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Drama: Understanding the Text (Elements of Drama)

Terms in this set (6)

-There are many types of modern stages, including the traditional proscenium stage, the thrust stage (where an audience sits around three sides of the major acting area), and the arena stage (where an audience sits all the way around the acting area). Most plays are performed on proscenium stages.

-Older theatrical traditions made use of other kinds of stages, including the amphitheater of Greek theater, in which the audience sat in a raised semicircle around a circular orchestra and recessed stage area, and the stage of Shakespeare's age, which was something like a thrust stage.

- Before the modern period, plays were performed outdoors in the daylight and involved few pieces of scenery and little furniture or costume design.

- When watching a play performance, audiences must imagine that the stage set is actually a particular place or setting somewhere else.

- Sets consist of the design, decoration, and scenery on stage during a play performance.

- Props are articles or objects used on stage.

- In modern theater, sets and props may be realistic or may suggest abstract ideas.

- The conventions of ancient Greek drama stipulated that playwrights adhere to the classical unities, or the unity of time, unity of place, and unity of action. Plays were supposed to represent a unified action that occurred over a short span of time (sometimes as short as the actual performance time) in a single location.

- Modern plays often make use of multiple settings and jumps in time. Gaps in time and changes in setting are often indicated by dialogue, scene breaks, changes in scenery, sound effects, stage directions, or notes in the program.