The Drama Medium consists of costume, masks, sound and music, space and levels, props, movement, gesture, voice and the spoken language there are many more but they are the mediums we have used for the Greek play ‘Oedipus’.
Costumes: costumes can be modern clothes or a fancy outfit. You may want to wear perhaps just black, with indications of character as an extra feature. For example, a hat, shawl or jacket could signify a character. Sometimes, in stylised drama, the items of costume are exaggerated – so a jacket could be in very bright colours. For our Greek play we wore sheets to represent togas, we wore different colour sheets and had different colour ribbons around us to represent our status. By using the different colours for example wearing gold would mean that you’re the king and have a high status it showed the audience who we were.
Masks: Masks may be single colour, painted, full-face or half-face. We used mask because the Greeks wore masks so that when their acting they will act only by using their voice and movements also when they switch characters the audience won’t find out that they have switched.
Sound and Music: by using sound and music it adds atmosphere to the drama, it emphasizes action happening on stage, help set the scene, indicate a change of time or location and also adds focus attention on to a character. For our play we used music when Oedipus kills Laius so that the focus was on them and to add emphasis.
Space and Levels: Space is another word for proximal and proximal is the relationship between the other actors for example if you’re standing close to a certain actor it means that your relationship with them is positive and the audience will see that. But if you’re standing far way it means either you don’t like that person or that you’re close to them. We used space in our drama to show the relationships of the actors on stage and also so that the audience can understand the relationships.
Levels give a stage more visual interest, and the various levels can be useful, as they allow different characters the opportunity to communicate different status, for example. The various levels might represent different locations, or may just allow the audience to see particular bits of the action more clearly. We use levels so that the audience know who has the higher power for example when we were doing the “Great Sphinx” scene I was standing on a chair to represent that I have more power then the other actors and also its make the audience understand too.
Props: Props are the items that are held or used by an actor in a scene to make it more realistic. A briefcase might be enough to portray a businessman, without using a phone as well, or a hat might signify one character when it’s on and a different character when it’s off. We used a toy baby to represent a real baby an also used sticks as swords. By using these props it improves the play.
Movement and Gesture: movement is where we move on the stage, upstage, downstage, avoiding not masking any other actors. It’s also how we move to help our characterisation for example moving slowly, painfully. And also how we move in relation to other characters, threateningly, fearfully, in a friendly manner, etc. We used many types of movement in our drama, when we was fighting we used aggressive and strong movement. Gesture is the use of our arms and sometimes legs to communicate ideas to the audience. We used arm movements for example when doing the coral speech we used different arm movements go with what we were saying. By using gesture it emphasises the performance.
Voice: consists of the tone of voice, volume and pace. The tone of voice has to suit the kind of drama your playing for example happy, soft angry etc. My tone of voice was mainly strong because I was playing strong characters. Your volume has to be high so that the audience can hear you; I thought that my voice was loud. When saying your lines you have to get the pace right, if you speak very fast the audience won’t understand you and if you speak very slow they will get bored. Overall I thought that the voices used in our performance were good everyone was loud and clear.
The Elements of Drama:
The Elements of Drama consists of Plot, action and content, Dramatic form, Characterisation, Dramatic conventions and Symbols, there are more but they are the ones that we have used in our performance.
Plot: the plot of the drama is shown in the ‘through-line’ of the drama – its beginning, middle and end, but in our performance we acted out the beginning and the middle. The characters in a play are also part of the plot.
Action: the action of the drama consists in the events that the characters take part in as they act the play. There was action in the scene where Oedipus and Laius were fighting and it also raised the tension there as well.
Content: the content of the drama lies in the themes it deals with, e.g. bullying, the responsibilities of power, the bravery of ordinary people etc. our theme was a Greek play called Oedipus.
Dramatic Form: The form of a drama is the way that the story is told, the way the characters play their parts, and the way the themes are explored.
There are various dramatic forms, for example, mime, choral readings, commedia dell’arte (improvised theatre), melodrama, physical theatre and combinations of various forms and styles. We used choral readings in most of our lines to emphasise the drama.
Characterisation: how you act out the person your playing by using the drama skills. You can show a character by using voice and movement and their reaction to different events in the drama. When creating a character we may use techniques such as hot-seating to develop the role, but we also need to think about these other aspects of presenting the character so they can ‘come alive’ within the drama. My character was to be strong and powerful because I was the Polybus and also the Great Sphinx. For me to act these characters out my body movement and voice had to high and strong and I think I succeed in presenting this to the audience.
Dramatic Convention: There’s a range of dramatic conventions in other words techniques that have been used to create dramatic effects in plays for centuries. There is slow motion we use this to add an effect. By using this technique it helps the audience understand the play also makes me understand it to. We also used freeze frame, this when everyone freezes and that is how we ended the performance.
Symbols: Dramas are produced through the use of symbols – or representations – standing in for real things. Many of the following can be understood as symbols. We use symbols to symbolise the performance. You could use props e.g. a torn wedding photograph to represent a divorce, gestures e.g. finger on lips as a symbol of silence, expressions e.g. open mouth to represent surprise, Costume, a white costume as a symbol of innocence, lighting e.g. blue lighting to represent night-time, setting, and dry ice vapour to represent a snowy wood. We used symbols for our costumes and also as a prop.