Theatre Chapter 3

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One difference between the playwright in Shakespeare’s time and the contemporary playwright is that

the playwright no longer functions as a director but is now considered an independent artist.

Every person may be considered a playwright because

the unconscious stages an association of words and ideas when we sleep.

The term "playwright" refers to

a person who constructs and composes a play as a wheelwright makes a wheel.

The core element of every play is

the action

The playwright works with two fundamental tools:

dialogue and physical action.

A play in which events are connected to each other in strict, chronological, cause-effect continuity, and in which dramatic experience attempts to convey a lifelike progression of experience through time, is classified as

continuous in structure and linear in chronology.

Which of the following is the most accurate statement of the audience’s response to the drama?

Intrigue draws us into the world of the play; credibility keeps us there.

Which of the following is true of playwriting in bygone days?

Playwriting was considered so technically demanding a craft that playwrights spent long in-house apprenticeships as "company men," learning their skills through continual exposure in theatrical rehearsal and performance.

A play in which every character possesses an independence of intention and expression, and whose motivation appears sensible in the light of our general knowledge of psychology and human behavior, possesses

depth of characterization.

All of the following are signs of good characterization EXCEPT

the character appears as a pawn in the playwright’s grand design and exists only to symbolize something.

Which quality of character began in realism and grew to become the dominant aspect of the theatrical experience by the mid-twentieth century, most notably in the plays of Checkov, Williams, and Miller?

the psychological dimension of character

A play that deals with an issue of serious and lasting significance in humanity’s spiritual or intellectual life beyond the mere attempt to imitate profundity is said to possess


The playwright’s skill at condensing a story that may spans many days or years of chronological time into a theatrical time frame is called


Scenes of forced conflict are important because

climactic scenes define a play’s structure.

What aspects of the play do not need to be written at all?

a character’s improvisational behavior

James Barrie’s fantastical play Peter Pan deals with characters that are wholly appropriate to their imaginary situation and internally consistent in their actions within the context of the play. Since it may be said to make a picture of a wholly consistent world, this play possesses


After what era did the image of the playwright move from that of theatrical co-worker to that of the isolated observer and social critic?


A linear plot proceeds by

the point-to-point storytelling of events linked in chronological, cause-effect continuity.

All of the following could be considered contributors to an interesting audial shape to dialogue EXCEPT

well structured grammar

When a playwright has managed to make every scene, incident, character, and word deliver an impact, he or she has satisfied the dramatic demand for


Whose plays are noted for intensely realistic writing and almost musical, rhythmic dialogue?

David Mamet

This playwright speaks of "two selves, the public and private self, the worlds that people juggle a lot of time just from being out there in the world," and whose works, such as Wrecks, reflect this statement.

Neil LaBute

Which playwright has branched out into writing librettos and adaptations of musicals for shows such as Aida and Tarzan?

David Henry Hwang

Which playwright demonstrates a commitment to issues global human rights, as shown in Ruined?

Lynn Nottage

Which New York-born, Louisiana-raised, playwright (b. 1956) wrote a masterpiece of modern drama, Angels in America, which deals with the AIDS crisis, sexuality, gender, and politics?

Tony Kushner

The audience’s demand for internal consistency in a play, in which the characters, the situation, and the theatrical context are combined to generate the action, creates credibility.


The quality of a play that creates suspense by making us wonder what will happen next is called curiosity.


The quality of stage dialogue that makes it achieve maximum impact when spoken and which requires the playwright to be attentive to the audial shape of language, including the meaning of the dialogue and the rhythm of sound, is called stageability.


The quality of a play that describes the way the playwright creates a world in which every detail fortifies our insight into the play is called richness.


A play that relates in some fashion to the current personal concerns of the audience is said to possess gravity.


An independence of thought and vision is perhaps the playwright’s most important characteristic.


The plays of Tony Kushner look at the hidden violence that can lie beneath seemingly stable human relationships, as in Bash, which is set within the context of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.


A screenwriter, as well as a playwright, Neil LaBute’s contribution to today’s theatre is a return to highly romantic dialogue, at times written in poetic verse.


Based off of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage, Lynn Nottage’s play Ruined transposes the action to a brothel in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


The quality of a play that refers to a continual stream of information is called progression.


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