Things I Know to be True: sub-text

Things I Know to be True: sub-text

General Understanding of Sub-Text

  • “Things I Know to be True” heavily relies on sub-text in the dialogue. Sub-text refers to the hidden or underlying meanings and emotions suggested by the language used but not directly stated in the script.
  • Understanding sub-text is pivotal in creating rich and realistic characters. An actor’s portrayal should provide insight into their deeper thoughts, feelings, and motives, which aren’t always explicitly expressed in the dialogue.
  • Always question “what is the character truly saying?” when reading the script. This will help uncover the sub-text and better understand each character’s motivations and feelings.

Examples of Sub-Text in “Things I Know to be True”

  • One of the most powerful examples of sub-text in “Things I Know to be True” is between Bob and Fran. Their conversations often hide the real emotions and tensions within their relationship and family dynamics.
  • Symbols and images can also be used to communicate sub-text. An excellent example of this is the rose garden in the play. It represents not only Bob’s hard work but also his struggle to communicate with his children and manage his emotions.

Utilizing Sub-Text in Performance

  • Various tools can be used to highlight sub-text, such as pauses, tone of voice, facial expressions, physical actions, and reactions. These elements showcase the unspoken thoughts and feelings of characters.
  • While performing, ask “what is my character thinking,” as this will carry the subtextual meaning. The acting should demonstrate the character’s hidden emotional state.
  • Remember sub-text can create dramatic irony, where the audience knows more than the character. This adds layers to the drama, making it more compelling.
  • Finally, effective use of sub-text adds depth and complexity to the performance, potentially earning a higher performance mark.