This is a list of great acting scenes perfect for drama classes, audition prep and independent study: a collection personal favourites as selected by the StageMilk team. We have drawn from a wide variety of styles, sources and time periods; while this isn’t an exhaustive list, it should give you some idea of the wealth of scenes out there, waiting for you to discover them! We have broken down each scene using the categories below. This is designed to give you a brief overview of what to expect, and help you discover scenes you will find interesting as well as suitable to your particular needs:
NAME OF PLAY (DATE) by AUTHOR
A short description of the scene. Scene begins: “Brief excerpt of the opening line.”
OUR VERDICT:What we think.
For copyright reasons, we are unable to link directly to texts; most of these will be available in your local library, or available for order online. For our Scene Club members, some of these texts are available through the online portal. Where possible, we will link you to the material directly. We have split our list into three different categories: male/female, male/male and female/female. That said, don’t be afraid to look past the gender and age of characters in order to find a scene that truly resonates with you!
Why working on Acting Scenes is Important
Acting is all about relationships: connecting with the other actors on stage to tell a great story. When we are starting out as actors we often get lost in the world of monologues. And while monologues are a great device for refining you acting chops, they are quite rare in plays. The majority of the time you are dealing with scenes— interacting with others and working towards your objective.
Even if you are booking regular gigs as an actor, make sure you are working on scenes independent of paid opportunities. This may be in an acting class format, or just starting a private scene club with your peers. It can also be great to get together and put down scenes on camera: especially if you work mainly in theatre and don’t audition much for film and TV. Get a camera and do some self tapes. Actors love to feel sorry for themselves, and we are all guilty of this. But the reality is that there is a lot you can do in between jobs. Practicing and refining your acting through scene study means you will have a competitive edge in the audition room, and be stage fit when you do land that role. So make sure you are working on scenes whenever you can.
Hurly Burly (David Rabe)
The Only Game in Town (Frank D. Gilroy)
Red (John Logan)
Lou Gehrig Did Not Die of Cancer (Jason Miller)
Dolores (Edward Allen Baker)
Reasons to be Pretty (Neil Labute)
Landscape of the Body (John Guare)
Boy Gets Girl (Rebecca Gilman)
Blue Room (David Hare)