Directing II – Stephanie Nash

CHARACTER SCHEMATIC

DIRECTOR:
(screen)
PLAY:
AUTHOR:
SCENE TITLE:

1.    SETTING  
(How you will use Room #113 to create your set – i.e. how you will set it up in this room.  Where it’s supposed to be, when, etc.  Describe the environment beyond what can be seen in you FLOORPLAN.  Paint it.  This should prepare you for your pre-scene presentation ‘tour’ of your set, yes? )

2.    DETAILED CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS 

Give a 2 paragraph detailed description of each characterTHIS WILL BE AT LEAST TWICE AS LONG AND IN-DEPTH AS THE DESCRIPTIONS ON YOUR WEEKLY SCHEMATIC.  Give sense of who they are, how they got that way, where they come from, and real insight into the nature of each character.  Underline each character’s name & separate each paragraph with a space. This is where you get to use all the background facts you’re used to using, but then ADD how all that affects the behavior & personality of the character.  And don’t forget those ADJECTIVES!

3.   CHARACTER ARC – i.e. the JOURNEY of the character in this scene – where do they begin, where do they end and what happens to them along the way (--on the INSIDE!  Tell me how they are changed by the events of the scene.   DO NOT tell me the events of the scene – but rather how the characters are AFFECTED by the eventsHow are they different because this scene happened?  

 

For Example:

                                     i.     At BEGINNING – Character is thinking and feeling X

                                   ii.     When EVENTS #1 & #2 happen – Character realizes Y

                                 iii.     At the END of the scene – Character Feels Z

 

4.  INTERIOR MONOLOGUES

(This is where you’ll go into INTERIOR MONOLOGUES, and the ACTUAL WORDS that might be going on their heads during and between lines.  Never assume both characters are thinking the exact same things.   Practicing this will be invaluable to you as a director.  Think their thoughts.)  This can be done line-by-line, or as a run-on monologue.

 

5.     OBJECTIVES, MOTIVATION & ACTIONS/INTENTIONS

 

a.    What is the character’s OBJECTIVE?  (repeat from Basic Schematic)

 

b.   WHY does the character want it?

 

c.    HOW does the character go about getting it = ACTIONS or INTENTIONS

 

                                      i.     (Here’s where you may want to explore the way of working with actions by phrasing it “how you want to MAKE the OTHER CHARACTER FEEL” – so as not to fall into the trap of allowing the actor to focus on their own feelings – possibly leading to indulgent, self-conscious or non-active work.)

6.     STAKES & OBSTACLES

a.   What is ‘at stake’ for this character?  What do they STAND TO LOSE if they do NOT get their objective?  What’s at risk?

b.   What is GETTING IN THE WAY of them getting their objective? (= Obstacle)

7.     OTHER CHARACTERS? 

a.      Are there other people who are just outside the scene who’s presence affects the scene in some way.  If you mention someone here, tell me where they are & how nearby is that.  Do NOT add people who are nowhere nearby but would be affected, or have an affect on the outcome.  This is about people IN or NEAR the scene – like sleeping children in the next room, or people at a party downstairs, etc. that would AFFECT THE BEHAVIOR of the ACTORS IN THE SCENE.