|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
A static scene. That is, the actors do not move around or speak. They are blocked (positioned) in ways meant to communicate the relationships between the characters at that moment. The entire scene need not necessarily be a tableau; scenes can open or close with one, often held as the curtain rises or falls. Although usually scripted, a tableau might appear due to a director's decision.
Not to be confused with what you put playing cards on in most solitaire games.
See also Time Stands Still.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion used tableaus almost to excess, in part because it saved money and effort not to have the characters move around. They seem to pop up a lot in Hideaki Anno's work.
- Sakigake Cromartie Koukou used tableaus with Running Gag frequency, both in the manga version, but also in the anime adaption — where it was completely lampshaded.
- Steve Martin's "Death of Socrates" sketch opens with the characters posed to resemble the painting of the same name(also an example of Art Imitates Art).
- The film musical 1776 ends with a tableau that reproduces the famous painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
- The Star Wars films all end with a dialogue-free tableau:
- A New Hope and The Phantom Menace both end with the main characters standing on a raised platform in front of an audience, during a victory celebration;
- The Empire Strikes Back ends with the main characters gathered around a large window, looking out into space;
- Return of the Jedi features the main cast gathered around an Ewok campfire;
- Attack of the Clones closes with Padme and Anakin (along with R2D2 and C3PO) on a Naboo balcony being married;
- Revenge of the Sith closes with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, with baby Luke in their arms, Watching The Twin Sunset in a direct Shout-Out to the original film.
- Stella: The first episode had the three principal characters form a tableau to greet the landlord.
- Many shows and films have parodied The Last Supper" and its tableau:
- The stage directions in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest call for tableaus at the end of many scenes.
- Tom Stoppard's play After Magritte opens with a surreal tableau, the meaning of which is explained in the opening dialogue, and ends on another.
- Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine based the characters in Sunday in The Park With George on figures who appear in the paintings of Georges Seurat. At the end of the first act, they assume their respective positions in Seurat's "Sunday on the Grande Jatte."
- Paul Fleischman's parodic one-act "ZAP" has over fifty blackouts in ninety minutes. Due to the nature of stage lights (even the fastest ones will still quickly fade rather than an immediate cut-to-black) and the progressive nature of insanity, the front-end of the play can be rife with tableaus.
- A few episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars end with the characters dramatically posed, usually watching ships take off or land.