Drama Essay

1394 words - 6 pages

Drama EssayQuestion 8 - You have been appointed to the role of dramaturge in your theatre company working on one of the set texts with a specific brief to research the dramatic conventions appropriate to the play.The role of the dramaturge is to research and development a play, collaborating with all acting, directing and design elements of the performance so as to enhance the plays main context/styles/themes. Caryl Churchill's play Mad Forest takes place in Romania during the 1980's, depicting the life of Romania's under the oppression of the Communist Ceausescu regime that had ruled since 1965 and conveys such themes as Communist oppression, family relationships and hope. The context of ...view middle of the document...

Lighting design can also be used throughout these monologues as well to isolate each person. Narration and sign posting is also a common convention of Epic theatre that I feel will emphasis the dramatic tension. In the play, each scene is entitled mundane, denotative titles. Through the use of multimedia, these scene headings such as "Are you listening?" could be recorded and played at the break of each scene. Not only will this sign-posting guide the audience as to what is about to happen, but they will be intimidated by a loud, incriminating voice, potentially replicating that of Stalin or indeed Ceausescu himself. Multiple roles are another common convention that will work to emphasize the vast population with which the scare-tactics of the Securitate oppressed. If for example, the actor of the SECURITATE OFFICER later becomes someone such as BOY STUDENT 1, then the audience will be compelled and mistrust such characters honesty. This feeling will generate the sense of suspicion and uncertainty that Communist societies are often riddled with. Open white lighting is also a design convention of Epic Theatre that I feel is necessary. By eliminating all colour from the stage, the stage will look like the dry, dull society that Romania was driven to by Communism, removed from the lively colour and energy that people link with capitalist societies. Through these key dramatic conventions, this briefing of actors and non-actors, I feel, expresses my interpretation of the performance as a dramaturge.The section of the play I have chosen is scene 4, 5 and 6 of the first act. Through analysis of these, I will justify how my choices of dramatic conventions will change the emphasis of the production for relevant actors, directors and designers.Scene 4 commences with a monologue, as Flavia addresses her students about the "Nobel ideas of socialism" and the "great son of the nation," Ceausescu. Use of placards and signs is a dramatic convention that the actor of Flavia can use in order to clearly show the underlying theme of her monologue. By having placards of significant words in her dialogue such as "Ceausescu," "is the," "path towards," "war," held up in this order, the audience will interpret the hidden message that Flavia conveys in this scene. The use of this convention will shape the audience's perception of the scene so that they are at first curious given the tension of the forming placards. They will also be confused as to why Flavia is idolizing the "nobel ideas of socialism," but then will be satisfied as they are revealed the underlying message of the monologue. Minor actors and props will also be used effectively here to reveal the lies that she teaches. As she teaches "loudly and confidently to her pupils (she will address the audience, thus breaking the fourth wall)," minor actors will work in the background around the set, showing the detriment that Communism brings. Rubbish and clutter are props that can be spread around the...

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