Tableau / Still Image

A still image or tableau can be used in solo work up to large group work in order to portray the given subject matter. A very useful tool in drama since it can form the basis of many sessions and activities.


When creating a tableau the participants need to focus on their physical positioning, body language and facial expression. There is no speech in a tableau and as such the importance of their physicality should be stressed.

In creating a tableau the participants are putting themselves into a scene as characters with thoughts and feelings. They must ask themselves:

  • Where and how shall I stand?
  • What do I want the audience to think?
  • What facial expression shall I hold?
  • Where shall I place myself in relation to others?
  • What are the alternatives?
For younger participants it can be described as a photograph and for the first few tableaux you can be the photographer who is positioning the subjects, moulding their expressions, etc
Further Development

Tableaux work very well alongside Movement. For example, taking 2 contrasting subjects such as Happy and Sad and asking a group to devise 2 tableaux with movement between them.

This can be built up and adapted to form a larger performance piece.