Conversation Lesson 40
Lesson 40 - The Woods Are Alive

In this lesson Anna's New Year’s Resolution is to try something new. She auditions for a play. Will she get the part?
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Lesson Video

Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Video Script

Anna: Happy New Year! Some people, at the start of a new year, make a resolution -- a promise to yourself to be better. I thought about my resolution carefully. I want to be an actor on the stage! Today I will audition for a show called "The Woods Are Alive!" Wish me luck!
Director: Next! What is your name?
Anna: My name is Anna Matteo.
Director: Are you ready to audition?
Anna: (warms up voice) Yes.
Director: Great. Let's begin on page 1. Here is the story. You are lost in the woods. You are searching desperately for a way out. Suddenly, you hear something.
Director: Now, say your line.
Anna: 'What was that? Hello. Is someone there?'
Director: Anna, you are speaking too softly. Can you speak more loudly and a little more, um, seriously?
Anna: Yes, of course I can. 'What was that? Hello. Is someone there?' Is that loud enough?
Director: Yes, that is loud enough. Let's turn to page 25. In this scene, you are moving slowly and quietly through the woods.
Director: Anna. Anna! You are walking quickly and loudly. Walk slowly and quietly.
Anna: I'm walking slowly and quietly. I am walking…
Director: Anna. Anna. You don't need to say "slowly" and "quietly." Alright, let's try the last scene. Turn to page 48. I say my line first, then you say your line.
Director: 'You will never get out of these woods alive! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!'
Anna: 'Yes, I will.'
Director: Okay, Anna, you said that line -- you said that line really late. You need to say it earlier.
Anna: Sorry. Sorry. Let me try again.
Director: 'You will never …'
Anna: 'Yes, I will.'
Director: '… get out of the woods alive.'
Anna: I was too early, wasn't I?
Director: Yes. Yes, you were.
Anna: Director, how am I doing?
Director: You know, Anna. I think that I have the perfect part for you.
Director: The costume is in the back. Please go try it on.
Anna: Awesome! (Anna returns as a tree.)
Director: Oh, Anna, that fits you perfectly!
Anna: I'm a tree. I'm a tree in … "The Woods Are Alive!" Yes!
Anna: My new year is starting awesomely! Excuse me, Director! I have a great idea for my tree. Oh, wait! Until next time!

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.

In this video, learn how to say the new words. Then learn about asking for and giving feedback.

Use this video to learn about projecting when public speaking. Learn one way to make your voice sound more confident when you speak to a group.
New Words
  • actor - n. a person who acts in a play or a movie
  • audition - n. a short performance to show the talents of someone (such as an actor or a musician) who is being considered for a role in a play or a position in an orchestra
  • desperately - adv. in a way that is very sad and or upset manner because of having little or no hope
  • director - n. a person who directs a play or a movie
  • enough - adj. equal to what is needed
  • line - n. the words that an actor speaks in a play, movie or TV show
  • loudly - adv. in a manner that makes or causes a lot of noise
  • page - n. one side of a sheet of paper
  • quickly - adv. at a fast speed; rapidly
  • quietly - adv. in a manner that makes little noise
  • resolution - n. a promise to yourself that you will make a serious effort to do something that you should do
  • scene - n. a division of an act in a play during which the action takes place in a single place without a break in time
  • script - n. the written form of a play, movie, or television show
  • softly - adv. in a quiet voice or manner
  • stage - n. a raised platform in a theater or auditorium where the performers stand
  • suddenly - adv. very quickly in usually an unexpected way

In this lesson, Anna tries something new. What new activity do you want to try in 2017? Why do you want to do it? Write about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Then practice using adverbs as well as acting out and guessing everyday activities. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Source: Voice of America
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