The Key Differences Between Screen Acting and Stage Acting

While they might seem similar, the way a performance is presented can have a significant impact on how an actor will approach a piece.  Going beyond just memorizing lines and making sure they know each scene, knowing how the show will be presented can influence more subtle choices that can bring a performance to life.

In this piece, we’ll explore just how those changes can be seen and used in various performances, and why thinking of the audience is always the best way to approach a show.

How Actors Use Gestures

Imagine you’re an actor in a stage performance and you have to give a very sad speech.  To show this sadness, you read your lines very softly, letting a single tear fall down your face.
In a film, such a performance would be incredible, and definitely win over the audience.  But this is a stage performance! With a performance like that in a live show, nobody past the first row can hear you, and nobody past the fifth row can even see what you’re doing.
Stage performances must always keep one word in their minds throughout the show: “Project”.  You can’t perform to the first row, you have to perform for the back row. This means your gestures and anything that indicates your emotion or mood must be vividly exaggerated. It might feel comical while you’re giving the performance, but to the audience, it will be scaled down to fit just right.

How Much to Project Your Voice

Just as with gestures, your voice and vocal volume is a key part of a performance to let the audience know the emotion of a scene or of a line.
With a screen performance, you have the luxury of being able to get the camera in very close to the actors, and allow softly spoken lights to carry a powerful message.
But as we’ve mentioned, in a stage performance, nobody can hear you when you speak softly.
As the old expression goes, say it to the back row.
Stage performances always have to feel larger than life in order to fill the theater they take place in. It might feel tempting to play the scene as though it takes place in a “room”, but you must remember it isn’t really a room, it’s a concert hall.

How Much Actors Prepare

For screen performances, the scenes are usually shot one at a time, and are often not shot in order. This means actors have a little extra luxury of preparing for each scene one at a time and practicing only the lines they need to know that day before the shoot.
Stage actors have no such luxury. The whole show is going to be put on continuously, so actors have to know the whole show from beginning to end, and have to be able to go seamlessly from one scene to the next.
This means that stage actors prepare much more rigorously for their shows, as they must carry a lot more information in their heads before the show goes on.For more information about acting and how fun it is to explore what it means to put on shows, explore the Summer at SEM Theater Program, and see what types of cool shows you can perform this summer!

5 Unique Learning Experiences in an English Language Institute Program

At Summer at Sem, we offer an in-depth English Language Institute (ELI) program for international students aged 12-18. Our four-week summer camp is a perfect fit for students looking to study in the United States and improve their language skills in a fun and immersive environment. The English Language Institute is part of Wyoming Seminary, an internationally-recognized college preparatory school located in northeastern Pennsylvania.


However, choosing to enroll in an ELI is a big choice, and you might wonder what the benefits are of the program, and what specifically makes Summer at Sem’s unique and worthwhile?


These are just a few of the unique benefits to an ELI program, and why Summer at Sem goes above and beyond with the offerings.


American Culture


As an international student, learning about the richness of American culture is one of the most interesting topics and adventures especially when growing up and learning about the world. Further, learning about culture can help immensely when learning a language, understanding the customs and traditions can provide valuable context to how a language grows and evolves.


Our ELI program offers some of the best topics in American culture, everything from food, music, clothing, and more. The goal of all this cultural experiential learning is to help students to improve their writing skills in the American classroom. Students write weekly essays in a variety of genres, such as narrative, descriptive, research, and opinion. Students also receive one-to-one writing instruction and work with peers and teachers throughout the writing process to improve their work.


Weekend Trips


Not only does the ELI program immerse our students in the culture and language in the classroom, but we also take trips to experience these places in person.

Our weekend trips are tailored to our curriculum and will add to the experience of learning the English language. The culturally significant destinations such as New York City and Philadelphia provide great insight into United States History and let students practice their language learning skills in real life, not just in the classroom.


University Preparation


We think a lot about the future. One of the most important aspects of that is thinking about a college education. At ELI, we place a lot of importance on the preparation that goes into getting ready for college. This includes specialized classes, learning modules, advanced studying, essay writing, and more.


Online English Language Instruction


We also have specialized programs in online English language courses to ensure that anyone, anywhere can have access to the learning experiences offered by our ELI faculty. For students 12-18, Summer at Sem ELI offers four weeks of online instruction in Academic Writing, Literature, Independent Reading, TOEFL test prep, and one on one teacher conferencing in a virtual classroom setting.

Experiential Travel

One of the best experiences in learning a new language is, of course, becoming immersed in a travel experience that brings everything to life.

Our Experiential Travel Session is one of these moments and does a fantastic job of breathing something new into traditional language learning. We have our students explore the East Coast, and learn about American culture first hand.

The Experiential Travel Session is designed for students looking to extend their stay after the English Language Institute ends. This week-long trip visits cultural landmarks, notable colleges, and universities, and has endless fun while exploring new places. Students wishing to join the Experiential Travel Session must attend the English Language Institute to be eligible.

All these activities and more are in store this summer at Summer at Sem ELI Programs. Discover more about the summer sessions and see what works for you.

Posted in ELI