The distancing effect is a technique used in theater and cinema that prevents the audience from losing itself completely in the narrative, instead making it a conscious critical observer. The actor accomplishes this by directly addressing the audience, barring them from feeling empathy (film), interrupting the narrative (cinema), or drawing attention to the filmmaking or theatrical process. Several clips from the library demonstrate this technique, including the Tainaner Ensemble’s 2005 production of Hamlet Unplugged.

Sources Cited:

“Ramparts”, Hamlet Unplugged, 2005, Tainaner Ensemble, dir. Boshen Lu
“The Fool explores his role”, Lear is Here, 2001, Contemporary Legend Theatre Company, dir. Hsing-kuo Wu