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Character Development Workshop

Who: Students grades K and up, led by ANW Theatre Artists.

What: A one-time workshop held at the students’ school. Students work with ANW’s Teaching Artists to engage with the text in a deeper way and enhance the experience of seeing the live production. Your workshop can be conducted before or after your students attend the show.

Objectives: Students will develop skill in oral language and bodily expression while engaging their ability to act on impulse through play and imagination.
Focus Questions

  1. What are some techniques to help an actor develop character? How can the language be broken down to be understood? How can utilizing movement and voice technique help convey meaning to the audience?

Workshop Breakdown

Warm up (10 minutes)

  1. Instructors will introduce themselves
  2. WALK LIKE…
    1. Students will be asked to walk around the room as themselves. Then the instructor will ask them to walk as though they were 100 years old, royalty, a rock star, a burglar, etc. They will then lead into walking like various animals, i.e. orangutan, lion, dolphin, etc.

Activities (45 minutes)

  1. Students will receive a copy of the text. Students will be told they are going to focus on this scene and begin to develop character by making unique physical and vocal choices. Scene and characters briefly explained.
  2. Students will then be broken into groups of 4
  3. Students will be told they are going to make “animal” character choices. Examples will be given and modeled (i.e. cat, bear, wolf ) Students will be encouraged to incorporate physical and vocal choices in their animal characters as they read through the scene. Creativity and big choices encouraged!
  4. Students will have 10 minutes in their group of 4 to rehearse the scene incorporating their animal. Instructors will walk around to answer questions or help.
  5. Groups will present in order to create scene

Reflection (5 minutes)

  1. Instructors will explain why this activity is useful (provide examples), how all professional actors still work to find their characters through a myriad of ways, etc.
    • Example: Learning to become a three-dimensional character with a developed backstory so that the characters are truthful and believable.
    • Example: Through movement, voice, and text analysis, actors can discover different aspects and attributes of their characters
    • Actors are constantly working to find their characters
  2. Questions