Segments in this Video

Blocking a Scene: Basic Staging with Actors (06:23)


This episode will show you a step-by-step process for beginning directors in four parts: blocking and scene analysis, preparing a ground plan, homework, and working with actors. A good director enjoys solving problems, understands that directing is work, and collaborates with designers and actors.

Part One: Blocking (04:45)

Blocking refers to the movement of actors and their physical arrangement; gestures, expressions, and prop work is called business. Technical blocking is usually resolved during the rehearsal process.

Part One: Scene Analysis (02:49)

Effective script analysis reveals the playwright's intention, meaning, structure, presentation, genre, composition, and resolution. Plays are about conflict.

Highlights of Script Analysis Discussion (15:03)

Michael Joyce discusses script analysis with Scott Peterson and Deanna Toten. Topics include initial impressions, preparing for direction, the characters, perceived circumstances, using accents, dialogue, and action units.

Part Two: The Groundplan (05:57)

Good ground plans allow experimentation prior to rehearsal, help design balanced movements, provide visual impact, and helps plan sightlines. Furniture placement can help create tension in a scene and serve as obstacles. Joyce advises drawing several rough versions before committing, working in pencil, and trying several furniture arrangements.

Part Three: Pre-Blocking (02:45)

Benefits to pre-blocking include: insights to the script, creating an efficient rehearsal, building confidence, and helping inexperienced actors.

Part Four: Working with Actors (05:03)

Actors bring the play to life; fear and anger do not promote growth or creativity. Provide feedback after every rehearsal and encourage questions. Joyce provides several tips about stage conventions.

First Rehearsal: Candida (07:21)

Toten collaborates with actors on blocking. Peterson talks the actors through the blocking before they attempt it in rehearsal.

Second Rehearsal: Toten (07:02)

Actors memorize their lines and the director checks to ensure preliminary blocking is effective. Toten realizes three areas of the scene need to be cleaned and provides feedback on beats of the performances.

Second Rehearsal: Peterson (02:46)

Peterson allows the actors the ability to change blocking so it feels more natural.

Third Rehearsal: Toten's Version (04:44)

Actors perform the scene straight through.

Third Rehearsal: Peterson's Version (04:55)

Actors perform the scene straight through.

Short Critique of Scenes: Peterson (09:46)

Toten critiques Peterson's scenes providing, positive and constructive feedback. Joyce adds additional thoughts as to how to solve some of the character bunching that occurred and gives feedback.

Short Critique of Scenes: Toten (07:39)

Peterson critiques Toten's scenes providing, positive and constructive feedback. Joyce adds additional thoughts as to how to promote collaboration between actors and breaking up a floorplan.

Credits: Blocking a Scene: Basic Staging with Actors (00:55)

Credits: Blocking a Scene: Basic Staging with Actors

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Blocking a Scene: Basic Staging With Actors

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $189.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $189.95



Students learn the basics of directing a scene from Professor Michael Joyce formerly of Mary Washington College. Emphasizing script analysis, development of a floorplan, and collaboration with actors, Joyce works with students as they begin their very first directing project - a scene from George Brenard Shaw's Candida.

Length: 89 minutes

Item#: BVL155945

ISBN: 978-1-64347-983-5

Copyright date: ©1990

Closed Captioned

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