Dramatic action

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Play title ______________________________________ Date ______________________

Actor _____________________________ Character ____________________________

DRAMATIC ACTION for the play

Remember that a character is determined ONLY AFTER his actions, not before. First, analyze the character’s wants and desires. What is the character’s THROUGH LINE OF ACTION for the entire play. Looking over the course of the script, what is the through line for each character?

OBJECTIVE (Desire or Victory)

This is a statement of what a character wants most; power, dominance over others, love for another, elf-integrity, dominance over fear, etc.

Answer these questions:

What do I really want? Why? When do I want it? Why?


This is the person or thing that is preventing him from getting what he wants. What or who is standing in his way? From whom (in the play) does he want it? Who in the play can help him? Who in the play can hurt him?

Answer these questions:

From whom (in the play) do I want it? Why? Who in the play can help me? Why?

Who in the play can hurt me? Why? What are my deepest fears? Why?

This is a character’s relative strength in attaining his wants or desires. How can he get what he wants? How (and whom) can he threaten? How (and whom) can he induce? How strong or weak is his inner strength? Is it strong enough to push him the full limit, or will he compromise? Does he have any sense of moral responsibility to others? How honest is he with others and with himself?

(a character’s moral stance will affect the attainment of his wants and desires)
Answer these questions:

How can I get it? Why? How (and whom) can I threaten? Why? How (and whom) can I induce? Why?

EXPECTATION (Resolution)

Every character has 5 basic Human Needs. These, in one way or another, ultimately become what the character expects to get. What does the character expect in the end? Why does he expect to get it? Why does it excite him? What will he do when he gets it?

1) Winning 2) Survival 3) Validation 4) Love 5) Happiness
Answer these questions:

Why do I expect to get it? Why does it excite me? What will I do when I get it?

DRAMATIC ACTION within a scene

1. What do others say about this character?

2. What does this character say about others?
3. What discoveries does this character make?
4. How does this information affect each character? Does it change their behavior, way of thinking, needs?
5. Does this information signal a victory? a defeat? a reason for reevaluation?
6. Character’s objective, obstacle and tactic
7. What is the character’s subtext
8. Character-mood-intensity upon entering the scene (this is the physical or body-state of the character)

* heartbeat: rate * perspiration: heavy, light, etc. * stomach condition

* muscle tension * breathing: rate, depth

1. Background (culture, childhood, upbringing, special memories)
2. Mental (intellect/common sense, right/left brain…)
3. Spiritual (religion, beliefs and values)
4. Emotional (calm, angry, gentle, .. when and why)

1. Dress (casual/formal, day/night…)
2. Movement (bounce, sway, swagger, …)
3. Posture (slouched, straight, leads with head/hips/chest….)
4. Voice (pitch, rate, volume, inflection, quality)

  1. Mannerisms (habits the character does without a prop)

1. What is your full name?
2. What does your name mean? origin?
3. When & where were you born? current age?
4. What is your astrological sign? explain.
5. What is your occupation?
6. What is your Chinese zodiac sign? explain.
7. Who is your greatest role model?
8. What excites you?
9. What secrets do you have?
10. What are your deepest fears?
11. Who do you hate? love?
12. List 10 adjectives to describe you.
13. What are your hobbies?
14. What food best describes you?
15. What discoveries have you made in the last year?
16. What animal would best describe you? why?
17. What is your favorite :
color? animal?
food? book?
movie? music?



This is specific information from the script, which details the events and action which occurred prior to the play beginning. Note specifically YOUR CHARACTER’S previous action. It is not necessary to know others’ previous action.

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