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Understanding Drama! Essay

2870 words - 12 pages

The question asked is what is drama? Can we truly define it? Is there a textbook definition of something that can be so personal? What is drama in relation to theatre? Why is drama so important? What are its uses, its aims? Some have said that drama develops self-esteem and encourages creativity and imagination. This is true, and will be demonstrated through examples from personal experiences. Usually the first thing that occurs in a drama class is that someone will ask for a definition of the word drama. Most of the class will look away, as if in deep thought praying that they are not called on, because they do not know the answer. At first glance, it seems a simple question, but as one ...view middle of the document...

I have had many opportunities to participate in dramatic activities, and to express myself in different ways. One such activity I engaged in was a dance drama while attending my final year of high school in Toledo. The song was entitled Forever Young and it was about growing up and growing old without knowing ones place in life, without ever being happy. The melody was almost regretful in tone, and the lyrics were pleading in nature. At this point in time, I was two months away from graduation, about to leave the place I had called home for five years. I was not yet ready to leave my youth and enter into the unknown world of university. I was afraid, reluctant, and introspective, much like the protagonist of the song. Through dance, two other girls and I expressed our feelings on graduation. We used gentle movements; always aware of the softness of the angles our bodies were making. The arms were always curved, the head rolling into positions, as opposed to jerking. The lights were dimmed, with only a pale, white light focused on the center of the stage, giving it a bit of a glow. Since we had three characters, we decided to act out three stages in life: the child, the teenager, and the adult. The child was dancing in the center of the stage, playing with the light, dancing with imaginary friends, happy, carefree, oblivious to its surroundings, and interested only in the moment. The teenager was standing just beyond the light of childhood, attempting to interact with the child, but never actually crossing the light. She would circle around it, look inward with longing, then turn with her back to the light, facing adulthood with fear and trepidation. She would take a few steps in one direction, then turn the other way, and take a few more steps, as if she were lost and confused, like in a maze. She could always see the child behind her, but not the adult in front of her. The teenagers movements were mostly turns, implying confusion, and constant changes of direction. The adult was seated on the edge of the stage, watching the action. She began as an observer, as if remembering her past, but as the dance continued, she would stand up, walk around a little, then sit back down again, making good use of levels, but never distracting from the main action. The adult was reminiscent; she watched and reacted to the other two as if reliving her time as a teenager and her apprehensions on growing up. We were expressing our fears and worries through body movements and non-verbal expressions. Each of us had the chance to play all three roles, so we could experience three different emotions. Switching around like that allowed us to see the issue from different points of view. After this experience, we all felt a little more at ease with the transition we were about to make and ourselves. By expressing our fears, we had overcome them. When developing ones self through drama, there are a number of things one can concentrate on. The first is the senses. By using...

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