Spring 2009 : last live Theatre UAF class
Lul Teatr Academe -- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia?

anatolant Web-Theatre : director2007

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

... important (master-class) : SS Scene Study, first step to "serious" acting (acting 3) -- I should right more "instructions"!


BM acting * scene study 1 *

It's always through the mental links between one thought and another that an actor needs to find his way in order to achieve the consistency of the journey. -- Janet Suzman
film acting:

[ advertising space : webmaster ]

Spring 2003 * THR221 Intermediate Acting TU, TR 9.45-11.15 *

Acting One
Fundamentals : BioMethod

* The Images (The Album) are still not all in place! [new from vTheatre -- GeoAlaska, links to my graphic files are in the list minipages]

Theory of Spectatorship
index * BM1 * BM2 * BM3 * BM4 * * 200X * Film Dir * Books * Theatre w/Anatoly * SHOWs * Script Analysis * Acting 101 * Directing * Russian-American Theatre (RAT) * Classes * VIRTUAL THEATRE * Plays * Anatoly's Blog *

BM Acting : Scene Study I

The Ultimate Scene Study Series Volume III: 103 Scenes for 3 Actors (Paperback) by Wilma Marcus Chandler (Editor) 1575252201

... "In scene study, we analyze a scene for character, emotion, and conflict. To help the actor listen and react honestly, we define a character’s “want”; find real moments, emotions, and transitions; use sensory work, physicality, and the “where” of the scene; and make strong, specific choices. Scene work is intensive and fun. We sometimes take several weeks on a single scene."

In-class exercises include ...

"The first thing you should do in your group is read the scene through, together, out loud, several times, switching roles."

List three or four important actions that take place in the scene...

What does your character want? Go through your lines and jot down in the margins or on a separate piece of paper what your character is trying to get by saying each one of them...

"Tips for Scene Study

Let's say you've just received a scene from a play (or a movie).  
What do you do next?  

* Put your name on your script!
* Read and memorize the title of the play/movie.
* Read the scene quietly to yourself.
* With your partner, pick temporary parts, and read the script out loud together.
* Start asking each other questions about the characters.  
What do you think the play is about?  
What is the scene about?  
Who are the characters?  
What emotions are being played out in the scene?
* Discuss and decide which partner wants to be which character.
* Check the catalog(s) to see what your ENTIRE play is about.  
[ at least, check the internet! ]
* Ask the director/teacher what the play is about.  
[ better, read the entire script. AA ]
* Highlight your lines.  
Do not highlight stage movements or business... just the character's name followed by his/her lines!
* Draw a picture of the stage you want to create on the back of your scripts.  Place set pieces and props where you want them.
* Get up and start blocking!  
Put the blocking movements on the left, the business movements on the right.
* Practice the scene several times with the blocking/business.
* Work on character development while you are up and practicing.  
You can not perform a scene by being yourself!
* Perform the scene!  
Don't forget, a script has to be memorized completely to get any credit in my class.  
If you practice every day in class, you will not have to spend much time at home memorizing lines."

... more?

... you should know that much from your acting one class.

-- now try Ionesco (Absurd Drama)

Bold Soprano: SCENE: A middle-class English interior, with English armchairs. An English evening. Mr. Smith, an Englishman, seated in his English armchair and wearing English slippers, is smoking his English pipe and reading an English newspaper, near an English fire. He is wearing English spectacles and a small gray English mustache. Beside him, in another English armchair, Mrs. Smith, an Englishwoman, is darning some English socks. A long moment of English silence. The English clock strikes 17 English strokes.

MRS. SMITH: There, it's nine o'clock. We've drunk the soup, and eaten the fish and chips, and the English salad. The children have drunk English water. We've eaten well this evening. That's because we live in the suburbs of London and because our name is Smith.

MR. SMITH [continues to read, clicks his toungue.]

MRS. SMITH: Potatoes are very good fried in fat; the salad oil was not rancid. The oil from the grocer at the corner is better quality than the oil from the grocer across the street. It is even better than the oil from the grocer at the bottom of the street. However, I prefer not to tell them that their oil is bad.

MR. SMITH [continues to read, clicks his tongue.]

MRS. SMITH: However, the oil from the grocer at the corner is still the best.

MR. SMITH [continues to read, clicks his tongue.]

MRS. SMITH: Mary did the potatoes very well, this evening. The last time she did not do them well. I do not like them when they are well done.

MR. SMITH [continues to read, clicks his tongue.]

MRS. SMITH: The fish was fresh. It made my mouth water. I had two helpings. No, three helpings. That made me go to the w.c. You also had three helpings. However, the third time you took less than the first two times, while as for me, I took a great deal more. I eat better than you this evening. Why is that? Usually, it is you who eats more. It is not appetite you lack.

MR. SMITH [clicks his tongue.]

MRS. SMITH: But still, the soup was perhaps a little too salt. It was saltier than you. Ha, ha, ha. It also had too many leeks and not enough onions. I regret I didn't advise Mary to add some aniseed stars. The next time I'll know better.

MR. SMITH [continues to read, clicks his tongue.]

MRS. SMITH: Our little boy wanted to drink some beer he's going to love getting tiddly. He's like you. At table did you notice how he stared at the bottle? But I poured some water from the jug into his glass. He was thirsty and he drank it. Helen is like me: she's a good manager, thrifty, plays the piano. She never asks to drink English beer. She's like our little daughter who drinks only milk and eats only porridge. It's obvious that she's only two. She's named Peggy. The quince and bean pie was marvelous. It would have been nice, perhaps, to have had a small glass of Australian Burgundy with the sweet, but I did not bring the bottle to the table because I did not wish to set the children a bad example of gluttony. They must learn to be sober and temperate.

MR. SMITH [continues to read, clicks his tongue.]

MRS. SMITH: Mrs. Parker knows a Rumanian grocer by the name of Popesco Rosenfeld, who has just come from Constantinople. He is a great specialist in yogurt. He has a diploma from the school of yogurt-making in Adrianople. Tomorrow I shall buy a large pot of native Rumanian yogurt from him. One doesn't often find such things here in the suburbs of London.

MR. SMITH [continues to read, clicks his tongue.]

MRS. SMITH: Yogurt is excellent for the stomach, the kidneys, the appendicitis, and apotheosis. It was Doctor Mackenzie-King who told me that, he's the one who takes care of the children of our neighbors, the Johns. He's a good doctor. One can trust him. He never prescribes any medicine that he's not tried out on himself first. Before operating on Parker, he had his own liver operated on first, although he was not the least bit ill.

MR. SMITH: But how does it happen that the doctor pulled through while Parker died?

MRS. SMITH: Because the operation was successful in the doctor's case and it was not in Parker's.

MR. SMITH: Then Mackenzie is not a good doctor. The operation should have succeeded with both of them or else both should have died.


MR. SMITH: A conscientious doctor must die with his patient if they can't get well together. The captain of a ship goes down with his ship into the briny deep, he does not survive alone.

MRS. SMITH: One cannot compare a patient with a ship.

MR. SMITH: Why not? A ship has its diseases too moreover, your doctor is as hale as a ship; that's why he should have perished at the same time as his patient, like the captain and his ship.

MRS. SMITH: Ah! I hadn't thought of that... Perhaps it is true... And then, what conclusion do you draw from this?

MR. SMITH: All doctors are quacks. And all patients too. Only the Royal Navy is honest in England.

MRS. SMITH: But not sailors.

MR. SMITH: Naturally [A pause. Still reading his paper:] Here's a thing I don't understand. In the newspaper they always give the age of deceased persons but never the age of the newly born. That doesn't make sense.

MRS. SMITH: I never thought of that! [Another moment of silence. The clock strikes seven times. Silence. The clock strikes three times. Silence. The clock doesn't strike.]

MR. SMITH [still reading his paper]: Tsk, it says here that Bobby Watson died.

MRS. SMITH: My God, the poor man! When did he die?

MR. SMITH: Why do you pretend to be astonished? You know very well that he's been dead these past two years. Surely you remember that we attended his funeral a year and a half ago.

MRS. SMITH: Oh yes, of course I do remember. I remembered it right away, but I don't understand why you yourself were so surprised to see it in the paper.

MR. SMITH: It wasn't in the paper. It's been three years since his death was announced. I remembered it through an association of ideas.

MRS. SMITH: What a pity! He was so well preserved.

MR. SMITH: He was the handsomest corpse in Great Britain. He didn't look his age. Poor Bobby, he'd been dead for four years and he was still warm. A veritable living corpse. And how cheerful he was!

MRS. SMITH: Poor Bobby.

MR. SMITH: Which poor Bobby do you mean?

MRS. SMITH: It is his wife that I mean. She is called Bobby too, Bobby Watson. Since they both had the same name, you could never tell one from the other when you saw them together. It was only after his death that you could really tell which was which. And there are still people today who confuse her with the deceased and offer their condolences to him. Do you know her?

MR. SMITH: I only met her once, by chance, at Bobby's burial.

MRS. SMITH: I've never seen her. Is she pretty?

MR. SMITH: She has regular features and yet one cannot say that she is pretty. She is too big and stout. Her features are not regular but still one can say that she is very pretty. She is a little too small and too thin. She's a voice teacher. [The clock strikes five times. A long silence.]

MRS. SMITH: And when do they plan to be married, those two?

MR. SMITH: Next spring, at the latest.

MRS. SMITH: We shall have to go to their wedding, I suppose.

MR. SMITH: We shall have to give them a wedding present. I wonder what?

MRS. SMITH: Why don't we give them one of the seven silver salvers that were given us for our wedding and which have never been of any use to us? [Silence.]

MRS. SMITH: How sad for her to be left a widow so young.

MR. SMITH: Fortunately, they had no children.

MRS. SMITH: That was all they needed! Children! Poor woman, how could she have managed!

MR. SMITH: She's still young. She might very well remarry. She looks so well in mourning.

MRS. SMITH: But who would take care of the children? You know very well that they have a boy and a girl. What are their names?

MR. SMITH: Bobby and Bobby like their parents. Bobby Watson's uncle, old Bobby Watson, is a rich man and very fond of the boy. He might very well pay for Bobby's education.

MRS. SMITH: That would be proper. And Bobby Watson's aunt, old Bobby Watson, might very well, in her turn, pay for the education of Bobby Watson, Bobby Watson's daughter. That way Bobby, Bobby Watson's mother, could remarry. Has she anyone in mind?

MR. SMITH: Yes, a cousin of Bobby Watson 's.

MRS. SMITH: Who? Bobby Watson?

MR. SMITH: Which Bobby Watson do you mean?

MRS. SMITH: Why, Bobby Watson, the son of old Bobby Watson, the late Bobby Watson's other uncle.

MR. SMITH: No, it's not that one, it's someone else. It's Bobby Watson, the son of old Bobby Watson, the late Bobby Watson's aunt.

MRS. SMITH: Are you referring to Bobby Watson the commercial traveler?

MR. SMITH: All the Bobby Watsons are commercial travelers.

MRS. SMITH: What a difficult trade! However, they do well at it.

MR. SMITH: Yes, when there's no competition.

MRS. SMITH: And when is there no competition?

MR. SMITH: On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Tuesdays.

MRS. SMITH: Ah! Three days a week? And what does Bobby Watson do on those days?

MR. SMITH: He rests, he sleeps.

MRS. SMITH: But why doesn't he work those three days if there's no competition?

MR. SMITH: I don't know everything. I can't answer all your idiotic questions!

MRS. SMITH [offended]: Oh! Are you trying to humiliate me?

MR. SMITH [all smiles]: You know very well that I'm not.

MRS. SMITH: Men are all alike! You sit there all day long, a cigarette in your mouth, or you powder your nose and rouge your lips, fifty times a day, or else you drink like a fish.

MR. SMITH: But what would you say if you saw men acting like women do, smoking all day long, powdering, rouging their lips, drinking whiskey?

MRS. SMITH: It's nothing to me! But if you're only saying that to annoy me... I don't care for that kind of joking, you know that very well!

[She hurls the socks across the stage and shows her teeth. She gets up.*]

* In Nicolas Bataille's production, Mrs. Smith did not show her teeth, nor did she throw the socks very far.

MR. SMITH [also getting up and going towards his wife, tenderly]: Oh, my little ducky daddles, what a little spitfire you are! You know that I only said it as a joke! [He takes her by the waist and kisses her.] What a ridiculous pair of old lovers we are! Come, let's put out the lights and go bye-byes.

[Acting Godot ]
Next : method.vtheatre.net

"It should not for a moment be thought that [acting technique] is something to be coldbloodedly practiced and learned. Not even speech training, which is something that the bulk of actors badly need, can be done coldbloodedly, in a mechanical way." Berttolt Brecht

[ Dada ]


[ from BM files ]

Alternation of Character / Alternazione di Carattere

[ in class ]
HUSBAND: No. It is useless. It is time to finish it! I shall not deceive myself any longer because I make you cry immediately!

WIFE (crying): No! Carlo no! . . . come here . . . come here . . listen to me! ...

HUSBAND (crying tenderly): Pardon me, Rosetta! Pardon me!

WIFE (enraged): For God's sake! If you don't stop with this inopportune sentimentality, I will slap you...

HUSBAND (at the height of his fury): Enough! . . . or I shall hurl you out of the window...

WIFE: Darling! Darling! How much I love you! Tenderness grips my heart . . . give me again your delicious reprimands.

HUSBAND: Ah! Rosetta. . . Rosetta! . . . my infinite love...

WIFE (exasperated): If you repeat that another time, I will divorce you! . . . (Precisely.) I will divorce you!..

HUSBAND (exploding): Ah! Ah! Wretch! . . . go away! . . . go away! . . . go away! ...

WIFE: I have never loved you more sweetly!

HUSBAND: Ah! Rosetta! Rosetta! ...

WIFE: Enough . . . (She slaps him.)

HUSBAND: Enough, I say. (Slaps her twice.)

WIFE (languidly): Give me your lips! Give me your lips...

HUSBAND: Here, treasure!

(Texts from Dada Performance PAJ Publications, NY 1987 Ed. Mel Gorden)


scenes two

from BOOR (Chekhov) [The Bear]

[ used in acting1 ]

SMIRNOV: Lord, how angry I am! Angry enough to throw mud at the whole world! I even feel ill! Servant!

[MRS. POPOV comes in with downcast eyes.]

MRS. POPOV: Sir, in my solitude I have become unaccustomed to the human voice and I cannot stand the sound of loud talking. I beg you, please to cease disturbing my rest.

SMIRNOV: Pay me my money and I'll leave.

MRS. POPOV: I told you once, plainly, in your native tongue, that I haven't the money at hand; wait until day after to-morrow.

SMIRNOV: And I also had the honor of informing you in your native tongue that I need the money, not day after to-morrow, but to-day. If you don't pay me to-day I shall have to hang myself to-morrow.

MRS. POPOV: But what can I do if I haven't the money?

SMIRNOV: So you are not going to pay immediately? You're not?

MRS. POPOV: I cannot.

SMIRNOV: Then I'll sit here until I get the money. [He sits down.] You will pay day after to-morrow? Excellent! Here I stay until day after to-morrow. [Jumps up.] I ask you, do I have to pay that interest to-morrow or not? Or do you think I'm joking?

MRS. POPOV: Sir, I beg of you, don't scream! This is not a stable.

SMIRNOV: I'm not talking about stables, I'm asking you whether I have to pay that interest to-morrow or not?

MRS. POPOV: You have no idea how to treat a lady.

SMIRNOV: Oh, yes, I have.

MRS. POPOV: No, you have not. You are an ill-bred, vulgar person! Respectable people don't speak so to ladies.

SMIRNOV: How remarkable! How do you want one to speak to you? In French, perhaps! Madame, je vous prie! Pardon me for having disturbed you. What beautiful weather we are having to-day! And how this mourning becomes you!

[He makes a low bow with mock ceremony.]

MRS. POPOV: Not at all funny! I think it vulgar!

SMIRNOV: [Imitating her.] Not at all funny--vulgar! I don't understand how to behave in the company of ladies. Madam, in the course of my life I have seen more women than you have sparrows. Three times have I fought duels for women, twelve I jilted and nine jilted me. There was a time when I played the fool, used honeyed language, bowed and scraped. I loved, suffered, sighed to the moon, melted in love's torments. I loved passionately, I loved to madness, loved in every key, chattered like a magpie on emancipation, sacrificed half my fortune in the tender passion, until now the devil knows I've had enough of it. Your obedient servant will let you lead him around by the nose no more. Enough! Black eyes, passionate eyes, coral lips, dimples in cheeks, moonlight whispers, soft, modest sights--for all that, madam, I wouldn't pay a kopeck! I am not speaking of present company, but of women in general; from the tiniest to the greatest, they are conceited, hypocritical, chattering, odious, deceitful from top to toe; vain, petty, cruel with a maddening logic and [he strikes his forehead] in this respect, please excuse my frankness, but one sparrow is worth ten of the aforementioned petticoat-philosophers. When one sees one of the romantic creatures before him he imagines he is looking at some holy being, so wonderful that its one breath could dissolve him in a sea of a thousand charms and delights; but if one looks into the soul--it's nothing but a common crocodile. [He siezes the arm-chair and breaks it in two.] But the worst of all is that this crocodile imagines it is a masterpiece of creation, and that it has a monopoly on all the tender passions. May the devil hang me upside down if there is anything to love about a woman! When she is in love, all she knows is how to complain and shed tears. If the man suffers and makes sacrifices she swings her train about and tries to lead him by the nose. You have the misfortune to be a woman, and naturally you know woman's nature; tell me on your honor, have you ever in your life seen a woman who was really true and faithful? Never! Only the old and the deformed are true and faithful. It's easier to find a cat with horns or a white woodcock, than a faithful woman.

MRS. POPOV: But allow me to ask, who is true and faithful in love? The man, perhaps?

SMIRNOV: Yes, indeed! The man!

MRS. POPOV: The man! [She laughs sarcastically.] The man true and faithful in love! Well, that is something new! [Bitterly.] How can you make such a statement? Men true and faithful! So long as we have gone thus far, I may as well say that of all the men I have known, my husband was the best; I loved him passionately with all my soul, as only a young, sensible woman may love; I gave him my youth, my happiness, my fortune, my life. I worshipped him like a heathen. And what happened? This best of men betrayed me in every possible way. After his death I found his desk filled with love-letters. While he was alive he left me alone for months--it is horrible even to think about it--he made love to other women in my very presence, he wasted my money and made fun of my feelings--and in spite of everything I trusted him and was true to him. And more than that: he is dead and I am still true to him. I have buried myself within these four walls and I shall wear this mourning to my grave.

SMIRNOV: [Laughing disrespectfully.] Mourning! What on earth do you take me for? As if I didn't know why you wore this black domino and why you buried yourself within these four walls. Such a secret! So romantic! Some knight will pass the castle, gaze up at the windows, and think to himself: "Here dwells the mysterious Tamara who, for love of her husband, has buried herself within four walls." Oh, I understand the art!

MRS. POPOV: [Springing up.] What? What do you mean by saying such things to me?

SMIRNOV: You have buried yourself alive, but meanwhile you have not forgotten to powder your nose!

MRS. POPOV: How dare you speak so?

SMIRNOV: Don't scream at me, please; I'm not the manager. Allow me to call things by their right names. I am not a woman, and I am accustomed to speak out what I think. So please don't scream.

MRS. POPOV: I'm not screaming. It is you who are screaming. Please leave me, I beg you.

SMIRNOV: Pay me my money, and I'll leave.

MRS. POPOV: I won't give you the money.

SMIRNOV: You won't? You won't give me my money?

MRS. POPOV: I don't care what you do. You won't get a kopeck! Leave me!

SMIRNOV: As I haven't had the pleasure of being either your husband or your fiancé, please don't make a scene. [He sits down.] I can't stand it.

MRS. POPOV: [Breathing hard.] You are going to sit down?

SMIRNOV: I already have.

MRS. POPOV: Kindly leave the house!

SMIRNOV: Give me the money.

MRS. POPOV: I don't care to speak with impudent men. Leave! [Pause.] You aren't going?




MRS. POPOV: Very well.

[She rings the bell. Enter LUKA.]

MRS. POPOV: Luka, show the gentleman out.

See who's visiting this page.

rate An online course supplement * Film-North * Anatoly Antohin * eCitations *
© 2005 by vtheatre.net. Permission to link to this site is granted. books.google.com + scholar.google.com | acting amazon

biomechanics home: appendix * links * new * biblio * references * list * notes * faq * dictionary * glossary * popup * students * archive * flickr * acthome * virtual theatre domains * store-theatre * video * books * store-acting * google.com/group/acting2 * [ I ] [ II ] [ III ] [ IV ] calendar | * my live.com/theatre * Lul Teatr

UP NEXT INDEX diigo it

Links to Site
Live Writing Advice