1st Edition

Making a Scene Creating a Scene Study Class for Actors

By Bill Gelber Copyright 2025
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Based on the author’s decades of teaching, pedagogical and theatrical research, and his professional experience as actor and director, Making a Scene: Creating a Scene Study Class for Actors offers a pedagogical approach rehearsal scenes as a primary tool for diagnosis and actor improvement.

    This volume carefully lays out the case for thinking deeply and critically about the nature of every facet of an acting class: the environment of the classroom, the choice of material for performing, diagnostic tools for responding to scene sessions, and means for engaging all students. This study includes suggestions for a teacher’s philosophy towards the work; a justification for implementing games, improvisations, and etudes; suggestions for resources for exercises both basic and complex; and a brief discussion on approaches to period styles material and connecting it to contemporary student life and issues.

    Addressed to both the beginning theatre teacher and the seasoned educator, this will be an essential book for anyone seeking to update their work with performers in private studios, high school settings, or in higher education.





    Chapter 1. Philosophy


    Chapter 2. Further Thoughts


    Chapter 3. Considerations


    Chapter 4. Picking Materials for Scene Study


    Chapter 5. Script Analysis


    Chapter 6. Coaching: Beginning


    Chapter 7. Coaching: Categories


    Chapter 8. Coaching to Inspire Emotions


    Chapter 9. Coaching Habits that Don’t Serve


    Chapter 10. Coaching: Character


    Chapter 11. Feedback


    Chapter 12. Exercises, Etudes, and Games


    Chapter 13. Styles


    Chapter 14. Styles: Shakespeare


    Chapter 15. Conclusion


    Appendix 1. Diverse Classroom Play


    Appendix 2. Open Scenes


    Appendix 3. Grading Ruric for Acting Period Styles







    Bill Gelber is a Professor of Theatre at Texas Tech University who teaches acting, directing, pedagogy, and period styles, including Shakespeare and his contemporaries.