ERIC Number: ED196058
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The One-Act Play--Toward a Set of Precepts.
Cornish, Roger N.
In spite of the importance of the one-act play as an art form and as a tool for teaching playwriting, authors of playwriting texts have devoted little space to the study of the form. Because of this neglect, there is no definition of the form that is simple and specific enough to undergrid efforts to teach or write it. In the absence of a solid definition, consideration of a number of precepts associated with one-acts may offer the beginning playwright useful guidance. The first precept, singleness of incident, while universal in one-act definitions, may be so complex as to seem like several incidents. Many examples of successful one-act plays that do not abide by the singleness of incident rule suggest that the novice may have trouble using it. The second and third precepts are observance of the unities of time and place and of unbroken action. Satisfactory one-act plays seem to derive their effect from a continuously developing crisis which its audience experiences without pause for contemplation. The fourth precept, late point of attack, is the point in the implicit sequence of events at which the actual play begins. The last precept, rapid attack, is the point within the play when the conflict is presented to the audience and should come near the beginning of the play. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: One Act Plays
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Theatre Association (44th, San Diego, CA, August 10-13, 1980).