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Basic Acting Terminology

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1 Basic Acting Terminology
Introduction to Theatre Arts 8th Grade English

2 Last Week… We began our drama unit… We talked about:
Realism v. Formalism v. Classic Theatre v. Theater Stage Directions and Geography

3 However…Today… We are going to get more technical!
You will learn some basic acting terminology.

4 Think about it… What is acting?
Acting is a lot like pretending, only it is much more involved. When we pretend, we fantasize about life as we wish it was. It is an actor’s job to tell the story that the playwright intended to tell the audience.

5 Most Plays today… Are written in something called representational style. This means that the play is supposed to represent real life. Actors don’t make eye contact with the audience, nor do they ever break the fourth wall.

6 Although some plays… Are written in presentational style.
“Murder in the House of Horrors” was written in presentational style. In presentational style, the actors discuss events with the audience. There is no fourth wall.

7 However… Regardless of what kind of play it is, actors must develop a unique character that fits the author’s intent. You must tell the author’s story; furthermore, you have to be entertaining, too. You have to research the character, if you can.

8 Characterization In defining your character, you have to look at:
What he says about himself (what is his attitude?) What others say about him (what do the other characters think?) What does the author say about him? What can you get from the subtext (What is implied but not spoken)?

9 Is your character… Historical? Is your character a person from history? Then you will have a ton of great info about him/her. This is a nonfiction character and will be easier to play because you already know what they were like. Think “Decade Day!”

10 Is your character… From a really old or really famous play?
These plays are called classical plays because they have stood the test of time! If your character is, you might have some luck researching how to play that character…because so many others have come before you!

11 Remember… The process by which the actor seeks to make the role he or she plays unique and entertaining is called characterization.

12 When you know who your character is…
You will need to decide if you want to play him emotionally or technically. Huh?

13 Emotional Acting Emotional acting is exactly like what it sounds.
It is also called method acting. An actor recreates the emotions of the character. You become the character and respond to others as the character might respond. This was developed by Stanislavski who encouraged others to “become their character.”

14 Technical Acting Is just the opposite.
Technical acting focuses more on thinking than feeling. You look at the conditions of the play (weather, time), the obstacles (what stands in their way of reaching their goals) and their objectives (what does the character want?) You then act it out how you would feel in the same situation.

15 Most Actors… Will combine these two styles.

16 Acting Rules When you are an actor, regardless if you are a method actor or a technical actor, there are certain rules you will need to follow. Casts are like family. You don’t want to disappoint them.

17 The Rules… Be on time for all play events, including rehearsals.
Always have your script. Be off-book when the director says to be. Be quiet backstage (the area behind the curtain). Be at the right place at the right time. When the director says “Places” get ready to start. Stop when the director says “cut” to stop the scene. Be a team player

18 Being a Team Player Is probably the most important rule in acting.
Because the actors are so close for so long, they must develop a philosophy of teamwork. Don’t take the audience’s attention from someone else if you are not supposed to have it. This is called upstaging or scene stealing.

19 Cross and Counter Cross
You must always be visible to the audience, otherwise it is called upstaging yourself. You, as an actor, must also make sure that you counter someone else’s moves. If an actor moves somewhere else on stage, it is called a cross. You must have a counter cross, a movement that will allow you to still be seen. When an actor changes his body position so that the audience can see him/her, it is called cheating out.

20 Remember… Everything that an actor does on stage is motivated. Every valid reason for doing something…

21 Activity…Capture the Moment
Teams of three Create a picture based on the line given to you…

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