Scene vs Act
If you have ever watched a drama in a theater or read the script of a drama, you must have come across acts and scenes. This is a tradition that started with Romans as they used these breaks to convey different meanings as also to allow for changes required in terms of sets and clothing of actors on stage. People who are not well versed with the glossary of drama find difficult to understand the differences between an act and a scene. This article attempts to highlight these differences.
The play is divided into different parts so as to keep it interesting as audiences become bored if they are made to see the drama at one go for a long period of time. Also for better narration of the story, dividing it into acts is good both from the point of view of the audiences as well as the director of the play. Acts make the play manageable as it gets divided into parts that are complete in themselves. For convenience, plays are divided into 2 or more acts. When the number of acts is 2, there is a single transmission or interval. In case of a 3 act drama, there are 2 intervals.
A scene is a small part of an act which means there are many different scenes in an act. An act has continuity while scenes may change the tempo of the act and even the mood of the audience. Different scenes may involve different actors. A play may require the director to change the scene if it is too moving or intense and introduce a lighter scene in a single act. A single scene may be entertaining or have intense performance by actors, but it still does not create and impact for which a lot of scenes in sequence are necessary.
What is the difference between Scene and Act?
• While a drama may be a single act or comprise two or more acts, scenes are numerous, and a single act may be made up of several scenes.
• An act is much longer in time than a scene which is normally of 2-3 minutes.
• The drama has an interval after an act and a drama with two acts has a single interval in between the two.
• Act number is written in roman numerals while the scene number in an act is written in ordinal numbers.