Elements of Drama

First, read “The Elements of Drama” paying close attention to Plot and Structure, Characters, Stage Directions and Setting, Imagery, Language, and Theme.Particularly read the “Summing Up” points to make sure you understand the way these elements apply to the genre of drama.
Next, read the excerpt from The Glass Menagerie. Then complete the following 3 assignments.

1. Directing the Play : Imagine yourself directing a production of The Glass Menagerie. List the answers to these questions.
Who would you cast in the roles of the mother and daughter? Why?
What would the scenery look like?
Would there be music? What music?

2. Conflict :Think about the conflicts in The Glass Menagerie. Write a paragraph (approx 100 words) about your observations of the characters and the conflicts they deal with in this excerpt. Answer the following questions in your paragraph.
Who or what is the antagonist and who or what is the protagonist?
Are they both people or could they be other forces?
Is the conflict realistic? Something we see in everyday relationships?
After reading this brief excerpt, demonstrating conflict, what themes do you guess will be central to this play?

3. Write your own Scene : This is a creative writing assignment in which you will write your own scene.Â
Watch the following scene on Youtube from The Hours with Nicole Kidman playing Virginia Woolf as an example of a scene involving a conflict between two characters. Notice that the conflict isn’t so much between the characters as it is between the couple and Woolf’s mental illness. Also, notice the long pauses that would require stage directions in the script such as [train arrives and passengers disembark, filling the platform]


Now recall a conversation you recently had with someone or a conversation you overheard other people having in which there was some sort of conflict, meaning something is “at stake.” You will turn that conversation into a scene from a play. Your scene should not just be a casual conversation such two people deciding where to go to lunch. Follow the standard scene formatting as you see in the scene from The Glass Menagerie. Your scene will be two pages long (with spaces between each line of dialogue.)

Write the dialogue of that conversation as closely as you remember it or with new dialogue that you create. Make the dialogue sound as realistic and natural as possible.
Your scene should have 2 to 4 characters.
Your scene should have conflict of some sort which does not mean the characters are fighting but that they are struggling with something. Even a comic scene can have a conflict such as the famous Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First” comedy routine in which one character cannot understand what the other character is saying. Ever seen it? Youtube!
Include a few stage directions like when a new person enters the room say (Enter …..) and write directions like (quietly) or (pause) to describe the moods and tone of the dialogue.

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