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Play Directing, 7th Edition by Michael McLain, Francis Hodge

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4

The Core of the Playscript

Dramatic Action and Characters

 

 

 

Dramatic action is the clash of forces in a play—the continuous conflict between and among characters. Here lies the emotional content that moves audiences, for understanding the action will unlock the play. The core of all plays is thus action and characters—human beings who engage in action and receive action from others and are thus forced to take action yet again in what becomes a chain reaction of forcing and a contest or struggle for a desired outcome.

Dramatic action and characters are inextricably tied together, a fact of dramatic form that you will understand better as you work through this chapter. The word plot is used here in the way playwrights or literary critics ...

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