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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7 comments on “Elements of Drama: Contrast

    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.

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