OPEN SCENES (exercise for scoring scripts)

"A Decision Must Be Made..."
Remember this from Drama I?

The Purpose of the OPEN SCENE is to give the actor a script that can be interpreted many different ways.

OPEN SCENES for TWO actors

Get with a partner and pick a scene from the two below.


A:  You!
B:  No!
A:  Wait. Don’t go.
B:  Bye.    

A:   How?
B:   Don’t talk!
A:    Ok!
B:   Just go. 



Now the actors must begin to run the scene on their feet and begin to fill in what's happening. Play out different scenarios before you settle. 


The actors must WRITE the following questions:

1.) Who are you? (character description)
2.) What are you doing? (action of the moment)
3.) What's the time/season(a given) 
4.) What are the rest of the givens?  
5.) What is the objective? (what do you want?)  
6.) How are they stopping you? (Hurdle)
7.) What are going to do to get it anyway?(Tactics)
8.)What's under the line? (Subtext)
Everything that is actually being said under each line
REMEMBER: it's the "internal" monologue for the character.

       Work to build a complete story

***Remember to follow ALL of Step 3 for each open scene***


 (Two Actors)

A: Hey.
B: Hello.
A: Do you want a mint?
B: No thanks.
A: Sure.
B: Wait, why?
A: No special reason.
B: Oh.
A: Want one?
B: OK, thanks.
A: Thank you.

NOTE: The meaning and emotions you can discover in a scene comes from the physical action and the subtextwhich  means, literally, "under the text" or "between the lines" 

When the exercises are performed, it becomes clear that the dialogue is only in support of that physical action.

"Words are just words! We act from our soul!
- Stella Adler (Acting Theorist)


For Two Actors
A:    Hello.
B:    Hello.
A:   I didn't expect to find you here.
B:   You did though. I might say the same for you.
A:   Are you going to be busy between now and dinner?
B:   Not really. Not busy.
A:   Would you like to talk for a while?
B:    I might. For a while.
A:   Good.
B:   Good.

And Another  

A:   Hi.
B:   Hello.
A:   What'd you do last night?
B:   Oh, not much. How about you?
A:   Oh, watched a little T.V.
B:   Anything good?
A:   Well, no. Not really.
B:   See you later.
A:   O.K.


Try either of the above scenes (as assigned by your instructor) "as if" it is occurring in the following given circumstances:

  1. A casual pick up.
  2. Husband and wife meeting the night after a trial separation.
  3. Father and daughter at breakfast after she's been out late.
  4. High school girls (college) meeting after each suspects the other of dating a mutual boyfriend.
  5. A rejection of friendship.
  6. Lovers unable to meet except for a few moments.
  7. Two people who broke off their engagement almost one year ago and haven't seen each other since.
  8. Any of the above as a telephone call.

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