There are many ways to explore and build a character. It starts with the text of the play of course, but actors have many tools on their belt to create backstory and personality and experiences for their characters.
One of the things I use as director, is physicality. The body of the actors - working outside in - and their bodies in the space. But, pandemic. Right.
So we've been exploring these 8 women through a character questionnaire instead. Inside out. A character questionnaire requires actors to really get into their characters' heads and their circumstances. It is a precursor to hot-seating, where the actors is in character and answering questions. The list of questions was shared with me during a workshop a few years back, with Ricky Beadle Blair, and I've added and changed and removed things since. But I've always kept my favourites.
I’d buy any record by...
This is already difficult for anyone personally, let alone for a character you don't know very well yet. Make it even more challenging by limiting answers to only two!
My favourite bathroom
I mean-- what?
Greatest modern invention
Depending on the era your play is set in, this one requires some research. It's a great way to get the actor engaged with the period the play is set in.
Tips for future lovers
This question makes an actor think about their character's very personal background and preferences; it's a wonderful way to explore what kind of relationships a character would have or need.
The most attractive woman & man in the world
Watch the actors gush over whomever they find gorgeous, dreamy, lovely, hot, fit...