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33 Cards in this Set

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Jaques Lecoq's neutrality

give actors a mask and ask them to get in their 'coffin' and awake as a 'blank canvas'. they must act like they have been 'reborn' and everything is new to them. after a few minutes i would read them Lysistratas opening stage directions and asked them to act this out, they should think about how she would move.

-allowed them to emmerce themselves in the role of lysistrata

-understand the difference between the actor and lysistrata-importance of becoming neutral and then taking on a role

Carl Jung's Archetypes

Jung believed that every story is made up of 12 'archetypes', with this in mind, i would get my actors to explore the innocent, warrior, care giver, seeker, ruler and the sage. Firstly, i would have them freeze frame as each archetype. Then, as lysistrata they would act as the sage and warrior and interpret how they think lysistrata would act.

-helps the actors explore Aristophenes characteristics

- helps actor to discover and develop the multiple traits of their character.

Shoal of Fish

Get actors to stand in a triangle formation with their hands placed on each others shoulders. Moving as one, they had to change positions and pace without conversing.

-allowed actors to physically feel like one unit

-help them consider how the chorus moved

-I would also ask them to add sounds, speech and to move like the old men and women. This would increase comedy.

Ageing the actor

Ask my actors to stand in neutral. Then I would ask them to create a tableaux of a young child. I would then ask them to create another tableaux aging by 20 years. I would ask them how and why they have changed their physicality I would keep asking them to age until they get to 85. At this age I would ask them to begin to move and say the line 'how about you, you old corpse?'

-help the actors characterisation of the old men and women


Ask the actor playing the mens leader to use their facial muscles to create various 'masks'. Ask the actor to bring in photographs of themselves with happy angry and sad facial expressions. I would then ask them to study the photograph and try to replicate it with emphasis and exaggeration.

- adds comedy to physicality with specific concentration on the facial expressions to communicate the emotions of the scene.

Stanislavski's Rhythm and Tempo

(Stanislavski believed that rhythm and tempo makes for a powerful performance as it conveys the characters emotions accurately)

(Dario Fo also believed drama should have a musicality)

Ask actors to choose some music with different tempos. They should choose a tempo that they felt perfectly suited their character and a tempo that didn't.

- Using both pieces of music would allow the actors to see whether the tempo and rhythm of their performace should change to show progress

-shows how characters have contrasting tempo and rhythm


The aim is for the actors to touch the small of their opponents back. They must try and touch it three times. One should establish themselves as Lysistrata and the other the Magistrate. Add lines as they go on and try and work out who is the natural aggressor in the scene.

-helps the actors to explore the nature of their character as they should see who is more powerful

-consider the characters motives and movement and positions.

Gain and Loss of Power

Two actors will be asked to perform Agon and the other actors would be given sticky notes. The sticky notes would represent power. As they watch the performance, the actors should place a sticky note on who they feel has the power at that moment, they can also take away sticky notes if they feel the character is losing power.

- this helps the actors signpost when the characters have the most power

-shows power struggle between lysistrata and magistrate

-by the end of the exercise it should be clear who had the most power

Brechtian Parody

In pairs perform the extract as a parody of a tragedy. Make your movements and gestures as exaggerated as you can.

-Brecht used this to help actors remain distanced and objective of their roles

-Help the actors see the magistrate in a different light, more absurd

-Allow the actors to decide if they would like to portray their character in this absurd manner.


Ask actors to move around the room as the Elements (wind,fire,water or air)

Discuss with them the human characteristics of these e.g fire= feisty

They should then choose which element would go best with their character

-helps actor to express feelings of characters


Ask my actors to discuss the character of Stratyllis and men's leader. I would then ask them to move around the performance space in neutral. When I say freeze they must create a solo image based on the characteristics we discussed. I would then ask them to do it again, this time adding a word or sound.

-helps the actor get a better understanding of the role threw physicality and trying to portray the pure emotions of the character.

Frantic Assembly Motifs

Ask actors to get into pairs and decide who is Stratyllis and who is the Male chorus member. Using music as their focus I would as them to create motifs in physical response to eachother showing the relationship between them. Their change in power and status. I would then ask them to travel across the room reacting instinctively to each others movements.

Improvised Choral Work

Join female and Male chorus together progressing from individual, to pair, to choral work. Join motifs together either in unison or using different shapes, experiment, what looks most effective


experiment with volume, rising in volume whilst rising in numbers 1-10. Choose which volume best suits your character in this extract.

-experiment with volume to show power


Choose lines in which Lysistrata is interrogating the woman e.g 'what's all this nonsense?'

This technique is to help the actor explore the importance of delivery as well as aiding their understanding of Lysistrata's authority over the women.

Brechts Gestic Acting

Reading Lysistrata's opening speech in 'scene' and pick a key quote e.g 'they're deserting right and left' create a movement or gesture which best portrays the underlying messages or ideas of this quote. This should be presented without words or sounds. using the same movement or gesture, try to accompany this with a facial expression.

-reduces the text to the main meanings and themes

-explores external actions and the possible social messages behind a characters actions

-actress could explore how her gestic acting might portray the change in Lysistrata from previous scenes

-helps actors to understand deeper social messages

Bench Ball

Divide actors in to make chorus and female chorus. Add aggressive lines from the play when the ball is thrown

-exert energy and rivalry

-help actors explore chorus anger at eachother and explore their physical movement, stance and timing as well as the language of threats

-unite of each chorus- stylised collective movement

Decroux's Time and emotion

Encourage actors to examine time, emotion,enviroments and the effects it would have on their characters physicality

Ask your actors to choose a character from the extract and a key moment. Actors should then create a stance or pose which they feel best represents their character at that point in the play. They should then explain their physicality and how it links to their characters past and present.

Butoh's Japanese performance style

ask actors to walk around performance space in neutral, ask them to think of animal. They must then slowly, take on the characteristics of the animal. Then choose an animal for Myrrhine and cinesias e.g a bull and a cat

-how movements may portray key messages, characteristics and themes


actors stand in a chosen place in the performance space. They must consider the distance from each other at the beginning. Ask them to shout out key lines from the extract while the actor playing Myrrhine should choose a new position

-helps the actors experiment with proximity and movement helped them analyse the changes in the characters status and powers as the scenes progresses and their objectives

-relates tot he audience characters emotions e.g how conflicted she is

Stanislavskis units and objectives

Ask actors to consider their characters overall objective within the scene. Then ask them to breakdown their script into sections according to their objectives e.g unit 1 is for Cinesias to persuade Myrrhine to come out of the acropolis.

-allow the actors to visually see the changes in Cinesias objectives and the changes in power, makes it easier for the actors to pinpoint when Cinesias objectives change and thus, how his physicality should change

Tug of War

Give actors a rope and explain that as they recite the dialogue of the extract the actors should pull on the rope at moments they feel they have more power

-helps actors realise how their power changes throughout


One chair in the performance space, go through the scene experimenting with levels

-helps visually show who has power within the scene and how often

Inner thoughts

Actors 'think out loud' about their characters feelings in the extract

-the actors understanding of characters will increase

Peter Brooks Physical Language

Ask the actors to find a way to touch the other person while reading through the lines. I would ask them to rely on instinct. This will create something visually interesting and unusual to the audience, perhaps bring out elements of comedy and draw out the actors 'physical language'

Butoh's Dogs and Men

Butoh likes to use grotesque imagery

I would ask my actors to split into two competing groups Athenians + Spartans

firstly acting like dogs wanting something from their master then they would change this animalistic behaviour into children appealing for sweets from their teacher. The only way they can get sweets is if they make peace. Stylised movements might portray key messages about the characters or themes of this extract.

Stanislavski's Triangle

Ask actors to plan an Athenian , Spartan and Lysistrata. They must stand in a circle with Athenian facing the Spartan who will face Lysistrata who will face the Athenian. Using lines form the extract each character must get the attention of who they are facing

-help the actor discover their intentions within the extract and this will help them communicate their intentions more clearly to the audience.

Volume Line

Draw a line on the floor. Ask the actor playing Lysistrata to imagine one end of the line was silence and the other was high volume. As the actor delivers Lysistratas speech they should move up the volume line and then position themselves at the volume they feel the speech should be spoken at, this position can be changed throughout.

Status and Power

Actors playing Lysistrata, Athenian and Spartan should come into the performance space in which they will find a chair and a desk. They will be given a line e.g 'Don't think Athenians, you are guiltless either' Once they enter the performance space each actor must decide where their character should be positioned to show their status and power. They would then have a moment to review their choice and the other actors, they should change if they feel it necessary. Justifying their choices will allow the actors to see their position in this scene

Meyerhold's Rehearsing to music

experiment with different types of music, bring to life speeches, emotions more interesting for an audience

Tempo/Volume Chorus Line

Actors playing chorus to arrange themselves in a line, one end represents very slow tempo whilst another represents very fast tempo. I would give them a chorus line to chant in unison. I would them move along the line and stop at a certain point, they would have to keep the correct tempo which to chant the line

-improves the cohesion of the chorus, gives a new approach to choral lines

Le Coq's Choral line

Ask two actors to stand in a line. Person at the back must whisper the first line in the Chorus speech, it is then to be echoed by the person infront. Another actor will join the end of the line and whisper the next line, which will be passed up the choral line.

-help chorus work as an ensemble and establish the character of the chorus

Frantic Assembly's 'total theatre'

use movement to express the joy of the chorus in the final scene, encourage my actors to portray emotions od happiness with high energy and comedic dancing

I would get my actors to create a piece of Total Theatre using music, physical theatre and liens of the text

-this would reveal subtext as all characters come together to celebrate peace