How to Produce a Dramatic Performance on Stage


Whether it’s the climactic battle between two strong-willed characters, or a passionate kiss between two lovers, a dramatic performance on stage can leave a lifelong impression on many audience members. Yet, these performances are not just made overnight and actually rely on a series of immense motifs in order to occur on stage. Thus, if you are eager to produce a performance that will stand the test of time, this article will list a collection of things to notice when showcasing your dramatic performance.

Elements of a Dramatic Performance on Stage

1. Plot

The plot is the overall story of a dramatic performance and typically works to build to an earth-shattering climax, before subsiding to create some sort of change or resolution. Plot is a very important aspect of any theater performance, so it is important that events happen for a reason. This is because these small plot points can influence the growth of a character as well as their fall from grace. Thus, a plot helps to keep the whole story together and ensures that audiences are not just watching characters talk without purpose.

2. Character

Every dramatic performance requires a set of characters that help to make decisions that ultimately help to move the plot forward throughout the duration of the show. These individuals also help to give the performance a sense of time and space, giving the audience more context about the play’s purpose and intent. For example, a character who smokes may indicate that they are residing in the mid-20th century, a time when people were less aware of the negative effects of this harmful habit.

3. Suspense

The purpose of suspense is to inspire the audience to ask ‘What will happen next?’ This is a sign that the audience is truly immersed in the play’s motifs and is eager to continue following the story until it reaches some sort of resolution. Suspense is also heavily influenced by the show’s themes and characters because if an audience does not care about these things, they are less likely to care about what will happen at the end of the dramatic performance. Tension can also be expressed through a range of stylized choices such as contrasting lighting and haunting sound cues, making it a very creative element for producers to experiment with.

4. Language

The type of language a character uses can be a great mode for their expression, helping them to create a solid connection with the audience as well as the other characters on stage. Though the dialog should not be overly confusing or complex, the use of emotive language can be a useful way to hide hints and subtext throughout your performance, giving audiences something to hold on to as they watch the plot play out.

8 Things to Look Out for When Producing a Dramatic Performance on Stage

1. Inspect the Venue

Oftentimes, theatergoers will get a feel for a show as soon as they step through the front door of a venue, so it is paramount that your space is up to scratch. Though many older theaters suffer a lot of wear and tear, you must ensure that its main elements are intact. Thus, it is a good idea to search for any glaring issues that are in need of repair and get in touch with a few leak detection companies to make sure that the venue is protected from any further damage. These simple fixes will give your show a whole lease on life and ensure that your audience can feel comforted in the confines of your venue.

2. Host an Opening Night Event

Even if you are producing a small local production, an opening night event can give the whole experience an elevated feel of glamor and flair. If your budget sees fit, this event should pull out all the stops, presenting affluent platters of wholesale seafood and endless drinks all night. Be sure to invite a series of popular guests including local influencers and celebrities, all of which can promote your show and encourage others to come and see it. Though this may seem like an extravagant cost for many producers, it can help you sell more tickets in the long run.

3. Hang Up Your Backdrops

Backdrops are a type of scenic device that can help to hide any distracting lighting fixtures or give the audience a clear sense of space and atmosphere. Though it can be tempting to leave this step to the very last minute, completing it early can ensure that a complex job is out of the way. An array of rigging techniques can help to hang backdrops safely and securely, but it is also important that you conduct a plethora of safety checks beforehand to make sure that none of the crew are in danger of any accidents. Also, make sure that your backdrop is appropriate for your type of dramatic performance. For example, if you are showcasing a heartfelt or distressing scene, a black drape can really amplify these emotions, compared to a white backdrop, which can sometimes represent feelings of purity and calm.

4. Build Your Set

A set truly encapsulates the entire plot of a show, giving characters a place to interact and build tension throughout a scene. As such, it is important that you design a set that allows your cast to showcase their best performance every night of the show’s run. Try to implement a range of specialist materials such as vinyl fencing and sturdy flooring to help your performance seem as upmarket as possible, These materials not only ensure that your set comes across as compelling and attractive but also give actors the chance to work in a truly diverse and decadent space.

5. Keep Pests Away

Even the most modern and contemporary theaters can become vulnerable to pest invasions, making it an uncomfortable, yet very common, experience throughout the industry. Small cracks and holes within the theater’s foundation can allow creatures such as spiders, rats, and flies to enter, placing guests at risk of infection and distress. In order to resolve this issue as quickly and effectively as possible, be sure to contact a variety of local pest control companies as well as local rodent removal services to help you get rid of these pesky creatures. As such, when actors are portraying a dramatic performance on stage, they do not need to be concerned about any unwanted guests disturbing their performance of a lifetime.

6. Fix the Roof

Though a dramatic performance on stage is meant to hold the audience’s full attention, guests may become distracted if they notice a leak in the roof. Issues with roofing are quite common in older buildings and can lead to a range of further problems if not treated early on. Thus, if you notice a selection of cracks and gaps in your theater’s roof, be sure to get in touch with a professional roofing contractor so that these problems can be solved quickly and safely. Moreover, if you are running your performance in the winter months, it is very important that your roof is in working order as any holes can let heat escape, creating a very cold atmosphere for paying guests.

7. Provide Parking for Patrons

If you are lucky enough to have viewers travel from far and wide to see your dramatic performance on stage, it is important that you provide adequate parking facilities for these guests. If the venue does not already have a car park and if it is large enough, it may be a good idea to research a range of local paving companies to see if they can create some spaces on-site. In order to preserve your car park for years to come, make sure you add asphalt sealcoating, as this can protect the space from leaks, moisture damage, and UV damage. As such, you can work to bring more customers to your show, as well as create a more sustainable venue for future performances.

8. Provide Accessibility Accommodations

The theater can be a very sensory-driven experience, so it is good practice to provide accommodation for those who may struggle to enjoy the show on their own. This includes asking actors to wear assistive equipment to support those who wear hearing aids or adding ramps to key doorways to ensure that wheelchair users can comfortably enter and exit the show when needed. Although these features can be costly and difficult to implement in dramatic performances on stages, they can make your shows more inclusive, encouraging marginalized communities to come and see your work in person.

Benefits of Producing a Dramatic Performance on Stage

Offers the Chance to Discuss Pivotal Themes

Theater is a fantastic medium for showcasing important talking points as it gives the audience a variety of themes to focus on. Whether it’s racial relations or women’s rights, a dramatic performance can place the audience into each individual character’s shoes, ensuring that they can gain a better view of the entire story. Thus, theater producers now have the chance to push away from the safety net of conventional ideas and begin to create a piece of media that can change an entire generation’s perspective on a collection of serious topics.

Can Be a More Cost-Effective Performance

Since dramatic performances do not always have to rely on extravagant dance numbers of flashy outfits, they have the potential to display a compelling story without the added costs. By building tension with plot and dialogue alone, producers can easily adhere to their budgets and do not run the risk of distracting the audience with unnecessary motifs. A cheaper performance does not always equal a low-quality performance, but it does increase your chances of making a profit. Thus, dramatic performances are a lucrative option for producers who are eager to see an immense level of financial success.

Work Alongside Serious Professionals

Whether you are running a grandiose adaptation of Shakespeare or are producing a hard-hitting independent play, it is important that your cast reflects the story you wish to tell. These performances are also an ideal way to attract more established actors, who are eager to make their mark on the stage. By offering them a rich story and tons of emotive dialogue, dedicated actors now have the chance to really sink their teeth into a role and truly give it their all. A dramatic performance on stage also improves your chances of receiving acclaim and attention, which can be a prosperous reward during awards season.

Easier to Build Tension

Under any other circumstances, tension would be seen as a bad thing. Yet, within the confines of a theater, tension is a key element that helps the audience feel as if they are experiencing something really special. When you are producing a dramatic performance on the stage, it is much easier to build tension slowly and effectively, compared to other types of plays such as comedies or musicals. This tension allows audiences to feel truly immersed in the story and ensures that they do not feel that they are consuming the performance passively, such as when they watch TV. Therefore, creating a dramatic performance is a great way to create a piece of theater that the audience will never forget.

When looking to produce a dramatic performance on stage, it is important to take all the elements of drama into consideration and work to express these in an entertaining and effective manner. After all, a theatrical production has a huge variety of elements that must all come together seamlessly to create a unified vision that will leave an impression on audiences and affect them in a meaningful way. Once you are ready to showcase your piece to an adoring audience, you also have to ensure that your venue and creative elements are in check, giving you a whole new list of potential issues. However, if you follow the advice and guidance listed in this article, you will be on the right track to creating an unforgettable play that could impact audiences for years to come.

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