Applying Viewpoints to a character and relationships

Educational Objective:

Students will demonstrate their understanding of Viewpoints by applying them to characterization and relationships.



• The Viewpoints Book by Anne Bogart (source of activities and exercises)
• Cuttings of their scenes



Have the students spread out across the room and close their eyes while you give instructions to the activity. Their goal is to think of someone they know and take a path that they would take. Your pattern on the floor will describe who they are. Does this person walk straight or are they all over the place? Do they move in big movements around the space? Do they linger on the outskirts? After a little bit have the students freeze and pick another individual that is different from their first person and have them walk around the space in that way. Then have the students do the exercise for a third time again with someone completely different.


Step 1:

Transition: Ask the students: Which viewpoint did this activity cover? What about the person you were portraying dictate how you moved? What were there personalities? Have a few of the students share their experience of do the movement of someone that they know.


Step 2:

Application: Have the students participate in an activity that will help them see how viewpoints can be used in creating characterization. Have the students express their life story through a topography. Have them start from the beginning of their life to now. Did their life start in a big way or a small way. Where there times where they just plain stopped? Were there times where they repeated themselves? Have them explore this idea for a bit. Then choose two or three students to do their life story for the class. Talk with the class about how they perceived the story that was being told. Ask the students what aspects were was legible, expressive and moving. What worked the best for them.


Step 3:

Transition: Have the students begin walking around the room in whatever way the desire to (within reason). Have the students’ practice using soft vision and soaking in those around them. What are your reactions as you move around the space? Are you close to people? Far away from people? Then up the ante and have the students work in extremes. Have the students go radically close to someone: touch them, hear their breathing. Then have them work with someone far away from you focusing on the tension between the two. One you feel it die, move on to another individual and decide if it will be close or distant. Have the students continue working in the space until they have been able to do it a few times.


Step 4:

Application: Now step into the shoes of your character. You are now going to react in the space as your character would. Have the students react with one another as their characters. No words can be used just a focus on spatial relationships. Does your character move towards large groups of people or are they independent? Are they a follower or a leader? Are they constantly changing or pretty consistent?


Step 5:

Discussion: Have the students discuss how this gave them an insight into who their character is as a person. Example questions: Does your character like to be in large groups? Does your character feel uncomfortable being around the opposite gender or those older than you? Is your character independent?


Step 6:

Transition: Now go back to topography and create a story for your character. Through the use of topography how would you tell their story? Have a few of the students share their topography. Ask the same questions that were asked in the previous life story activity.


Step 7:

Assessment: Have the students divide into their scene partners. Have the students explore the story between these two characters and the spatial relationship that they have with one another. Does their spatial relationship change over time? Do different events influence it? After this activity, have the students write down something they learned about their relationship with the opposing character in their scene.


Step 8:

Give the students the remaining time to work on memorization of their scene. They are not allowed to block their scene until next class period.