Students will demonstrate their understanding of Uta Hagen’s Immediacy exercise by performing immediacy in a 1-minute rehearsed search for a personal valuable.


Materials Needed

· Candy bar
· Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen
· Random object per student (e.g. lip gloss, cell phone, necklace, etc.)—have students provide this item


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Ask for a volunteer to wait in the hallway where they cannot hear/see in the classroom. Once he has left, have students hide the candy bar in a place where it’s not impossible to find but will require effort to locate. Before having the volunteer return, tell the students to observe his process, mannerisms, patterns, train-of-thought etc., in detail. Also demand absolute silence during the search.
When the volunteer returns, give him the instructions:
1. A candy bar has been hidden (if in a difficult spot, give him a general location)
2. If he can find it in 1 minute, he can have the candy bar
Once the minute is up, discuss both the observations of the viewers and the experience of the volunteer. Specifically look for observations regarding his process, mannerisms, patterns, train-of-thoughts, etc. (If helpful, record responses on the board.)
Placing the candy bar in the exact same place, repeat the activity once again (the actor seeing where it’s hidden). This time however, have the volunteer focus on recreating the same process he experienced the first time. Encourage him to try and make it as genuine as possible, not prematurely giving away the moment of discovery.
After his second attempt, compare observations both from the volunteer and the viewer.



Step 1:
· As a class, read Uta Hagen’s Respect for Acting, pages 102-105.
· Throughout the reading, periodically asks students
o to summarize what they’ve read
o for examples from their observations of the hook
o for examples from productions they’ve seen
o for personal experiences they’ve had


GOAL: Students will have an understanding of
1. the importance of immediacy
2. important elements to the exercise
Emphasize: giving oneself high stake—hence the time constraints and REALLY “doing things” (i.e. really looking through the drawer, or really looking at the shelf)


Step 2:
· Once students are paired up, assign one of them as partner-A and the other partner-B
· Partner-A will then hide the valuable of partner-B and give them 1 minute to try and find the item
· After the minute, have partner-B hide and time the search for partner-A’s valuable
NOTE: Encourage students to really pay attention to their process as they look for the valuable
· When both partners have had a chance to search for their item, on their own, put the valuable in the exact same spot and have them try to recreate their search process
NOTE: Encourage students to really experience their search; reemphasize points from the reading


Step 3:
· Once students have had sufficient time to practice the exercise and scene, begin performing.
· To performers: emphasize focus on really experiencing the search; not anticipating or planning ahead
· To viewers: look for moments when you forgot the actor knew exactly where the item was; look for moments when you could tell the actor knew where the item was


GOAL: Students will
1. improve their ability to avoid mechanical actions and give themselves “with innocence and trust to the moment”



· Once everyone has performed, discuss their process in doing this exercise (Possible questions: what did this exercise do for you? How did it help you? How do you think it can help the performance overall?, etc.)
Conclude by restating the quote from page 105: “’A fine actor forgets what’s coming.’ He forgets even the next line he has learned until he needs it!”



Participation: 10pts
Implementation of Exercise: 5pts
Total possible points: 15pts


Implementation of Exercise POINT VALUE
Description of Qualifying Standard Points
Barely understands the exercise and its application to improving one’s acting ability 1
Sufficiently understands the exercise and its application to improving one’s acting ability 3
Understands the exercise and successfully applies it to improve one’s acting ability 5