A play or a drama is a written piece of work that is presented to the readers and the audience exclusively through the form of dialogues between the characters involved in the concerned play. The play has all the typical elements that are involved in a novel or a short story but the difference lies in the manner of presentation of these elements. The play has a definite setting, a finite set of characters, and a well-determined plot. A play might even display instances of symbolism. A play is written in the form of transcripts which includes the stage directions as well as the script of the play. The play generally includes a number of list of the characters before the dialogue which is generally presented in a script form.
There are various ways to demonstrate the time period, setting, symbolism and other such factors that are involved in a play. The best way to address all the factors is the use of language. The playwright may use the language aptly in order to describe the characters of the play. The playwright might use some individualized manners of speech or some idiosyncratic language of speech in order to distinguish between the characters. The tonal use of the language helps the audience and the reader of the play to identify the time period that the play in discussion refers. The setting of a play refers to the place and the time where the story in description had taken place. The other important element that needs to be taken care of by the playwright is the necessary stage direction. The stage directions are usually printed in italics in the transcript that is handed over to the participants of the play.
All the above mentioned key factors need to be maintained accurately by the playwright in order to have a successful production of a play. The playwright must pay attention towards the key factors that are involved in the production of a play. The playwright must take care of the factors that affect the performance of the play. The playwright should make sure that the play conveys the central theme to the audience and the readers of the play. The setting of the play usually influences the occurrences that take place throughout the play.
In the play August: Osage County by Tracy Letts, for example, the messages are conveyed in a very clear manner all through the play, which is comprised of three acts. The playwright of the play depicts the post-colonial society in an apt manner through the play. The play is set in Pawhuska, Oklahoma which is situated sixty miles northwest from Tulsa. The time that is mentioned by the author is the month of August, 2007. The writer describes the visual setting of the play just before the commencement of the dialogues. The description of the stage set for the play helps the readers of the play to visualize the stage that needs to be set for the execution of the action of the play.
Baldick, Chris. The Oxford dictionary of literary terms. OUP Oxford, 2015.
Eliot, Thomas Stearns. Essays on Elizabethan Drama. Vol. 18. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
Letts, Tracy. August--Osage County. Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 2009.
Winston, Joe. "" Play is the thing!": Shakespeare, language play and drama pedagogy in the early years." The Journal of Aesthetic Education 47.2 (2013): 1-15.