The theater is, at the same time, an art and a literary genre. It is made up of a series of elements: the actors and actresses, the text (or script), the costumes, the make-up, the lighting, the sound, the director, the scenography, the audience (audience), the objects, the choreography, and the voice. over.
In this article, we will learn about the 12 most important elements of theatre. We will explain what they consist of, their characteristics, and what they are used for.
Etymologically, the word “theater” comes from “theatron“, which in Greek means “a place to look”. Theatre also called “dramatic genre”, is a literary genre written by playwrights (people who write plays are called “playwrights”).
The objective of this genre is to represent a story through one or more characters who communicate with each other through dialogues (script of the play). The play is presented to an audience.
The most important elements of theatre
Of the 12 elements of the theater already mentioned at the beginning, we find 3 that are even more indispensable than the other actors and actresses, the audience (the audience) and the text (or script). That’s why we’ll expand on your sections.
The other 9 elements of the theatre, but are also important and enrich the play or show. Let’s see what each of these 12 elements of theatre consists of:
Actors and actresses
The first of the elements of theatre, and of outstanding importance. Actors and actresses are people who have studied dramatic arts, and who present the play and its history through scripts, scenes, actions, costumes, etc. In other words, have the mission of transmitting that story to the public through their words, actions, gestures, etc., giving life to the different characters.
In every play, there is at least one actor or actress, and often there is more than one. However, we must emphasize that a play can also be developed through puppets or puppets (ie, it is not essential that they are people). In this second case, the works are specially designed for children.
The intonation of the actors is usually energetic, with a forceful tone and a moderately high volume, so that the voice reaches the whole audience (and to give forcefulness to the character). Both your verbal and nonverbal language greatly influence the story. of the story, in the actor’s actions, and in how the audience perceives their role.
Text (or indent)
The next of the elements of the theatre is the text of the play. The text is called a script when the work is to be developed in the cinema or on stage. It raises and explains the story this includes the development of facts, scenes, dialogues (or monologues), etc.
That is to say, it includes the whole plot, dividing itself into: approach, knot (or climax), and denouement. A detail to know of the text is that it uses parentheses to pinpoint the action that happens while pronouncing the fragment in question.
The text is divided into acts (it would be the equivalent of chapters in novels); the acts, in turn, are divided into smaller fragments, called tables. Without the text, the work would not exist, so it is another element of the theatre considered essential.
Costumes include clothing and accessories worn by actors and actresses (or puppets). The wardrobe is a key element in identifying the characters in addition, it allows us to identify the period in which the story takes place. I mean, it offers a lot of information to the audience.
In this way, we see how a character can be created through costumes. This work is developed by a professional stylist in coordination with the makeup artist.
Make-up is another element of the theatre, which allows the characterization of the actor or actress through his or her physical appearance (especially facial). As we saw, it is related to the wardrobe; that is to say, it must go “according” to it, or at least it must have a joint meaning.
Makeup is used to enhance the qualities of the actors (or “defects”, depending on the type of character), as well as to disguise some factions. In addition, it allows to correct the distortions that produce another element, the illumination; these distortions can be an excess of brightness, a loss of color…
The makeup is done mainly through cosmetic products, paints, creams … In addition to enhance or highlight features, also allows to simulate wounds, scars, moles, freckles …
Lighting includes the way lights are moved and is used for the spotlights to illuminate one or another area of the stage (or actor). It also includes all the lights and spotlights used during the work. Thus, they allow to transmit certain emotions, to highlight (or hide) actors, etc.
The sound consists mainly of music and various sound effects (e.g. the sound of birds in a spring scene). It allows us to emphasize history and enrich it. It also includes microphones.
The director is the person who coordinates the play so that all the elements of the theatre work correctly. In turn, he may or may not be an actor. Her job includes coordinating scenes, actors, make-up, etc. This is the ultimate responsible person.
The scenography encompasses the different decorations used to set the story. That is to say, it decorates the space where the actors perform. The objective of the scenography is to represent the historical epoch of the plot, as well as the temporal, social, and geographical space in which it takes place.
9. Hearing (public)
The audience is the audience, i.e. the people to whom the play is exposed, who come to see it. The aim of the theater is to entertain the public in various ways, in addition to transmitting ideas and values social, political, historical, vindictive … That is why, even if the public does not intervene in the work, it is considered an important element of the work.
Objects, also called props, are objects that actors and actresses use throughout the different performances. They can move them, throw them, hide them, etc., depending on the action. Although they are considered part of the scenography, they are also considered distinctive elements of the theatre.
The next element of the theater is choreography; this includes dances (or fights) that appear throughout history (if they do). The choreography is based on the musical works (also called “musical” to dry). The movements and dances of the actors must be in accordance with the music and history.
12. Voice in over
The last element of theatre is the voice in over. Also called “voice over,” it’s the “background” voice that explains what’s happening on stage (although you don’t have to explain all the scenes) or provides extra information. The voice is from a person that the public cannot see although, in fact, it’s usually a voice recording.