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Acting:  Week 10
(April 3-7, 2023 - No school Friday)
(7 hour days/shorter classes)

Important topics/terms/instructions are in RED.

Google Classroom assignments are in BLUE.

Ms. Price provides ALL learning for absent students in a self-directed format.

If absent, read & understand/complete each of the day's activities below.  You are EXPECTED to do so BEFORE returning to class.

DAY 1:  

1.) Finished script (Lost in Yonkers)

2.) Discussed: How does an actor (or director) know how to "play" a character from a script? 

3.) Learned that ALL information about the characters we play must come from the script.  As actors it is our job to read and interpret the script based on what is given to us about our character.

  • There are 3 main ways we learn about our characters from a script:

    • What the playwright tells us about our character (Example:  ​"she's as warm and congenial as she is emotionally arrested")

    • What other characters say about our character (Example:  "She'd come out of that door with a limp and a cane and look like she was going to kill you.")

    • What a character says about him/herself (Example:  "Sometimes I get so confused I think I should carry an alarm clock")

DAY 2:

1.) Reviewed:  How do actors/directors make choices about HOW to portray characters on stage?  (Answer:  They read and INTERPRET the script.)

  • There are 3 main ways we learn about our characters from a script:

    • What the playwright tells us about our character

    • What other characters say about our character 

    • What a character says about him/herself 

2.) Participated in a small group activity (Label Activity)

  • students (in groups) were given every line/description from the script, Lost in Yonkers, in which a character was described by the playwright, by themselves, or by others

  • Students analyzed each, and put each line (label) in the correct column (playwright/self/others) and for the correct character. 

  • When done, actors will now have a complete list of every description from the script about the character they will be playing.  (If absent, this is an assignment you do NOT need to do/make up.)

DAY 3:

1.) Discussed yesterday's activity (Label Activity)

  • Which character talks about him/herself the most?

  • Which character is talked ABOUT the most?

  • Is there a difference between how characters talk about themselves vs. how others talk about them?  Which should you pay attention to more if playing that character?

  • What can this teach us about characters and/or each other?

2.) Ms. Price reviewed our next acting project:  Perform a Character Monologue (IB Rubric:  Developing Skills)

3.) Completed a Google Form:  Monologue PRE-TEST Questions (if absent, complete this on your own; link to Google Form in Google Classroom)

4.)  Watched a video of playwright Neil Simon describing the characters of his play, Lost in Yonkers.  (watch to 1:45 if absent)  Discussed the playwright's interpretation of his characters.

5.) Chose a character to "work with" for a future monologue assignment/performance.  If absent, be sure to choose which character you'd like to work with, and Ms. Price will provide you with a monologue for that character next class (online).

  • Bella

  • Grandma

  • Eddie

  • Louie

  • Jay 

  • You must choose your OWN gender (or your own gender identity) for this assignment, although girls are allowed to choose Jay if desired.

6.)   If absent, be sure to read the following: Learned that all acting starts in the MIND of the actor (interpretation) but must move to the BODY of the actor (characterization).  The audience can't see emotions, intentions, or what's in an actor's head - they can only see what you DO with particular emotions or intentions.  (For example, sadness in the body for some can present as anger, for others it can present as isolation, or defensiveness, or crying, etc. "Saying lines with emotion" is not the goal...showing HOW the character expresses what they want or how they're feeling your BODY is the goal.)  Identifying characters' wants/intentions in the subtext of the lines they are saying is the FIRST step of acting...figuring out how to believably PHYSICALIZE that subtext is the actual "acting". 

7.) Participated in teacher-led movement activities in order to explore and "try on" various types of movement.  (This helps in character development.)  The movement activities we explored are listed below.  If absent, find a place to be alone, and TRY altering your physical movement (while walking) as described below...

  • "Leading Center" (the part of the body a character may "lead" with)

    • Lead with your chin...​ (What does this "feel" like?)

    • Lead with your hips...  (What does this "feel" like?)

    • Lead with the top of your head...  (What does this "feel" like?)

    • Lead with your nose...  (What does this "feel" like?)

    • Lead with your chest...  (What does this "feel" like?)

    • Lead with your hands...  (What does this "feel" like?)

8.) Students chose in a "Leading Center" option for their characters and wrote that option at the TOP of their monologues (next to the words "Leading Center".)  If absent, be sure to do this.  (You must first read/do #7 above.)


9.) Discussed: (Read if absent) Your Summative Monologue performance is NOT graded on whether or not you can memorize lines.  It is an IB Summative on "Developing Skills".  The development of specific acting skills are what's being graded, so be sure to work on the character analysis and physicalization skills I will be guiding you through during class in order to do well on your monologue performance.  As an actor, you get to INTERPRET and make CHOICES for your character.  I'm simply grading you on how well you physically SHOW the choices you make (despite whether I "agree" with your choices).  So relax, and focus on the PROCESS, not the memorization.



DAY 4:


1.)   Reviewed:  All acting starts in the MIND of the actor (interpretation of script/character) but must move to the BODY of the actor (physical characterization).  

9.) Ms. Price led students through guided rehearsal that included the following:  (If absent, DO this guided rehearsal on your own  - Read and follow the guidance below to DO what we did (live in class) on your own AT HOME.  Do so before returning to class...)

  • Emotion > Character Physicalization:  

    • What is your character's dominant feeling/emotion in the first line of your monologue?

    • How might your character EXPRESS that emotion physically?  (Remember, emotions aren't "one size fits all" - the expression of that emotion depends on who your character is and how (s)he handles various situations/feelings, etc.)

    • SHOW a posture/stance that could express outwardly what your character is feeling inwardly.  (Be to bring that feeling out of your head and INTO your BODY.

  • Monologue Focus Point(s): 

    • WHO is your character talking TO?  ​

    • Where is your audience located?  (Point straight ahead.)  THAT'S the direction of the character you are talking TO in your monologue. 

    • When performing a monologue, we use "focus points" to represent other characters who are not physically there while performing.

    • If you have only ONE character you're talking TO, your focus point should be straight ahead; If you have TWO characters you're speaking to, your focus points should be at 10:00 & 2:00.  If you're speaking to several characters, be sure you establish - through focus points - which characters are where, and stay consistent with those focus points.

    • When performing monologues, you do NOT sit up chairs for invisible people to talk to - instead you establish - through focus points & believability - the idea that those characters are there so that the focus of the audience can remain on YOU, the character.

  • Character Motivation/Intention:

    • Read your character's FIRST line:  What are you wanting to DO to the character you're speaking TO with those words?  (Why are you saying that? What do you hope to accomplish with these words?  How do you want the other character to feel/react when you say these words?)​

    • Try to express your character's intention of their words as a VERB.  (For example, my character wants TO PROTECT my brother with these words, or my character wants TO CHALLENGE my mother with these words, or my character wants TO BELITTLE my son with these words, or my character wants TO DISMISS, TO ENTERTAIN, TO ASSURE, TO SURRENDER, etc. etc.)

    • For your character's first line, WRITE (in pencil, on your script) your character's WANT/INTENTION next to that line.  (To __________)  

    • If you've chosen a strong "actable" VERB that expresses what your character wants to do TO the other character with your WORDS, you already have found the ACTION of the scene, because VERBS are ACTION words.  

    • Try to find a way to SHOW your want (your verb) in your body through a posture, movement, or blocking choice...expressing your want with action.  (If you're trying TO PROTECT, what might you DO?  If you're trying TO DISMISS the other person, what might you DO? If you're trying TO SURRENDER, what might you DO?)

    • Choosing strong "actable" verbs puts the focus on the RELATIONSHIP in the scene (what you want to do to the other person with your words), AND on the ACTION of the scene (because verbs are action words).  This small but powerful interpretation choice will allow you to believably interpret your script AND block your scene/monologue.

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