Theatre Conventions: Roles of Theatre Makers

Theatre Conventions: Roles of Theatre Makers

Theatre Conventions in Context

  • Theatre conventions are a set of rules or methods used in theatre to portray a particular style, idea or mood. These are recognised by performers and audience alike.

Roles of Theatre Makers

  • Playwright: They write the scripts, creating the story, characters, and dialogue. Their work sets the tone for the entire production.
  • Director: Their role is to interpret the script and oversee all aspects of the production. They work closely with all members of the production team to ensure their vision is effectively communicated.
  • Set Designer: They create visual conceptions for the stage. The set designer will consider the style, time period, and location of the play in their designs.
  • Costume Designer: They are responsible for developing the clothing and accessories for characters in a play. The designer must consider the historical period, character personality, functionality, and visual appeal.
  • Lighting Designer: They handle all aspects of lighting, aiming to complement and enhance the mood, atmosphere, and dramatic aspects of the production.
  • Sound Designer: They are in charge of finding, selecting, or creating sounds and music to support the storyline and mood of the play.
  • Props Master/Mistress: They are responsible for all objects that are handled or used on stage during a performance.
  • Actors: They perform the roles of the characters in the play. Their work includes learning lines, developing a character, and physically embodying their role on stage.
  • Stage Manager: They ensure that everything runs smoothly before, during, and after the production. They oversee rehearsals, coordinate with all members of the production team, and solve any problems that might arise.
  • Every theatre production is a collaborative effort. Each role is crucial and overlaps with others, requiring clear communication and mutual respect.
  • Understanding the roles of theatre makers helps to understand the complexity and creativity involved in moving a script from page to stage. It also gives insight into the choices made to convey particular styles and ideas through theatre conventions.

Role of Conventions in Different Theatre Traditions and Styles

  • In different theatre traditions and styles, different conventions may apply. Some theatre conventions include:
  • Use of the stage space: how the actors move in the performing area.
  • Soliloquies and asides: where a character speaks their thoughts aloud, often directly to the audience, or speaks privately to another character.
  • Flashbacks and time shifts: where the action of the play is not linear.
  • Symbolism: where a physical object, character or action represents an abstract concept.
  • Breaking the fourth wall: directly addressing the audience.
  • Chorus: a group of characters who comment on the action.
  • Stylized movement: non-naturalistic physical representations of actions.