Two Person Scenes Heightening Emotion exercises

2 Person Scenes Heightening Emotion:   Establish an emotional perspective, heighten the emotional perspective through reaction to active details, and edit – That’s scene.  We want to avoid negotiation, conflict and the tepid, talked-out “discovery” that stagnates scenes’ growth.

Suggested Exercises:

ENDOW AND HEIGHTEN LAY-UPS –  Player One initiates from stage left.  Player Two initiates from stage right.  Both players heighten what they initiate.  After a few lines back and forth, teacher calls “Scene” and two new players start the exercise.
Progression:
Personal / Personal – Player One engages a personal emotional perspective and Player Two engages a personal emotional perspective.
–  Disparate initiations:  Player 1 – (staring forlornly at the Cat’s Cradle he works with his fingers) “sigh.”
   Player 2 – (looking around in panic) “I heard it again.”
–  Complementary initiations:   Player 1 – (staring forlornly at the Cat’s Cradle he works with his fingers) “sigh.” 
Player 2 – (flipping nostalgically through a big book) “Those were innocent times.”
–  Mirrored initiations:  Player 1 – (staring forlornly at the Cat’s Cradle he works with his fingers) “sigh.”
   Player 2 – (playing with a yo-yo sadly) “siiiigggghhh.”
Scenic / Scenic – Player One engages an active aspect of Player Two with an emotional perspective and Player Two engages an active aspect of Player One with an emotional perspective.
–  Player 1 – I want to kill you and steal your life.
  Player 2 – I laugh at your weakness.
• Personal / Scenic – Player One engages a personal emotional perspective and Player 2 engages an active aspect of Player One with an emotional perspective.
–  Player One – (staring forlornly at the Cat’s Cradle he works with his fingers) “sigh.”
Player Two – “Oh, I’ve had it with your attitude, mister.”
Scenic / Personal – Player One engages an active aspect of Player Two with an emotional perspective and Player Two engages a personal emotional perspective.
–  Player 1 – I want to kill you and steal your life.
Player 2 – Oh, hey, my Diamond of the Month Club package arrived!
Lessons:
Don’t give up your thing – heightening our individual choices together is all we need to move the scene forward.  Trying to “figure out” how our things mesh, fighting each other’s thing or dropping our thing in favor of our partner’s thing robs scenes of their potential.
Commitment avoids justification – explaining why two people are on stage often saps the energy from a scene.  When two players commit to simply heightening their choices, no one will question the juxtaposition of even the most mismatched initiations.
Reactionary statements avoid negotiation – when we’re not comfortable with and/or don’t understand what’s happening on stage, we revert to asking questions that often bog down scenes.  Simply making choices moves us forward and making emotional choices helps statements stand without defense (“What do you mean, I’m a pig?” versus “Oh, I’m a pig.  You’re a dirty whore.”)
Heightening avoids conflict – “I want to kill you”/ “I want to kiss you.”  If these are the initiations, we don’t want to debate or argue – heighten the feelings.  You don’t have to address the disparity between feelings right away if ever.  Heighten conflict/tension by heightening your part of it.  Addressing/discussing conflict/tension takes the dynamite out of the scene.
Make Scenic/Personal Initiations less rare – it can be fun for Player Two to choose a personally grounding emotional perspective despite Player One′s attempt to initially engage her in his thing.

 

TWO PERSON SCENES –  Player One initiates from stage left.  Player Two initiates from stage right.  Players heighten what they initiate.  Have players decide BOTH how they feel about “I” and “You” – engaging an active endowment about themselves AND about their scene partner.
Lessons:
Bored? React! – don’t know what to do in a scene?  Have an emotional reaction to an active element.
Lost? Repeat! – I scream.  Why?  I don’t know.  So I keep screaming, heightening the emotion of the scream.  Don’t stop what you’re doing to make “sense” of it; Find “sense” through continuing doing what you’re doing.
Be affected – There’s power in reacting in-the-moment to another player’s perspective/actions/choices.  When we don’t react to a fellow player’s move that deserves a reaction we risk pulling the rug out from under the scene.
Feel first, understand second (if ever) – don’t wait to “understand your motivation” before making a choice about how to feel
Never trapped by your choice – while players should be encouraged to push their heightening before changing course onto a new thing, players should never feel trapped by the things.  “I love my teddy bear.”  I heighten why I love my teddy bear (“He doesn’t judge”) but I don’t have to react only to teddy.  “I really love my fluffy duck.”/ “He doesn’t give a shit.”

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