What is an effective Tableau

A convention in which the members of a group use their bodies to make an image or picture capturing an idea, theme or moment in time, also called a group sculpture or freeze frame or still image.

What makes an effective tableau?Focus – each member of the group should be focused on the moment. No movement. No talking. Your freeze should last for at least 5 seconds.Expectation – the audience should want to know what is going to happen next. Make the scene exciting.Levels – levels will help establish power in a scene. Higher levels = higher status. Use different levels to establish a centre for your tableau.Expression­ – use every part of the body to create the mood for your tableau. Don’t forget about facial expressions.Timing – make sure that the tableau is held long enough for the audience to absorb everything in the picture (a good suggestion is a minimum of 7 seconds). Timing of your tableaux can add to the mood you wish to create. All members of the group should break the tableau at the same time.Clarity – the object of a tableau is to show your audience something, not to make them guess what they are seeing. Make each tableau clear and understandable.Placement – be aware of your audience. Each part of your tableau should be visible to the audience. Make sure nothing is lost because you are hidden by another actor.Practice – rehearse what you are going to present and make sure that everyone knows what they are doing and where they are supposed to be.What are transitions?Tableau presentations are usually made up of more than one image. This allows the audience to get a clearer picture of what you are saying. Transitions are the spaces between each individual tableau. Here are just a few suggestions for transitions:Complete break from character and purposeful movement into the next pose.Slow motion movement into the next pose.Blackout (not recommended)Add and subtract – remove one part of the tableau at a time adding a new element to the scene.

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