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Aristotle, Poetics


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    Featured Pages: Playscript Analysis

    Fall 2003: THR413 * Playscript Analysis Textbook:

    GeoAlaska: Acting, Directing, Theory
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    from script.vtheatre.net:

    Aristotle (The Poetics) divided six main dramatic (v. epic) principles in two cathegories: structure and texture. ( see 200/drama files )

    The three under structure are Plot (Story, Action), Character (hero) and Idea (Message).


    Part Five: Dramatic Structure and the Playwright
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dramatic_structure : Aristotle divided drama into three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Perhaps equally influential to writers and literary critics alike has been the analysis of dramatic structure of Gustav Freytag, a modern application of five-act structure. [ hyperlinked content ]
    I. Play: Structural Points (Composition)
    A. Exposition
    B. The inciting incident
    C. Rising and falling dramatic action
    D. Crisis Climax
    E. Resolution
    F. Denouement

    II. The Playwright (Notice the spelling: “-wright” like a wheelwright or shipwright. The person is a playwright, and a playwright practices playwriting).

    H. Tools

    1. Dialogue
    a. The scripted conversations of the characters.
    b. Reveals character and plot.

    2. Stage Directions
    a. The playwright’s explanations and descriptions of what happens on stage.
    b. Reveals action.

    3. Structure (Narrative): Story
    a. The way in which the playwright arranges the sequence of events.
    b. Linear vs. Non-Linear (Star Wars and Fargo vs. Memento and Pulp Fiction)

    I. Process

    1. Internal
    a. The collection, research, and thought process stage.
    b. Think of a sponge soaking up everything around it.
    c. Germination of idea

    i. Rough story line
    ii. Decide on message
    iii. Creates characters
    iv. Envision stage moments
    v. Decides on style of dialogue
    vi. Brainstorms structure

    d. Research

    2. Crafting or writing
    a. Ways to begin:
    i. Character
    ii. Plot
    iii. Improvisation with actors

    3. Development
    a. The text is now in a 2nd draft by this point.
    b. Staged Readings (Allows the playwright to see audience reaction in an informal environment).
    c. First productions

    i. The playwright typically works closely with the director.
    ii. Re-writes during rehearsal

    III. Production and Show

    1. A company selects a playwright’s script.
    2. The producer negotiates the performance rights for the play through the playwright or his agent.
    3. The theatre company pays the royalty fees.

    a. Based on:
    i. Playwright’s name
    ii. Whether the play is a one act, full length, or a musical.
    iii. Professional and Amateur Rights
    iv. Physical size of the theatre
    v. Ticket prices

    http://script.vtheatre.net/5 -- writing

    Lesson #
    60 or 90 min

    1. review (previous class)

    2. overview

    3. new key terms & definitions

    4. viewing film segments

    5. issues & topics

    6. questions, discussion, analysis

    7. in class work

    8. feedback

    9. improv & games

    10. reading

    11. homework

    12. online, journals

    13. quiz

    Links homework

    Class Project (after the midterm)

    playsChekhov, Ibsen, Shakespeare


    Some scripts are plot-oriented, some -- character-centerred, some have "an idea" as main principle.

    * How the three of the structure categories interdependent?


    Give examples of plot, character or idea oriented scripts, plays, movies.


    To connect the three structure principles with the three texture principles.


    Next: Texture

    and film analysis
    * GODOT.06: Doing Beckett => main stage Theatre UAF Spring 2006 *

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