Theatre and Acting/Objectives, Obstacles, Tactics

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Objective[edit]

The actor must find out what his or her character "wants." "I want," "I need," "I must have" statements help the actor to solidify the motivations behind the character's actions and emotions.

The obstacle is what stands in the way of the objective.

Super Objective Broad overall objective for a character that works throughout the play. Provides a through line and arc for the character.

  • I need love
  • I need to have power.
  • I want security.
  • I want to find the love of my life.
  • I want peace.
  • I want a family.

A "need" is stronger than a "want" and is usually the stronger choice because it creates more drive for an actor.

Objective Every scene has an "Objective". This is best formatted (for the actor) as what you want to get from the other person in the scene.

  • I need you to worship me.
  • I need you to love me.
  • I need you to give me my power back.
  • I desire validation.

Actions[edit]

The strategy used to achieve your objective. A character will use a certain action to get their objective. They switch actions when they feel it is not working anymore. Make sure when you pick actions that you are using playable words (use ACTIVE VERBS.)

Good Examples

  • To scold
  • To taunt
  • To cheer up
  • To scare
  • To seduce
  • To bribe
  • To bargain
  • To flirt
  • To corrupt

Not So Good Examples

  • To understand
  • To complicate
  • To imagine
  • To cry
  • To feel
  • To run

The not so good examples are DEAD END actions. Dead end tactics do not work through the other characters on stage(your identifiable partner). There is a big difference between "I am angry at her" (what are you going to do about it?) and "I want to destroy her."