Time, Place, Action. What these three words mean to you is so important. For a great concert you need the perfect time. Maybe the best time for you to get off work, make sure it is the right time of day if outside, or you could say the longer the concert the better! Place. Where is the best place for your ideal concert? Concerts don’t work in a boring assembly hall with nothing but florescent white lights and terrible acoustics. You need room to move and breathe, a place built for a superior lighting display, and acoustic possibilities that make the music cut to your soul. Then action. I can imagine most of you don’t want to pay for tickets to a concert where Pink, Josh Groban, and The Dixie Chicks are playing in a round without separation. There is no unity of genre and therefore no unity of action. Well, these are examples to help you understand why Dramatic Criticism makes sense. Back in the day, during the Renaissance in Italy, there were a lot of smart guys writing about this idea. If they lived today they would agree that Josh Groban and the Dixie Chicks don’t belong in the same venue at the same time. They had the same feelings about popular performances of their own during the fifteen and sixteen hundreds. They felt it important for the story on a stage be about events that happened during a 24 hour period of time. Apparently that made it more realistic. They felt it important that the scenes on the stage represented one general location; unlike movies today where one moment you are in the US the next you are in China, they didn’t find that realistic. They also didn’t believe in lots of crazy subplots. A play with more than one core relationship of characters was just not going to work (Wilson and Goldfarb 152). Imagine what it would be like if people writing plays, stories, and songs had to follow those rules today, it would be insane. But just think, they had a reason for it. Like we already pointed out, they were thinking the same way then as you are thinking now about what rules make a good concert. This is called Unity of time, place, and action. Now you know, hopefully this makes sense.
Wilson, Edwin, Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: History of Theatre Sixth Edition. McGraw Hill: New York, 2012. Print.