"Introduction to Acting" makes theatre accessible to a wide cross-section of students. Its goal is to teach students how to use their voices and bodies to create engaging, fully realized dramatic characters. Students are exposed to such elements of the actor's craft as improvisation, projection, enunciation, and movement. Although the skills taught in this course are especially applicable to theatre, they can also benefit students personally, academically, and professionally.
Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours 3)
First, students are taught to view their bodies as acting instruments: Emphasis is placed on vocal exercises, stretches, improvisation, and movement. Attention is also devoted to theatre history, terminology, and the various backstage roles that must be filled in order for a production to be a success. As students become more confident in their abilities, the focus shifts to character development. Students select short monologues to perform for their classmates. They learn how to analyze their roles and create complex, believable characters. Also, they learn how to cope with stage fright and recover if they forget their lines. Finally, the class is divided up into groups, and each group is assigned a scene to memorize, rehearse, and present to the public. Alternatively, the entire class collaborates on a short play.
Students should wear loose, stretchy clothing that facilitates movement.
Note: In keeping with the collaborative nature of theatre, our class will occasionally welcome visitors from the community. At the discretion of the instructor, these individuals may be invited to watch or even to participate in student performances.
- Course expectations
- Technical terms
- Theatre sports
- Physical exercises
- Vocal exercises
- Scoring physical actions
- Objectives and obstacles
- Ancient Greek theatre (read excerpt from Oedipus Rex by Sophocles)
- Watch community theatre production
- Character development
- Medieval theatre (read excerpt from Everyman)
- Elizabethan theatre (read excerpt from Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare)
- Careers in theatre (guest presentation from theatre professional)
- Scene development
- Restoration theatre (read excerpt from The Country Wife by William Wycherley)
- Canadian theatre (read excerpt from from Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapustasing by Tomson Highway)
- Group performance rehearsal
- Dress rehearsal
- Public performance
- Demonstrate an understanding of basic acting terminology and techniques.
- Discuss the intricacies of character and scene development.
- Appreciate the offstage roles that must be filled in theatrical productions.
- Recognize the major movements in the history of Western theatre.
- Develop substantial, complex dramatic characters through rehearsal.
- Perform with confidence, clarity, and commitment.
- Overcome stage fright and recover from missed lines.
- Collaborate with fellow students on group performances.
- Evaluate scripts based on both their performance requirements and their literary merit.
- Analyze and critique the performances of other actors.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will possess the tools they need to express themselves through acting. They will have enhanced creativity, increased self-confidence, and improved communication skills. In addition, they will be prepared for oral presentations, group discussions, collaborative projects, and many of the other challenges of post-secondary education and the workplace.
Grading System: Letters
Passing Grade: D
Percentage of Individual Work: 80
Percentage of Group Work: 20
Textbooks are subject to change. Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.