Live Theatre Production: performance conventions

Live Theatre Production: performance conventions

Understanding Performance Conventions

  • Performance conventions refer to the established methods or rules used in theatre to communicate with the audience or to narrate a story.
  • Conventions can be standard or innovative, such as the use of soliloquies, direct addresses to the audience, stage directions, or flashbacks.
  • Understanding and using performance conventions effectively can enhance storytelling and create a more engaging, memorable live theatre production.

Noteworthy Conventions

  • Soliloquy: A well-known dramatic convention, wherein a character expresses their innermost thoughts aloud. This technique is used to give the audience insight into the character’s mind.
  • Flashbacks: Used to reveal past events in a story, providing the audience with a better understanding of a character or situation.
  • Breaking the fourth wall: A convention where a character acknowledges the audience’s presence or speaks to them directly, thus disrupting the invisible ‘fourth wall’ between the actors and the audience.

Conventions Using Non-Verbal Communication

  • The use of mime and non-verbal communication is a key performance convention. It involves body language and physical movement to convey a story or a message.
  • Choreographed fight scenes and dance sequences are also recognized performance conventions. They can display character relationships, conflicts, or bring musical numbers to life on stage.

Interaction and Design Conventions

  • Audience interaction: A modern performance convention where performers directly engage with the audience through questions, inviting them on stage, or getting them to participate in the dialogue or action.
  • The use of set and costume design also falls under performance conventions. Props, sets, and costumes help in setting the time, location, and visual style of the production.

Conventions Involving Sound and Lighting

  • Sound and lighting are significant performance conventions. They contribute to the mood and atmosphere of the play and can help guide the audience’s emotional response.