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    1. Silence is only one method of achieving tension in a drama performance. The very fact that there is no dialogue in a moment of silence, often but not always accompanied by stillness, means the audience often thinks more about what is happening on stage, asks questions inside their head etc. As a result, the tension of the drama can increase, along with the suspense. This of course can depend on the plot, character relationships etc. Here’s an interesting article about an Off-Broadway production where the playwright deliberately includes directions for moments of silence in her play – “It’s interesting working on her stuff because most theatre is about trying to pick up the pace. She’s after real life, where silence is actually the rule.” – Justin

  1. Hi…I’m a theater student from Iran. There are not enough refrences here and I have a project about The meaning of Silence in Dram. If every one here can help me please send me message: majidifn@yahoo.com
    Thanks a lot.

  2. Craig,

    There is no particular exercise I use in Drama/Theatre classes for student performers to use silence.

    I just get them to see enough professional theatre themselves and to observe stillness and silence in performance by others. We then analyse this via discussion back in the classroom. Once they see the value of silence in performance, I then encourage them time and time again to use it in their own dramas at school.

    I agree with you student performers sometimes have a fear of using silence. Indeed, it is the more confident ones that are usually able to experiment with it first and then successfully integrate this technique into their own performances.

    It is a bit like student performers using a symbol in their dramas. As with stillness and silence, some get it, while others struggle with it and never seem to fully understand its value.

    Justin

  3. Very valuable insight.

    Student performers often have a fear of silence, particularly when nerves take over. Are there any particular exercises/techniques you use to encourage such moments?