National Shakespeare Youth Festival Guidelines: Group and Duologue Scenes

How To… Create Group and Duologue Scenes

Without actors, Shakespeare’s words would never leave the page!

The guidelines are:

  • 2 actors for a Dualogue; 3-10 for a Group Scene
  • Maximum of 7 minutes for a Dualogue; 15 minutes for a Group Scene

Here are some tips for how to choose and act in scenes for our Youth Festival.

Step One: Choosing a scene

Choosing a scene is very important – it’s key to choose one that you feel is representative of the entire play. For example, the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet contains a lot of the play’s major themes and ideas: young love, the feuding families, secrecy and scheming. It’s also a fun and memorable scene with interesting dialogue, so it would be a great scene to pick for a Romeo and Juliet duologue (a two-person scene).

If you’re doing a group scene, you should be looking for something that has between 3 and 10 characters. In Hamlet, a good group scene could be the swordfight and eventual showdown between Hamlet and Laertes. The scene contains many of the main characters – the duelers, as well as Gertrude, Claudius and others. It’s also a very dramatic and exciting moment in the story that represents exactly what the play is about: betrayal, murder, madness and uncertainty. When choosing a group scene, a good guideline is to look for excitement, action, and shorter lines of dialogue instead of long speeches. That way, every character has something to do.

Be sure, however, to read the entire play!  Often there are clues and hints as to what’s going on in your scene hidden in other parts of the play.


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