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Acting:  Week 16

(May 17-21, 2021)

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 so there is NO NEED TO ZOOM if quarantined

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


Day 1:  Analyzing a scene's Beats (and Opening Beat)

1.) Received Final Scene Project Task Sheet & Rubrics (Rubric 1 & Rubric 2)​

2.) Reviewed the W's of scene analysis:

  • What is going on?  (both on the surface and BENEATH the surface)

  • Why is this scene happening?  (What part(s) of the relationship are important to show?)

  • Where is the scene taking place?  (How does this impact the scene?)

  • Wants? (What is each character trying to do to the other character with his/her words? Express the want as a verb:  "My character wants to ___________ him/her")

3.) Read & analyzed a scene from the play, Proof.

Background of Story:  Two adult sisters have just lost their father, a once a brilliant mathematician (genius) who suffered from mental illness in his final years.  The younger sister (Catherine) cared for her father prior to his death, and also shares his genius.  But she worries that she may turn "crazy" like he did in the end.  

In this scene: Catherine's older sister (Claire) has come to take a depressed and disconnected Catherine  back with her to New York.  

If absent or quarantined, read/do the following:

Scene:  Proof  (click on title to read - start where it says "start"; be sure to read context of scene above)

First Read:  TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON (relationship / overall action, etc.)

Notice:  Notice, as you read the scene, each sister's conflicting wants.

Notice:  Notice that the playwright tells us every time there is a new beat.  (The word "beat" is written in the script.  There are 7 beats indicated.  Each time the script says "beat", draw a line across the page.  A "beat" is a pause or a shift in action.  We learned about this in class today.  If you were absent, continue reading below...

Second/Third Read:  ANALYZE/DISSECT 

Analyze Beats:  Once you've read/understood the scene, try to determine WHAT it is that shifts/changes each time the script says "beat"...What was going on between the characters BEFORE the word "beat"?  What "shifts"/"changes" DURING/AFTER the word "beat"?

Describe your analysis of BEATS in the scene from Proof 

Acting PROCESS Journal in Google Classroom (week 16)

Journal Title: Beats in PROOF (absent)

Describe what you feel is shifting/changing BETWEEN the characters each time the script says "beat".  List 1-7 (for each time the script says "beat") , and then write  your analysis after each (of what you think "shifts" when that word is written.  You may want to first consider what's going on BEFORE the word "beat", and what changes AFTER.  (There are no "right"/"wrong" answers.  Just try to analyze how things shift between characters each time the script reads "beat".)

4.) Learned how to "name" a scene's beats in order to see the heart & flow of a scene. 

 If absent or quarantined, watch Scoring a Scene (Scene Analysis)  (7:15) and respond in your Acting PROCESS Journal in in Google Classroom (wk 16) to the following questions:

Journal Title:  Scoring a Scene

1.) Describe the various functions of BEATS in a scene.  (What are they?  List some descriptions given.)

2.) What types of things (3 were given) should you try to identify in the second reading of a scene?

3.) When you analyze your CHARACTER in a scene, you want to analyze his/her motivations.  Motivations, as described in this video (and also last week's lessons), are best defined as what type of words? "_________ words" (or as Ms. Price described it, "actable verbs")

4.)  Define blocking.

5.)  What should blocking DO?  (Describe what the video shared, but in your own words if you can.)

6.)  What does the video say has the greatest success rate for memorizing lines?

5.) Analyzed beat changes in your OWN script (your final scene performance script).  Students marked in their scripts each time something "shifted" in the scene.  If absent or quarantined, be sure to analyze your scene's beats on your own, and compare with your partner when you return.  Use the following questions to guide you:

  • What's REALLY going on in this "chunk" of action?  (use lines as guide)

  • When does that change and something NEW begins? (use lines as guide)

Day 2:  Determining a scene's Set, Opening Beat, & Climax

1.)  Discussed how the next step in the "scene-building" process is to determine a scene's blocking (the coordination of the movement of characters in a scene).

  • Ms. Price taught students that the BEST way to make blocking choices is to focus on the characters' relationship to eachother in each beat.

  • Students were given time to FINISH analyzing and marking each beat in their own scenes (with their partners).  Partners were encouraged to use the following questions to guide their choices:

    • What's REALLY going on in this "chunk" of action?  (use character's lines as guide)

    • When does that change and something NEW begins? (use character's lines as guide)

2.) Learned about opening beats.  (The non-verbal information you give an audience about your scene BEFORE characters begin to speak lines.)

3.) Experimented (as a class) with the opening beat in the scene from  Proof using stage business and characterization to convey meaning and character.

4.) Read a new scene from the play,  1984

A brief synopsis of the play, 1984:

In a future (dystopian) society, where everything (including thoughts) are controlled by the all-powerful government ("the Party"), and every action is watched on camera and scrutinized by "Big Brother", Winston fiercely holds on to his individuality despite the mental re-programming (torture) he must endure.  (If interested, watch trailer HERE.)

In this scene:

Winston, in this scene, has been imprisoned & tortured repeatedly by a Party leader (O'Brien), but despite all that, Winston seeks to remain strong.

5.) Determined the climax of the scene from  1984 and marked that moment with a star.  (Partners worked together to discuss, analyze, and mark the climax of the scene.)

6.) Made choices as a class about the possible set, beats, and build in 1984.

7.) Completed (with your partner) the following for your OWN final scene:

  1.  Discuss what sort of set you could use for your scene.  (Draw in your Scene booklet - page 8)

  2.  Made choices for your scene's opening beat.  Write about your choices on the bottom of  page 6 of your scene booklet.  (What ways can you SHOW the relationship BEFORE speaking lines in the scene?)

  3. Worked with your partner to name each beat in your scene.  ("the ___________") and marked your choices vertically for each beat on your script.   (Follow the guidance/directions on page 6 of your scene booklet.)

If absent or quarantined, be sure to complete each of the above items with your scene partner.


8.) Reviewed Final Scene Project Task Sheet & Rubrics (Rubric 1 & Rubric 2)​.  Remember, you are graded on more than just your performance.  You are also graded on scene analysis & be sure to keep up with the process while in class, and make strong choices for your own scene (as modeled during class).




(read descriptions of each of the scenes/plays HERE)


     Scenes with 1  male & 1  female:

     Scenes with 2 females:

     Scenes with 2 males:

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