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Script Analysis And Scene Work

Script Analysis- Character; Objectives, beats, tactics

Lesson 2: Script Analysis- Character; Objectives, beats, tactics


Objective: Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to understand a character objective and tactic changes by marking out the beats in a 10 minute play.


Materials: copies of a 10 minute play (not included), cartoon character pictures Lesson 2.Cartoon Character Pictures, beats worksheet Lesson 2.Beats Sheet


Preparation: Print the things.


Starter: Write on the board, “If someone were to play you in a theatre play, what would your objective and given circumstances be?’”

Allow students to discuss this.



Today we are going to start discussing how you can begin to construct a character by doing script analysis. Before we continue, do you all know what I mean by script analysis? Last time it seemed like a lot of you were confused. Can someone give me a definition of this? Why is it important?


Instruction 1: Objectives

Every character, and every person for that matter, has something they want to achieve in life. They have life goals, 10 year plans, and even goals for who they want to be or become. We also have goals for things we want in each day, each hour. For example, I really want rehearsal to end before 10pm tonight so I can get home before 11pm. In theatre, we call these goals Objectives. How many of you have heard of this before?

Let’s focus on the bigger goals, or the “super-objectives.” I’m going to show you some pictures from animated shows. You try to tell me what you think their super-objective is.


  1. How do you know what their super-objectives are?
  2. How would you look in your scripts for these things?


Super-objectives are probably easier to figure out than all the smaller objectives characters have. That’s what we are going to spend the rest of class on today.


Instruction 2: Beats/Objectives

In every scene, characters may have several objectives. Sometimes it is hard to find those objectives, but they usually happen at subject changes, or changes in the character who is “leading” the scene, or pushing the action forward. It’s kind of like when you are listening to music and it changes from a verse to a chorus. It still flows, but they are two distinct parts. These changes are called beats.

Hand out the Beat worksheet. Go over it with the students. Then with the person to their right, have them do the example at the bottom. Ask

  • Who is leading the scene?
  • What is Mrs. Dubose’s objectives in both of these beats? How do you know?

Let’s see if we can find all of the objectives in a short play.


Activity 1: Beats in a 10 minute play (not included)

Step 1: Hand out Codgers in the Night. Explain that we are going to do a readers theatre of this short play. Ask for volunteers and go!

Step 2: Now, with a partner of your choosing, mark out the beats, and write out the objectives in each beat.

Step 3: Discuss as a class what they found. Talk about differences.


Conclusion: Please turn in your marked up scripts!