For a play to be dramatic, it must be witnessed. The witness is a necessity for all forms of art. A pile of leaves is not art until a man walks by and calls it a pile of leaves. Since drama is an art, it requires the same exact thing, a witness. But there is a reason why art is divided into categories such as film, literature, or paintings. Every form of art is witnessed with a different set of expectations. When I view a gallery of Da Vinci's finest works, I do not expect any of the pieces to be animated, just as when I go to the cinema, I do not expect for there to be one still image projected onto the screen. The expectations of the witness prior to experiencing a drama are as follows. .
Drama cannot be present without the existence of a living being within time and space. Whenever there are humans, animals, or even puppets that represent people, there will be drama. This is true for one reason: as long as beings have the ability to create conflict, there will be conflict. It is an inevitable outcome of natural selection that makes us (and all other creatures) instinctively fight for survival. While man does not fall into such savage states as say, lions, tigers or bears, even in our "civilized" worlds, conflict remains present. Therefore, the absence of living things is an absence of conflict. .
And the absence of conflict is the absence of drama. Dramatic conflict can range from conversations on a park bench in The Zoo Story, by Edward Albee, to a man running through the history of his people in Emperor Jones by Eugene O' Neil. Conflict is the core pillar in terms of the story and the plot of a play. Every play can be boiled down to one idea just by locating its conflict. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is about the new man in the 50's who is insulted when his wives cousin starts to live with them. The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is about the search of a husband for a woman who's growing too old.