Theatrefolk Featured Play – Characters Behave Badly by Lindsay Price

Welcome to our Featured Game Spotlight. The vignette plays, Characters misbehave, by Lindsay Price, asks students to consider the concept of what it means to be ‘good’ and ‘bad’, as well as what it means to play a character they might disagree with. Perfect for class performances!

If you saw a wallet on the floor, swollen with money, and no one around, would you take it?

What’s the worst thing a person can do? Is it murder? Is it lying? Does he get an A-? What defines “good” and “bad” behavior? Can “good” people have “bad” thoughts?

Listen to the author!

1. Why did you write this play?
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of young actors or college students be reluctant to take on a “bad” character because they thought it would reflect in their own character. “If I play a bad character, then I’m considered a bad person.” Which brings us to a big question: what does it mean to be “good” or “bad?” And who decides what is “good” or “bad?” And that was my starting point.

2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
What does it mean to be “good” or bad? What does it mean to play a “bad” character.

3. What is the most important visual for you in this piece?
There’s a moment where a character holds up a wallet full of cash and asks the other characters and the audience if they’d take it if they found it on the ground. Would you?

4. If you could give the creators of the play one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s a thumbnail set, so it’s easy to default to a breakdown between each scene. If you look at the script, it’s specifically designed to avoid that. Power outages suck the life out of the drive and forward movement of a part. Use choreographed transitions and music to transition from moment to moment.

5. Why is this piece ideal for student performers?
Not only are the characters perfect for analysis in this play, but the question of what’s “good” and what’s “bad” is a great talking point. How do your students define the two?

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