Live Theatre Production: cultural context

Live Theatre Production: cultural context

Understanding the Cultural Context

  • Understanding cultural context: This refers to the socio-economic, historical, and cultural circumstances and settings of the play. It is crucial to understand the cultural context of the play as it may influence the characters, costumes, staging and even the themes of the plot.
  • Role of cultural context: The cultural context can play a pivotal role in a live theatre production. It can influence the language, outlook, attitudes and behaviours of the characters as well as the dynamic and reactions within the audience.
  • Reflecting cultural context in performance: This can be done in a variety of ways such as through the dramaturgy, choreography, set designs, costume designs, lighting and sound effects used in the production.

Deciphering the Cultural Context Aspects

  • Historical period: One aspect of cultural context is the time in which the play is set. Knowing about the historical period can help understand the societal norms, issues and events that could shape the characters, plot and themes of the play.
  • Social class: Another relevant aspect of cultural context is the social status of the characters which can affect their personality, dialogue, and interactions with others in the play. Their clothing and props can also reflect their socio-economic class.
  • Cultural identity: The customs, traditions, and norms of the culture or cultures represented directly influences a live theater production. This includes religion, racial identification, societal perceptions, and expectations.

Asserting the Cultural Context within the Performance

  • Use of cultural symbols: Costumes, props, gestures, languages or dialects, music and dance can often be used to convey aspects of cultural context within a live theatre production.
  • Adapting to different cultures: Having some knowledge about cultural adaptations can help to understand or interpret changes made to play scripts or staging for different cultural audiences.

Role of the Audience and Research

  • The role of the audience: Understanding the audience’s cultural context may affect their responses to the performance. This can impact the way the play is staged or how the actors perform.
  • Research: Research plays a huge role in understanding the cultural context of a live theatre production. This will not only help in understanding a play but also in producing a socially and culturally sensitive performance.