Chabot College Fall 2008 – Introduction to Acting

Chabot College
Fall 2008
Course Outline for Theater Arts 1
Catalog Description:
1 – Introduction to Acting
3 units
Introduction to the techniques and theories of acting, explored through improvisation, exercises and
scene study. Development of the physical and psychological resources for acting including relaxation,
concentration, creativity, believability, and commitment. Development of critical thinking skills
associated with viewing and analyzing performances of others. Lab hours are required for rehearsal
of scenes and attendance of on campus theater productions. (Formerly THEA 1A) 3 hours lecture,
1 hour laboratory.
[Typical contact hours: lecture 52.5, laboratory 17.5]
Prerequisite Skills:
Expected Outcomes for Students:
Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
demonstrate some of the basic techniques and principles of acting;
perform in acting exercises, warm-ups, technique work and scene study;
perform in both scripted and improvisational scenes in front of an audience;
work individually and with a partner in the process of rehearsing and performing an acting scene;
analyze a character, scene, and play as part of the actor’s preparation;
critically evaluate the acting performances of other students and other actors.
Course Content:
1. Improvisations and Theater Games
2. Exercises
a. Relaxation
b. Body awareness and movement
c. Vocal freedom and technique
d. Development of individual creativity and imagination
e. Development of group/partner awareness and creativity
3. Acting Theory and Technique
a. Subtext and inner monologue
b. Beats of Action
c. Objectives, tactics, obstacles
d. Believability and truthfulness
e. “In the moment” presence
f. Listening and reacting
g. Relationships
h. Concentration and focus
i. Commitment and energy
j. Physical life and stage movement
k. Personalization
l. Characterization
4. Scene Preparation
a. Character, scene and play analysis
b. Memorization
c. Rehearsals with partner, in and out of class
d. Blocking
Chabot College
Course Outline for Theater Arts 1, Page 2
Fall 2008
5. Scene Presentation
a. Performing scene before the class and instructor
b. Feedback and coaching from instructor
c. Second presentation of scene after feedback
6. Attending performances of on-campus productions
7. Analyzing live performances
Methods of Presentation:
1. Student participation in warm-up exercises, improvisations and acting technique work
2. Lectures, demonstrations and discussions on acting theories and techniques
3. In-class and outside-of-class rehearsal of scenes and monologues, with as much coaching and
guidance by the instructor as possible
4. Prepared performances of scenes and monologues. Evaluation and critique of this performance
work by instructor
5. Reading and analyzing the plays from which scenes are taken
6. Reading from textbooks or handouts
Assignments and Methods of Evaluating Student Progress:
1. Typical Assignments
a. Read the entire play from which an individual’s acting scene is taken for the purpose of
understanding characterization, theme, plot, style, etc. Write a play and character analysis
based on an outline provided by the instructor
b. Present a rehearsed scene in class, with lines memorized and blocking created, using acting
techniques and principles learned in class
c. Write a review of a live theatrical performance, with particular attention given to a critique of
the acting
2. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
a. Grading of prepared scenes and monologues, based on the objective quality of the work and
the amount of improvement and growth shown by student
b. Grading of written play and character analyses
c. Grading of tests or quizzes
d. Judgment of participation in class improvisations, discussions and technique work
e. Grades should be assigned and communicated as soon as possible after prepared work is
done. Participation grade should be made known to student at least once in the middle of the
f. Final examination
Textbook(s) Typical:
Setting the Stage: An Introduction to the Theater, Lou Ann Wright and William Missouri Downs,
Thomson Custom Publishing, 2003.
Special Student Materials:
Handouts provided by instructor
G:\Curriculum2008\Theater Arts 1
DH:Revised: 12/4/07