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directed by M. Blevins
Character Development

One of your jobs as an actor is to flesh out and create a total life for your character. You must become completely comfortable inhabiting the language and actions of your character. To aid and assist you in this task complete the following guestions as your character would. Your answers must be based on facts and clues given by the playwright (given circumstances).

There are no right or wrong answers except for specific information given by the playwright. Questions not answered with information provided by the playwright can be based on your own intuition, creativity and imagination. On a separate sheet of paper answer the questions as completely and in as much detail as possible.


1. What is your full name?
2. What else are you called? (nickname?)
3. What is your sex?
4. What is your age?
5. What is your height and weight?
6. What color are your hair, eyes, skin, etc.?
7. What sort of posture do you have?
8. What is your overall appearance? (good-looking, over- or underwieght, clean, neat, pleasant, untidy. Shape of head, face, limbs, etc.
9. Any defects? (deformities, abnormalities, birthmarks, diseases)
10. What about your ancestors and heredity?
11. Where do you live? (city, state, country)
12. Where were you born?
13. When is your birthday? (day, month, year)
14. What class of society are you? (working, ruling, middle, petite bourgeoisie)
15. What is your occupation? (type of work, hours of work, income, condition of work, work ethic, union or non-union, attitude toward organization, suitability for your work)
16. What is your education? (amount, kind of schools, marks, favorite subjects, poorest subjects, aptitudes.)
17. What about your home life? (parents living, earning power, orphan, parents separated or divorced, parents' habits, parents' mental development, parents' vices, neglect)
18. What is your matital status?
19. Do you have any brothers and sisters? How many older and how many younger?
20. What do you rmember about the house you grew up in?
21. What is your I.Q.?
22. What religion do you practice if any?
23. What is your race or nationality?
24. What is your place in your community? (leader among friends, clubs, sports) 25. What are your political affiliations?
26. What do you do for amusement? (hobbies, books, newspapers, magazines you read, TV programs you watch if applicable)
27. What about the neighborhood you grew up in and what were some of the special occasions in your family? (holidays, reunions, picnics, vacations, etc.)
28. name some of the special homemade foods you ate as a child.
29. Name and describe some of the games you played as a child.
30. What is your favorite childhood memory?.
31. What is your worst childhood memory?
32. What was/is your relationship with your family. Describe in detail.
33. What year of school did you complete?
34. What is your sex life like and what are your morals?
35. What is your personal ambition and premise?
36. What are your chief frustrations and disappointments?
37. What subjects in school do you excel in?
38. What is your basic temperment? (choleric, easygoing, pessimistic, optimistic) 39. What is your general attitude toward life? (resigned, militant, defeatist, etc.)
40. Do you have any complexes? (obsessions, inhibitions, superstitions, manias, phobias) 41. During your schooling years what was your overall grade point average?
42. What did/do you like best about school?
43. Are you an extrobert, introvert? Describe. 44. What special abilities do you possess? (languages, talents)
45. What are your best and worst qualities? (imagination, judgement, taste, poise)
46. Are you now a member of any clubs, organizations, or religious congregations?
47. Did you ever smoke? (when, why and how much?)
48. What is your favorite drink, alcholic and nonalcoholic?
49. What section of the newspaper do you read?
50. What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
51. Do you read the newspaper?
52. What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
53. What have your read recently? (book, magazine) 54. How do you feel about your age?
55. What do you do for exercise?
56. What is your best feature?
57. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
58. What is your favorite meal?
59. What are your favorite foods?
60. List three of your favorite films if applicable.
61. Who are your favorite movie stars? (if applicable)
62. In what other forms of entertainment/recreation do you enjoy and/or take part?
63. What is your favorite sport? Do you follow it professionally?
64. What time do you usually retire?
65. What is your favorite time of day? Why?
66. What is your favorite season? Why?
67. Which do your prefer, city or country living? Why?
68. Do you like intimate parties or large gatherings? Why?
69. What is your favorite color and why?
70. What is your greatest fear?
71. What is your favorite sleeping dream?
72. What is/was your worst nightmare?
73. Who is your closest friend?
74. How would you like to spend your next vacation?
75. What type of clothing do you most like to wear?
76. What are your favoirte TV programs?
77. What would you enjoy doing on an evening out?
78. What would your like to be when you grow up? or What do you wish you had become?
79. What is your favorite animal? Why? (br> 80. What are your predjuices?
81. Do you consider yourself an indoor or an outdoor person?
81. Do you consider yourself an indoor or an outdoor person?
82. What do you feel about war?
83. What do you feel about old age?
84. Do you have any old people in your life? If so, who?
85. Do you have any children in your life? If so, who?
86. Do you have medical insurance? If so, how do you feel about the coverage you get? If no, how do you feel about that?
87. Who was the last person you wrote a letter to and what did the letter say?
88. Are you happy with your lot?
89. Have you ever considered suicide?
90. What do you feel the future holds?
91. How do you feel about each of the other people you meet in this play/story?
92. Can you play a musical instrument?
93. Can you dance? If so, do you dance? If no, why not?
94. What did you do on your last birthday?
95. If you celebrate your birthday with others who was in attendance?
96. In school who was your favorite teacher? Why?
97. As a child how were you punished? (beaten, sent to room, time-out chiar, mouth washed out with soap)
98. As a child how were you praised or rewarded? (With money, food, gifts) 99. Where have you been moments before you make your first entrance in the play?
100. When you exit the play for the final time if you could have your way how would things turn out?
101. Why don't you just throw up your hands and walk out of the play's situation?


The facts you have uncovered have a great impact on your character. Understadning the time and period in which your character lives in imperative. You must research the time frame by looking at photographs, paintings, etc. Read books, listen to music, etc., of that period and locale in which your characer lives. Immerse yourself in the milieu of your character's time and generation by completing the following:

1. What were the popular books of the period? Make a list of the books your character might have read and read them.
2. What was the popular music of the period? List the music your character might have listened to and listen to the music.
3.Make a list of the films that are placed in the same time and place as the play you are working on.
4. List paintings and/or photographs that depict the same time and place as the play you are working on.
5. Look at history of fashion books and make a specific list of the clothes and accessories your character would have used.
6. List the major events that were happening in the world during the time when your play takes place.
7. How woudl you have passed the time of day? List the pastimes and popular forms of entertainment during the period in which your play takes place.
8. When possible speak to someone who lived during the time period of the play your are working on.
9. Who was in political power during the time of your play?
10. When possible, read a newspaper or magazine from the period our play takes place. Make a list of interesting observations that might help you better understand your character.


Keeping a journal can help you get even more in touch with your character. During and after rehearsals, encourage actors to write entries as their characters commenting on what they have larned about themselves, and what they think and feel about other characters in the play. Writing in the first person is a revealing and resourcefulway of getting deeper inside your character. To get you started on a daily journal answer the following questions:

1. What new information have I learned aobut my character today?
2. What questions do I still have about my character?
3. How does my characte feel about the other characters in the play? (Listen to your character here - not how the audience preceives them)
4. What one or two things, technical or other wise, do I play to accomlish during the next rehearsal?


COFFE TALK: Get together with another actor your character interacts with and have coffee in character.

SOLO: Go through the script and find ten lines that are the most important or revealing about your character. Prepare a two-minute performance that strings these lines together. Approach the transitions and as creatively as you wish. Incorporate some movement and speak only the ten lines.

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