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"No Acting, Please"
Season/Series: 13
Number in season: 5a
Original Airdate: United States October 12, 2009[1]
Canada March 2, 2009[3]
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.

Philip Seymour Hoffman makes a special appearance as William Fillmore Toffman.


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


The episode starts in the Read 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 by saying, “Now that’s acting!”

No Acting, Please

Muffy, Fern, and Francine are standing outside the 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 Lucie, but Fern doubts her acting ability and goes along with them just for fun. At the audition, Francine does alright, with Muffy making a comment about Francine being perfect for her understudy. Muffy acts too dramatically (and appears to bribe the director with a giftbag). Toffman notices Fern and asks if she is trying out as well. He says she looks perfect for the part, but Fern says she is no good at acting. Toffman eventually gets Fern to see that acting could be fun, and she tries out for Little Lucie as well. Muffy waits outside for the casting list to be posted- and is shocked when she sees Fern has been given the role. Fern learns and says Muffy or Francine can have the part, but the girls encourage her to stay in.

At the first practice, the other actors are revealed; Thora Read, Ed Crosswire, and Mr. Ratburn join Fern in this play about the Depression. Fern is upset when she sees that Lucie only has one line, the closing line of "But, Grandma! Can't you hear the whistle blowing?", but when Toffman says it is 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. Toffman does not seem to notice Fern was actually asleep and tells the actors it was a good read, with some pointers for each actor. Fern daydreams about winning an award for her performance.

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 is not what the play needs. After rehearsal, Fern interrupts Grandma Thora's lines to say her one line dramatically. Directing the actors to take a short break, William Toffman takes Fern on a walk to teach her an acting lesson from a tree: a tree does not move much, but you still notice it. Fern decides to act naturally as she was before, starts listening, and soon it is opening night. Right before her line, Grandma Thora stops, as she has forgotten her line. Fern steps in to deliver an ad-lib speech that fits into the play's theme and along with her own line. The audience does not notice, and Director Toffman is pleased.






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Main article: No Acting, Please/Gallery