Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Period 2 Notes

Great start. Good characters. Start getting out of the script - looking at the other actors. This scene is funny and gripping, but you'll need to rehearse it a lot. Also, figure out where they are and how you can show us. Think about the visual pictures you can use to help show us what's going on. Keep it up! I'm excited to see this improve!

Crimes I
Blake - don't be afraid to "play the lawyer." I think he likes to "act" lawyerish - to maybe impress her - if that makes sense. Alina - Figure out the point in scene when she realizes that she's attracted to him. Think about how you can show that to us.

Prisoner of 2nd Ave.
Nice! This scene will be great. Roger - when he says "Nothing's wrong," is that really what he means? Cut the cigarette - it's just distracting. Stephanie - You have a great voice. Very clear. Great character work both of you. Try this: what if you switch and Stephanie sits and Roger never sits. Try that and see what happens. Great start.

Crimes II
What fun! Don't be afraid to get super upset, Bryana. We want to see you flipping out. Nice moment all: "The one Babe told me about... from the club." This scene is like a hurricane that winds up swirling Lenny and then Babe up the stairs and off the stage. You'll have to build to that peak or we don't believe the exit lines. Try at one rehearsal on the last couple of pages always topping the previous person's line and energy all the way to the end.

Good start. This is going to be funny! You guys need stuff: books, clothes, dishes... Figure out how to establish where they are. It will help us put the scen in some sort of context. Keep it up!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More 7th Period Notes

Emerald City
Good scene. Where are they? What are they doing? Think about ways you can make clear what your goals are. Good start on the character work: I feel like these people have a specific relationship. It's a bit long.

Take A Giant Step
Nice work! Sean, you've really got a great character going. Michael you're on your way too. This will be a great scene. Make sure you're doing things TO each other, not just doing them. Sean don't be afraid to make her scared on "Oh no you won't" line.

Bus Stop
Good scene for you guys. How can you establish where they are? I know you're sharing a script today, but what are these people doing while they're talking? How can you tell the story visually?

The Glass Menagerie
Great energy! Keep it up! Excellent start. Don't forget to tell the story visually: Where are they? What are they doing? I'm excited to watch this scene develop.

Ancient History
Let us see how you are affected by the beauty of the place. The more into it you are, the more we will be. Good! - start to have fun when they start listing all the "No" stuff. They can enjoy that game. Think about how you can tell the story visually.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

7th Period Notes

The Basement
Nice work. A little long... We do need to get you a real looking gun. Remind me. Also the doll and costumes will help because this is such a crazy scene.

Sorry, Wrong Number
I love this play. Try facing US (upstage) before your character speaks. Maybe turn down the lights halfway... something to set the mood.

Candy Store
Bit long. Great characters! Where are you? A porch? What can you do to establish location? Jake - nice checking in to see if he understood "she's crazy." Seth - good blocking, but make the transition a little smoother to lying on the floor. Ishmael - make him older. Feel free to "be the old man." Great casting guys! Nice "do it - come on section." Maybe do the impression standing up?

Watch on the Rhine
Good choice guys. Lauryn - what is she doing during that opening section? Shaina - she says she's nervous... let's see that. Mason - he has to carry himself differently than you as part of his job: let's see the difference between you and him.

The Odd Couple
This'll be good. Work on those lines so you can get to the fun stuff. Andrew - figure out what he's doing physically. Even when he's just laying around, he's doing it to annoy/change Felix. We need some stuff to watch. Eating? Felix cleaning? Also try to find a way to define where they are.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Scotland Podcast!

Hey, folks! So AHS Theatre Arts got invited to perform at the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland during August of 2007. I'll be podcasting the details leading up to that trip along with anecdotes during my familiarization trip this summer. For pictures & audio, go to Be sure to leave comments!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Added ShakespeareCast Stream...

OK, so I never really wrote about it, but I figured I'd add it here. It plays the most recent episode first, so it's not the best place to listen. Go to and subscribe for free!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Period 2 - 3/15 Notes

Empire Records
  • Great vocal choices!
  • Gary - try bigger facial expressions as tactics on him.
  • Clean up the physical stuff a bit. It seems messy.
  • Nice work.

The Graduate
  • Nice Charika! Very clear goal and moment before.
  • Tim - does he want to get back with her? Let's see a little of that either way.
  • Charika - feel free to come into the space and own it.
  • Tim - good idea sitting, but then it kills the importance of that speech. Try other things before you decide on that choice.
  • Good work.

Confronting the Obvious
  • Good start. Play around you guys - these are just friends hanging out.
  • Eye contact! (I know you're still working on lines)
  • Don't be afraid to get really pissed off, Shawntanique.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Period 7 3/14 Notes

Mean Girls
  • Everyone slow down!
  • What do these kids do while they are on the phone? How can you show us where they are or their personality by adding one prop or costume piece?
Freaky Friday
  • Nice work. It's coming along.
  • Watch your speed!
  • Great characters! Good relationship!
  • Pencil exercise.
Beauty Shop
  • Careful of leaning on the wall! It turns you into high school students.
  • Take your time!
  • Get copies of the script!
  • Nice work going after your goal, Katina!
  • Where are they? Is there a desk? How can you mix it up visually.
  • Katina, watch your jacket - it defines who you are & keeps you from becoming her.
  • Where are you? How can you show us?
  • Visual pictures.
  • Go after him, Joe, when the time comes! Feel free to get pissed!
Beauty Shop 2
  • Great energy! Keep it up.
  • Good energy!
  • A bit short.
  • Watch out for crossing in front of people. It's a strong move, so if you're the one talking it's okay, but there was one funky one in there.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Period 7 Notes

Crimes of the Heart
  • Where's the urgency? Do you really "HATE" yourself? We don't believe you yet.
  • Great job listening to each other! All of you have a good "family feel" together.
  • GUM!!!!
  • Don't be afraid to get closer - they're sisters!
Crimes of the Heart
  • Energy! "Let's play cards" should be exciting.
  • Very clear dialogue. Nice work everyone!
  • GUM!!!!
  • Raise the Stakes! BIG FIGHT! You guys are close, but you have to go for it! Throw out everything and just go after each other. You're almost there - don't worry about the audience - we'll love it when it's real.
Boys & Girls
  • Nice moment with the baby.
  • Good, Angie - I can tell how important your goal is to you.
  • Don't be afraid to move around: "I'm having more" is a perfect place to get up and go get a drink.
  • Robert - nice work with the unfinished sentences. Very realistic.
  • Try to start the scene sitting down and then when it gets intense, stand up. Just an idea...
  • This is close to brilliance. Practice, practice, practice!
  • Lines!
  • Do they shake hands?
  • Joe - try making him really nice until the chair pull and then making him the "drill sergeant."
  • Lines, lines, lines.
  • Try mixing up youe tactics, guys. This sort of feels like a "one note" scene right now.
  • Lines! Practice, practice, practice!
  • Go after your goals! You're just reading lines right now, not acting!
  • Threaten him, Camillo!
  • Put some energy into it, guys!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Period 2 - Third Runthroughs

Boys Life
  • Gary - take the time to see the spaceship on the paper.
  • Excellent work. Just get those lines down and you're good!
  • Careful of being "too relaxed" - make sure to pursue your goals.
Hello From Bertha
  • Watch the hands in the pockets, Christine! ;)
  • Good job, ladies!
  • Very clear obstacles & goals. Nice.
  • Christine - try getting down on her level as one of your tactics.
Crimes of the Heart
  • Get those lines down. Yessica, you do a thing where your eyes look up and to your left when you are "searching for the line."
  • Where's the energy today? You've got to get to the point where "you feel like you're going to vomit" or we won't believe you.
  • Both- watch the hands in the pockets!
  • What can you do physically to tell the story? I saw two students running lines today instead of the scientist and his servant. Have fun with these characters!
American Buffalo
  • What're these guys doing? Are they just hanging around talking? I could close my eyes and listen and get as much as I did from watching today. Movement, movement, movement!
Black Thang
  • Lose the coats!!!!
  • Volume was low today - don't forget that we have to hear.
  • Very natural. Nice!
  • Great relationship.
  • GET RID OF THE GUM!!!!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

7th Period Notes

These notes are for 7th Period's second runthroughs.

Tap Dancing
  • Start getting those lines down. You both have to get out of the book and start trying to achieve your goals!
  • Blocking? We can't tell what's going on, where you are, or anything...
  • Too long.
  • Good vocal projection.
Crimes of the Heart
  • Nice, Narmaine. I saw your concern for Grandaddy.
  • Priscilla - let me see a little about how you're feeling towards Meg with the way that you're sitting.
  • Bring an actual photo album so that you have some pictures to look at.
  • Slow down a bit and speak up a little.
  • "Banana splits for breakfast." Is that funny? You guys should be having fun!!!
  • Make me believe that these people care about each other.
Boys & Girls
  • Where are they? How can you show this to us?
  • They're standing pretty far apart for 2 people with that sort of relationship...
  • Make it more important, Angela. You're working up to a huge question.
  • Too long. The second half is much better (your goals are clearer, relationship is better, etc.) - maybe start from the "We want you to live with us" moment.
  • Great second half!
Life Underwater
  • Volume! Can't hear you guys.
  • Go after him D.
  • Good job on lines. Keep it up.
  • Nice movement - Good moment on " I don't want to talk to him" Robert.
  • Good clear voices.
  • Blocking? Have you done any rehearsing with this? It looked like this was your first time reading it.
  • Go after your goals.
Crimes of the Heart
  • Nick, you're an excellent cold reader! Good work.
  • This scene is really coming along! Time to step it up: get some cards, borrow our phone ringer, etc.
  • Go after her, Steph! Get in her face. You've got to end in tears, right? I know you're sharing the script today though...
  • This will be excellent, just turn up the stakes = make everything life or death.
An Acting Experience
  • Great moment before. Excellent characters.
  • Josh, don't go back to the paper until/unless you know that it's safe.
  • Lena you can be a touch louder if you want.
  • Good work you guys. A little low energy today, but that's fine.
  • Josh - make the peak higher: right before "I don't even know why I'm talking about this."
Last HS Party Ever
  • Good character work. They have a great relationship.
  • Make sure that you're trying to DO something to the person you are talking to.
  • Get those lines down.
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

2nd Period Notes

These are the notes for the 2nd runthrough of scenes for Period 2:

Boy's Life
  • Very natural. Nice.
  • Would there be music playing? Maybe "Late party" softer stuff? I don't know...
  • Good work on lines. Make sure you're actually listening to each other: what would happen if your partner said something different at any given time? Would you notice?
  • Cut the Nick part - we don't need it.
  • Almost there, guys. Good work.
Hello, From Bertha
  • Very clear goals. Nice.
  • Careful of your volume, Cheyenne.
  • What would happen if you had a blanket?
  • Christine: try some vocal variations - your upper & lower register - especially during those last couple of lines.
  • Excellent work - get off book and the rest will take shape.
Black Thang
  • Dymonde - lose the jacket, it swallows you.
  • Nice "You never knew that cat."
  • The second half of this scene is much better than the 1st half. This means that you have to focus on your "moment before" a lot more to juice up the energy at the beginning.
  • What happens if you do this on its feet? Tell the story visually.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Period 7 Final Notes

Crimes of the Heart

  • Nice work on the lines. Emotions are next. Really work on that moment before.
  • Meg - really be disturbed about how you treated GDaddy.
  • Very clear. You guys need to build their "sister" relationship. If you have time outside of class, go do something fun together to bond a little bit. Need a big warm fuzzy hug at the end! Good work.

Crimes II

Intro!? Great vocal work. Very clear. Actual phone ring? Lenny - how does it make you feel when she says "No" to still playing cards? Meg - after phone call, head straight to the purse & start getting ready. Are you really sorry about the candy? Lenny, feel free to flip out. Babe - what are you doing during the first part? (I know, so ask me if you can't figure it out.) Lenny - she ends up in tears: don't fake it, try to get there. Meg - don't rush last line, give us a second to catch our breath with you.

Boys & Girls

Great work on lines. What state of mind is she in at the top of the scene, Angela? Think about her moment before.
Robert - What's he doing? Hanging at her house, TV, dishes?
Ang- slow down; actually try to DO things to him: convince/persuade/coax/lure/seduce/threaten/bribe him to move in. Very clear goals. Tactics need to be clearer. Robert - hands in pockets whole scene - is that you or him? Methinks him.

Acting Experience
  • Excellent Moments Before!!!! Very good start - grabbed our attention! Good relationship - I believed that you have been together for a while.
  • J-Gum!
  • J- Show us how frustrated you are during "made love" speech. Careful of talking too fast.
  • L - Have a paper. Great character & commitment to your goal.
  • Very clear goals both.
  • Excellent work both!!!!
Nice to Meet You
  • Lauren- what are you doing at the top of the scene? Can it be something that makes us know where the scene takes place? Packing her stuff? Something.
  • Good Moments Before, both.
  • Lena - Weigh the heaviness of "Why did you decide to keep the house?" before you answer.
  • Nice work.
Painted Rain
  • Where are they? Use a bottle. Good relationship.
  • Y- go after your goal! Good work on the text.
  • C- Nice clear goal.
  • Too long.
Last High School Party
  • V-Moment Before! She just got Blowkissed! WooHoo!
  • Listen to each other.
  • Have fun with these guys!
Life Underwater
  • GUM!
  • Nice character, Kevin
  • D- Bit louder. Try to get your goal!
A Hatful of Rain
  • M-"I didn't get much sleep." Are you tired, then? Grumpy? =Moment Before
  • Where does this take place? How can you show that?
  • Make that "care" moment more important: take the time with it.
  • T - be emotionally distracted by "that kid" through the whole scene.
At the Party

How many times have you guys actually read this scene, like twice? REHEARSE! REHEARSE! REHEARSE!

Pythagorian Therom
  • Very clear. Good vocal quality. Get your heads out of the script, though, and listen to each other.
  • Go after your goals.
  • Where are you? How can you show that?
  • Very clear vocally.
  • What happened with the chair? It didn't feel connected to the scene. Joe - you should find times to get up. He's not very intimidating while sitting down.
  • Go after your goals.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Period 2 Final Notes

Crimes of the Heart
Blocking! Figure out where everyone's standing and what they're doing. Watch your volumes. Goals were clear - nice.

Side by Side


Sweet scene! Do it on its feet. Where are each of these conversations taking place? This brings up: What do you do with the people not in those convs?

Get the lines down. Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm!

The switching doesn't work. It kills the energy. If it's in the script, work on it (who is the person that stops the scene? How is that person different from the character that Nick plays?); if it's not, cut it.

Too LOOOONG! This must be fun to work on. Enjoy rehearsing it!


K- don't forget you have a goal with the guy on the phone.
K - good character work! Very different from you.
C-Watch volume. Nice going after your goal in the 2nd half! Very clear.

Too long!

A Boy's Life

Give us a second between intro and start of scene.
Have at least rehearsal props - TV Guide, remote, can of beer. It feels weird to see you pantomiming on a real sofa.

Great choice of scene. Good character work.


Really call for her, Robert.
You both have good vocal ability.
Have an apple. Eating it will change what you're doing.

Good characters.
Hello From Bertha

Great Character work!! Very clear goals. What can you do Christine to add a little movement? Start cleaning up her mess? Something. Needs a little visual variety. Good scene. Maybe using a chair not a desk will help.

American Buffalo

Good listening to each other. I get that if someone does something new/makes a new choice that the other will notice and respond accordingly. Excellent!

Where are they? How can we make this as interesting visually as it is verbally? Who can do a little moving around?

Raise the stakes. Cops!

Nice work. Once you're memorized, the pace will smooth out.
Good Thing

The chairs work OK, but try it with tables.
Boots on - "Hate that" even more - higher stakes.
Great relationship. Married: Phil - do you know she knows?

REHEARSE with that 3rd person!

Nice "I should sorta go." Good tactics right after that Deanna.

Good characters. Deanna, go even further in the direction you're going. Phil - can you say "Your Mom!" in as high a register as possible? Deanna - change the C-Word. ;)

This scene will be excellent if you rehearse it as much as you should.

Too long. Maybe end it before the Mom stuff? Right after? The whole Ithica stuff we don't care about.


Good work on lines. Try to get past them so you can really go after what you want. Both of you don't be afraid to be creepier. We want you to be creepy.

Where are you? How can you show us through movement?

Black Thang
Good relationship.
REHEARSE! It was like you were reading the lines for only the third time! This would be a great scene if you actually worked on it. The second half was the best half - you really started going after your goals.
Where are you? Would it help to have some Miles Davis playing?

Black Thang II
Same thing: where are you? What are these two people doing? Just sitting around? Possibly, but drinking coffee, snakcing, etc. is a possiblity.
R-much better the second time - see what practice will do?!
S- How is she (your character) different from you? Celebrate those differences: they are what will make us care.
Don't do these scenes right after each other: we won't be as interested (if you noticed we didn't clap - mainly because the scene neeeds rehearsal & we had just scene it before).

Hello From Bertha

Great Moments Before! Very clear objectives.
C- don't be afraid to get more upset with her. This is a tough part. Change tactics as often as possible.
S- Nice work! Excellent character work.