ERIC Number: ED270817
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Using Drama in the Composition Class.
Radavich, David A.
Dramatic texts are an ideal pedagogical tool for clarifying certain aspects of communication such as authorial stance, point of view, role, persona, impersonation, ethos, shared communal values, cultural assumptions, genre expectations, audience, performance, dialogue, and enactment. Using dramatic texts in a composition class can broaden student exposure to language contexts and rhetorical situations in a way that benefits their writing and thinking generally. Students can learn to focus their writing perspective and construct a rhetorical "voice" by assuming a role from a play and arguing from a specific character's point of view. To develop an understanding of ethos, and shared cultural assumptions, students "translate" a play such as Sheridan's "The Rivals" into modern terms, with roughly equivalent contemporary characters and settings based on the local area. Students learn to understand genre expectations by asking whether "Oedipus Rex" is a murder mystery or a detective story, or whether Peter Shaffer's "Equus" is a problem-solving or therapy/ catharsis play. All discourse is in some sense dramatic and all writing and speaking are dialogue; therefore, drama can expand student writing skills. (SRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (37th, New Orleans, LA, March 13-15, 1986).