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A Human Prop Actor Exercise

I had a visit from a friend who is a professor of theater. I showed her our new theater in downtown Hanford. While showing her the storage room a human size prop we made, to resemble a character from a previous play, was in a chair. She looked at it and suggested a good exercise for our actors using that prop. I liked the exercise and planned it for the next class.

The next actor’s class I put a chair in the middle of the stage, and I set the human size prop there. I asked the class members if there was something lingering that they needed to tell someone, if so, use the prop to tell them.

There was no hesitation. Each student came up one by one. The first said, “You kept forgetting to pick me up from school. I was little, and scared and hungry. We lived too far for me to walk home. Why did you do that to me, dad?” Another student told a friend from the past that they had nothing in common now as adults. When they were kids, they were friends, but were they? Why did she constantly bully her? The last of the bunch said to the human prop, “I know you were young when you had me. That’s probably why you didn’t really act like a mother to me.”

My team teacher and I saw the impact of this exercise. We both remarked that if these actors can summons deep emotions like they just did for their performances, they will capture the audience every time. The actors understood this. This exercise was a valuable acting tool.

Acting classes are free and anyone is welcomed by registering on our website at


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