August 20, 2005

Thoughts on Drama

In my attempt (key word attempt) to get ready for school, I'm reading some of my assignments in advance. I'm sure I'll still get behind on things, but at least it's something. Anyway, I've skipped ahead in the outline for "Drama as Literature" & read "The Importance of Being Earnest." It is such cute, quirky play! I saw it about 2 years ago when SHU's drama department put it on. It was a lovely performance & I enjoy and appreciate it more now that I have read the script.

I feel that drama & theater share several characteristics with poetry & cinema. First of all, reading a play by & to yourself is almost useless. I don't know about anyone else, but I know I have difficulty pretending to be several different characters all by myself. It's like having a conversation with yourself & where does that get you? Plays, like poetry, are meant to be read aloud; they both should be appreciated by the ears & not just the eyes. That's the purpose behind both of them. If drama is an imitation of real life, then it should be presented as real as possible: outloud. But just as important as hearing the dialogue, is seeing the interaction of the characters; plays are meant to be visual. The words need to be heard, but seeing the action on stage makes it a play rather than just a book.

Also, if I'm going to see a film based on a piece of literature, I always like to read the book beforehand. I like having an idea of the plot & basically being familiar with the plotline. And, yeah, ok, I'm always comparing the book with movie-which is better? Did the film really follow the book? How would I have adapted the text? I took a Shakespeare in Film class over the summer-I had no idea there were so many adaptations of Shakespeare's works & every took their own angle at the text; some film were strictly an adapation, while others were an interpreation. (We actually watched a 1957 black & white Japanese film based on Macbeth, Throne of Blood. Not the greatest film, but it shows the vast flexibility of movie makers worth looking into!) I guess on that note I should head off; I'm almost done with on of the other plays & I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about that.

Posted by KatherineLambert at August 20, 2005 09:56 AM

Your Shakespeare in Film class will definitely have prepared you to do look at drama as literature in this class. Sometimes students who've seen a particular production, or who get an idea about how a character might say a particular line, invest a lot of energy into convincing others that that particular interpreation is what the line "means". But if you've seen such diverse and creative interpretations, then you've got an idea of how creative a director can be.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at August 20, 2005 03:37 PM
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