"No Acting, Please"

NPA 115

NPA 19

Season/Series: 13
Number in season: 5a
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States October 12, 2009[1]
Flag of Canada March 2, 2009[3]
Flag of the United Kingdom April 24, 2009[2]
Written by: Cusi Cram
Storyboard by: Elie Klimos
Nadja Cozic
Elise Benoit
"The Good, the Bad, and the Binky"
"Prunella and the Disappointing Ending"
Read transcript
"No Acting, Please" is the first half of the fifth episode in the thirteenth season of Arthur.


When Fern lands a role in the Elwood City community production of It Began With a Whistle, she fears that she isn't talented enough to be a star actress.


The episode starts in Arthur’s living room. Arthur introduces the show while Buster records him on video camera. Arthur forgets his line (“Today’s show is about acting”) and has to start over, but D.W. interrupts and throws a tantrum about who gets to play in the living room. She wins the argument with lots of shouting and crying and after Arthur and Buster leave, she finishes the introduction with “Now that’s acting!”

No Acting, Please

Muffy, Fern, and Francine are standing outside an ice cream shop. Muffy asks her friends which of two hair accessories looks best on her. She is overly concerned about her appearance today because of an upcoming audition for It Began with a Whistle, directed by the famous William Toffman. Muffy and Francine are trying out for the role of Little Lucy, but Fern doubts her acting ability and goes along with them just for fun. At the audition, Francine does alright and Muffy acts too dramatically, then Toffman wants Fern to try. He says she looks perfect for the part, but Fern says she’s no good at acting. Toffman eventually gets Fern to see that acting could be fun, and she tries out for Little Lucy as well. Fern gets the part, but she is so surprised that she considers giving up. Muffy and Francine were upset for a bit, but they convince her to give it a shot.

At the first practice the other actors are revealed; Thora Read, Ed Crosswire, and Nigel Ratburn join Fern in this play about the Depression. Fern is upset when she sees that Lucy only has one line, but when Toffman says it's the most important one, her mood improves. During the first script reading, Fern falls asleep, but is woken up by Thora just in time for the important line. Again Toffman says Fern is perfect for the part, and Fern starts to daydream about winning an acting award for her single line.

After the rehearsal Fern gets a massive pile of acting books from Muffy, who thinks Fern needs better technique. The books tell her to be more dramatic, but that’s not what the play needs. William Toffman takes Fern on a walk to teach her an acting lesson from a tree: a tree doesn't move much, but you still notice it. Fern stops her excessive drama, starts listening, and soon it is opening night. She goofs up during the performance, but saves the show by improvising and listening. The audience doesn't notice, and Director Toffman is pleased.






Cultural references

Production notes


Main article: No Acting, Please/Gallery


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