Classic and contemporary character studies – Rhinegold Publishing

Classic and contemporary character studies


The aim of this scheme of work is to focus closely on the creation of character and to encourage students to think carefully about how to create convincing characters. The work is mainly based on short extracts of text, used first of all for students to examine closely a character in order physically and mentally to recreate them. Secondly, students will work off-text to devise their own pieces of work based around the characters to whom they have been introduced.

All acting students at GCSE are required to devise their own work, and it is important that every student in a group has the chance to demonstrate their abilities.

Giving students the necessary skills to create and develop convincing characters will allow them to gain marks in performance, which can be especially important if their time on stage is limited. This scheme focuses on creating characters giving thought to facial expressions, movement, and vocal work, as well as giving some consideration to the audience. You do not need to have read the texts although some research is necessary.

As the work is designed to lead students in varied directions the brief summaries included and descriptions of the relevant protagonists should be sufficient.

Learning objective:

  • The objectives for the scheme are basically the same for each lesson: to use the Focus on Character sheet to encourage students to focus more closely on creating believable, well-thought-out characters that they fully understand. At GCSE most students are able to improvise and then devise a scene. However, few create characters that they have examined deeply, even by the time they come to perform their final pieces. Therefore, the objectives are about close focus and analysis of the characters they create. You may choose to have a very narrow focus on one activity, such as facial expressions, or focus on a number of different skills

Number of lessons: 4

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