Characterisation Collection

Characterisation is so important in creating strong and robust pieces of theatre. Getting to know a character greatly improves the chances of success of a piece of theatre. For understanding who your character is, is also understanding what you are trying to communicate to the audience. But it is more than this. It is a process that enables you, as the actor, to engage with the character that you are becoming so that you can perform them with purpose and clarity. Whatever the genre, style or practitioner you are using, getting to know your character is key.

Here is a collection of six blog posts that explore the process of characterisation and how it can help create strong characters ready for performance.

Conscience Alley

Conscience Alley is a Drama tool that has been around for quite a long time. I suspect that it comes from Brain Way or Dorothy Heathcote and it is something that I have always associated with ‘process drama’. Drama as a pedagogy rather than Drama as a subject. It wouldn’t look out of place in … Continue reading Conscience Alley

Body Parts

This is a really good physical warm up that gives the students the opportunity to explore their characters in a exaggerated and visceral way. It is really useful if you play some physical games or warm ups first to get the students engaged. Then, walking around the space making sure that each students accepts their … Continue reading Body Parts

Family Portraits

This is a very simple warm up that can be used to explore a characters relationship with the rest of their family and those close to them. Depending on group sizes and the text/devised piece involved, this could be done as a whole class or in individual groups. Begin the activities by having a discussion … Continue reading Family Portraits

If you have any more characterisation exercises that you’d like to add to the list, please add them to the comments below.