Live Theatre Production: style

Live Theatre Production: style

Understanding Live Theatre Production Styles

  • Understanding the style of a live theatre production is essential for delivering a strong performance. The style refers to the identifiable characteristics or techniques used in a play or drama.
  • There are multiple styles of theatre production, including Realism, Expressionism, Absurdism, Epic Theatre, Physical Theatre, and others. Each style has its own unique features and interpretations.

Specific Styles and Their Characteristics

  • Realism is a realistic portrayal of life without any exaggeration or idealisation. The characters, setting, dialogues, and plot are all quite believable and relatable.
  • Expressionism involves the presentation of a character’s emotional and psychological state through nonrealistic techniques. Characters might express their inner feelings instead of acting out events.
  • Absurdism explores the meaninglessness of life, often expressed through disjointed or illogical dialogues and situations. The design and performance techniques would aim to challenge traditional theatre structures.
  • Epic Theatre, a term coined by Bertolt Brecht, aims to provoke rational self-reflexion and a critical view of the action on the stage. It often uses a non-linear narrative, direct address, and a montage-style of presentation.
  • Physical Theatre emphasises the use of physical movement for storytelling rather than relying mainly on text. Mime, dance, and circus skills can be incorporated for dramatic effect.

Analysing and Evaluating Theatre Styles

  • It’s important to carefully evaluate the style of the theatre production while analysing a play. Look out for specific signs or traits that reveal the particular style it follows.
  • Consider the context in which the play was created as it can heavily influence the style. For example, historical periods, cultural beliefs, or societal issues can shape the writer’s choice of style.
  • When describing the style of a particular production, consider elements such as set design, costuming, acting choices, music and sound, lighting, and other effects. These areas can all contribute to the overall style of the play.
  • Recognising the style can assist in identifying the playwright’s intentions, and provides you with tools to discuss and explain different productions effectively.
  • Remember, there’s often an overlap between styles - a production can mix and match elements to create a unique blend.
  • Styles evolve over time and new ones are constantly being developed. Theatre is a living art form that responds to changes in society, technology, and creative motivations.
  • Lastly, it’s not just about recognising the style but also understanding how that style contributes to the overall impact, message, and themes of the production. Understanding style can enhance your evaluation and appreciation of live theatre.