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ERIC Number: ED225225
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Scripting Oral History: An Examination of Structural Differences between Oral and Written Narratives.
Miller, Gail
The availability of both oral and written historical narratives provides the Readers Theater adapter with a rich opportunity to experiment with mixing oral and written narrative styles in documentary form. Those who plan to use such mixing must consider the differences between oral and written narratives. Writers and readers have almost unlimited time; speakers and listeners do not. Writers can reread at any time; speakers are limited by their ability to recall. Speaking is more personal than writing; writing is more permanent. Intonation, volume, and speed are varied in speech; few exact correlates to these qualities exist in writing. For the adapter, these differences point up different possibilities in tone and sound for scripts and the need for artistic control to develop these possiblities. Unlike the historian, the Readers Theater adapter must sometimes alter original narratives to please audiences without sacrificing the integrity of the script. Oral narratives are particularly useful for injecting dialogue into the scene, for focusing on action, and for preserving regional flavor and humor. Written narratives are valuable for their descriptive language. Rather than stressing the balance of the historian, the adapter should strive for a point of view through selectivity. Narratives can be organized either topically or chronologically. Finally, since a speaker's background has a profound influence on his or her language, obtaining narratives from narrators of different backgrounds is vitally important. (JL)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Seminar/Conference on Oral Tradition (Las Cruces, NM, February 17-19, 1983).