Theatre Conventions: Staging

Theatre Conventions: Staging

Theater Conventions: An Overview

  • Theatre Conventions involve guidelines and techniques that are recognised and used in the world of theatre to communicate meaning, develop a narrative, and create a specific environment.

Understanding Staging

  • Staging refers to the physical aspects of a theatre production: the sets, props, lights, and sound.

Types of Staging

  • There are several types of staging configurations, including proscenium, thrust, theatre in the round, traverse and end-on.
  • Proscenium staging involves a frame (the proscenium arch), acting as a window through which the audience views the performance.
  • Thrust staging extends into the audience on three sides and is typically raised.
  • Theatre-in-the-round or arena staging means the audience surrounds the stage on all sides.
  • Traverse staging places the audience on two sides of the stage, as in a runway fashion show.
  • End-on staging position the audience at one end, looking straight ahead at the performance.
  • Site-specific staging designates a performance taking place in an environment not traditionally used for theatre.

Impact of Staging

  • The staging approach chosen can greatly impact the audience’s experience and interpretation of the narrative.

Staging Techniques

  • In minimalist staging, very few props or set pieces are used, placing the focus on the actors’ performances.
  • Multifrontal staging involves action taking place in several different parts of the staging area, requiring the audience to shift their attention from place to place.

Significance of Blocking and Sightlines

  • The concept of blocking determines where actors move on stage, contributing to the visual composition of a scene.
  • Consideration of sightlines ensures that all viewers can see the main action, regardless of their seating location.

Other Significant Elements of Staging

  • Effective staging considers and utilises stage dimensions, scenic elements, and other physical factors to enhance the storytelling.
  • A set designer’s role involves deciding the stage layout, the placement or construction of set pieces, props, and other visual aspects of a production.
  • Lighting and sound design are also vital elements of staging, with techniques such as spotlights, uplighting, sound effects, and music used to add depth and dimension to a production.

Final Note

  • Please note this is a brief overview and additional research is required for a comprehensive understanding, as well as regular practise to familiarise yourself with staging conventions. It is also recommended to watch a variety of theatre productions to see these conventions used in real life.