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Dramatica and Playwriting

Posted: Feb 01, 2011 12:23 am
by UTAtheatreguy
Hi, apologies if this is not quite where this question goes but this is a question about Dramatica (while not exactly being one about theory).

Are there any playwrights who use Dramatica that this forum is aware of, and who can talk about how their Dramatica-using process fits into a stageworthy presentation?

I know that whether it be a novel, play, or screenplay, you need solid characters and plot so I'm not knocking the product. I was just wondering if there was any material I could look at since I'd love to utilize DrP4 into my playwriting.


if you are telling a story, it will work.

Posted: Feb 02, 2011 11:40 am
by Clint541963
I am not a published writer so consider the source. :wink: but I know that Chris and Sandy have said that usually in plays the throughline with the main focus is the overall through line (or the Objective through line) as opposed to movies which usually focus on the main character through line. I have been studying Dramatica for a couple of years and I can think of no reason why Dramatica is not a great tool for playwriting. You still have 4 through lines. You still have a main character and an impact character. Whether you have 1 character or 2 or 64 you still need them to perform certain functions. The characters have purpose, methodologies, motivations, and means of evaluation. there are themes explored, problems and concerns. Dramatica is in a four act structure but that is so amorphous, you know? All that means is that each through line has four areas to explore(signposts if you will) with a journey between each. What is an act any more these days? It is not as clear cut as it use to be. If you really want three acts you can take the middle two as one act with a midpoint (or a point of no return). I think you will love it. Just don't think it will write it for you. Dramatica just makes sure you cover (or at least consider) all the bases. The fun part is all up to you and your craft and imagination.

Re: Dramatica and Playwriting

Posted: Feb 07, 2011 3:51 pm
by Chris Huntley
I posted a reply to this on your thread in the Dramatica theory forum.

Re: Dramatica and Playwriting

Posted: Feb 08, 2011 8:35 pm
by Clint541963
I cannot edit my comment above but found out that I mis-remembered (remembered wrong) (screwed up) To clarify, no one ever said that plays focused on the overall or objective story. Somehow I ... oh, whatever what I actually heard was on a podcast analysis of Ground Hog Day where Sandy Stone said most plays deal in Internal realm throughlines and the movies deal mostly in external realm throughlines. I am trying to get clarification on which throughlines are which.

Check out Chris's post regarding this subject.:

Code: Select all

Again, I apologize for being misleading and misrepresenting.

Re: Dramatica and Playwriting

Posted: Feb 12, 2011 1:21 pm
by Clint541963
Here is a quote from Chris Huntley in post "Re: Dramatica in Theatre & Small Cast pieces."

Throughline assignments:

-- SITUATION: External / State
-- ACTIVITY: External / Process

-- FIXED ATTITUDE: Internal / State
-- MANIPULATION (Psychology): Internal / Process

Sandy is correct when he says that plays tend to focus on the internal "realm" more than the external "realm," but I don't think by realm he necessarily was referring to the throughline domains as much as the nature of the throughlines themselves. The main character throughline is personal and deals with the MC's personal issues (both internal and external). Even if Sandy did mean the internal domains versus the external domains, the nature of plays is to excel in exploring the inner nature of something more than its external nature.

Techniques used in plays often are not as readily accepted by audiences in movies, and vice versa. It is hardly black and white, but the language or theater is based on words taking precedence over imagery, and the language of cinema is based on imagery taking precedence over words.

I thought it well worth repeating here.