How do you know if the scene that you’re writing, directing, performing or teaching is on the dramatic money? Is there such a thing as an objectively dramatic situation? How do you improve your analysis of Shakespeare & theatre in general?
Are the characters enacting, simultaneously, the desperate inclination to depart and the fervent need to remain in the scene…
Because their presence is either problematic or extremely risky…
And the prospect of their departure equally fraught?
If you’re not addressing the 3 points above, there’s a good chance that you are merely focussing on information and exposition.
The study of drama, from Euripides to Shakespeare to Arthur Miller, is not the study of information and exposition; it is the study of how characters struggle for access and territory in a physical space.
It is the study of collision, which is known as a situation.
The stakes of a situation rise in accordance with given circumstances.
The most powerful and moving language, in and of itself (and in absence of given circumstances), is not dramatic because language is not a situation.
The objectively dramatic situation, therefore, embodies the tension between presence and absence.
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