- For Teachers
Peace be with you, I have read in a play-analysis sheet that "Setting plays a very important part in the story because it sets up the mood and brief history of the characters."
My question is: how can the setting do this? and give me some examples please. thanks in advance.
I have a background in theatre production, so I am responding to this question thinking of the play as something that will be produced on the stage, not just read in a book...
Imagine walking into a theatre and looking at the stage set for a particular play. In simplistic terms, if the colors and lights are bright and cheerful, you might expect the mood of the play to be light and comedic; conversely, if they are darker and deeper, you'll probably expect something serious, dramatic or sad. (Note that many theatre artists like to challenge their audiences by contrasting the mood of the setting with what really happens in the plot...)
The time aspect of setting clearly gives certain clues to the characters' history, particularly if the readers/audience already know something about the time period, social relationships of the period, etc. For example, if a play is set in France in the 1940s, you can be pretty sure that World War II will probably have affected the characters somehow.
Finally, the exact place that the playwright chooses to set the scenes can give some history of the characters by, for example, showing their economic status (a wealthy living room, or a poor one), or where they spend their time (a bar, a kitchen, a forest, etc.).
This is by no means a comprehensive or 'expert' answer, but I hope it will help a bit!
Are 'staging' and '(stage) adaptation' synonyms of 'setting'?
Thanks in anticipation.
Last edited by stanislaw.masny; 16-May-2010 at 20:55.
Staging is a more general term that refers to the process of getting a show ready to be on stage; in particular, it means deciding where and when different things move or are placed (such as people, furniture, scenery, lights, etc.). This term isn't really used in professional theatre, but I think it is used in opera and other types of performance. (Nowadays, it's also used to talk about making a house look good in order to sell it!)
Stage adaptation refers to taking something that was originally in another medium (e.g. a book or movie) and creating a script for performance on the stage. Similarly, if a book or play is adapted to make a movie, it is called a screen adaptation.