2008 Film Scenes [ class project ]
"Actor's Text" (Performance) :

First Draft

... criteria (blocked) and stages of focus (concentration -- physicalization, vocalization, visualization)

"Raugh Draft" (memorized)

"Final cut" (role)


... testing (improv), reversed roles and etc.

Classic v. Modern [Oedipus and True West]

Exams for actors by Aristotle :

Stucture and Texture (manifested, expressed) : shown = SHOW BIZ!

Test on 1, 2, 3, 4 [text, space, partner, public]

Test(s) on "stage business" (costume, props, set)

Testing on SUBTEXT


Chronotope testing : subjective time and dramatic space ( do you have it?)

[ records, logs, journal, self-critism ]

... Scene Study Level 1 (Pre-Acting) and Level 3 (Method)

Finals : Modern : Shepard, Mamet, Durang, Stoppard -- list.

Acting eGroups archives.

Scene Preparation
1. Character scene (and play) analysis
2. Memorization of lines
3. Rehearsals with partner in and outside of class
4. Blocking

... Scene Presentation [general]
1. Performing the scene before the class and instructor
2. Feedback and coaching from instructor and class members
3. Second presentation of scene after feedback
midterm and finals grading


TOPICS: drama + comedy + postmodern + time + space + spectator + epic theatre + physical acting + mise-en-scene + commedia + chronotope + floor plan +
Miss Julie 2007 case study ***
film acting:

[ advertising space : webmaster ]

* filmplus.org/plays -- script online (look for scenes!)

acting2 group webpages

first, see SCENES page!

Oedipus (w/Jocasta) -- "classic" for midterm.

... Shakespeare * Moliere * Chekhov/Sprindberg ...

"Modern" (finals) -- ("20th century + " plays)

Chekhov/Ibsen (transition?)


O'Neill + Miller : script.vtheatre.net/amdrama


Pinter Homecoming and etc.



... winter shorts 2007 Spring

... "Picnic" (Theatre UAF 50 years production) -

NEW : 2009: Lul Theatre
2003: Film600: Bad Theories, Wrong Subjects
2005: total directing & total acting
2008 : t-blog + beta.vtheatre.net online?

* Scene Study II : High Modernity and Postmodern ("True West", notes: the group's posts)

... True West : Americana -- "My Brother from a Different Mother" (title for a scene Luke-Kerry)

A lot of papers, canned beer --

typewriter (on the floor, place is not for writing?)

car keys

sandwich(es) ...

how to create a mess with limited prop?

set "KITCHEN" -- ? Night. Coyotes in distance, fade, sound of typewriter in dark, crickets, candlelight in alcove, dim light in kitchen, lights reveal Austin at glass table typing, Lee sits across from him, foot on table, drinking beer and whisky, the T.V. is still on sink counter...
TV is stolen -- how to remind it? (get rid of it!)
-- desert sounds?
* One candle? (night)
glass table?
... armchair (better, garden furniture)
[ how to show that mother is in Alaska -- not important? ]

... SCENES I :

Greeks to Modernism?

"Themes" to continue...

[ list -- suggested and recommended titles ]

Miss Julie (in class)

"World of the play" (part 4. textbook)

3 Sisters : First presented: 1901Written in four acts, Anton Chekov's play is regarded by some critics as the best drama of the 20th century. The Prozorov sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina, along with their brother, Andrey, drag out a dull existence in a small provincial garrison town. Only the diversion afforded by the officers and the ever-present dream of someday moving to Moscow keep the sisters going from one drab day to the next. Audrey, who has had dreams of becoming a professor, makes a bad marriage that thwarts his ambition and adds to his sisters' troubles. His wife, Natalya Ivanovna, becomes a domestic despot. Masha, who is married to the pedantic schoolmaster Kulygin, tries to find happiness in a love affair with the officer Vershinin. The youngest sister, Irina, attempts to escape the drabness of her life by marrying Baron Tuzenbakh, another officer. The removal of the regiment from the town undoes Masha's plan, because Vershinin is married and cannot take her with him. Tuzenbakh is killed in a duel. The three sisters are left as they were in the beginning, deriving some faint pleasure from the cheerful sounds of the regimental band as it marches away, still clinging to their hopes for a better life. [Play summary from Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, p. 1024]



Course Home
Study Materials
Related Resources ref.html
Image Gallery running video +

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Method and Postmodern (Acting) : Godot and Rosencrntz and Guildenstern are Dead

Acting in Style (Caligari'09)


Timetable : Six Days of Creation :

"Cold Reading" and Table period ( analysis -- ACTOR1 : thinking )

Design for Role ("conceptualization") : "Method" Approach (character' story, 5Ws, "Before" and "After")

"No Acting, Please" stage

Trying ( "stage business" ) "characterization"


Day 6 : Performance

Day of Rest ?

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scene study


2007 midterm page --> finals

* scenes

SS Scene Study in directing class [ direct.vtheatre.net ].

acting2 pages:

Biomechanics Webpages    
part 1. text    
part 2. stage    
part 3. public   
part 4. self  
[ go there for updates! ] 

Sophocles ( read 200X Aristotle Files )

midterm scenes (list) : classic [ sample ]

Let me too, I adjure thee, know, O king,
What cause has stirred this unrelenting wrath.

I will, for thou art more to me than these.
Lady, the cause is Creon and his plots.

But what provoked the quarrel? make this clear.

He points me out as Laius' murderer.

Of his own knowledge or upon report?

He is too cunning to commit himself,
And makes a mouthpiece of a knavish seer.

Then thou mayest ease thy conscience on that score.
Listen and I'll convince thee that no man
Hath scot or lot in the prophetic art.
Here is the proof in brief. An oracle
Once came to Laius (I will not say

'Twas from the Delphic god himself, but from
His ministers) declaring he was doomed
To perish by the hand of his own son,
A child that should be born to him by me.
Now Laius--so at least report affirmed--
Was murdered on a day by highwaymen,
No natives, at a spot where three roads meet.
As for the child, it was but three days old,
When Laius, its ankles pierced and pinned
Together, gave it to be cast away
By others on the trackless mountain side.
So then Apollo brought it not to pass
The child should be his father's murderer,
Or the dread terror find accomplishment,
And Laius be slain by his own son.
Such was the prophet's horoscope. O king,
Regard it not. Whate'er the god deems fit
To search, himself unaided will reveal.

What memories, what wild tumult of the soul
Came o'er me, lady, as I heard thee speak!

What mean'st thou? What has shocked and startled thee?

Methought I heard thee say that Laius
Was murdered at the meeting of three roads.

So ran the story that is current still.

Where did this happen? Dost thou know the place?

Phocis the land is called; the spot is where
Branch roads from Delphi and from Daulis meet.

And how long is it since these things befell?


'Twas but a brief while were thou wast proclaimed
Our country's ruler that the news was brought.

O Zeus, what hast thou willed to do with me!

What is it, Oedipus, that moves thee so?

Ask me not yet; tell me the build and height
Of Laius? Was he still in manhood's prime?

Tall was he, and his hair was lightly strewn
With silver; and not unlike thee in form.

O woe is me! Mehtinks unwittingly
I laid but now a dread curse on myself.

What say'st thou? When I look upon thee, my king,
I tremble.


'Tis a dread presentiment
That in the end the seer will prove not blind.
One further question to resolve my doubt.

I quail; but ask, and I will answer all.

Had he but few attendants or a train
Of armed retainers with him, like a prince?

They were but five in all, and one of them
A herald; Laius in a mule-car rode.

Alas! 'tis clear as noonday now. But say,
Lady, who carried this report to Thebes?

A serf, the sole survivor who returned.

Haply he is at hand or in the house?

No, for as soon as he returned and found
Thee reigning in the stead of Laius slain,
He clasped my hand and supplicated me
To send him to the alps and pastures, where
He might be farthest from the sight of Thebes.
And so I sent him. 'Twas an honest slave
And well deserved some better recompense.

Fetch him at once. I fain would see the man.

He shall be brought; but wherefore summon him?

Lady, I fear my tongue has overrun
Discretion; therefore I would question him.

Well, he shall come, but may not I too claim
To share the burden of thy heart, my king?

And thou shalt not be frustrate of thy wish.
Now my imaginings have gone so far.
Who has a higher claim that thou to hear
My tale of dire adventures? Listen then.
My sire was Polybus of Corinth, and
My mother Merope, a Dorian;
And I was held the foremost citizen,
Till a strange thing befell me, strange indeed,
Yet scarce deserving all the heat it stirred.
A roisterer at some banquet, flown with wine,
Shouted "Thou art not true son of thy sire."
It irked me, but I stomached for the nonce
The insult; on the morrow I sought out
My mother and my sire and questioned them.
They were indignant at the random slur
Cast on my parentage and did their best
To comfort me, but still the venomed barb
Rankled, for still the scandal spread and grew.
So privily without their leave I went
To Delphi, and Apollo sent me back
Baulked of the knowledge that I came to seek.
But other grievous things he prophesied,
Woes, lamentations, mourning, portents dire;
To wit I should defile my mother's bed
And raise up seed too loathsome to behold,
And slay the father from whose loins I sprang.
Then, lady,--thou shalt hear the very truth--
As I drew near the triple-branching roads,
A herald met me and a man who sat
In a car drawn by colts--as in thy tale--
The man in front and the old man himself
Threatened to thrust me rudely from the path,
Then jostled by the charioteer in wrath
I struck him, and the old man, seeing this,
Watched till I passed and from his car brought down
Full on my head the double-pointed goad.
Yet was I quits with him and more; one stroke
Of my good staff sufficed to fling him clean
Out of the chariot seat and laid him prone.
And so I slew them every one. But if
Betwixt this stranger there was aught in common
With Laius, who more miserable than I,
What mortal could you find more god-abhorred?
Wretch whom no sojourner, no citizen
May harbor or address, whom all are bound
To harry from their homes. And this same curse
Was laid on me, and laid by none but me.
Yea with these hands all gory I pollute
The bed of him I slew. Say, am I vile?
Am I not utterly unclean, a wretch
Doomed to be banished, and in banishment
Forgo the sight of all my dearest ones,
And never tread again my native earth;
Or else to wed my mother and slay my sire,
Polybus, who begat me and upreared?
If one should say, this is the handiwork
Of some inhuman power, who could blame
His judgment? But, ye pure and awful gods,
Forbid, forbid that I should see that day!
May I be blotted out from living men
Ere such a plague spot set on me its brand!

We too, O king, are troubled; but till thou
Hast questioned the survivor, still hope on.

My hope is faint, but still enough survives
To bid me bide the coming of this herd.

Suppose him here, what wouldst thou learn of him?

I'll tell thee, lady; if his tale agrees
With thine, I shall have 'scaped calamity.

And what of special import did I say?

In thy report of what the herdsman said
Laius was slain by robbers; now if he
Still speaks of robbers, not a robber, I
Slew him not; "one" with "many" cannot square.
But if he says one lonely wayfarer,
The last link wanting to my guilt is forged.

Well, rest assured, his tale ran thus at first,
Nor can he now retract what then he said;
Not I alone but all our townsfolk heard it.
E'en should he vary somewhat in his story,
He cannot make the death of Laius
In any wise jump with the oracle.
For Loxias said expressly he was doomed
To die by my child's hand, but he, poor babe,
He shed no blood, but perished first himself.
So much for divination. Henceforth I
Will look for signs neither to right nor left.

Thou reasonest well. Still I would have thee send
And fetch the bondsman hither. See to it.

That will I straightway. Come, let us within.
I would do nothing that my lord mislikes.


final scenes

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"Brothers" (family, theme)

Act1 scene IV 
True West 
By Sam Shepard 

"Back to the west" 
Austin-Luke Roberts 
Lee-Kerry Simmons 

(Night. Coyotes in distance, fade, sound of typewriter in dark, 
crickets, candlelight in alcove, dim light in kitchen, lights reveal 
Austin at glass table typing, Lee sits across from him, foot on table, 
drinking beer and whisky, the T.V. is still on sink counter, Austin 
types for a while, then stops.) 

Lee: All right, now read it back to me. 
Austin: I'm not reading it back to you, Lee. You can read it when 
we're finished. I can't spend all night on this. 
Lee: you got better things to do? 
Austin: Let's just go ahead. Now what happens when he leaves Texas? 
Lee: Is He ready to leave Texas yet? I didn't know we were that far 
along. He's not ready to leave Texas. 
Austin: He's right at the border. 
Lee: No, see this is one a' the crucial parts. Right here. We can't 
rush through this. He is not right at the border. He's a good fifty 
miles from the border. A lot can happen in fifty miles. 
Austin: It's only an out. We're not writing an entire script now. 
Lee: Well ya' can't leave things out even if it is an out. It's one a' 
the most important parts. Ya' can't go livin' it out. 
Austin: Okay, okay. Lets just-get it done. 
Lee: Alright. Now. He's in the truck and he's got his horse trailer 
and his horse. 
Austin: We've already established that. 
Lee: And he sees this other guy comin' up behind him in another truck. 
And that truck is pullin' a gooseneck. 
Austin: What's a gooseneck? 
Lee: Cattle trailer. You know the kind with a gooseneck, goes right 
down the bed a'the pick-up. 
Austin: Oh. All right. 
Lee: It's important 
Austin: Okay. I got it. 
Lee: All these details are important. 
Austin: I've got it. 
Lee: And this other guy's go his horse all saddled up in the back a' 
the gooseneck. 
Austin: Right. 
Lee: So both these guy's have got their horse right along with em, 
Austin: I understand. 
Lee: Then this first guy suddenly realizes two things. 
Austin: The guy in front? 
Lee: Right. The guy in front realizes two things almost at the same 
time. Simultaneous. 
Austin: What were the two things? 
Lee: Number one, he realizes that the guy behind him is the husband of 
the woman he's been- 
(Lee makes gesture of screwing and pumping his arm) 

Austin (Sees Lee's gesture): Oh. Yeah. 
Lee: And number two, he realizes he's in the middle of Tornado 
Austin: What's "Tornado Country"? 
Lee: Panhandle 
Austin: Panhandle? 
Lee: Sweetwater. Around in that area. Nothin'. No-where and number 
Austin: I thought there was only two. 
Lee: There's three. There's a third unforeseen realization. 
Austin: And what's that? 
Lee: That he's runnin' outa' gas. 
Austin (stops typing): Come on, Lee. 
(Austin gets up, moves to kitchen, gets a glass of water) 

Lee: Whadya' mean, "Come on"? That's what it is. Write it down! He's 
runnin' outa' gas. 
Austin: It's too- 
Lee: What? It's too what? It's to real! That's what ya' mean isn't it? 
It's too much like real life! 
Austin: It's not like real life! It's not enough like real life. 
Things don't happen like that. 
Lee: What! Men don't fuck other men's women? 
Austin: Yes. But they don't end up chasing each other across the 
Panhandle. Through "Tornado Country." 
Lee: They do in this movie! 
Austin: And they don't have horses conveniently along with them when 
they run out of gas! And they don't run out of gas either! 
Lee: These guy's run outa' gas! This is my story and one a' these guys 
runs outa' gas! 
Austin: It's just a dumb excuse to get them into a chase scene. It's 
Lee: It is a chase scene! It's already a chase scene. They been 
chasin' each other fer days. 
Austin: So now they're supposed to abandon their trucks, climb on 
their horse, and chase each other into the mountains? 
Lee: There aren't any mountains in the Panhandle! It's flat! 
(Lee turns violently toward windows in alcove and throws beer  can at 

Lee: Goddamn those crickets! (yells at crickets.) shut up out there! 
(Pause, turns back toward the table.) This place is like a fuckin' 
rest home here. How're you supposed to think! 
Austin: You wanna' take a break? 
Lee: No, I don't wanna' take a break! I wanna' get this done! This is 
my  last chance to get this done. 
Austin (moves back into alcove): All right. Take it easy. 
Lee: I'm gonna be leavin' this area. I don't have time to mess around 
Austin: Where are you going? 
Lee: Never mind where I'm goin'! That's got nothin' to do with you. I 
just gotta' get this done. I'm not like you. Hangin' around bein' a 
paraite offa' other fools. I gotta' do this thing and get out. 
Austin: A parasite? Me? 
Lee: Yeah you- 
Austin: After you break into people's houses and take their 
Lee: They don't need their televisions! I'm doin' them a service. 
Austin: Give me back my keys, Lee. 
Lee: Not until you write this thing! You're gonna' write this outline 
thing for me or that car's gonna wind up in Arizona with a different 
paint job. 
Austin: You think you can force me to write this? I was doing you a 
Lee: Git off yer high horse will ya'! Favor! Big favor. Handin' down 
favors from the mountain top. 
Austin: Let's just write it, okay? Let's sit down and not get upset 
and see if we can get through this. 

(Austin sits at typewriter.) 
(Long pause) 

Lee: Yer not gonna' sow it to him, are ya'? 
Austin: What? 
Lee: This outline. You got no intention of showin' it to him. Yer just 
doin' this cause yer afraid a' me. 
Austin: You can show it to him yourself 
Lee: I will, boy! I'm gonna' read it to him on the golf course. 
Austin: And I'm not afraid of you either. 
Lee: Then how come yer doin' it? 
Austin: So I can get my keys back. 

(Pause as Lee takes keys out of his pocket slowly and throws them on 
the table, long pauses. Austin stares at keys.) 

Lee: There. Now you got yer keys back. 
(Austin looks up at Lee but doesn't take keys.) 

Lee: Go ahead. There's yer keys. 
(Austin slowly takes keys off table and puts them back in his own 
Now what're you gonna' do? Kick me out? 
Austin: I'm not going to kick you out, Lee. 
Lee: you couldn't kick me out, boy. 
Austin: I know. 
Lee: So you can't even consider that one. (Pause) You could call the 
police. That'd be the obvious thing. 
Austin: You're my brother. 
Lee: That don't mean a thing. You go down to the L.A. Police 
Department there and ask them what kinda' people kill each other the 
most. What do you think they'd say? 
Austin: Who said anything about killing? 
Lee: Family people. Brother. Brothers-in-law. Cousins. Real American 
type people. They kill each other in the heat mostly. In the smog- 
Alerts. In the brush fire season. Right about this time a' year. 
Austin: This isn't the same. 
Lee: Oh no? What makes it different? 
Austin: We're not insane. We're not driven to acts of violence like 
that. Not over a dumb movie script. Now sit down. 
(Long pause, Lee consider which way to go with it) 

Lee: Maybe not. (He sits back down at the table across from Austin.) 
Maybe you're right. Maybe we're too intelligent, huh? (Pause) We got 
our heads on our shoulders. One of us has even got an Ivy League 
diploma. Now that means somethin' don't it? Doesn't that mean 
Austin: Look, I'll write this thing for you, Lee. I don't mind writing 
it. I just don't want to get all worked up about it. It's not worth 
it. Now, come on. Let's just get through it, Okay? 
Lee: Nah. I think there's easier money. Lotsa' places I could pick up 
thousands. Maybe millions. I don't need this shit. I could go up to 
Sacramento Valley and steal me a diesel. Ten thousand a week 
dismantling one a' those suckers. Ten thousand a week! 

(Lee opens another beer, puts his foot back up on table.) 

Austin: No, really, look, I'll write it out for you. I think it's a 
great idea. 
Lee: Nah, you got yer own work to do. I don't wanna' interfere with 
yer life. 
Austin: I mean it'd be really fantastic if you could sell this. Turn 
it into a movie. I mean it. 

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