Categories:Other Lesson Plan
Teachers introduce open scenes to students. Helpful actor coaching exercise. Focuses actor in importance of working with partner. Boosts imagination and variety of approaching scenework.
Full Lesson Plan
Step #1: The Teacher builds the scene
· The teacher selects a scene and casts A and B
o Actors learn lines by heart, forgoing particular line readings.
· The director and actors build a relationship between A and B
o Directors can use relationship-building techniques
· The director sets up the given circumstances of the scene
o Decides location
o What do characters want from each other
Step #2: The Students play the Open Scene
· The actors allow the given circumstances to impact dialogue
Step #3: The Teacher tackles the conceptual issues of the scene
· What does a teacher/director want the audience to come away with after viewing the scene?
· How can the teacher/director achieve this result, using actor coaching, creation of environment, change of tone, pacing, or other theatrical elements.
Step #4: The Teacher coaches the actors in order to illuminate the concept
· The teacher coaches the actors towards performance that illuminate the ideas the director wishes to highlight.
Step #3: The Teacher creates different environments
· Keeping all other variables the same (relationship, given circumstances, and intention), select a radically different environment in which the scene can take place.
· Environments can be created through te imagination only or with actual props, set pieces, and/or lighting
· Directors can repeat this exercise, selecting a different locale for each new showing and directing the actors accordingly.
Step #4: The Teacher varies the pace
· Keeping al other variable the same, the teacher coaches actor to play the scene at varying rates. (Using imagery to describe the pace to the actors can be helpful.)
Step #5: The Teacher elicits a different tone
· Keeping all variable the same, the director communicates to the actors a radically different tone in which to play the scene.
· Directors can repeat this exercise, selecting different tone for each new showing. (It can be interesting to direct same scene in the maaner of a suspenseful thriller, a slapstick farce, and a delicate drama.)
The process outlined above can be used in its entirety over the course of several weeks or particular steps may be used as stand alone exercises. However it is utilized in the directing classroom, t I valuable to direct a given scene in at least two different ways. With able actors, a director can direct the same words and people in radically different directions. Because the skeletal language does not guide the actors in ways that traditional dialogue can, the sometimes intangible director’s work can be highlighted more accurately.
OPEN SCENE 1
A: This is the worst
B: Mmm I know
A: I am now Yes
B: Good Are you done
A: OK now Your turn
B: OK No, this is the worst
A: Mmm I know
A: Are you done
A: Good I thought you said you were done
B: OK OK now anything else
A: Yes There
OPEN SCENE 2
A: Oh no
B: Can you uh ….
A: No here use this
B: Come on
A: I told you to be careful
B: I was it just happened
A: There let me see
B: Oh where are you going
A: For help
B: And leave me here you can't leave me here
A: You stay here I'm off to get help
B: No no please one more time try it again
A: Stay here I'll be right back
OPEN SCENE 3
B: How are you
A: I’m not all that well really
B: Why What’s the matter
A: The usual things How are you
B: I’m fine
A: Mmm It’s been a long time
B: Yes I thought of you the other day
B: It’s nice sometimes to think back isn’t it
A: Absolutely How’s everything
B: Oh not bad Do you know how long it’s been since we met
B: Two years
A: Long time
OPEN SCENE 4
A: What are you doing
B: Can’t you tell
A: Well, I think so but
B: It should be obvious
A: You shouldn’t
B: I know
A: I mean, I really wish you wouldn’t
B: You should have thought of that
A: Is this because of what I did
B: Partly yes, mostly no
A: Can I make it up to you somehow
B: I very much doubt it
A: Stop doing that and really listen to me
B: You don’t recognize “No” do you
A: I just asked you to listen
B: I said “No” that’s it
Open Scene 5
A: Sorry I asked
SAID NOTHING! A:I'M SORRY I ASKED.B:THAT'S ALL RIGHT.
A COMMON TRAP FOR STUDENTS, DOING IMPROVISATIONS IS TO FALL INTO THE HQBIT OF USING WORDS INSTEAD OF ACTIONS. WORDS CAN BE ACTIONS WHEN TIED TO PURPOSE...STRONGLY, TIED. TALK FOR A PURPOSE BUTDO NOT TALK INSTEAD OF DOING. STAY OUT OF YOUR HEAD, AND DON'T INTELLECTUALIZE YOURLELF OUT OF YOUR NEEDS IN ORDER TO AVOID CONFLICT. AND LIVE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES...IF, DIRE, THEY WILL FORCE YOU TO TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY