Prose for Performance : Character Voices in Prose for Performance

Alright, now let’s talk about what you’re
going to do with your voice. The first thing I want to talk about is the voices of the
characters. Now, your piece may have one or two characters, it may have fifteen characters.
Don’t focus on creating completely different voices and accents for your characters. That’s
not necessary. What we’re looking for, first of all, is simply volume: can we hear you?
And articulation: can we understand what you’re saying? But then, what are the subtle differences
that you can assign to each of your character voices so that we the audience can tell them
apart? Perhaps one of them talks in a lower voice, maybe one of them talks a little faster.
Don’t worry too much about developing these extremely different characters because you’ve
got the narration voice that’s going to say: “said Jim,” “said Sally”, “said Ernest defiantly”;
so the audience will always know who said it because of the narrator, but it helps to
have slight distinctions, slight vocal changes among your characters. Now, let’s talk about
the narrator.

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