modern drama

+ books

+ references

+ links

+ list

2006: Beckett Year!


2005 Fall -- THR215 Dramatic Literature :

Part 1. Oedipus

Part 2. Hamlet

Part 3. Chekhov (Cherry Orchsrd) and High Modernism

Part 4. Postmodern: Becket

Part 5. Writing

Main script.vtheatre.net & 2005 THR215 * Antiquity I * Modern Times II * High Modern (Realism) III * Postmodern (Absurdism) IV * V *

Dramatic Literature: Class, Fall 1998 Notes

chronology (doc)
Maybe later I'll find some method to organize my notes for classes, but right now I connect this page to DramLit98 (master) page; links are in class schedule (topics and titles).

Class! Two important names are missing on my class syllabus: Shaw and Moliere. I have no room left with one play/critical reading per week. Second: No Contemporary Drama! No Fugard, Wilson, Pinter or Shepard. Sad, sad. (You have to wait till next offering of Playscript Analysis). I'll give an extra credit to all who read more plays and write extra papers on them.

Note on Notes: Everything here came straight from my hard drive and as "notes for myself" -- if confusing, ask in class.

Main organizational task is to find some way to make Dramlit usefull for other courses. First, Playscript Analysis. Next -- Directing and Acting. Last -- film classes. [Should there be indicators attached? D -- for directing. A -- acting. F -- film.]
[ list of the required reading + recommended ]


Triangle: Oedipus - Hamlet - 3 Sisters
What is play(script)?
Theatre History as History of Drama (before 20th century).
Show v. Literature. Conflict?
What is a good play?

Performance theory: Playscript (annotation for the SHOW). Creator or Conductor. Builder and Architect. Wighter, not Writer!

Spectacle: Stage and its Languages. The last on the list of Aristotle's Six Principles (and under "Texture")! Show-business. Words are only a part of spectale (according to Aristotle language is an element (#4) in Texture, not Structure) [see 200X Directory]

Theory of Spectatorship (The Beginning of Theatre). Place of drama. How does public become a part of action? Spectator and Public: One and Many.


Modernity and Postmoderm

Inner conflict > character as a plot > idea as a trajectory of the character

Plot and story: Shakespeare. Events: Before, After, Next to the plot. Open and closed structure [Bakhtin]. (Hamlet)

Composition: 1-2-3 (Aristotle -- Beginning, Middle and the End. (For more on composition check out directing classes pages).
What (and how) must be done before action takes off?

What is ACTION? ("Action" genre)
Changes directed to the catastrophic event. Event Theory.

[ First -- Hamlet, last -- Chekhov? ]

The basics, the rest is to follow...

"Critical Theory and Performance" ed. Janelle G. Reinelt & Joseph R. Roach "Performance" by Marvin Carlson
"Theatre and Everyday Life: An Ethics of Performance" by Alan Read
"Performing Literature" by Beverly Whitaker Long & Mary Frances Hopkins
"Roles In Interpretation" by Judy Yordon 4th ed. (Concerned mostly with performance of Lit.)

Shaw -- Pygmalion

Class Notes

2005: Last year at the end of the semester I tried the playwrighting section and this experiment proved to be very productive. We will do it again -- you write your own scenes and monologues! My notes on this new component will be collected @ WRITER page. See you in class!
The Paper: define what you mean; definition by negation. The real conclusion should lead you to a new level that you would have gone had your paper kept going. Most papers went too far with concepts, etc. Subject paper s/b small.

Modern, High Modern, Post-Modern -- 10 yrs. from now people will still be struggling with these concepts' definitions. We need some limitations (boundaries). Remember Aristotelian 6 structural elements. * Paper: Mike Hiser, "Theatre As Music," re unfinished segments in Chekhov-music throughout the play. Chekhov: no plot --
Shakespeare: sword fighting --
T. Williams: (Act I: waiting for gentleman caller. Act II: gentleman-caller arrives) ****If Chekhov had lived longer and met Williams, who knows where he would have evolved?

Emotions as subject? (no mention in Aristotle) As plot? (Laura in G.M.: waiting --- disappointed. Emotions must be presented, defined. Emotion cannot be abstract, like ideas can. Emotion is an experience--make it personal--receive REACTION. Identification: here comes Stanislavsky -- writing, directing, acting; theories.

Shakespeare's exposition: Why do you have to tell me everything? Do we talk like this in real life? Emotion is the roller coaster we need to experience; to depart reality, to find the inner world of the character. Inner landscape is what we're looking for.
Problem: concrete symbolic local/universal. They go together, we need both.

Gary: "Personality needs to be integrated, yet differentiating."

It has to be SMALL to focus. STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Tolstoy, end of 19th C.) Our mental state of mind. "In order for theatre to be synchronized with all the arts, it needs to have the same stream of consciousness." Antohin, end of 20th C.) In real life we float, which may be represented in theatre. (RAT, Russian-American exchange program: Tennessee Williams/Tolstoy.) [Now a cascading down of water: ideas upon ideas, free-fall] Laura, to know, wait, manifest her yearning in a male character coming.
Is T. Williams biographical in "Tom"?
Characters are not fictional, really; it's how we know feelings -- which lead us to action, choices, decisions, etc.

Art in the 20th century gained its own territory in emotion (which Brecht revolted against,) but a powerful tradition is experiencing emotion.

Are Laura's feelings new? [for her] They are SPECIFICALLY hers. Concept of art, thought, emotion HAS TO BE NEW to be concrete, real.

Tracy: But there's a difference between "discovery" and "invention." Discovering things that wouldn't have happened without them?

Mirror or painting? (Gone With the Wind) (?) Shakespeare said: memisis. Universal: T. Williams writing of "G.M" happens after he experiences "Three Sisters" -- he "experienced" first. [Are you experienced?]

Aggressive element in POMO: we're inventing, constructing new feelings -- then we can say we're "changing REALITY" -- we're ADDING to happy and sad. Theatre gives us a chance to experience without prior knowledge *********

RAP: not only is this a reflection of people's street talk, but it creates a new definition of themselves. Can a rythmical pattern be a message in a play? Aristotle separated texture from structure, form from essence... What is art?

Beckett: (pause, pause, PAUSE, etc.)

Packaging is EVERYTHING.

The Chinese (language) was developed with the understanding of -- how it will be "spoken."

Eugene O'Neill and his "Emperor Jones": it was written in the 20's; a stepping stone to the (post)Modern. ********

Paper: "it's as if it was unfinished -- switched in the middle."

AA: What if we took out all the ends? (open structure)

The conclusion would have to be drawn by the audience.

Structure is supposed to be unfinished; (that is the) indication of good drama.

*****"Waiting for Godot" halfway through, we know: it's not going to happen. Why do we keep watching? [For the reaction.]

Laura: we know it's not going to happen. Why do we keep watching? [For me, to watch how she handles the situation.] *******

O'Neil's "masks" essay: FACE as MASK [defense]--if so, what are we covering? Laura's gentleman caller: what's under his mask? Nothing--and that's just what she sees. If you took off the mask and have nothing underneath, what happens? HORROR; or worse: MEDIOCRITY, the worst.

*****AA anecdote: Models, in New York, showing up to an audition for "Streetcar," filled with fear: "I can't act." (Ya think?) That wasn't the issue -- there is NOBODY HOME.

FACELESSNESS: a horrifying, disturbing thought.

Why does O'Neill want most of the characters in masks? "One's outer life passes in solitude haunted by the masks of others; one's inner life passes in solitude hounded by the masks of one's self." (bot.pg.305)]



Next: The Emperor Jones, himself.

Spring 2005: Oedipus X script.vtheatre.net/215 * Fall 2005 -- FRONT