Event Title

Relating Drama as Real life: A Modified Account of Kenneth Burke's Pentad

Location

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Start Date

10-4-2012 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: In the realm of Performance Theater, actors are faced with numerous pressures to consistently perform well. How an authentic performance is manufactured and ultimately delivered depends on the responsibility and commitment an actor invests in the character development process. The purpose of this study was to explore the progression of actor and character relationships by evaluating the concept of motive: The reasons why people do the things they do. METHODS: Kenneth Burke’s dramatism theory, describing ‘all life as drama’ as it relates to the five components of the dramatism pentad: Act, Scene Agent, Agency and Purpose, were employed as a way to consider the motives behind human behavior, action and discourse. As a result of Burke’s influence, an alternative explanation artistically titled the performance pentad is presented. This concept offers a modified account of the original pentad to illustrate ‘drama as real life.’ ANALYSIS: The performance pentad suggests a framework explaining how actors create character relationships as a way to orchestrate drama where persuasion is a key factor in the motivation of performance. It delivers five essential points: Influence, Interpretation, Development, Persuasion and Satisfaction. RESULTS: It is suggested that the performance pentad be applied to any genre of theater. This study applies the performance pentad to George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, to demonstrate how it can be used to an actor’s advantage when developing a relationship with a character role. Specific character analyses in Pygmalion were analyzed revealing the pentad’s usability and relevance to the subject matter. CONCLUSION: Every action has motivation with intention. Actors create characters based on human emotion and personal experience developed over time. Actors use these tactics consciously and subconsciously in the development of a relationship with the characters they create on stage.

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Apr 10th, 3:30 PM

Relating Drama as Real life: A Modified Account of Kenneth Burke's Pentad

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

PURPOSE: In the realm of Performance Theater, actors are faced with numerous pressures to consistently perform well. How an authentic performance is manufactured and ultimately delivered depends on the responsibility and commitment an actor invests in the character development process. The purpose of this study was to explore the progression of actor and character relationships by evaluating the concept of motive: The reasons why people do the things they do. METHODS: Kenneth Burke’s dramatism theory, describing ‘all life as drama’ as it relates to the five components of the dramatism pentad: Act, Scene Agent, Agency and Purpose, were employed as a way to consider the motives behind human behavior, action and discourse. As a result of Burke’s influence, an alternative explanation artistically titled the performance pentad is presented. This concept offers a modified account of the original pentad to illustrate ‘drama as real life.’ ANALYSIS: The performance pentad suggests a framework explaining how actors create character relationships as a way to orchestrate drama where persuasion is a key factor in the motivation of performance. It delivers five essential points: Influence, Interpretation, Development, Persuasion and Satisfaction. RESULTS: It is suggested that the performance pentad be applied to any genre of theater. This study applies the performance pentad to George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, to demonstrate how it can be used to an actor’s advantage when developing a relationship with a character role. Specific character analyses in Pygmalion were analyzed revealing the pentad’s usability and relevance to the subject matter. CONCLUSION: Every action has motivation with intention. Actors create characters based on human emotion and personal experience developed over time. Actors use these tactics consciously and subconsciously in the development of a relationship with the characters they create on stage.