Introduction to Acting and Drama - 2nd year

Experiential-based course, which enables the student to gain a critical understanding of the art of acting and its relationship to dramatic art as a whole. Acting terminology, dramatic theory, and methods of analysis are introduced through participatory warm ups, theatre games, pair work, structured improvisations and the performance of scripted scenes.


By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

1. Identify and discuss the theoretical and practical elements of drama;

2. Define acting terminology and use it appropriately in class;

3. Participate in theatre games with confidence and expressiveness;

4. Do improvisational scene work based on the principles of drama and comedy;

5. Critique other students’ work with appropriate terminology;

6. Analyze actors' performances in film and on stage with critical awareness.


Course topics will include the following:

Acting in Theory

1) Acting terminology:

a) given circumstances
b) objectives
c) actions
d) obstacles
e) emotional memory
f) character
g) upstage, downstage, stage right, stage left, center stage etc..
h) secondary activities

2) General dramatic terminology:

a) Theme
b) Text
c) Subtext
d) Stage directions
e) Setting
f) Given circumstances
g) Protagonist
h) Antagonist
i) Exposition
j) Rising action
k) Conflict
l) Climax
m) Resolution

Acting in Practice

1) The actors' warm up:

a) to warm up the body
b) to warm up the voice
c) to warm up the imagination

2) Theatre games:

a) to cultivate group awareness, coordination and cooperation
b) to encourage spontaneous imaginative response
c) to increase vocal expressiveness
d) to increase verbal expressiveness
e) to increase body expressiveness
f) to establish the practices of a vibrant ensemble

3) Dramatic improvisation:

a) to practice acting within various sets of given circumstances
b) to enhance the ability to react spontaneously “in the moment”
c) to practice manipulating the elements of drama
d) to build confidence in the ability to act out scenarios

Method of Instruction:

1. Participation in acting exercises

2. Lecture

3. Discussion

4. Pair work

5. Group work

6. Audio visual materials

Types of Assignments:

1. Students will learn key terms of acting and use them appropriately in class

2. Students will keep a journal documenting their experiences in the classroom

3. Students will watch a movie and provide a written critique of the acting

4. Students will prepare improvisations with partners and perform them in class

5. Students will prepare, memorize and perform a scripted scene in class

6. Students will memorize and perform a monologue

Sample Text:

1. Improvisation for the Theatre by Viola Spolin. Northwestern U.P. 1999.

2. Acting Onstage and Off by Robert Barton. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1993.

3. Acting One by Robert Cohen. Mayfield Publishing. 1984.