How to Learn Lines for a Play

Be taught Strains for a Play

It may well usually appear tough or intimidating to be handed a script and informed to study your strains. Whether or not you’re studying strains for a college play, an Novice Dramatic Manufacturing, or for an expert stage job, you possibly can ensure you memorize your strains shortly and successfully by understanding what you’re saying first. Then, memorize one line at a time and recite them each day till you get “Off-E-book.” Use motion and emotional cues when you need assistance remembering tough strains.


Understanding Your Strains

  1. Learn the play and perceive it. Earlier than you possibly can perceive why your character is saying what they’re saying, it is advisable know what’s taking place within the play. Focus in your character’s motivation and their relationship to different characters. It would assist so that you can write this info down so you possibly can reference it later.
    • The most effective inquiries to ask your self is: “Why is my character saying this?”[1]
    • Maintain a pocket book devoted to your character notes, so you possibly can reference the data simply.
    • Ensure you have your character workbook with you everytime you’re working in your strains.
  2. Undergo the play once more and spotlight your strains. By highlighting your strains, you’re ensuring your eye is drawn to a very powerful info on the web page. Spotlight the strains straight earlier than your strains in a unique shade. These strains are your “cue” strains that allow you to know that it’s your flip to talk, so it is best to memorize these together with your individual strains.
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    • Ensure you can write in your script earlier than highlighting something! For those who can’t spotlight your model, strive scanning it or copy your strains down by hand onto one other sheet of paper.
  3. Learn the play over once more in your head, after which learn it out loud. Studying the play helps you develop familiarity together with your strains. Learn it repeatedly, first in your head after which out loud, earlier than you progress on to reciting your strains and not using a script.[2]
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  4. Do not be overwhelmed by the quantity of strains it is advisable study. The joy of getting an enormous half can generally flip to dread while you notice how a lot having an enormous half equals having loads of strains to study. However as a substitute of being disheartened, consider it as a chance! These strains offer you extra details about your character and a bigger alternative to craft a deep, thought-out character.
    • Attempt to study one line, one scene at a time.
    • As you get extra observe in memorization, the higher you’ll get at it.
    • Keep in mind that you’ll have to put in additional time and effort the extra strains you will have. Plan accordingly.
    • Accordingly, others round it is best to perceive you’ll have extra strains as a principal half than say, a member with 5 strains within the play.
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Memorizing One Line at a Time

  1. Write your strains. Write every sentence on a separate line of lined paper, and deal with one part at a time. Ensure you write your cue strains as properly, however contemplate highlighting them or writing them with a unique shade pen, so that you don’t confuse them to your personal strains.[3]
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    • Ensure you write freehand, since typing just isn’t as efficient for triggering reminiscence.[4]
    • By writing your strains out, you’re additionally utilizing a unique a part of your mind than the half that will get used while you hear issues aloud, so it may be an awesome addition to your memorization course of.
  2. Fold your sheet of paper so you possibly can solely see one line at a time. By specializing in one line at a time, you’re making a manageable aim to your mind to memorize. When you’ve got a extremely brief sentence, strive memorizing two sentences directly.[5]
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  3. Repeat the road out loud till you’ve memorized it. This would possibly take anyplace from 30 seconds to five minutes, so be affected person! Keep in mind that everybody’s mind works in a different way.
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  4. Shift the paper down and memorize the subsequent line. Some folks wish to cowl the earlier line as soon as they shift the paper down, whereas others like with the ability to see earlier strains. Discover a technique that works for you.
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  5. Repeat the method. Doing this simply as soon as received’t enable you memorize your whole strains. You’ll discover that, after a number of hours or days, you received’t bear in mind the precise phrasing or particulars. The one approach to ensure you get your whole strains proper is to repeat this course of over the course of a number of days.
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  6. Take a nap after studying a bit of strains. If you memorize strains shortly, your mind is utilizing short-term reminiscence to recollect them. After you step away or cease studying strains, your mind stuff you now not want that info and “throws out” the short-term reminiscence, undoing your whole laborious memorizing work. Nevertheless, when you take a nap, your mind shifts that info to your long-term reminiscence, which helps you bear in mind your strains![6]
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    • Alternately, you possibly can go for a stroll exterior after memorizing a bit of strains. Actors imagine strolling engages muscular tissues that assist with memorization.[7]
    • Follow your strains earlier than going to mattress. Your thoughts will truly nonetheless work in your memorization whereas your sleep!

Getting “Off E-book”

  1. Spotlight necessary or tough phrases. There may be a phrase or two that you simply wrestle to recollect or can’t fairly say accurately. If that’s the case, ensure you be aware it in your paper in order that your mind spends that additional split-second specializing in the phrase. This may usually enable you sort out a very difficult phrase or phrase.
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  2. Set affordable objectives. You received’t be capable to get Off-E-book in an hour or a day. One of the best factor you are able to do is give your self duties that you would be able to accomplish. This additionally has the good thing about supplying you with a lift of confidence, and making line memorization gratifying.[8]
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    • For instance, you may say “Right this moment, I’m going to study two pages of strains after which tomorrow I’m going to run by way of these strains once more and do one other two pages.”
  3. Match your strains to your blocking. Your motion on stage, or “blocking,” determines the place your character stands, after they sit, and the way they bodily work together with different characters. If a line or set of strains is actually irritating you, strive appearing out what your character is meant to be doing throughout these strains as you say them. [9]
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  4. Make emotional associations whereas appearing. You may be tempted to recite your strains shortly and with out inflection, saving the emotion for observe or actual performances. Nevertheless, saying your strains with emotion and inflection can truly enable you memorize them within the first place, since this provides you deeper which means behind the textual content.[10]
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  5. Document your strains and play the recording throughout each day duties. Hearken to the recording whereas doing on a regular basis actions like driving or having a shower. If doable, converse alongside to the recording to assist facilitate the memorization course of.[11]
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    • You’ll be able to select to document the entire play, or simply your strains. For those who document simply your strains, ensure you additionally document the cue line!
    • Apps like Line Learner and Lines2Memory could make the recording and playback course of simpler.[12]
    • One other technique is to incorporate a pause after every line so to say the strains again to your recording. For a extra superior model, put the pause earlier than the road, after which take heed to see when you obtained it proper.
      • Ensure you make your pause lengthy sufficient so that you can say the road!
  6. Ask a pal for assist. Associates can learn alongside when you recite your strains and inform you when you obtained any mistaken. For those who neglect a line, ask for a immediate by saying “line.” Your pal also needs to appropriate you when you say a line mistaken. This may be as drastic as skipping a line or sentence, or as minor as utilizing “and” as a substitute of “however.”[13]
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    • Ensure you don’t get too dependent in your associates, otherwise you would possibly by no means memorize your strains!

Sustaining Your Memorization

  1. Maintain rehearsing your strains. When you’re off-book, you would possibly really feel a temptation to cease practising your strains exterior of rehearsal. However the one approach to ensure you’re constantly getting your strains proper is to maintain practising. Preserve your behavior of listening to your script recording or saying your strains out loud throughout each day duties with a view to maintain your strains recent in your thoughts.[14]
    Maintaining Your Memorization
    • What number of occasions you rehearse per day relies on what number of strains you will have and the way comfy you might be with them. For those who’ve had these moments of panic on-stage, rehearse your strains a number of occasions every day. If not, rehearsing simply as soon as is ok.
  2. Reference your script when you’re unsure a couple of sentence or phrase. In some performs, it’s necessary to get each phrase proper. This may be as small as ensuring to incorporate a “the” or saying “like” as a substitute of “as.”
    • When you are aiming for accuracy, bear in mind some productions won’t care if you’re not totally excellent.
    • Instance: an expert troupe performing Hamlet would require a precision greater than a manufacturing of “Grease” at a highschool musical.
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  3. Ask your forged members for assist. For those who’re unsure when you’re getting a phrase mistaken, ask your forged members for assist. They need to have memorized your whole “cue” strains, and so they can present a way of whether or not or not you’re saying your cue strains completely.
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  4. Carry out your strains in entrance of household and associates. One approach to preserve your strains is to ask completely different relations or associates when you say your strains to them as soon as a day. This may also be enjoyable for your loved ones members and associates as a result of it offers them an opportunity to see what you’re engaged on and comply with your progress!
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  • Ensure you have enjoyable!
  • If you’re caught on a sure half, maintain going over that half till you get it proper, even when it feels irritating.
  • If there are different actors within the scene, observe with them. Have an actor or pal that’s not within the scene maintain a script and enable you when you get caught.
  • Don’t fear when you unintentionally neglect a line throughout a observe or perhaps a efficiency. This even occurs to skilled writers! If it occurs to you, simply ensure you return to the script after the observe or efficiency and run that half over once more.[15]


  • Take breaks all through the day to keep away from getting overworked.


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