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The plot is good versus evil. Star Wars is an example of melodrama


A sad story with a happy ending


- A serious play that makes you feel exhilarated because the hero's experience teaches you some profound truth about your life and affirms that your worst expectations about life are true.

goat song

also known as tragedy. The word derives from the ancient Greek religious ceremonies at which a god was sometimes depicted as having attributes of a goat.


genre associated with anarchic and unbelievable situations. The film Death at a Funeral is an example of a farce.

domestic comedy

Topics focus on family issues.


Written by Aristotle, the earliest known essay analyzing theatre.

unity of action

According to Aristotle, a play should have one main action with few or no subplots.


the description of a plot of a play where the action develops in chronological order without flashbacks


Where the arrangement of the plot presents flashbacks and subjective scenes other than chronological order.


an event that changes the status quo in the plot of the play

status quo

the stable situations at the beginning of a plot, before the dramatic question is asked.

turning point

the part in the play when a change happens that inevitably leads to the answering of the dramatic question. Also known as the crisis.

major dramatic question

- the question posed early on in the play and keeps the audience interested until it is answered at the plot's resolution.

inciting event

The point in the plot when the major dramatic question is asked.


The agents for the action


The speeches the characters say. The playwright's primary material.


What a character has to overcome to achieve their objective.


A style of theatrical production and dramatic writing that imitates selected traits of the language and appearance of everyday life.


The entirety of a character's part in a play


The character's main goal

Constantin Stanislavsky

The Russia n actor/director who developed a widely used system for analyzing a character.

emotional recall

When an actor remembers how he or she felt in a similar situation in real life and substitutes that feeling for the character's emotional state during the performance of a role.


a tryout for a part in a play


A person who represents an actor by soliciting employment and negotiating contracts in exchange for 10 percent of the actor's salary.

call back

When an actor gets asked back for a second reading for a part in a play.


The choice, sequence, and arrangement of the playwright's words


main idea or theme


the visual aspects of a production


Aristotle said that the plot was the "life and soul of the drama".

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