Elements of Drama: Contrast

Part 2 in a series exploring the use of various dramatic elements.

In this case, it was in the classroom with a simple skit devised by my Year 11 Drama students.

My definition of contrast:

Without the careful use of contrast a performance is boring and lacks tension.  An obvious example of contrast is a sad scene followed by a happy one. But contrast can be created in more subtle and sophisticated ways, such as manipulating the drama to create a change in setting, use of space or rhythm. The pace of scenes can also be altered, as can various dramatic elements within one small section of a performance.

My students’ found out about contrast themselves by manipulating their drama skit to include contrast. Their conclusions follow….

Examples of Contrast

  • contrast between characters
  • contrast in emotions
  • contrast in pace
  • contrast in the use of sound
  • contrast between plots and subplots
  • contrast in the use of space
  • contrast in movement between characters
  • contrast in facial expressions used by characters
  • contrast in the use of voice by characters
  • contrast in mood
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8 comments on “Elements of Drama: Contrast

  1. more information please.COMPARE AND CONTRAST DRAMA ELEMENTS FROM NEWS ELEMENTS.
    Clear?
    the information is lacking, 🙁

    • ica,

      “Compare and contrast drama elements from news elements” – what do you mean by this? What information do you need? I’ll help you if I can, but please provide more details.

  2. It’s hard to understand the information!

  3. Can you please explain contrast between plots and subplots?

    Thank you

    • Nida, a plot is the main storyline. Subplots are secondary (smaller, less significant) plots connected to the main plot in some way. TV soapies and Shakespearean dramas are good examples of a series of subplots running parallel with the story’s main plot.

  4. This does not tell me anything detailed. It gives examples of contrast, but thats about it. What is the definition. Why is it effective? Why is it used?

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