The decoration and colourful make up, the pattern of light and shade all are designed to present the character as larger than life. The costumes and colours used for make-up are brilliant and resplendent. Numerous ornaments are used to cover the shoulders, the chest, the face and the arms. Masks are not used except for symbolic purpose. The colours are also significant; red is the colour of the terrible. Dark suggests the erotic and the tender, the headgear is also suggestive. Nowadays this particularly seen more during the rainy season on the coastal districts in India.
The aspects that support the stage setup are as following:
Lighting has two functions. To illuminate the stage and more importantly to create the mood and control the focus of the spectators. Earlier oil lamps were used to illuminate the performance. Gingili oil was used in the lamps. The light given out by the lamps gave a mysterious effect and did not irritate the eyes even when exposed for long durations. Today the oil lamps have been replaced by electric bulbs which has provided an opportunity not only to achieve dramatic effects but also to enhance the mood. Lights of different colours are used for different situations and dimmer is used to regulate the intensity.
Music is an integral part of the Yakshagana Bayalata as the words of the songs and the poems tell the story. The rhythms of the songs dictate the use to require a lot of stamina to play this pipe which was made of dried gourd. At no point in the performance is there silence. The scenes are brought out in good combination of pitch, speed and the modulation of sounds.
Instruments used are the ‘tala’ (cymbals) to keep timing of the dance ‘maddale’ a small barrel shaped drum, ‘chande’ a cylindrical drum played with sticks which lends a very distinctive sound and shruti provided by the harmonium. Earlier the drone was provided by a special kind of instrument called the ‘shruti burude’. Chande is only played during the entry and exit of characters and during battle scenes. Synchronization of dialogue, music and the actions of the puppets brings liveliness into the performance.