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Do script and audience interact in drama in the same way as texts and readers?

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aburezq | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 8, 2010 at 7:01 PM via web

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Do script and audience interact in drama in the same way as texts and readers?

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 4:04 AM (Answer #1)

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Script and audience interact in drama in the way texts and readers interact in novels.  ( I am assuming the last part of that statement).

This statement is both true and untrue.  First of all, the comparison is valid because the relationship between a text and its reader parallels the relationship between a script and the audience of the play that it represents.  In both cases, the reader/audience takes away important elements of character, plot, theme and human nature in general from the words generated by the script and the novel.

However, the interaction is far more interpretive between the reader and the text.  The reader must supply all of the visualization, the sound, the look of the characters, the weather, the smell of the chicken broiling - all of the details - for himself.  He must make use of the text to bring these ideas to life in his own mind.  If the text is persuasive, he must understand the precise meanings of the words in order to be persuaded because he cannot hear the delivery or see the facial expressions of the speaker.

In a drama, the script is already interpreted before it gets to the audience.  A production company has hired actors, built a visual set, and trained the actors in how the say each line.  The volume, the tone of voice, the appearance of the actors - all of these are predetermined for the audience.  In fact, it is doubtful that the audience has even seen a script. 

Thus, the reader of a text relates and interacts on an interpretive level while the audience and a script interact through a third party which actually produces the play.  Thus the interaction is more dependent upon the ideas of this producer.

I hope this helps!

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