Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How to Work Idea/Theme into Play

Hatcher sees 2 ways of putting an idea/theme into in play:
1. Overtly in dialogue or monologue. Hatcher calls this the "direct, rhetorical approach"
2. In Actions/Plot. "Character + Conflict x Action = Idea approach"
(Hatcher, 1996, p.42).
Hatcher does not recommend overtly. There are times for this, but better to put idea in the actions of the characters. Hatcher argues "an audience will always listen more carefully and become more personally involved with an idea when it is presented dramatically. It is one thing to hear a psychiatrist in a play say 'Sometimes it's better to leave a person with her delusions than it is to cure her.' It is another to see her
  • Try to Cure her patient
  • Fight the delusion
  • Cure the patient
  • Witness the light go out of the patient's eyes
  • and Reverse the painful results of 'sanity'
It's the show-don't tell principle. Remember: An audience is a detective. They look for evidence, and they believe what they can see. What they see are the actions."
(Hatcher, 1996, p.43). Author's emphasis

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