Physicality of a Character

Learning Objective:

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of character physicality by participating in classroom activities and discussion.


Materials Needed:

White board and a marker.



When the students enter the room, have written on the board, “Look at the character you are playing in the scene and think about the following questions
-Is your face expressive or dead pan?
-Do you have any physical mannerisms?
-Do you walk fast or slowly?
-Do you carry any character prop or accessory?
-What part of your body do you lead with?
-Is you voice high pitched or low pitched?
-Do you speak rapidly or slowly?
-Do you have an accent?
-Do your clothes match or are they mismatched?
Give the students 3 minutes to reflect on these questions and write down their responses.


Step One: Transition

Have students turn in their character background sheet into the basket. Then invite them to follow you to the auditorium—tell them to not touch any of the play props or set pieces.


Step Two: Instruction

Tell them to find a place on the stage. Once everyone is their have them walk around normally—how they walk every day. After they have been walking around neutral for a while call out a specific part of the body to lead with. Demonstrate for them—walk in an exaggerated manner. Lead with your forehead, knees, hips, stomach, chest, toes, and heels.


Step Three: Practice

Go through multiple different body parts leading. Spend about 10 minutes on this activity.


Step Four: Discussion

What was that experience like? Leading with what body part felt the most natural and which felt the most uncomfortable? What body part do you lead with naturally? Which body part would your character lead with and why?


Step Five: Transition/Instruction

We are going to be focusing on the physical nature of each of your scenes today. Get with your partner and read over the script to understand the basic outline of the conversation. Now find a place in the room where you have enough space to act out your scene. I want you to run through the scene without using any words. Only focus on the actions and the physical nature of the scene.


Step Six: Group Practice

Give the students 5 minutes to run through their scenes without using words.


Step Seven: Partner Discussion

Share with your partner what that experience was like? What did you learn about the physical nature of your scene? What worked? What didn’t work? Is there a lot of movement within your scene?


Step Eight: Instruction

We are going to do another exercise to have you focus on the physical nature of your scene and the character you are playing. This time when you go through your scene I want each of you to pick an animal you think represents your character and run your scene as that animal. You can talk but your physical nature should be that animal.


Step Nine: Group Practice

Give them 5 minutes to run their scenes as an animal.


Step Ten: Performance

Ask for one group to come up and share their scene with the class with their animal interpretations.


Step Eleven: Discussion

What did you learn about your character from this animal exercise? Where your physical choices stronger because you were acting like an animal? How can we transfer that willingness to make big physical choices to our scenes?


Step Twelve: Instruction/Practice

For the rest of the period you have time to work on blocking your scene. Think about the things you just learned/experienced about your character. Think about the physical choices you can make to make your character honest and believable.



Each student will participate in scene work activities with their partner.