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Notes on Using Dramas

You will find several different types of drama script on this site. There are New Testament and Old Testament single act dramas that were written for use mainly in church services. Some are quite staged, some are quite static - using narrator, characters and choruses. They are all written to be presented with the minimum of scenery, costumes and fuss so as to fit smoothly into the different segments of a service. Most of these dramas are straight forward 'story telling' without being 'preachy' so would also be acceptable in assemblies and other school situations.

You will also find a section of drama series. These were written for holiday clubs and play schemes but several of them - The Great Pongadron Rescue; Moses and the Great Escape; The Tangolian Tremor - were also adapted into productions that were toured around local schools. They all have Biblical themes - some more obvious than others! They were written to be performed in a venue with a split level stage and at times you will find that this is referred to in the staging instructions.

You have to think of these dramas as being 'semi-staged.' They are more like 'radio plays with actions' rather than fully staged productions. However, you can be as ambitious as you like when staging them - we always used costumes and scenery often then using the scenery as the backdrop to other club activities as well. They were always performed with scripts in hand to avoid the extra stress of busy people having to learn their parts! Several of the drama series also have sound effects listed in them.  Unfortunately we cannot supply sound effect audio files due to copyright restrictions. However, with a modern digital recorder you can easily record a collection of sound effects that will greatly enhance the dramas. If you are using children in your production this is a good job to give to a teen-age boy. Where music is needed, at the beginning, end or during the dramas. use something contemporary that will be familiar to the audience.

Adaptations will inevitably have to be made to all drama scripts to fit them into your venue and to   the actors at your disposal. More than any other material on the site these are raw material for you to get to work on and enjoy yourself with.

It is always good to have someone who acts as director and is not playing a part. As director you should have read the script right through several times and decided on what adaptations you feel are needed. Scenery and costumes need to be planned and made but it is good to do this as a group, sharing ideas and using your collective imagination. Where sound effects are included make sure you rehearse these with the dialogue. Getting the sound effect snappy and right can add a lot to the plays.

Choose your actors carefully and always begin rehearsals with several 'read throughs.' Be creative about how you use the space available but the most important thing is to make sure that everyone can be heard. Inexperienced actors, particularly children, can often drop their voices when performing so, unless you are certain that your actors will be heard by the whole audience, use microphones even if it restricts the amount of action you would like. 

Drama is a particularly exciting and dynamic way of communicating with people.  In a church or school context, where there is an established community, drama can often enable people to find their voices within the community in new ways and contribute in new and rich ways to the life of the community. In our society, where many people live their lives around soap operas, films and other TV dramas, the use of drama can be a very direct way of speaking to people in ways that will be remembered and understood.
The most important thing to remember when rehearsing and presenting these dramas is to have fun! Enjoy yourselves and others will enjoy what you do.


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