Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reply to a Reader who asked: "What exactly is DRAMA?"

A dramatic story is a structured presentation of emotional energy given moment, movement, and meaning (form) by the actions of characters. Dramatic characters are necessarily threatened or otherwise endangered by a disturbance or problem of such magnitude and urgency that, unless they deal with it immediately and find a way of overcoming or neutralising it, they risk losing what they most desire. Galvanised by a human need that is identifiable to an audience, and guided by a clear objective or goal as well as a plan for achieving that goal, the dramatic character struggles against seemingly overwhelming opposition in order to achieve his or her objective.

DRAMA arises every time when change forces change upon CHARACTERS that we care about. Change is expressed through the actions of the characters and/or Nature, and a dramatic story acknowleges and dramatises the proposition that life is "a perpetual perishing", and that it is in the essential nature of a human being in the course of BEING to "rage, rage against the dying of the light:.

The struggle or the contest by which we (as audience and co-creators of the story) FEEL our existence is framed in drama - it may come in the guise of a desire that is suddenly frustrated, the loss of someone or something that is precious to us or with which we identify, or as self-doubt occasioned by a severe psychological wound, or as an existential disconnection that renders life meaningless.

The striving against everything that might frustrate, discourage, or ultimately defeat us (and the characters in the story) - this striving is the essence of dramatic action, together with ours and the characters' refusal to accept the prevailing conditions, which in turn leads us back to our own origins and the essence or source of our slavery and our freedom.

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