One Act Play Made its Entrance in the Twentieth Century and Concentrates both the Denouement and Climax within its Short Space



Introduction: The one act play practically made its entrance in the twentieth century and it concentrates both the denouement and climax within its short space. Herman Old comments on one act play as, “It may be neat, compact and rigid: but it may also be wayward, expansive and flexible. So long as it does not conflict with the fundamental principles of drama, it may venture in to a hundred different directions and exploit almost as many themes as the ingenuity and inventiveness of the author can suggest.”




It’s Organ: Although in 20th century there is the preponderance of one act play, its origin can be stressed back to the 15th century among the Morality, miracle and Mystery plays. In old Sanskrit text there is also the shadow of one act play. But among those plays there is only the outward from not the essence of the modern time.

It’s functioning: As start story can’t be expanded in to novel, a one act play can’t dare to be a full fetched five act play. The functioning of the act play is quite deferent from the five act play. An one act play does not have the time for elaborate speeches or meditative versification of the selective incidents within a short span of time are in acted with the purpose of turning them into a dramatic climax. With the purpose of creating an impression and dramatic climax the incidents are drawn on a particular setting, involving a single character in it. A one act play goes through three phases Exposition, Growth and climax. Except all these machineries a one act play can be striking on its exposition, character, impression, setting or comicality.

A few Examples: Joe carrier’s Hewers of Coal has an expositional excellence. The play also sketches the character of oilman minutely. Norman McKinney’s The Bishop’s Candlesticks is a character based play. Here Bishop appears quite a bold character though his generosity, humanity, Patience and tolerance. Oliver Conway’s Becky sharp, Galsworthy’s The Little man, David Scold Denial’s The queen and Mr, Shakespeare, Housman’s Under Fire, Maurice Barings’ The Rehearsal and Monthon Roy’s Bidduitparna are all character based plays. W.W. Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw has a supernatural at morpheme whereas Gregory’s The Rising of the Moon is artistically superb. Milner’s The Bay comes Home is a social critique comically expressed. J.M. Synge’s Riders to the Sea is one of the best one act plays of the time and has all the requirements of such a play as brevity, compression, an overall atmosphere of doom, a deep human tragedy. Synge is also able to combine with it a local color presenting the real problems of the poor people of the Aram Islands. We can also mention one of the best one act plays in Bengali, Subhayatra by Probir Majumdaar. Here the story reveals the author’s sense of irony and deep insight. 

Conclusion: The future of one act play is bright enough with the compulsion that the five-act play represents a full circle of life which demands more time And patience. But sorely to say modern man has none of these. A one-act play represents a gleam of life in portion and particles which suits the modern theatre goes. The ingenuity and inventiveness of one-act play wrights have also enthroned it and made it a piece of excellence.