Script Analysis Class

The Script Analysis at Maggie Flanigan Studio covers texts by Chekhov, Shakespeare, Ibsen, and American Realists, as well as contemporary playwrights. Students will learn a hands-on, working methodology of analysis so they can shape their roles in theatre, TV, and film with specificity and clarity.

Young actors are often at a loss when told to prepare a script. In the Script Analysis class, students will develop a personal, detailed, thorough process of preparing for the first day of rehearsal. More specifically they will learn to see the script as a score full of detailed information that creates the framework for their work on a character, and a jumping off point for their creativity and intuition as an actor. Students will learn to analyze a scene beat by beat and to find actions, objectives, and obstacles that are playable and based on a close, intelligent reading of the text.

“Learning to read a text is like preparing the soil where the tree
of your imagination will grow”.

This class also teaches a thorough understanding of the elements of storytelling – how does your character and the choices you make as an actor fit into the larger vision of the play and the production? It will enable the student to be in intelligent conversation with the director and the other cast members, rather than creating in a vacuum. By taking Script Analysis, students will also feel more confident talking about their work in auditions and casting director meetings. The class progresses organically from looking at storytelling, to work on the character, to detailed beat-by-beat work on scenes.

Students will be given individual characters again and again and assigned to prepare them as if they were going into a first rehearsal or first day on the set, developing an ever greater facility with the steps of preparation. Students will frequently apply their knowledge through scene readings in class. Later in the year, students will learn to do period research in a way that enriches and inspires their performance. The class also covers aspects of working on non-naturalistic texts, and will culminate in addressing the special skills needed when working on new plays – knowing how to work on characters that are not fully formed or written, how to ask a playwright inspiring and helpful questions, and how to prepare for a new play workshop.

Script Analysis Class is a requirement for Business I and Business II.

Louisa Proske( Script Analysis Class: )

Louisa Proske is a director of classics, new plays, and opera, and a Shakespeare acting teacher. She holds a MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama, and a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University, UK. Her classical productions include Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Yale School of Drama; This Same Progeny of Evils (an adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream) at the Hangar Theatre, Ithaca; As You Like It (Yale Summer Cabaret Shakespeare Festival); ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (The Tank, NYC); an international tour of Macbeth; other productions include Poulenc’s opera La Voix Humaine (Yale Opera/ Yale School of Drama); Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Strasberg Institute/ NYU); Rum 'n Coca Cola in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; A Servant To Two Masters (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Louisa taught and coached Shakespeare at the Hangar Theatre Lab Academy, at Mason Gross School of the Arts, and privately in New York City. She trained with Kristin Linklater and Peter Francis James, and studied Shakespeare with leading scholars at Cambridge University. She is a 2013 Drama League Directing Fellow and a member of the 2013/14 Soho Rep. Writer-Director Lab.

Testimonials

  • "Louisa has an unmatched ability to help you nurture your "hunting" skills when you are working with a script. Script Analysis Class gives you the tools you need to form your personal process from the first read of a new script all the way through the rehearsal process."

    Logan Ricket

    Student
  • "I now use what I learned in the script analysis class whenever I get a new script, monologue, or sides, and these skills always lead me to discoveries and bring a greater depth to the story and the character I am attempting to portray."

    Alexis Ebers

    Student