Acting in Musicals

Lesson #3: Acting in Musicals


Objective: Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to act a song by performing their musical theatre piece as a monologue.


Materials Needed: Les Miserable 1998, Heart Full of Love clip, Anatomy of a Song sheet  3.Anatomy of a Song Handout


Hook: Acting vs. Singing

Show the class the scene from Les Miserables (1998) where Cosette and Marius first profess their love. Then play them “A Heart Full of Love” from the soundtrack.



Discuss what was different between the two scenes. Which one was easier to understand? Which one was more engaging? Did they both further the plot? What did the movie clip do that the musical clip didn’t? What did the music add to the scene beyond what the movie did? Explain that if a song isn’t acted well, it can detract from the plot rather than help to further it.


Step 2: Anatomy of a Song

Pass out the Anatomy of a Song handout. Discuss and point out how all of these things should be in their mind as they perform a song.


Step 3: Individual Practice

Have the students work by themselves to create a short paragraph that will help to develop their character as well as answer the questions on the sheet and motivate their song.  They should also include basic information like name, what is the context of the song in the show etc. Check this off with them for points. (30 pts.)


Step 4: Monologue Musical Performance

Have the class come together and give each student a chance to perform their song as a monologue making sure not to follow the meter of the song but rather speak it as though they were just talking, grouping thoughts together. Give feedback as well as have the students give feedback to one another.