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Effective: Summer 2013

Advisory: Advisory: THTR 20A.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will analyze realistic texts for structure, origins of choices and motivations in human behaviors.
  • A successful student will understand how to prepare themselves as an instrument of vibrant communication of a text.
  • A successful student will apply the integrated skills of realistic textual analysis into tangible actor choices by employing imagination, observation and concentration, as they apply to determining character action.
Description -
Presentation of the fundamental building blocks of understanding play scripts through an in-depth methodology of reading and analysis. Exploration of the foundational elements of Modern Realistic theatrical texts from study to analysis of text as intended for production. Groundwork provides the basis by which subsequent exploration of production possibilities, challenges and genres can be developed.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Identify the fundamental premises of analyzing the structure and common patterns of a playscript.
  2. Analyze Realistic texts for origins of choices and motivations in human behaviors.
  3. Apply the integrated skills of Realistic textual analysis in relationship to tangible possible production choices as they apply to plot, character and imagery.
  4. Recognize a variety of Realistic dramatic literature, drawn from a broad range of multi-ethnic/multi-cultural sources.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. A flexible, open-space classroom with white board and markers.
  2. Occasional need for media access and resources.
  3. Access to library, printed, and audio visual research materials.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
Through structured lecture, teacher demonstrations and student projects, the student will explore and apply the techniques of reading and comprehending the structure of a play, and how that translates to production possibilities. Students will develop an enhancement of the script reading process through exposure to outlined topics below:
  1. Identify structural components of a text using specified analysis methodologies.
    1. Investigate all literary elements, including exposition, theme, motivation, obstacle, conflict, climax, resolution.
  2. Transference of theoretical ideas into script analysis to determine the "why" of the character's written text.
    1. Motivation
    2. Obstacle
    3. Relationship
    4. Internal forces of decision making
  3. Applying an analytical framework to determine the "how" of communicating the text for a theoretical production.
    1. Analyze and define effective communication of story and plot elements
    2. Investigate possible textual communication through the written character elements of sentence structure, grammar and word choices
    3. Explore imagery created by the text as it might translate to staging and design
  4. Employ a broad range of dramatic literature drawn from the best of Realistic modern and contemporary drama including culturally diverse literature for production.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Evaluation of student script analysis work including specified notations.
  2. Demonstration of acquisition of theory and techniques acquired and absorbed through execution of prepared oral presentations.
  3. Demonstration of consistent growth and development through class discussion and participation.
  4. Required written assignments, specifically demonstration by the student of involvement in the course material through written critiques by the student of projects and assignments, followed by the instructor's evaluation of both the project and the critique.
  5. Group project presentation of role research and modes of communication.
  6. Quizzes.
Representative Text(s) -
-Play texts to be selected by the instructor on a term-by-term basis, designed towards the individual students' needs, drawn from outstanding examples of modern and contemporary Realistic dramatic literature.
-Thomas, James. Script Analysis for Actors, Directors and Designers. Burlington: Focal Press, 2009.
-Ball, David. Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. 1983.

Disciplines -
Theatre Arts
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Oral presentations, Laboratory, Demonstration.
Lab Content - No content
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Read assigned individual and/or class scripts.
  2. Read assigned text for quiz and discussion.
  3. Write analysis assignments and supporting theoretical notations.
  4. Write live performance critique.
  5. Read assigned text.