chapter  7
Teaching the play
WithKatherine Raithby, Alison Taylor
Pages 19

This chapter examines the particular characteristics of drama and explores the opportunities which it offers to students. The collective performance aspect of drama encourages the development of both oral and listening skills and, especially when a play is seen in production, the students can become transported powerfully into the world of the characters. The nature of drama presents the teacher with the question of how best to go about ‘reading’ the play with the class. The act and scene structure of plays assists in chunking the text and it is helpful for students to build a scene by scene summary of the play. The use of clear stage directions enables the playwright to convey an authorial voice and, in framing the dialogue, stage directions help the reader watch the play ‘imaginatively’. The setting for the play also provides a rich backdrop for study and students should be encouraged to think about the visual impact of the play.