Playwave Creative

FEATURE: Theatre vs Film: Sharing the Story

Theatre vs Film: Sharing the Story 
Feature by Lara Franzi 

Here’s a question: What’s the biggest dividing difference between theatre and film?

My response was always: ‘The close ups’

Because of my love for detail, which I thought film was always best at showing. As cameras allow cinema to travel, to flow with the characters and to see insight into their lives that theatre stages cannot give. Because of this nature, theatre is presented like a third person narration, giving the whole frame; the room, the clothes, and the character. With the adapting practices and experimentation of the two mediums, I feel that both are becoming such vital mouthpieces for our generation.

The question should really be what’s the difference between stage and screen?

And the answer: ‘The way the story has to be told’

It’s amazing to witness the new ways performance and stories are being presented. We now have vertical televisions and almost every phone has a video camera. Theatre is now more daring, being used to combat political issues, and crafting more imitate experimental styles. These changes over time invite more ideas and freedom into the way these stories are being shared. 

Seeing a live performance is a luxury that not many people I know can afford to attend, whereas film and television is almost unavoidable. This makes the watching experience very different, as theatre never fails to change the way I’m feeling. I could be feeling sad and leave afterwards feeling inspired. It’s the theatrical watching experience that is only felt through theatre and cinemas. It’s isolating sitting in the dark and watching these performers tell their stories. I’m not distracted by my phone and I can form my own ideas and values of the performance as I’m in the moment of the show.

I find it interesting that J.K Rowling’s wrote her most recent wizarding stories as screenplays. Whereas Director Quentin Tarantino is known for writing his stories as books before transcribing them into scripts. These different avenues are important for the artist to share their story in whichever way they feel best expresses it. Whether it’s through paintings, dance, music, sculptures, photography or performance. It’s freedom to explore and to practice different methods, as this experimentation brings out news ways to reach and connect to others.

I cannot imagine a screen adaptation of my favourite play, which is ‘Daughter’ a bouffon styled monologue of a man telling the depraved stories of his adultolescence. It would be too much to see the disasters and cruelties he speaks of on screen. Whereas on stage he can boast about the glamour of the situations and allow our imaginations to handle what his sharing.

Theatre and film work hand in hand as forms of entertainment, both are so important for captivating audiences and sharing experiences, as well as date nights. There are so many new mediums being developed for storytelling, such as podcasting and vloging. This opens ups so many new pathways for artists to communicate. I’m excited by the changes and feel inspired to create something that’s important to me. No matter whether it’ll be told through theatre or film.

Want more?