Effective Movement for the Stage

Blocking involves the planning of the actors’ movement from one “stage picture” to the next. Blocking should be purposefully planned to further develop character and story. Effective blocking will heighten the audience’s interpretation and enjoyment of the play.


Levels refer to the height of characters on stage

There are three basic levels:

HIGH (Standing or using a platform of some sort)

MIDDLE (Sitting or kneeling)

LOW (Lying down)

  • The basic rule of LEVELS is that the higher the level - the more emphasis
  • It is always good to use a variety of different levels whenever possible when staging a scene
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Focus refers to WHERE the audience’s attention is drawn.

  • There are a few basic rules about this - the audience will always look at:

  1. A character who is on a higher physical level than others

  2. A character who is moving

  3. A character who is speaking

  4. A character who is dressed differently than all the others on stage.

  5. A character who is in the brightest level of light

  6. A character who other characters are looking at

The actors must make sure the audiences’ focus is always on the correct characters or group of characters.


People look where others look SO if characters A and B are both looking at character C the audience will also look at character C. This is called DIRECT FOCUS.

COUNTER FOCUS can add variety - this is when a Director has A focus on B who looks at C who looks at figure D. The audience will follow the sight lines to character D.