Words Describing Facial Expression In Performance
Here is an updated list of words describing facial expression in performance which should prove useful for students of drama and theatre.
Often as part of their coursework, students undertake a written analysis of a live theatre performance. Part of this task normally involves evaluating the actors’ use of expressive skills.
Sometimes theatre students are also required to analyse and evaluate for assessment their own solo or ensemble work developed in the classroom. This can involve describing their use of facial expressions.
Responses requiring words describing facial expression in performance are often needed in written drama and theatre examinations, also.
Ever found yourself repeating the same old words or phrases in a class essay about how an actor used facial expressions in a performance? How many times can you say she had a furrowed brow, pursed lips, or conveyed a gentle glance to another character on stage? Don’t worry. You’re not alone!
Students of drama and theatre often find those tiny movements of lips, eyes, cheeks and skin notoriously difficult to describe. Part of the problem lies in the fact that they are so small. It’s relatively easy to describe an actor’s movement on stage because it is usually clearly visible and easily interpreted. But not so with facial expressions.
While musical theatre is renowned for having actors use large facial expressions to convey emotion, straight dramas are another challenge altogether. Subtle use of facial expression is often deliberate in stage plays and can convey a lot about a character. But once you have spotted them, how do you describe them in detail, academically, and without sounding clichéd?
This curated list of words below should prove helpful for students trying to successfully describe an actor’s use facial expression in performance.
Not sure of the meaning of a word on the list? Look it up in the dictionary.