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Hi there, I'm Mrs. Bradley.

Welcome to drama and this first lesson, 'In the analysing acting skills live theatre scheme of work.

' If you're ready, we'll get started.

In this lesson, you will need an exercise book or paper to write on and you'll need a pen to write with.

So, I hope by now you've done the intro quiz because that will have just checked a bit of your prior knowledge for this unit.

What we're going to start with, it's an introduction to the key writing skills that we're going to use in this unit.

Then we will look at an extract from a play and with the extract, we're going to focus today specifically on describing and analysing the use of acting skills.

So you'll do a few tasks which will encourage you to develop your terminology and your level of detail when describing and analysing.

That will take us to the end of the lesson.

And then there will just be an exit quiz just to check your progress from today.

So looking at some of our keywords, these are the key skills we're going to use.

We'll be describing and it's just important to remind ourselves that describe means to give a detailed account of something.

So you describe in as much detail as you can to give it a count of something and then analyse which is a different skill.

So analyse means to examine something in detail and to explain it and interpret it.

So we will be analysing the use of acting skills by saying why those choices were made.

We'll also be looking at interpretations.

So we'll be looking at an actor's interpretation of their role.

So this means the actor's version of a role, it's how they've understood and conveyed that role to the audience.

So in this unit, the next three lessons will be about watching short extracts from theatre productions.

With each extract, we're going to focus on the acting skills.

So we'll discuss and make notes as we go along on the choices the actors have made and then be analysing how effective those choices are.

So in a theatre production, the actors have made choices about their voice and their body language.

They've been instructed on what to do as well by the director, they've taken guidance from the script itself.

But also part of their performance will be their interpretation.

And so we'll be describing what they do but also analysing how effective those decisions and choices are.

So to start, we're going to need a lot of vocabulary.

So we'll start by looking at some specific acting terminology.

We'll look at terminology today in these three areas, vocal skills, physical skills and use of space.

So vocal skills are what an actor does with their voice so they can deliver lines in lots of different ways.

Physical skills are how an actor holds themselves and how they use their body on the stage.

And then use of space, so space is how an actor moves around the stage, how they interact with other actors or how they perhaps interact with the sets or the props.

So what I'd like you to do now is can you pause here and can you see how many word you know in these three categories? So I've started you off with an example, so vocal skills, we can talk about volume.

Physical skills, we can talk about facial expressions.

And talking about use of space, we could say walking for example.

So an actor might walk through the space or walk onto the stage.

So pause until you've come up with as many words as you can in each of the three categories.

And then when you're ready, resume the video and we'll look at some of the terminology you might've come up with.

Okay, great.

So, here you can see a big list of some terminology you may have written down.

What I would like you to do here is just check your list with this one.

And if you need to pause and add any more terminology, then obviously you can do.

So vocal skills we've got pitch, pace, pause, tone, volume, accent and emphasis.

In physical skills, we've got body language, movement, posture, gesture, stance, tempo, eye contact and facial expressions.

And then considering use of space, we've got walking, running, entering, exiting.

And then we've got the stage positions, upstage, downstage, centre stage and stage left and stage right.

So pause here if you need to add any more terminology to your list but let's just take a closer look at the stage positions.

So there are nine stage positions and we use this terminology to describe where something or someone is on the stage.

So on the diagram, you can see how the stage is marked out.

The top of the stage which is furthest away from the audience is called, upstage.

The front of the stage which is nearest to the audience is called, downstage.

And what's important to remember here is that the positions are as if you are an actor stood on the stage facing outwards.

So as we're looking at this diagram, now it's the opposite.

So it's the opposite to my left but it's from the perspective of you being stood on the stage facing outwards.

So they are the nine stage positions.

Just take a little look at this picture and then we might be able to use some of this terminology today.

The clip we're going to focus on for this lesson is from the play Amadeus.

So we're going to watch a short extract from the national theatre production of Amadeus by Peter Schaffer.

So this play is about a fictional rivalry between two classical composers, Mozart and Salieri.

So Mozart and Salieri are real people from real figures from classical music.

But the story is fictional and has developed this fictional rivalry between the two.

So Salieri in the story is envious of Mozart's success and wants to take him down and destroy him.

In this scene we're going to watch, Salieri has written a piece of music and given it to Mozart as a gift.

And then as you'll see Mozart plays it but then tries to improve it, doesn't think it's that good.

And what we're going to look at, is how Mozart does that.

And then Salieri's reactions to him.

So it's a really fun little clip.

We're going to look at how the characters are conveying their roles.

And looking at how the actors are using their skills to do that.

So when you're ready, let's have a look at this clip and I'll tell you what I want you to look out for.

So here is a clip from the play Amadeus.

We're going to watch this together.

The first time we watch, I don't want you to write anything.

I just want you to watch and focus on the acting and the telling of the story.

The second and third times we watched the clip, I would like you to look at these questions here.

So what impression do you get of both characters? What can you tell about each character's personality in the scene? What do you think each character is thinking in the scene? And what are they trying to achieve? So this is all about the characters themselves and how they are conveyed in this extract.

So focus on those questions, but first of all let's just have a look at the clip itself.

You're a good fellow Salieri.

And that's a jolly little thing you wrote for me.

It was my pleasure.

Let me see if I can remember it, may I? By all means it is yours.


The rest is just the same, isn't it? You have a remarkable memory.

That fourth doesn't really work, does it? Let's try the third above.

Yes! Uh.


So we're going to watch that clip again now.

And here I would like you to focus on the questions that you can see.

So what impressions do you get of the characters? What can you tell about each character's personality? What's each character thinking? And what are they trying to achieve in the scene? So off we go.

You're a good fellow Salieri and that's a jolly little thing you wrote for me.

It was my pleasure.

Let me see if I can remember it, may I? By all means it is yours.


The rest is just the same isn't it? You have a remarkable memory.

That fourth doesn't really work, does it? Let's try the third above.

Yes! Uh.


So we'll pause there and if you need to make any more notes looking at the questions you can see on the screen here, then you can do.

We're going to watch it again for a third time, a little bit later in the lesson when we're going to then focus more on the acting skills.

So pause here if you need to make any more notes and then when you're ready, we will move on.


So the question we asked was how were the characters is conveyed in the extract? And we asked about what impression you got of them and what was their personality.

So this is subjective because as a drama student, it's important for you to have your own opinion and what you see on stage might be different from what I see on stage.

However what I've put here just some ideas which might help you think about how the characters were conveyed in the extract.

So looking at the character of Mozart, first of all, was he portrayed as a genius composer? Did he perhaps demonstrate a lack of social awareness? Was he unaware that he was offending Salieri? Do you think he was perhaps annoying him on purpose? Was he trying to prove a point that he is a better composer by altering and improving the music? Do you think he was a show off in this extract? So they might help us think about how the character of Mozart was conveyed.

Let's now look at how the character of Salieri was conveyed which was the actor with the dark brown costume.

So was Salieri confident to start with? He had the laugh that we heard at the start of the extract.

Was he annoyed that Mozart has changed the music? Did you see that in his facial expressions? Is he perhaps jealous of Mozart when he says that Mozart has a remarkable memory? Is that jealousy that's perhaps coming through there? Was he surprised or was he shocked at what Mozart then did with the music? Is he embarrassed that Mozart's has taken the music but then changes it and tries to make it better? So there perhaps some ways that each character was conveyed and now to take that one step further, what we need to think about is how that was done.

So if they were the ideas we got from the extract, how did the actors make us think that? So we need to think about how they use their skills to achieve these effects.

So zooming in now on the actors use of skill which helps to communicate the characters, so we'll be looking at Mozart's played by Aiden Gillen and Salieri played by Lucian Msamati.

So here's now where we are going to watch the clip again.

So as we watch now, I want you to now try to write as much down about the acting that you can see in the extract.

And I'm giving you some pointers here.

So I'd like you to describe Salieri's facial expressions.

So what does that look like? I would like you to describe Salieri's laugh.

I would like you to describe Salieri's movements on the stage.

Then I would like you to focus on both sides and describe Mozart's movements at the piano, what does he do? Then describe Mozart's use of vocal skills.

How does he deliver his lines? So as we watch the clip for the third time, draw your focus now to the use of acting and with the pen describe as much as you can.

You're a good fellow Salieri and that's a jolly little thing you wrote for me.

It was my pleasure.

Let me see if I can remember it, may I? By all means it is yours.


The rest is just the same isn't it? You have a remarkable memory.

That fourth doesn't really work, does it? Let's try the third above.




So what I hope you got there was a lot of descriptive notes.

If you need to pause while you continue to meet your notes, that's fine.

And then when you're ready we will move on to add some analysis to your description.


So what you've got is a description of how the actors use their skills but then what we need to do is add analysis to that.

So we need to say what the use of skill conveyed about the character and I've started this off with an example for you.

So when we are looking at Salieri, we can look at his facial expression first.

So Lucian and Msamati and Salieri had a confused facial expression with an open mouth and it was a furrowed brow and he then turned away.

He turned upstage to look at the music in his hand because he was comparing what Mozart was played to the music because it was correct but Mozart wasn't even using the music.

So we've got a description, confused facial expression, open mouth, furrowed brow.

But then if we analyse, why was he doing that? We might come up with something like this, this conveyed that Salieri was confused that Mozart was playing without the music.

And although he may have been impressed, he was annoyed about it because it suggested that Mozart that was better than him and that infuriated him.

So that would be my analysis of that facial expression, which I saw in the extract.

So what I would like you to do is, go through each of your descriptive notes that you made from watching the clip and then try to add a reason why, relating that to the character, the interpretation and what you wrote about the personality and what they're trying to achieve in the scene.

So there's a couple of ways you can do this.

You can do it as a table, like the example, or you can just write it in bullet point notes but for every description you have, you now explain and analyse what the choice is showed about the character.

So as I've just said, you've got the notes for first time you watched to help you with this.

So you've got the notes on your impression of the character, their personality and what they want to achieve.

So you link that to the description of how they use their skills.

So pause here for as long as you need to complete this task.

And then when you're ready, we'll just look at a couple of things that you may have written down.

Great, well done that's a really, really useful task 'cause it helps you develop those skills of description and also analysis.

So there are no wrong answers to this because whatever you've put as your analysis is correct because that's your opinion.

We can look at some ideas that you might have had here.

So for Salieri's laugh, it was a very loud exaggerated laugh that it sounded quite fake, so that could have portrayed that he's annoyed and he's trying to hide this.

He's perhaps irritated at Mozart's reactions, his musical gift.

He's perhaps even upset or angry but he's trying to hide it through that exaggerated laugh.

Salieri's movement on the stage.

So what you might've written as your description is that he stays quite still, he does take some small steps backwards which suggest a bit of shock or confusion.

He's perhaps frozen to the spot all the time Mozart's playing and he doesn't really know how to react.

He can't storm out 'cause that would be uncalled for, wouldn't it? And no one would approve of that but he doesn't really know how to react to Mozart playing his music but playing it better.

Then we've got Mozart's movements at the piano.

So they were very exaggerated weren't they? And they were very childlike, almost like a child showing off.

So that could show that he was showing off to Salieri or is trying to deliberately offend him, so he is acting upon purpose to perhaps purposefully highlight that he doesn't approve of the music or that he finds the music boring and he's trying to make it more interesting.

And then looking at Mozart's use of vocal skills, so on the lines where he's talking about how some of those notes don't really work, he's quite rude, isn't it? So he's got quite a rude abrupt and quite demanding tone of voice.

He's got quite a loud volume.

So his voice comes across as quite brusque.

And that could suggest he's got a lack of social awareness about Salieri's feelings and that he perhaps doesn't know how his voice is coming across or this idea that he's doing it on purpose, he is trying to be rude, he is trying to offend Salieri.

He does want Salieri to know that he doesn't think much of his music.

So all of this is analysis and these are all suggestions of what the use of the acting skills could be portraying about the characters.

So you, might've had some similar ideas here and some similar thoughts in your analysis and that's great but don't forget if you've got different ideas, that's absolutely fine as well because that's your opinion.

So, well done that is the end of our first lesson.

And what we've done already is we've started to describing lots of detail, understand interpretations of how characters can be conveyed and we've started to analyse acting skills.

So brilliant work for today and I will see you next time.