Acting Theatre Resources
All material should be done from work from one of the following publishers. Click on the name to be taken to the publisher's website.
Or Musicals from one of the following companies
The Musical Company (Now part of Concord Theatricals)
Any public domain play written before 1923.
Appeals can be made to the EDTA office for anything not on this list. See the ITEA Rules for more information.
Scenes and Monologues from Don Zolidis (available for competition from various publishers.
Resources from Dramatic Publishing
https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/browse/scenes-and-monologues - This lists all of the Scenes and Monologues books that DPC carries.
https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/cuttings-special-permissions-101 - Cutting and Special Permission Guidelines
https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/browse/one-act-competition-winners – One Act Competition Winners
The Acting Rubrics
The Acting rubric covers Contrasting Monologues, Duo Scenes, and Group Scenes. It is broken in to five sections which have equal value on your overall score. For a further look at the categories and how you can improve your score, continue reading.
As you are working on your monologue or scenes. It is always helpful to find as much information on the monologue that you can.
This link goes to a monologue information form that students can fill out when working on their monologue. CLICK HERE for the form.
This link goes to a similar version on duo scenes that students can use when working on their scenes, the form could also work on group scenes. CLICK HERE for the form.
Acting transitions includes the following elements
- A clear slate that includes clear articulation of name, selection, author of selection, and troupe number.
- Transition into the scene/monologue, transitions between monologues, and a clear final moment of the piece and transition out of the piece.
Recommendations to improve your Acting Transition score.
1. Practice your slate like you do your piece itself.
2. Know how to pronounce your author and selection. If the judge knows the proper pronunciation and you say it wrong, it sets the wrong tone.
3. This is your first impression, almost like a date, you want to be pleasant but not over the top and say what you are supposed to, not too much, and not too little.
4. If you are using a chair or table (if allowed), pre-set it before your slate, do not allow your transition be muddled with moving furniture.
5. Be aware of what you do before you talk, you are being evaluated from when you start your slate.
6. Be clear on your final moment. Don't start leaving before you are done.
7. Know what you are to present. You should say your name, troupe #, selection title, selection author/composer.
Characterization on the rubric asks for emotional and physical believability and commitment to character; choices or tactics towards an objective that create a relationship with real or implied partner(s).
What is characterization? Characterization is the creation of character through voice, movement, personal research and textual analysis.
Suggestions on how to improve upon characterization
1. Take the time to read the full script, not just the slection you made. This is important because you need to know all the different experiences and actions the character has, know the subtext.
2. Research your character, know the playwright.
3. Establish clear OOAT. Objective (What does your character want (from someone). Obstacle (What is in your way (need drama). Action (What are you doing to get what you want). Tactics (How are you going to get what you want).
4. Make choices and take risks. Ultimately impressions matter, if you don't make one, it can be hard to leave one. This will often help separate you from the character you are portraying.
5. Listen to feedback.
6. Know emotions, but don't play emotions. Focus on objectives and work to them, and be aware of emotions, but don't play them.
7. Practice and prepare.
8. Watch out for stereotyping, make educated decisions.
Different Tips and methods to creating character.
Acting Techniques: There are several different methods to creating character developed by a range of teachers. It is up to the actor to decide which method is write for them.
For a general overview of the major methods and the actors who use it. CLICK HERE.
Constantin Stanislavski: Known as the method, Stanislavski is considered the father of modern acting. His approach incorporates spiritual realism, emotional memory, dramatic and self-analysis, and disciplined practice.
Lee Strasberg: Strasberg took Stanislavski's method and adapted it, it encourages actors magnify and intensify their connection to the material by creating their characters’ emotional experiences in their own lives.
Stella Adler: Adler studied under Strasberg but modified the system to emphasize imagination in addition to emotional recall.
Sanford Meisner: Meisner worked with Adler and Strasberg. Meisner taught his students to “live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances.” His approach is an imminently practical one; his famous repetition exercise, in which two actors sit opposite each other and respond in the moment with a repeated phrase, breaks down overly structured technique and builds openness, flexibility, and listening skills.
Michael Chekhov: Chekhov pioneered a psycho-physical approach to acting, focusing on mind, body, and a conscious awareness of the senses.
Practical Aesthetics: This method was developed by William H Macey and David Mamet. It involves a four-step scene analysis that simply focuses on pursuit of an action; actors are taught to focus on what is literally happening in the scene and what is desired of the other characters.
Uta Hagan: Her popular technique emphasizes realism and truth above all else; “substitution” (or “transference”) encourages actors to substitute their own experiences and emotional recollections for the given circumstances of a scene.
Viola Spolin: Used theatre games to live in the moment and respond quickly and truthfully to their present circumstances.
Voice on the acting rubric asks for Projection, articulation, intonation, and other chosen vocal techniques that reflect the character's emotions and subtext.
Voice exercises from Theatrefolk. Courtesy of Lindsay Price.
Recommendations for vocal work
Voice is often evaluated on the performer's ability to project, articulate, intonate as well as other tools used to reflect the character's emotions and the subtext of what is being said.
Projection is the ability for the actor to speak loudly (and clearly) enough to be heard. On stage a whisper is much louder than a traditional whisper.
Articulation is the ability of the actor to speak clearly and be understood. This includes a general understanding of how words should sound through the International Phonetic Alphabet and taking the time to speak in a way that emphasis the proper sounds in a word.
Intonation generally deals with the pitch of the voice, which looks at the more than pitch when singing. This sometimes comes into play to imply emotions or questions. How lines are said can change the meaning, like raising the pitch at the end makes a statement a question.
Other aspects of voice that emphasize the character and their emotions and subtext
Accents/Dialects: Dialects deal with word choice and are more specific, Accents are more of the general sounds.
Common accents to learn, British, Southern, New York (Brooklyn), and American Standard. Many resources can be found online for how to speak certain accents.
Accent Map of North American Accents
Rhythm/Tempo: If you speak too fast you cannot be understood. If you speak to slow it can get tough to stay with what you're saying. You rhythm and tempo are often closely related to your emotions.
Tone: It is not just what you say but how you say it, be mindful of how things can be perceived.
Inflection: Which word is the most important of the line, make sure the focus is put in the right spots.
Movement on the acting rubric looks at Gesture, facial expressions, movements, and actions that communicate the character's emotions and subtext.
Here are seven major methods for movement acting.
Suggestions for movement
1. When making gestures, make sure you find the right balance between moving and non-movement. Don't just move to move, have motivation to move and make sure it is justified.
2. Facial expressions are important. So much communication happens with our bodies and our faces.
3. Theatre movement is not just moving around the stage, although your location on the stage and how you move around is a vital part.
Movement is also your relationship to other characters on stage.
Movement is also how you create posture on stage.
Movement is also where you are putting your focus while you are on the stage.
Concentration and commitment to moment-to-moment choice; integration of voice, body, and emotions create a believable character/relationship that tells a story.