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Dramatic Reading An outline Friday, January 24, 14

MPY G1 T3: Mr. Glover


What is interpretive or dramatic reading? Basically the reader is sharing an interpretation of the playwright with an audience, literally read and not memorized. • The reader communicates meaning and emotions to the listener, relying only on the spoken word through reading, without props, costumes, lighting or sound effects, or other devices including digital presentations, or wandering about a stage • The reader assumes the identity of a character and portrays the dramatic, physical and emotional aspects of this character or of the situation • If there are several characters, each is identified through voice changes, gestures, and posture • If there are more than one reader, there is no physical or eye contact between readers as in a play

Friday, January 24, 14


Interpretive reading begins with a good understanding of the material •The selection is focused and not too complex so that the audience can identify with and understand it in one presentation •The piece stands on its own: does it sound right? Will it be understood? •What is the (your) emotional connection; how does it affect your reading and interpretation?

Friday, January 24, 14


Once a reading is selected, analyze and study its sequence of thought:

•Summarize the general theme, or dominant meaning, you wish to convey •Visualize or imagine a word picture that will help you relate your experience with the reading

Friday, January 24, 14


What will be your introduction? Capture the audience's attention, and set the stage for the reading, point of view, context, etc. •From what work is this selection taken? What is the title? Who is the author? •What is the context, and role of the character(s)? •Try to link to overall play using transitions to set the stage and connect the pieces

Friday, January 24, 14


Practice reading aloud for continuity and smoothness •Keep your mind on the connected thought as you read •Do the sequences of sentences build the theme or story? •Practice reading the story out loud to a trial audience •Visualize the play and character as a whole. •Where does this reading fit into the play as a whole? •How can you reflect this ‘whole’ through your reading?

Friday, January 24, 14


Create an atmosphere or context with your voice • Expressive reading uses many vocal tools. Vocal qualities show differences in characters, development of the action, and indications of emotions • Rhythm, pace and cadence include pauses and effective spacing for words • Pronunciation of words pays attention to the enunciation of sounds. • Practice difficult words and their sounds as vowels and consonants, especially leading and ending sounds. • Hear James Earl Jones recite the American alphabet LINK 2

Friday, January 24, 14


Emphasize prominent words or groups of words in order to make the meaning clear •Enunciate the final word in sentences •Pay attention to punctuation (comma, question, exclamation, etc.) and expressions •Inflection: raising and lowering pitch, as loudness and softness. •For example, a rising inflection is used in asking a question and expressing happiness, an expression of joyousness and life. •A falling inflection expresses seriousness, completing a thought, or an indirect question.

Friday, January 24, 14


Try reading the sentences but in place of words use only a sound as mmm or ahhhh •Use facial expressions and gestures, and timely, effective eye contact with the audience •Bring out the music of the rhythm, but avoid singsong reading. •Adjust your voice in order to interpret the "music" and thought of the reading. •Deliberate or fast reading can convey emotion.

Friday, January 24, 14


Characterization • Your dramatic reading is just that “DRAMATIC”! • Use your voice and your gestures to paint an accurate picture of the personality and feelings of the character you are depicting. • You need to try and become that character before you can do this. • What unique characteristics of speech (accent, age etc) does this character have? • How might their personality (arrogant, authoritative etc) impact on their speech? • How might the interaction they are engaged in with other actors at that time (anger, loving, supportive etc) impact on speech? Friday, January 24, 14


• Puck: Act V, sc. 2

Now the hungry lion roars, And the wolf behowls the moon; Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, All with weary task fordone. Now the wasted brands do glow, Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, Puts the wretch that lies in woe In remembrance of a shroud. Now it is the time of night That the graves all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite,

Read this excerpt dramatically LINK

In the church-way paths to glide: And we fairies, that do run By the triple Hecate's team, From the presence of the sun, Following darkness like a dream, Now are frolic: not a mouse Shall disturb this hallow'd house: I am sent with broom before, To sweep the dust behind the door.

Friday, January 24, 14

Dramatic Reading Outline  
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