Workshop: Script Analysis for Actors and Directors [Nov. 24, 25, 29 2009]

Peter J. ( admin)

[from email]

As actors and directors, we have to make choices based on the text we’re using, and if we want successful plays, those choices had better be good. This workshop is about exploring possibilities and making the choices that work best for us.

These are general skills that can be applied to any play, but for this workshop, we will focus on a specific script: DOUBT: A PARABLE, by John Patrick Shanley. The specific questions will be about the choices that make the characters and the play most interesting and entertaining, and the more general questions are about what KINDS of things should we be looking for when we read scripts.

We will have two sessions (3 hours each) to talk about the possibilities that we see in the text. Then we will attend the Dariusz Entertainment production of DOUBT at The Arts Project. Later, there will be one last session to compare notes in light of the live production.

Dates for the first two workshops will be November 24 and 25, and the final session will be on Nov 29. (There is still some flexibility here, so if one or more of those dates don’t work for you, let me know.)

Maximum of 10 participants. Playwrights and other theatre enthusiasts are welcome, but the emphasis will be on the choices made by actors and directors.

Cost of the workshop: $50.00 (does not include admission to the show.)

Contact or 519-645-1130

Here’s what previous participants have said about Jeff Culbert’s script analysis workshops:

‘I enjoyed the workshop very much. They made me much more aware of how much is actually built into the words … I had not fully considered the point-to-point moves “to get there”, so that will become part of my tool kit.’

‘I enjoyed the opportunity to dialogue informally with an eclectic group of people and to pick up some tools to analyze a script on my own. I learned a few new things about exploring choices that make it more interesting or raise the stakes.’

‘My weakest point has always been getting below the surface of the dialogue. I really enjoyed the workshops and it was just the sort of thing I needed. I look forward to many others.’

‘I really feel it gave me some solid tools, language, a ways of thinking, that I can apply to directing. I didn’t realize directing was so creative.’

‘I am not a director or an actor, but I think this could help me in my quest to become the most freaky playwright Canada can produce.’

‘I enjoyed the general discussions about themes and character. I especially liked that you shared so much of your personal experiences and perspective as a director and actor.’

‘What I found most useful was your sharing of tips like having each one of the characters’ lines read on their own to see what consistency there was in the story. Also, I doubt that I would have thought to dissect the script in this way, i.e. seeing where emotions are coming from before they are presented.’

‘The part I found most helpful was the actual line-by-line analysis itself. This is something I haven’t really done as a director or an actor.’

‘I loved it, and look forward to doing it again!’

Jeff Culbert has conducted script analysis workshops in London, Toronto and Limerick Ireland, using plays by Anton Chekhov, Harold Pinter, George F Walker, August Strindberg, John Mighton, Daniel MacIvor, William Shakespeare and many other playwrights. For directing credits and reviews, see

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