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Thursday, 16 May 2019 01:17

Advice for Actors - Read a Play a Week

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I just started a new foundation class. It’s a great class for beginners, those interested in the process, those rusty, and those wanting to re-ignite their passion. 

I found myself talking about this subject for several classes now.  So I thought I’d talk about here. Advice for actors - Read a play a week.  There are several reasons for this:


We need to understand the format of plays, as we are the ones who will bring life to words in a play.  By reading plays we learn to “get inside” the material, the characters, the conflicts, and the drama.  Only through the experience of reading them again and again and again can we get the feel of a play.  I’m reminded of the time I saw two architects looking over plans of a new style house.  I was amazed at how impassioned they were as they argued, debated, and discussed the issues.  Their excitement was enviable.  All I could see on the pages was a bunch a lines and drawings with the various colors of the walls written in black and white. They experienced the building, the landscape, the colors, they could see it, feel it. It was amazing.  We, as actors must be able to get that feel and be able to translate the life from reading words on paper. NOTE: Don’t expect this to happen right away. It’s a new form and will take a while. You can even expect to not enjoy it at first.


It will help us to understand literature and know good writing.  It’s important to be well versed in the theatre. By reading a play a week in one year you will have more experience in theater literature than many  actors in this town.  How impressive to be able to quote famous lines from  plays and be able to have discussions about the great playwrights.  Start immediately.  The time will go very fast.


There will be a time when you will be working with other actors in classes or theatre groups and you will be seeking scenes for scene study, showcases, and productions.  You will then have a library of knowledge of stories, plays, and characters that you will want to play, and will be able to recommend to your fellow actors.  It’s a great compliment to hear or say, “You’d make a great Blanch in “Streetcar”. You will help yourself and your fellow actors.

In a year you will be surprised how much more you will know than most actors. It will build confidence and command respect. It will also be a great resource as you move ahead as an actor.  If you’d like some variety or want to increase your purview, you can add screenplays and television scripts – teleplays.

Remember, however, that stage is an actor’s medium and the dialogue in a play is one of the best ways for actors to dig deep into the work and characters.

Read 357 times Last modified on Thursday, 16 May 2019 09:37
Fran Montano

Fran Montano - is the owner and Artistic Director of The Actors Workout Studio, located in the NoHo Arts District for nearly 30 years. It is one of the longest running small, intimate theaters and Acting Schools in the Los Angeles area. AWS was created to being a “home” for aspiring and working actors were the work not only includes classes and training, but personal coaching, career planning, networking, showcasing, and regular performing.  His students range from beginning actors, accomplished actors who work regularly in film, television, and stage, as well as numerous working directors and writers. His style is on an individual basis and in his small, intimate classes, it’s like working with a private coach.  His reputation is in finding and breaking actors blocks   Fran’s background as an actor, in producing, directing and theater makes him an excellent resource for actors in Los Angeles, in finding their way both in their talent, and promoting their career. Visit for more information and a schedule of classes and productions

Twitter @actorsworkout

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