As students enter the room, show the first slide on the PowerPoint (Pp) projected on the wall so that students can follow the instructions without any verbal direction.
After all the students are in place, do the PLACE/TIME improvisation but now add OBJECTIVE KS Exercise 4.4
Have pairs come up at get the two cards: place and time. Give them a few minutes to improvise a scene.
Then have them come and get the objective cards without showing partners their goals. Now you can start to explore why you’re in that place at that time. You both know the other given circumstances, but only your objective. Focus on the dramatic tension – the task of your objective – it’s not a competition.
Reflect on the exercise – what was different about the two improvisations? How did wanting something affect the scene? What does “wanting something” do to you as an actor?
Pp slide: Script analysis brings the actor into action.
Acting Process: Pp slide
Put yourself into the circumstances of your character. **work on now
Experience your character’s needs as if they were your own. **work on now
Form objectives as your character and care about them as if they were your own.
Do the things the character does to achieve those objectives.
Explore the natural process of transformation (the Magic IF).
PRACTICE in REHEARSAL
Have students pull out their script and examine it for ACTION opportunities based on its given circumstances. Take note of them directly on the script. Start with those moments and just read it and then get up on your feet to begin to play with it. Not firm staging, or set vocal or body choices, but just start to let the environment, relationships, etc. start to affect you.
Think about OUTER actions (‘What am I doing?’) and INNER actions (‘What do I want?’)
After some rehearsal time stop and have students focus on making their work more active and less cerebral Pp slide:
Direct all actions toward your on-stage partner (or your invisible other)
Make them real and human
Choose actions you can believe in
Make them relevant to your character
Be specific and precise with your actions
Make them active and forward-moving
Have them take a short section of their piece (8 lines or so) and memorize and prepare it according to this work.
After some more rehearsal time stop and have students focus on sharing their work with another person/pair in the class. Pp slide Get feedback from their audience on how they are acting and using the given circumstances of those lines/that moment. Look to get more specific, detailed, and honest in their actions and characterization.
If appropriate, have each audience give their performer a participation score and submit it to you for the gradebook.
Remind students to continue to read through their pieces. Don’t memorize anything a set way – just learn it and get really familiar with it. Continue to take any notes of new impressions, insights, etc. of their piece or the given circumstances.
If this fits your class better than one of the other exercises above, feel free to substitute it. Or use this in any lesson if time allows:
Everyday Acting in GC
Let’s better explore how to portray (as in actually doing, not acting) normal daily actions that we, as humans, take for granted. This exercise would challenge students to present a mundane activity and put a twist on it, to add dynamic and a “rush” to the scene. According to the actor-author, Uta Hagen, those normal interactions change depending on what influences them.
So take a common action that your character would do. Grab items that could stand in as props. Do the action. Now consider your given circumstances: WHEN. What time is it? Can you put in a time constraint? Now consider WHERE. Where are you? What is the temperature like? Are others around you? What is the social aspect of the location as well as the physical one? Can you make the place ‘more’? If time allows play with WHO. Add something into your relationship to spice things up: secret crush, felt betrayed by text, etc.