Things I Know to be True: stage directions

Things I Know to be True: stage directions

Understanding the Role of Stage Directions

  • “Things I Know to be True” is written in a style called Physical Theatre. The use of stage directions play a vital part in expressing character emotions and aiding the storytelling. Understanding these can give a deeper meaning to the narrative and the character roles.
  • The playwright, Andrew Bovell, has included specific stage directions which should be followed to convey the subtext of the scenes. They interweave character development and plot progression.

Recognizing Literal and Symbolic Stage Instructions

  • The stage directions are not always literal actions, some of them signify emotional expressions. For example, the gesture of ‘holding’ signifies emotional support or burden in various situations.
  • The use of physical movements and symbolic stage actions (like the constant act of gardening) contributes a lot to the narrative. They offer metaphorical representations of the theme or underlying message, adding layers to the narrative.

Analysing Character Dynamics and Relationships

  • Stage directions help indicate the relationship between characters. Observing the positioning, movements, and interactions can reveal the dynamics between different characters.
  • The stage is arranged in ‘multiple spaces’, which means stage directions often involve characters moving from one defined space to another, emphasizing a change in the scene or scenario.

Identifying Symbolism in Props and Themes

  • The use of props, as instructed by stage directions, is often symbolic. A knowledge of what they symbolize can develop a stronger understanding of the play’s thematic elements.

Perceiving Changes in Mood and Atmosphere

  • Stage directions also indicate changes in lighting and sound. These elements enhance the emotional impact and atmosphere of each scene.
  • Finally, focus on how the stage directions create a rhythm in the movement and dialogue of the performance. This rhythm contributes to the emotional impact of scenes, often reflecting the psychological and emotional state of characters.