Actor Advice

Suggestions on preparing for your readings in the Play Lab

The purpose of our readings are to clearly present the playwrights’ words. An overview of how you serve this intent:


  1. Read the script a few times to be familiar with it.
  2. Highlight your role and make any other notes in it that you’ll need to help you during the reading.
  3. If you feel you will not be able to do a role for whatever reason (schedule, miscast, whatever), let the Coordinator know right away.
  4. Look up any words you don’t know.
  5. Ask yourself the following questions about your character(s):
    1. Where am I?
    2. What just happened? The given or imagined circumstances that happened just prior to the first beat.
    3. What do I want? (Objectives, have one for each scene)
    4. What is in my way of achieving their objective?
    5. What do I DO to get what I want? These are the actions of the scene (i.e. to fight for what I want, to explain, to plead, to make you understand, etc.)
    6. And if you are very different from the character look for the similarities and enjoy the stretch!!

Rehearsal Etiquette

  1. Be at least five minutes early to rehearsals.
  2. Stay focused and be there to work.
  3. Remember that you are there to play your part, not direct other actors.
  4. Remember that playwrights can be very sensitive during this process. Phrases like “I don’t care for the play too much” or “Is this your first play” can be damaging.

A couple of useful tools for readings

  1. When possible ( during other people’s monologues, during your short lines), get your head out of the script.
  2. Cue Pick Up. Unless the script calls for a pause, the odds are that you should just keep the script moving by keeping the spaces between lines small.