actingchap4 Mr. Saunders
Rockinghamn County High School Theatre Arts
Theatre Arts


1. Check the Activity links to three sections of terms that every actor should know. Be sure to use each activity several times. Each link contains twenty-five terms.


I. Creative process of characterization

    A. Grasp the fundamental personality of a part.
    B. Project that personality to the audience.

II. Study the play

III. Develop a character sketch. Use the following following as a sample. These should be created in a loose leaf or spiral notebook.

IV. Score the role

    A. Score your role by answering the following questions.

V. Score the script

    A. With a pencil, mark your script indicating pauses, pitch levels, emphasis, speed of delivery, phrasing, pronunciation, character revelation, movement, stage buisness, and special functions. See the following example.


I. Sixteen keys to characterization

    A.Internatlizing-deep personal feelings for charcter.
    B. Externalizing--make personality visible to audience.
    C. Concentrating--Directing thoughts and energies.
    D. Observing--observe people to learn fine shades of meaning in expressions.
    E. Emotional Memory--Recalling specific emotions in your own life.
    F. Projecting--"reaching out" to the audience.
    G. Motivating--"Why" the characters acts as he does.
    H. Stretching a Character--make the character unique.
    I. The Consistent Inconsistency--Making a certain personality trait always present.
    J. Playing the Conditions--Making elelents of time, place, weather aparent in the protrayal of a character.
    K. Playing the Objectives--Playing the methods a charcter uses to achieve his goals.
    L. Playing the Obstacles--playing the way your character reacts to obstacles to his objectives.
    M. Playing the Object--Using the costume or a prop as a major part of character development.
    N. Energy--Using physical energy to enliven a portrayal.
    O. Focus--directs the actor's attention, action, emotion or line delivery to a definite target.
    P. Uniqueness--develop a unique character, don't imitate.


I. Gesture

    A. Bubble
      1. Small bubble--shy,withdrawn people
      2. Large bubble--Bold, daring people
    C. Master gesture-a distictive action that serves as a clue to the character's persoanlity.

II. Common Stage Movememnts.

III. Stage Positions and Grouping
    A. "cheat out"--pivot torso to face the audience.
    B. "giving the scene"--crossing down and turning back to another actor.
    C. "turning the scene in"--a group of actors shift focus upstage to a key charcter.
    D. "taking yourself out of a scene"--turning into a three quarter position.
    E. "sharing a scene"--stand or sit parallel to another actor, facing each other in one quarter positions.


    A.Hand Props are carried onto the stage by the actor
      1.. reading glasses, for example.
      2. envelopes
      3. other items

    B. Set props are preset on stage by the crew.
      1. Furniture
      2. Hand items that an actor must find onstage.


    I. Pitch and Inflection

      A. Rising inflection--questioning, surprise, or shock.
      B. Falling inflection--ends a statement, also shows depression, finality, or firmness.
      C. Sustained inflection--staying on the same note, suggests calmness, decisiveness, steadiness of purpose.
      D. Circumflex inflection--uses two or more vowel sounds where there is usualy one--suggests a change of meaning in a word.


    I. Memorizing lines

      A. Whole-part memorization--read the whole play several times, then the act several times, then the scene several times.
      B. Part-whole memorization--read the script line-by-line until it is memorized.


      A. The actor supplies SUBTEXT, what the actor thinks but doesn't say.
      B. "Forgetting what you know" means even though you know how things turn out, you pretend to forget them to keep the audience from knowing outcomes.
      C. "Playing the moment" means keeping yourself fresh in the play and listening to each line as though it were new to you.


      A. Substitution is finding personal experiences in your own life or through observation to provide you examples of how to play certain emotions in a play.
      B. Improvisation, the impromptu portrayl of a charcter without preparation or rehearsal, is a helpful technique when actors must play situations beyond their 0personal experience.
      C. Animal images are helpful in creating characters.
      D. Incomplete lines
        1. Cut-Off lines are interrupted by another speaker (indicated by dashes), but the actor should be able to complete the lines that isn't written.
        2. Fade-Off lines trail off before they are completed. (indicated by dots)


      I. Key Lines
        A. Significant lines heard by everyone in the audience
        B. Pointing lines means placing the emphasis on exactly the right word and timing the rate and pauses so the audience gets the full emotional impact.
        C. Paraphrasing is simply figuring out the meaning of the lines and statin it in your own words

      II. Playing Comedy.
        A. Lift the end of a punch line and leave it hanging, or play it "flat" to let the audienc eknow to laugh.
        B. Clinch the punch line with a facial or bodily reaction.
        C. Topping is increasing volume, ptich, tempo, or interest to each succeeding comedy line.
        D. Hold for laughs. Bring a laugh in at the top of the laugh curve by "cutting in" the line. See the laugh curve chart.


        National and regional speech that are differnet in pronunciation and selection of words and in the inflection of sentences.

        Different Stages

          I. Proscenium stage-the common picture frame stage similar to the one we have at school.
          II. Arena Stage--the audience sits on all four sides of the stage simliar to the Barn Dinner Theatre in Greensboro.
          III. Thrust Stage--the stage has a proscenium on the back wall, but a thrust extends into the audience allowing them to sit on three sides of a production similar to the Kenan Theatre at UNC-CH
          Now, take the sample quiz on Acting. When you think you have mastered the material, log into the session to the graded acting quiz. Remember that in Fill-In the blank questions, you must spell the answers correctly.
My Quia activities and quizzes
Acting Vocabulary Part I
Basic Terminology for the actor, Part I
Acting Vocabulary Part II
Basic Terminology for the actor, Part II
Acting Vocabulary Part III
Basic Terminology for the actor, part III
Acting Vocabulary Part I
A sample quiz for Acting Vocabulary Part I
Acting Vocabulary Part II
A sample quiz for Acting Vocabulary Part II
Acting Vocabulary Part III
A sample quiz for Actoing Vocabulary Part III
Quiz, Acting Vocabulary Part I: session quiz, acting vocabulary part i
Graded quiz covering Acting vocabulary part I
Quiz, Acting Vocabulary, Part II: session quiz, acting vocabulary part ii
Graded quiz covering Acting Vocabulary, Part II
quiz, acting vocabulary part iii: session quiz, acting vocabulary part iii
Graded quiz covering Acting Vocabulary, Part III
Acting Quiz
A sample Acting Quiz
Acting Quiz: session quiz on acting
Graded quiz on Acting
Last updated  2008/09/28 11:01:38 EDTHits  3450