Drama GCSE Key Words

  • Created by: tati.tres
  • Created on: 20-12-19 11:10
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  • Freeze Frame
    • During an improvisation or the playing of a scene, the instruction, 'freeze' is called out and the performance hold their positions at that moment. It has the effect of holding down the pause button on a DVD player. It is often confusingly used to mean 'still image' or 'tableau' that are techniques used to consciously set up a 'stage picture' or a 'frozen image'.
    • Key Drama Terms
      • Improvisation
        • To perform quickly in response to something, or act without previous planning. A distinction is made between spontaneous and prepared improvisation. The former relating to making up a role as you go along and the latter relating to working within a previously agreed playing would answer.
      • Hot Seating
        • A technique to gain a deeper understanding of a character role. An individual sits in a chair designated as the 'hot-seat'. The rest of the group asks the person in the 'hot-seat' relevant questions about their feelings, thoughts, actions or circumstances. The person in the 'hot-seat' answers the questions in role as they think the character they are playing would answer.
      • Narration
        • Dialogue designed to tell the story or provide accompanying information. Narration can accompany onstage action or be presented in its own right.
      • Narrator
        • A role that functions like a story teller. A narrator can be used to describe he action, provide a commentary or give additional information. A A narrator can be present onstage or be an off-stage, or pre-recorded, voice.
      • Soundscape
        • Using sounds made vocally to create na aural environment for a scene. Each individual creates a sound appropriate for a given circumstance to accompany or introduce a scene. For example, one person makes seas sounds, whole another imitates the cry of a seagull to suggest the seaside. Repeated words and phrases overlapping each other can also be used to suggest a location or might be portrayed as sounds in a character's head, as though from a nightmare or series of flashbacks
      • Tableau(x)
        • A variation on still-image referring to a dramatic grouping of characters. A tableau may not necessarily be a still or frozen image as dialogue can be spoken and gestures used when it refers to the general 'stage picture' during a sequence in a scene. Tableau vivant is a particular instance where the performers re positioned to represent a picture of 'fresco' and props and costumes are often used as an integral part of the stage picture. It can also be used to describe a pause on the stage where all performers briefly freeze in position. This can typically be found at the end of scenes in Victorian melodramas.
      • Audience
        • The nature of the relationship between performers and an audience is subject to much theoretical debate. The main argument centres around the relative passivity of the audience in relation to the action on stage. In educational drama the audience can be fellow participants, whereas in a performance the audience takes a more observational stance. Some types of performance call for greater audience involvement.
      • Charcater
        • The person/persona that an actor wishes to convey. It is used interchangeably with role, but character tends to have a more specific meaning to refer to an actual person. A character, for example, could play a number of roles in a play such as parent, employer and friend, as individuals fo in real life. Also an act can play a number of differing roles in a play each of which can be different characters.
      • Devised Work
        • Work that is principally developed by performers without working to a script written by a playwright in the conventional sense.
      • Fourth Wall
        • The notion that the stage is like a room with four walls with the audience looking in where one of the walls would be. Associated with naturalism in which there is a convention that the performers act as though the audience was not there.
      • Monologue
        • Literally means on person speaking. It is a genre in its own right but it can also be a speech enacted Bye one character alone on stage in other genres. Dialogue spoken Bye a narrator can take the form of a monologue. A soliloquy is a particular type of monologue that involves a character speaking their inner thought out loud to the audience
      • Duologue
        • A play or part of a play with speaking roles for only two actors.


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