Live Theatre Production: genre

Live Theatre Production: genre

Understanding Theatrical Genre

  • Genre in theatre refers to the category of a play, giving insights on the play’s structure, theme, and style.
  • The theatrical genre guides production decisions, including designs, costumes, sound, music, stage movement, and acting style.

Key Genres in Theatre

  • Understanding the four key genres is vital: tragedy, comedy, drama, and melodrama.
  • Tragedy deals with serious topics, often leading to a sad or disastrous ending.
  • Comedy focuses on humour and light-hearted narrative.
  • Drama, while serious, doesn’t end in tragedy.
  • Melodrama over-emphasises emotion and features stereotypical characters.

Sub-genres and Mixed Genres

  • Some productions may belong to sub-genres like tragicomedy, musical theatre, or farce.
  • A production could also be a combination of genres.

The Importance of Context

  • Consider the genre in its original time period for better analysis of a live theatre production.
  • From Shakespearean tragedy to modern drama, understanding the historical context can enhance comprehension.

Performance Style and Audience Reaction

  • Genre influences performance style; for instance, tragedies may demand subdued, intense performances, comedies require timing, physicality, and projection, while melodramas usually entail exaggerated expressions.
  • Genre also determines the audience’s expected responses, e.g., a comedy aims to provoke laughter.

The Purpose of Genre

  • The purpose of theatrical genre is not just to categorise, but to provide a well-informed framework of expectations for both the creators and viewers of the play.