What is Subtext?
Pushing this just beneath the surface of the dialogue is what makes plays exciting and helps keep audiences in their seats.
Subtext is the unspoken thoughts and motives of your characters - what they really think and believe.
In well-written dialogue, Subtext seldom breaks through the surface of the dialogue except in moments of extreme Conflict.
At other times, it colours the dialogue. Another way of looking at this . . .
Subtext is Content Underneath The Spoken Dialogue
And subtext gives the performers something to do. If you let your characters tell each other everything they think or feel, actors can't do what they're trained to do best: revealing through gesture, intonation, and expression, the real essence of a character.
DIRECTING THE ACTOR - objective, obstacle, subtext, adjustment, choices, objective
This site is 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also. Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.
Academic material on this site is Alan Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Learn about radio drama on this site along with my book - Beck, Alan, Radio Acting, London: A & C Black ISBN 0-7136-4631-4 Available on Amazon. CLICK HERE.
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