Theatre in the round is something that has been around since the Ancient Greeks. Practitioners have revived this format of performing again and again throughout the ages due to the intimate and challenging nature of the staging. As the name suggests, the stage is placed in the center and the audience sits all around the performance space.
This style of theatre offers you a wide range of options for staging. This is because you can make the stage as big or as small as you want to, and make it any shape you need. All you need to do is change how you place the audience chairs. You also don’t need to add as much to the stage in terms of scenery and props because you aren’t going for anything realistic or traditional.
Blocking A Production
One of the biggest challenges in theatre in the round is that blocking becomes completely different. There is no longer an upstage or a downstage, or a static left and right. Actors and their director need to come up with their own way of understanding their positioning on the stage and in relation to the other actors.
Movement on a stage like this also becomes critical. This is because if you have actors sitting or standing still for too long, a portion of the audience won’t be able to see their faces – and this is critical for emotional understanding. It’s also trickier to ensure that actors don’t block each other for too long while a scene is happening.
Set Design For All Angles
As with placing the actors on the stage, placing the furniture and other set pieces on the stage is a very different challenge to a more traditional staging. It’s important to think in three dimensions when plotting the set design and ensure that all sight lines are clear. The hardest things to portray are walls and doors because they will immediately block the view from one angle. It’s often better to make the suggestion with an empty door frame and get the actors to mime the door.
One of the reasons why theatre practitioners love theatre in the round is because of the intimacy you can achieve with the audience. It’s as enjoyable as playing the online Bingo UK offers. There is no longer a fourth wall, and the audience can get a lot closer to the action. It’s a wonderful mix of being a fly on the wall and actually being involved with the performance.
There is also an element of everyone being on stage. As the audience members look to what would normally be the back of the stage, they see other audience members sitting across from them.
This leads to the conclusion that they too can be seen by other audience members, making them part of the viewing. It’s a strange feeling to go somewhere to view a performance and find that you are part of that performance. The first row of the audience is also at the same level of the stage, enhancing the feeling.