The Acting Lesson

The Acting Lesson $9

Willard Simms

Published by Dramatists Play Service

3 Male 1 Female

Beginning with rudimentary exercises in self-expression, the Teacher has his three students (two actors, one actress) become plants opening forth to the sun, and then various trees with their characteristic natures

From this they go on to depict children playing with imaginary toys - and falling into the pouts and tantrums to which such activity so often leads. And then comes a more complex situation

Both actors are to be young lovers proposing marriage to the actress, and each is to follow the same script - with the final lines left blank. They are free to vary their style of delivery to fit their feelings, putting as much as possible of their own personalities into their playing, with the final decision as to who will be accepted left to the actress to improvise

The last lesson is for the actors to play the most difficult roles of all - themselves. One of them reaches a point of true self-understanding. The others flounder - but in their failure is a greater lesson, and one which infuses the play with a significance and dramatic tension sure to affect actors and audience alike

Part of the trilogy entitled Variations on an Untitled Theme

First produced at the Southwest Theatre Conference, the play has become a favorite with college, community and scholastic groups. Its theme, of an imaginative director coaching three young acting students, provides for characterizations and action of remarkable interest and variety

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