Things I Know to be True: structure

Things I Know to be True: structure

“Things I Know to be True” Overarching Context

  • “Things I Know to be True” is a contemporary play written by Andrew Bovell. The structure of this play is non-linear and episodic, which means events do not occur in a chronological sequence.
  • The narrative revolves around the Price family, dwelling on each individual family member in turn, revealing the complexities of their characters through monologues. This structural element allows the audience to understand each character individually and in-depth.
  • Despite the complex structure, the storyline remains clear, thanks to the four seasons serving as a narrative backdrop. This helps orientate the audience to the general timeline of events.

Unique Structural Elements and Engagement Tools

  • The structure of this play gives an element of surprise as the story unfolds through a variety of flashbacks and time flips. These structural twists add suspense and grasps the audience’s attention.
  • The piece incorporates storytelling with physical movements, a style known as physical theatre, which adds another structural layer. It fuses the spoken word with movement to express the character’s emotions and thoughts for a more impactful storytelling.
  • Each event or circumstance in the play is introduced several scenes before it actually happens, a structural element known as foreshadowing. This prelude creates an emotional build-up leading to the climactic scenes.
  • The play is sectioned into seven acts, each titled by a phrase that reflects the truth to be revealed in that section. This structural device leaves room for interpretation, provoking thought and enhancing engagement.
  • The language and dialogue in the play are naturalistic, meaning it sounds like everyday conversation. This allows the audience to identify with the characters, contributing to the dramatic impact of the play.

Emphasizing Emotional Responses and Human Behavior in Structure

  • A unique structural aspect is the use of ‘Pauses’ and ‘Silence’, which signifies emotional human responses. This brings subtlety into the dialogue, inviting the audience’s interaction and contemplation.
  • Lastly, the play concludes with a tragic ending, enhancing the emotional resonance of the messages conveyed through the play and offering an overall sense of finality.