Theatre Performance: First Semester Courses

Acting Foundations

Acting Foundations guides students to an understanding of the craft of acting through their participation in a wide variety of theatrical exercises. Each day begins with a series of warm-up activities designed to stimulate the imagination and encourage exploration of vocal and physical freedom. These skills will be further developed through improvisation exercises and text work.

Text/materials needed:

  • No required texts
  • Notebook/journal and writing materials

Audition Technique

Audition Technique provides students the opportunity to create quality audition material through individual appointments with the instructor. Each student will be required to have six monologues prepared and ready to be performed by the end of the semester. These pieces will work together to form ‘packages’ consisting of a mix of comedy and drama, classical and contemporary, in a way that will showcase the student’s individual strengths. Each student will meet with the instructor in a weekly 25-minute session. Students are required to identify the pieces on their own, although the instructor will give advice on appropriate material selection. This is a student-driven course.

Text/materials needed:

There is no required text for this class, although students will be guided to materials in our library and may wish to purchase scripts on their own.

Dance for Musical Theatre

This course will allow students to exercise physical skills and coordination through the practice of dance methodologies for Musical Theatre. Students will be instructed in various dance styles (jazz, tap, ballet). The course will provide a serious and specifically focused dance opportunity for Theatre Arts majors.

Text/Materials Needed:

  • Dance shoes and clothes 
  • Hair should be pulled back from face

Directing

This class will provide students with the basic directing techniques needed to direct a play.  We will explore composition, terminology and the ethics of good stage directing.  We will learn to recognize the various theatrical styles and their influence on directing choices.  We will learn to break a script down using units, verbs and arrival points. 

Text/materials needed:

  • Directing by Francis Hodge 
  • Suggested supplemental material drawn from: 
  • Directing by Robert Cohn
  • The Elements of Style by Michelle St. Denis
  • Directors on Directing by Toby Cole
  • The Great Stage Directors by Samuel Leiter

Song for Musical Theatre

This course offers students interested in pursuing a Musical Theatre option in their studies a chance to explore basic techniques of breathing, vocal production, and ear training and the use of those skills in Musical Theatre repertoire.  Students will also complete song analysis to incorporate acting and music skills in solo and ensemble presentations.

Texts: 

Sheet music as required by instructor

Stage Movement

The course focuses on the physical preparation for creating a role and preparing a performance, utilizing techniques and methodologies of Jacques Lecoq (moving from the elements and animals through to commedia dell'arte, tragedy, melodrama and clown), Laban, Michael Chekhov, Anne Bogart, Augusto Boal, and Stanislavsky. The students’ work will culminate weekly in a Performance Lab where they will be asked to create a world and character each week utilizing these techniques.

Text/materials needed: 

Appropriate comfortable clothing for the class activities

Theatre History

This course covers the history of theatre from the Greeks to Modern Day.  Emphasis will be placed on dramatic literature, clothing, architecture, art, production styles, and social mannerisms of the time. 

Text/materials needed: 

Oscar G. Brockett History of the Theatre (Foundation Edition)

Voice and Diction

The goal of this class is to improve the student's spoken performance by learning to speak with distinction. We will learn the rules for well-spoken English and apply them through class exercises and outside assignments. The student will improve their ability to be understood in performance and their ability to listen and reproduce the correct sounds of well-spoken English.

Text/materials needed:

  • Edith Skinner Speak with Distinction [both the book and the accompanying CD] 

 

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