Binary and theatrical narration


You have read the books. Taken the classes. Scratched the lottery tickets. Soaked your feed. Checked your watch. Tied your shoes. Broken down the boxes. Painted the walls. Changed into something with higher contrast. Photographed the room. Recorded the important bits in your notebook. And committed the rest to memory. The only thing left to do is get up there and show your mother how it feels.

What is the smallest measurable unit of production a theatre company can manufacture? And how much would a ticket cost?

Every element of every story can be complemented with a binary: The story is told, or it is not told; The central character is good, or she is evil; She is morally ambiguous, or she is morally certain; The setting is clear, or the setting is unclear; She has super powers, or she does not; She is alive, or she is dead; It is winter, or it is summer; The events are true, or they are false; The story has begun, or it is finished; Etc. There may even be multiple opposites for a given element. For example: the room is bright, or the room is not bright – or the room is dark. Since there are limitless binaries, stories that place emphasis on those kinds of relationships tend to do so by highlighting just a small number of the possible opposites. This limitation is necessary because a story told exclusively through binary contrast would be an infinite and unintelligible ping-pong game. Such as Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menance.