Character is revealed through relationships with others. Hamlet with Polonius, Hamlet with Ophelia, with Claudius, with Horatio, with his mother -- a new aspect of character is revealed with each encounter. All spring from the basic core of character, all reveal that drive or desire in operation.
These relationships are revealed by eyes, mouths, spines, head carriage, by vocal tones. Rejection, acceptance, likes, dislikes, are all total body responses. No matter how strong is the attempt to conceal our attitudes. Cigarette habits are revelations of what sisters, brothers, friends, enemies do to us -- but watch your feet reacting!
Make life studies of relationships. Study your own responses to people.
What does Hedda do that shows her attitude toward Aunt Julia before she makes the devastating comment about the hat? What does she do when Thea comes into the room? What do her reactions reveal about her attitudes to women? To this particular woman? Play these scenes without words until you have discovered how words have merely corroborated what the body reveals. Edmund is reading when his mother comes into the room: for five minutes no words are spoken. In that time their lives can be completely illuminated. Joan sees English soldiers wounded, French soldiers playing craps, her brothers talking with her father.
Present in class a series of episodes wihitout words which reveal character relationships. Use significant personal properties which show attitudes toward self and toward others. Hereafter do not appear on stage without such properties. They are not crutches; they are character. They are our clothes: the kind we choose, the way we wear them, betray us -- we are our accessories, they reveal us. Whether we have chosen them or whether others have chosen them for us -- they are part of us -- Did Hedda or Tesman pick Hedda’s wedding and engagement rings? What are they like? How does she wear them? Candida’s is different. Why? How?