Since day one, after looking in the mirror to answer the initial question, “What do I see?” we have been observing and analyzing character traits in ourselves and in the interesting characters we get to know through literature.
Our first mission was to clarify the difference between personality traits and emotions. We then began generating an ongoing list of traits that would eventually serve to help in creating authentic characters. As we thought about specific characteristics that would be bold and immediately identifiable on stage, students “acted out” those options they considered most interesting. From this improvisational experience, company members selected five dominant traits to represent five separate characters. After, they spent two weeks defending a host of positive and negative traits to accompany the dominant trait and build unique characters that would illuminate the theme and thesis, and establish compelling relationships. Determining character motivation, what drives a character to do the things he does, occurred through a series of improvisation sessions. Take a look.
In this video, students improvise to explore the combination of character traits in each character.
While improvising, Daylon wandered aimlessly around the room with his head down. No one noticed. A perfect Character C. Students then became the voice inside Character C’s head. It was a powerful moment.