William Shakespeare famously wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.”
This week English Teacher Online wants to help you learn how to act in a play. I would also like to apologize for this late blog due to illness. Playing the part of a sick man is no fun at all, struggling through the pain barrier with neither energy nor appetite.
Playing any character is challenging. To do it well, the actor must immerse into the role, to think and breathe, walk and talk as the character they are imitating.
How To Prepare For A Play
Read the play. Look for the main characters, hero and villain. Try to understand the genre, story line and meaning of the play.
Learn more about your character. Look for character profiles online to find out why they do things and how their mind works. Learn as much as you can about the character so you can copy them on stage.
Get into character. Once you know more about the character you need to practice being that person. Talk to friends about it and practice having a conversation or doing things as if you were that character.
Read your lines. Now you are used to your character, read over the lines. Read the other character’s lines in your head and read your lines out loud. Think about how quickly they would say the line, add pauses if you think they are needed. Imagine you are in the story and feel the character come alive inside you.
Add actions. If the play doesn’t tell you what to do, use your imagination. Patting a child on the shoulder is something parents do naturally. Pointing when you want someone else to look at something in the distance can help capture the audiences attention. If you think your character should walk like Mr. Bean, then practice that too!
Memorize your lines. You probably can’t perform very well while holding a book, so make sure you know all your lines. Memorize them so that during practice you can spend all your time working on your acting!
Learn from others. Make sure you work well with the other actors. Listen to their ideas and try to improve your actions. If people give you mixed advice, remember that the show is for the audience so do what makes most people happy.
Rehearse as much as you can. Go over the dialogues in your head. Dress up in your costume and practice so you become more comfortable.
Finally, enjoy yourself and remember it’s all a learning process.
Please ask a question or share your ideas in the comment section. Alternatively, you can email Steve@EnglishTeacherOnline.Org