Character Analysis

Some things the script tells the actor

© D.P. O'Sullivan

Courtesy of Gail Dartez
Artistic Associate, New American Theater (NAT)
(Directed The Bridge Party)

Your script tells the actor more than you might think. Make sure the actor takes what you want the actor to take from the script.

The actor is encouraged to establish her character by asking the following questions.


Through thorough text analysis, the actor determines her character's objective. The actor asks what is her:

Other questions the actor asks include:

  1. What the author says about your character in notes, stage directions and other non-dialog remarks.
  2. Lines you say about yourself as a character. All your lines that include the personal pronoun "I". Some of these lines may be lies.
  3. Lines other characters say about you as a character. Some of these lines may be lies.
  4. Your attitude towards every other character in the play with whom you come into contact, even if you never exchange a word with them.
  5. Changes in your attitude towards other characters in the play and changes in their attitude towards you that influence how you play a scene.
  6. Major discoveries you make during the play.

Specific sensory and background choices

  1. Extent of education, favorite or hated subjects
  2. Favorite foods or restaurants
  3. Favorite music
  4. Most frequently used expression
  5. Grooming habits, ways of exercising or relaxing.