Object Exercises

A student came to me a few weeks ago concerning a role she was working on in one of our productions. She was alone on stage in a certain scene and talking to herself. She didn't know quite how to handle it. I discussed that we are often trying to figure out a problem when we are talking to ourselves. I then referred her to Uta Hagen's A CHALLENGE FOR THE ACTOR and the Object Exercise "Talking to Yourself." She read it, followed the advice, and the doors opened for her. There it is . . . then Object Exercises are so useful, invaluable. I start every freshman Acting I class with them, and they continually open up doors for students. It's all right there in the Object Exercises, so practical and so simple a path to understanding circumstances, really doing and doing with purpose, and bringing one's personal self to the work. All the elements that other teachers (Aldler, Meisner, Strasberg) focused on are right there in the Object Exercises. And Historical (Character) Object Exercises continually enlighten students in answering the question, "Who am I?"

Lucien Douglas

Born in Germany, Uta Hagen moved to Madison, Wisconsin, at the age of six. With the exception of several interruptions for study in Europe, Ms. Hagen received most of her schooling in Madison, her home until age sixteen. After training briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, she made her professional debut in 1937 in Dennis, Massachusetts, as “Ophelia” in Eva Le Gallienne’s production of Hamlet.

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