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Unit Of Measurement In Drama

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A ‘Unit of Measurement' is important, whether in math, science or in acting.
Plays are divided into acts, scenes and units. In theatre, a unit is the smallest actable portion in a script. A unit is the building block of conflict, and conflict is essential in drama. Scoring a script helps actors to clarify motivations, organize dramatic structure, and get specific with the nuances of the characters and the story. If scene partners score a script together, it can help get everyone on the same page. It is a tool to help actors focus their performances. There are many ways to score a script. Most modern American acting courses use a method that breaks scripts into "beats and units" and describes a character's arc in terms of "objectives, tactics and
…show more content…
His desire, his goal. It is important to be clear about these because you will be fighting for them in some way every moment you are on stage. Objectives generally refer to a character's desire within the scene. If you are looking for the big picture, a super-objective describes the character's core desire that carries him through the script.

A super-objective can be structured as "I need _______ by/through ________" When choosing the language of a super-objective, think in terms of simplifying fractions, because even math can relate to theatre. Keep asking what is underneath until you find the most basic human desire that drives your character (acceptance, control, and safety are common examples). The second half of the equation is your character's modus operandi. Again, choose strong, active language. "I need control through alienation."
While a super-objective rarely changes through the script, objectives change all the time. Often, an objective will carry through a scene, unless something drastic happens to change it. Strong objectives relate to the other person in the scene. "I want him to admit he's wrong" is not as actable as "I want to wring a confession from him."
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