How to Learn Lines for a Play

Everyone may be in a play sometimes. Whether it's a school play or a National theater production, there is always one thing that actors don't like to do, learn lines. This is important because if one person doesn't learn their lines, the whole performance suffers. There is no fast track way, but here are some tips.


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    Read the play and understand it. You need to know what's happening, so that you understand why your character is saying what you are saying.
    • Get into character. If you don't know what that means, it means to be the person/creature you're playing, walk, talk, look, like the part you're playing; then, you will make it more realistic.
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    Walk around a room while you are saying the lines out loud. You should practice doing it as it would be done in real life, on stage or in a studio. In the performance it won't be done in your head.
    • Ask a family member or a friend to help you learn them, reading along with what you are saying and to catch skipped or wrong emphasis on words.
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    Know your cues. If you know your lines -- but you don't know when to say them -- you're going to struggle. Know the last bit of the previous person's lines or the events leading to yours; so that you know when to say your lines.
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    Perform your parts of the play while you are learning your lines. It will make it more realistic, and it will also help you with your performance skills.
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    Split it up. Take a few lines at a time. One time you can look at one scene, and then split the scene up into groups of lines. Learn a few lines at a time and keep going over them -- even if you know them. Going over them again will make you feel confident.
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    Don't be overwhelmed at the amount of lines you need to learn. If you see a big speech, split that into smaller parts and you will be able to learn it. It might be really cool if you have a lot of lines, just make sure you learn them all, to do them with real feeling.
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    Have fun. Acting is work, but it can also be a lot of fun. If you enjoy doing it, you will be able to excel in it a lot easier. You will be able to learn the lines easier if you are enjoying it, otherwise, you will be bored and not able to concentrate on it for long.
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    Take breaks. It is very important that you take a breaks, preferably after a set amount of time. The amount of time you can work before having a break will vary with the individual, but it doesn't matter whether if other people can work longer than you. Everyone is different!
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    Drink plenty of water. Always have a drink of water with you. It will really help you concentrate if you have a drink of water. Also, it may help if you have sweets with you. If you get stressed, then stop for a minute, have some sweets and continue.
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    Say the lines to yourself during your daily routine. When you are walking or driving somewhere you have to go to anyway, practice some lines. Incorporate the practice in your daily routine.


  • Highlight your lines in a light color highlighter to make lines easier to find at a glance; to see and remember.
  • Don't overwork. If you spend all day on it, you will get tired and annoyed. Take breaks throughout the day.
  • If you are stuck on a certain part, keep going over that part. it may be annoying, but it really is vital to keep going over the parts that you are stuck on.
  • If there are others in the scene practice with them and have one person with the script so they can help if you get stuck.
  • When you know your lines, keep re-learning them. If you fully know them, keep practicing. This sounds bad but once tried, it works.
  • Don't have anything else on your mind. Eat before hand so you are full, do some mind exercises to relax and then start rehearsing.
  • Write the lines down over and over again. Practice before bed, or when you get up, just for fun.
  • Practice improvising new lines, to fill in missing information, in case a fellow cast member forgets his or her line.
  • Go and see plays in your free time, it will help to see other people doing what you are aiming to do.
  • Write the first letter of every word of a line on a piece of paper and look at the paper and say what the letters represent. E.G. "I am going to the shop" would be: "I a g t t s."
  • Talk to other actors and ask them about it. They will have tips that could help you
    • If it's stressing you out, take a break
  • Cover your lines and write the whole scene down, then check to see if you got it right.
  • Sing your lines. Get a track without words then just sing your lines to it. If you can't find a track without words just go to YouTube and search for a tune that you know.
  • Read the script out loud before you go to sleep and read it to other people. This will help you learn how to play your part and memorize your lines.

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Categories: Acting