ON ACTING: Must Acting Always Be Conflict?
In rebuttal: if, as acting theory since Aristotle has argued, drama’s social and creative goal is the release of group/audience tension (Aristotelian pity and fear) through the identification of life’s deepest stories as enacted by actors, logic dictates that in order for drama’s raison d’etre, catharsis, to be realized, dramatic conflict—tension--must be first be engaged. There can be no release of tension without the initial establishment of it.
Therefore, co-operation may be appropriate as a tactic in a drama during conflict--or appropriate to the end of drama; perhaps as a resolution--but it is not and cannot be the fundamental definition of drama.
Dialogue, storytelling without conflict is not drama; it is something else: essays, poetry, lectures or propaganda; an illustration of life, but never a true dramatization of life.