Facial expressions are important in drama. They can convey emotions, develop the story and communicate the feelings and thoughts of the characters to the audience.
Actors may use any combination of facial expression, gestures, movement and props to create the effect they want.
Browse through this gallery to see some expressions used in drama.
Actors can show happiness by smiling, laughing and making gestures such as hugging each other.
Actors can show sadness in a drama by crying, looking thoughtful, or using comforting gestures with each other.
Actors can show emotional pain and grief by crying, shouting in anguish, or holding their head in their hands. They can show physical pain by facial expressions and gestures.
Actors can show shock and horror by using facial expressions such as raised eyebrows, an open mouth and gestures such as throwing their arms up in the air.
Actors can use similar, but less exaggerated, versions of the gestures of shock and horror when they want to show surprise only.
Actors can convey anger and aggression by facial expressions and by aggressive gestures towards the camera or other characters.
Actors can communicate insanity by looking dishevelled, adopting a wide-eyed stare, or brandishing weapons menacingly.
Actors can show worry through facial expressions and gestures such as biting their nails.
Actors often create a sense of excitement or anticipation by looking off-stage, sometimes open-mouthed.
Actors can purse their lips, furrow their brow and focus intently on what they are doing to convey concentration.
When actors need to reflect on-stage about dramatic events, they can show a thoughtful mood by their facial expression, by gestures such as resting their face on their hands, or by looking into the distance.
Actors can show exasperation through facial expressions, through jumping up and down, or by use of props.
Actors can grab food or other props hungrily, and seem to gobble it down, to convey greed.