What is a Drama?
History of Drama
The word drama comes from the Greek verb dran, which means “to do.” The origins of drama as we know it are more the concern of anthropologists because drama and religious ritual seem to have been bound up with one another in the earlier stages of all civilizations.
These things lie in the background of all drama:
• Folk celebrations,
• Ritual miming of such elemental themes as death and resurrection,
• Seasonal festivals with appropriate symbolic actions.
As far as we can trace the history of English drama, it begins with the elaboration of the ecclesiastical liturgy in mutually answering dialogues.
Of the other sources --pre-Christian seasonal festivals, St. George and Robin Hood plays, maypole dances, and similar folk activities-- we know little else except that they existed.
No substantial continuity can be established between the origins of European drama in the Middle Ages and the drama of Greece and Rome, which had already run its course by the time the Christian era began.
Strolling minstrels and other varieties of itinerant entertainments might have preserved some bit of Roman theater but they eventually became absorbed into the repertory of the profession long before it contributed anything to the acting of miracle or mystery and morality plays.
The earliest known plays were written around the fifth century B.C.
produced for festivals to honor Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility
How is Drama structured?
Like the plot of a story, the plot of a play involves characters who face a problem or conflict.
expotions- characters and conflict are introduced
complications- tension builds
climax- point of highest tension; action determines how the conflict will be resolved
resolution- conflict is resolved;play ends