Key resources 2 - Drama and Writing
Uses of writing in drama
Drama along with poetry and prose makes up the triad of written forms of expression at the heart of the English curriculum. All forms of dramatic writing present the challenge of representing characters in context in living ‘here-and-now’ situations which use visual, aural, linguistic, spatial, physical signs to convey a ‘living reality’ for an audience.
In drama, pupils have opportunities to:
- Use the conventions of dramatic writing – monologue, dialogue, scene structure, stage directions, text and sub text;
- Recognise and write in different styles of dramatic writing – realist, non-realist, Greek, Renaissance, modern, post-modern;
- Recognise and use different genres of dramatic writing – comedy, tragedy, epic, absurdist
- Make translations of experience, poetry, prose, fictional and non-fictional sources into dramatic form.
Ask trainees to consider which Framework objectives and texts and activities they might use to introduce selected styles and conventions of dramatic writing in Year 8
Dramatic use of writing:
The use of dramatic contexts to provide authentic purposes, felt motives and ‘real’ consequences for writing:
- Notes, messages, recipes, instructions, memos, text messages, emails
- Letters, diaries, witness statements, chronicles, archives
- Official reports, laws of the land, job descriptions, technical details, scientific reports, Church records (births, deaths, christenings etc)
All of these may be written in role in response to the demands of the dramatic context and ‘published’ as part of the drama. Or, they may be used as ‘props’; the basis for dramatic exploration and discovery of the writer’s purposes and intentions and cultural/historical location
Ask trainees to consider a situation in a familiar novel or Shakespearean play that might require, or use, one of the text-types above as a stimulus, exploration or development.
Dramatic contextualising of writing/reading texts:
Actively re-creating and exploring the social, cultural and material context suggested in a text, or ‘drafting’ imagined experiences in drama as a stimulus for writing.
Constructing, developing, inhabiting dramatic contexts, provides the opportunity for more detailed, sensuous and reflective writing in the form of:
- writing in role: poems, journals, monologues, letters etc
- a variety of narrative genres
- dramatic writing: scenes, stage directions, settings etc
Ask trainees to consider how writing in role might be used as part of an exploration of Juliet’s character in Romeo and Juliet. Trainees might also consider how a scene from a familiar KS3 novel might be used as the basis for dramatic writing.