DRAMA For many decades, drama has been in our world. It gives us feelings, emotions, morality and sometimes quotes. What is drama exactly? Is it a play? An action? Or just an entertainment? Hamilton Carole in his article “the study of drama” defined Drama to be a representational art, a visible and audible narrative presenting virtual, fictional characters within a virtual, fictional universe. Also he stated “Dramatic realizations may pretend to approximate reality or else stubbornly defy, distort, and deform reality into an artistic statement”.
I look at drama as a tool, a way to make learning exciting and entertaining, allowing students to become participants rather than passive listeners. Drama is most often associated with the idea of action, this is because drama is intended for performance, drama can ‘bring to life’ things that would ordinarily be quite to dimensional. Examples of drama can be found everywhere; we can find it as written text, a piece of theatre and on our television and cinema screens. The purpose of these pieces of drama varies but they also have things in common. This is because drama does not have one definable purpose but several. We need to get this right the drama text is not the same as a novel or a poem. And stage drama is different from television drama which is different from film. Although we have the printed text, in one sense it only becomes realized in performance, in front of an audience. It is also not definitive in most cases the text is “re-written” with each performance or direction”. (Sanger, Keith). Raymond Williams has recently insisted that “a play can both be literature and theatre, not the one at the expense of the other, but each because of the other.
And of course the ordinary honest and intelligent play goers have always sensed that the good play was both to reconcile literature and theatre is not to compromise and lose something from each, but rather to understand what dramatic dialogue is and do”. According to Onyeka Iwuchukwu in his book “element of drama” he admits that “drama is an imitation of an action. It is a branch of literature which is both literary art and representational art. As a literary art, it deals with fiction or an imaginary story that is presented through characters and dialogue.
However, it is a special kind of fiction because it is designed to be acted out rather than narrated. When we read a novel or a short story, we understand and appreciate the story, through the narrator or author but in drama the characters live out the story for us. The playwright does not comment or explain anything. So, drama gives us a direct presentation of life experiences. That is why we say that it is a representational art. Drama, therefore, uses language in the form of gesture; characters are used to present the story”.
Brian and Sigmund in their scientific research observed that “drama provides a disciplined, calm, and hardworking atmosphere which promotes efficient study skills, school success and good memory. In this way, drama cultivates a healthy brain; the brain strengthens certain brain functions in a use-it-or-lose-it manner. ” Also Jeffery Wilhelm agrees that “a drama workshop can be used as a tool for teachers who have difficulties with students in reading and writing class. Drama can open up new experiences for the students and help them relate to the reading material.
A drama workshop enables students to discover different reading and writing techniques”. My first theatre experience was when I was 10 years old. It was William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”. It looked very real and I had an unforgettable experience. I spent a good portion of the time turning around in my seat so that I could watch the flickering bulb from the projector. I had always loved live theatre it was very exciting and inspiring. I find watching live drama to be therapeutic whenever I am distressed.