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Book Review: Two-Character Plays for Student Actors

written by: Beth Taylor•edited by: SForsyth•updated: 3/4/2010
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Drama teacher resources must include this book for acting teachers and high school drama teachers with ideas for teaching drama. This book is a compilation of a wide variety of one act plays and scenes.

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    This little gem of a paperback is a great resource for any drama teacher, new or experienced. In one small volume, there is a nice collection of two character one act plays. Each and every character is given plenty of dialogue, motivation, and opportunity for character development.

    There are plays for two females, plays for two males, and plays for one of each.

    There is a wonderful variety in this book. There are comedies and trajedies, old and young characters, and the opportunity for stage combat and conflict resoluction. The entire collection explores the wide range of human emotion.

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    Using This Book in Class

    Make sure you read each scene thoroughly beforehand.

    These one act plays are royalty free, and you may copy them for use by your students.

    When teaching an ongoing workshop, such as a weekly class, you have time to get to know your students and see their strengths and weaknesses. At some point during the workshop, you can pair the students with each other and assign each pair a script from this book. This is where the variety in this one tome comes in so handy -- you will most likely be able to find a script that will help challenge each individual member of your drama class.

    I recommend taking the time to let students rehearse in pairs, and let them take the scripts home to study. I like to have students take turns rehearsing in front of the group. Then, in addition to your notes, the classmates can also offer feedback. Each pair rehearses in front of the group, and each pair receives feedback. This group endeavor fosters respect, paying attention, and positive group dynamics.

    The more days you can allow the students to rehearse in front of each other again, the more opportunity they will have for improvement. And, as these are royalty-free plays, you are welcome to develop these scripts into full performances for your drama class or school.