Things I Know to be True: performance conventions

Things I Know to be True: performance conventions

Conventions and Techniques

  • Things I Know to be True” is a contemporary play that is known for its unique conventions and performance techniques. These include physical theatre, tableaux, multi-rolling, and direct address.
  • Physical theatre is heavily utilised throughout the play, with the characters often expressing their emotions and the themes of the play through movement and their physicality. For example, Rosie’s dance in the first scene represents her feeling of being lost and unsure.
  • Tableaux are another convention used extensively in this play. A tableau is a still image made up of actors to represent a scene or an idea. One example is the image created by Rosie, Pip, and Mark in the opening scene, suggesting their childhood unity.
  • Direct address is also frequently employed in the play. This technique involves the characters directly speaking to the audience or breaking the fourth wall. This is used to help the audience understand the character’s thoughts and emotions better.
  • The play also uses multi-rolling, with the actors playing out different characters. Each character in “Things I Know to be True” has their own story and struggles, which are highlighted as the play progresses.

Set Design and Sounds

  • Using a minimalist set, the lighting and sounds in the play are used to change scenes and indicate time passing. For example, the changing of the seasons and the passage of time are represented by lighting changes and seasonal sounds.

Dialogues and Transitions

  • Dialogue and monologue are critical in the play. They are used to convey deep emotional content and to express the inner thoughts and conflicts of the characters. These moments are critical in explaining the characters’ stories and their perspective on events.
  • The transitions between scenes in the play are often smooth and fluid. They are used to maintain the storyline’s continuity and prevent disruptions in the flow of the play.

Narrative Style

  • The play employs a non-linear narrative structure, alternating between the past and the present. This maintains the intrigue and complexity of the plot, presenting the audience with different perspectives on the same events.

Understanding Conventions

  • Importantly, the play’s conventions should not just be understood superficially, but their purposes, effects, and how they contribute to the overall meanings and themes of the play must also be comprehended.