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Effective: Summer 2015
THTR 43CFOUNDATIONS IN CLASSICAL ACTING6 Unit(s)

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: THTR 20A.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
5 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (96 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to beneficially analyze and interpret classical texts in multiple ways relevant to performance expression, employment and creative inspiration rendering greater communicative potential.
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to comprehensively combine and apply the challenges of heightened language, the limitations and expectations of social behaviors from the varied cultures and eras studied into embodied performance.
Description -
Introduction to the specific acting challenges presented by performing classical scripts, pre-18th century. Incorporate skills of language analysis, verbal acumen and physical interpretation including exploration of body awareness, flexibility, alignment, balance, muscle isolation and coordination into performance preparation and execution as they specifically relate to performing classical texts.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Identify and interpret classical dramatic literature and the idiosyncrasies of heightened dramatic dialogue in a manner relevant for acting choices.
  2. Employ standard stage speech for application to all genres herein identified.
  3. Demonstrate skills of script interpretation, vocal dexterity and stage movement, comprehending and engaging his/her own body mechanics in the development of heightened performance potential of prescribed genres with focus and committed acting choices.
  4. Comprehensively integrate features towards performance of character, dialogue, relationship and dramatic action corresponding to the genre application.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Clothing suitable for rehearsal work. A flexible, open-space classroom. Padded floor mats. Rehearsal furniture and props. Video recording and playback equipment. Tutorial support for student scene work.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Analyze and dissect classical text for comprehension as well as identifying clues prompting character and situational prompts towards behavioral choices. (Lec)
    1. Specific speech demands of classical drama, e.g. verse forms, scansion, truncated prose rhythm
    2. Transference of textual imagery into verbal presentation.
  2. Synthesizing the language interpretation elements mentioned above into tangible verbal embodiment.
    1. Unifying breath and body involvement with interpretive verbal choices.
  3. Embodying stage characterization for determined classical style
    1. Employing techniques of interpreting classical script into portraying character through body carriage demands of genre.
    2. Incorporating the unifying relationship between stage speech, body control and script interpretation.
    3. Specific movement demands of period drama, e.g. knowledge of salutations, dance forms, fight protocol, other related physical behaviors prescribed to identified eras.
    4. Exploration and practical experimentation of body mechanics for period presentation
      1. Body alignment
      2. Balance
      3. Muscle isolation
      4. Coordination
      5. Focus and Concentration
      6. Varying energy states and theory practice including, but not limited to Feldenkreis, Alexander, Chi energy
  4. Synthesizing preparation and performances of culminating solo and cooperative assignments representing genre samples.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Evaluation of student scene, monologue performance and other acting projects.
  2. Demonstration of theory and techniques acquired, depth of dramatic characterization, consistency of vocal and bodily execution through prepared performance.
  3. 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.
  4. Oral presentation of research and preparation.
  5. Quizzes.
Representative Text(s) -
Play scripts appropriately representative of the prescribed genre(s) suited to individual student needs selected by the instructor.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: This is a public domain text available from multiple sources and formats.

Disciplines -
Theatre Arts
 
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture: presentation of theory and foundational premises
  2. Discussion: assessment and analysis of theory and practice discoveries
  3. Cooperative learning exercises: scene and partner performance projects
  4. Oral presentations: solo performance exercises
  5. Laboratory: rehearsal and preparation
  6. Demonstration: peer and instructor modelling and self-assessment through performance presentations
  7. Field trips: Observation and analysis of performance presentation
  8. Through structured lecture, teacher demonstration and guided instruction in solo and ensemble playing situations, students are introduced to the core theory and techniques of classical acting.
  9. Students will actively, practically develop an enhancement of a personally developed acting process through exposure outlined topics below as they correspond to one or more of the following dramatic genres Greek, Roman, Sanskrit, Kabuki, Medieval, Elizabethan/Shakepearean.
 
Lab Content -
  1. Cooperative rehearsal of class assignments and projects.
  2. Individual and partner exploration and self-analysis of concepts and exercises introduced in class.
  3. View and study media materials.
 
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Read assigned individual and/or class scripts.
  2. Write personal reflection journal.
  3. Write live performance critique.
  4. Write reflection journal.