Stage Acting As Special Form of Public Speaking
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Stage Acting As Special Form of Public Speaking

Play production is colorful, exciting, and rewarding. The audience comes in a gala mood and for a period of about two hours, they may be moved to laughter or to tears or both. The theater is nearer to life than any other art and has the advantage of evoking an immediate response.
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Play production is colorful, exciting, and rewarding. The audience comes in a gala mood and for a period of about two hours, they may be moved to laughter or to tears or both.

In stage-acting, the speaker assumes the role of an actor or an actress and demonstrates a perfect synchronization of words and actions of the play. For this reason, he or she uses a special type of speaking adapted to the stage or the theater. In the study of play production, we shall consider those factors that will enable us to see the relation of stage-acting to public speaking as both use speech skills and bodily movements to convey messages to an audience.

Factors to Consider in Play Production

The theater is a group art and for this reason, it requires the intelligent collaboration of many people. The theater is nearer to life than any other art and has the advantage of evoking an immediate response. When you do well, the spectators let you know it. They may laugh, or applaud, or they may sit in that tense, electric silence which is the highest tribute of all and which is as plainly felt backstage as the noisiest ovation.

Therefore, the best way to understand the theater as an art is to participate in it. So, you want to be a part of play production - you will demonstrate your skill as a communicator of ideas, emotions and actions. The following are the factors involved in play production:

  • Director: The person responsible for the choice of the play, for selection of the cast, for interpretation of the play, and for execution of other responsibilities involving theater production such as scenery, lighting effect, etc.
  • The Script: It is the story to be acted on stage. Choice of a good script is dependent upon the acceptability of the plot and the characters to the community. A good script should be dramatic (it should have enough action on stage to hold the interest of the audience).
  • Casting: It involves tryouts for the roles in the play. Tryouts are held in order to determine the capabilities for acting and emoting of the actor or the actress who will bring to life the characters of the play.
  • Rehearsals: Rehearsals deal with practices that will coordinate plot, character, language, background, climaxes, as well as planning the most effective way to project them for one unified effect on the audience. This involves training in an intensive manner for perfect coordination of speaking, acting and emoting on the part of the actors or actresses for a dramatic effect on the audience.
  • Stage Movements: These are often called blocking; consist of movement from one place to another on stage. Blocking is worked out by the director first on paper before the first rehearsal. Blocking also deals with cues for entrances and exits of the characters of the play. Also, in stage movements, the performers are given instruction on how to walk up or down the stage, how to sit on the arm of the chair or on the edge of a table, in a low chair or on a footstool. Downstage, upstage, right, left, and center are terms a director will use in relation to stage movements. Upstage indicates the back of the stage while the front near the curtain is called the downstage.

Stage movements must be in harmony with the scene. They must be motivated by how the character feels, what he is thinking, and what kind of person he is in the current situation. In stage movements, consider posture, muscle tone, speed of movement, grace, poise, facial expressions, and other outward signs visible to audience.

Pay careful attention to entrances and exits as part of stage movements as they contribute to the success of performances.

  • Facial Expressions and Sounds: These characteristics are important to creating impressions on the audience and eliciting responses from them. Facial expressions will depend upon the emotional situations and sounds involved either speech inflections or the music to be used for dramatic effect.
  • Scenery: This is the background against which the play is acted. This is often referred to as the setting or "sets."
  • Props: Furniture, objects to decorate the set, and articles to be handled by the actors are included under props.
  • Costumes: These include everything worn by the actors and actresses.
  • Make-up: This comprises face and body paint, false hair, and body padding.
  • Lighting: This involves the use of matches, candles, electric lights, or even cigars and cigarettes to be used for the play.

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Comments (3)

I did some seminar on stage acting years before for the overall know-how about stage theater, job well done here about public speaking.

I learned a great deal from your well presented information. Promoted.

Very nicely done.