Through improvisation, script analysis and the study of monologue materials, students are introduced to the fundamentals of performance. Special emphasis is placed on interpretation and translation of the dramatic script as the basis for exploration of characterization, motivation and transition.
Freeing the voice is the primary focus of this class, which includes developing breathing techniques for the actor, all aspects of tone production, and vocal flexibility for voice and speech.
This course is based on a system of exploration and exercises which are designed to help students overcome their inhibitions and to awaken them to certain truths about themselves. It is a physical approach to acting, developing a character through the use of the body.
Through the use of television and commercial copy, students are introduced to basic camera technique and terminology. By incorporating the skills developed in voice, movement and acting classes into a variety of commercial situations students work one-on-one with the camera.
This course is an investigation into the actor’s own creative process. Students will explore the use of visual, literary and performing arts as a means of self discovery.
Forms of Literature
The purpose of this course is to facilitate a comprehensive development of students’ textual/interpretive skills through varied written assignments that are closely connected with readings from different literary genres, including the history of drama.
Special emphasis is placed on developing the student’s listening and reacting skills as they begin to work with scene partners. Using the works of contemporary playwrights, students will focus on discovering elements in the script that serve as the basis for characterization.
The primary focus of this course is the connection between the actors’ emotions and the text. Additionally, this course focuses on the further development, maintenance and care of a well produced voice. This allows and encourages the students to increase their vocal range and variety.
Building on knowledge obtained in Movement 101, students explore the kinesthetic dimensions of self awareness through progressively more in-depth somatic lessons and exercises that are creatively intertwined with the various technical aspects of acting.
Students are introduced to scenework for the camera by learning the rudiments of camera awareness and blocking. Through the use of short scenes, the course covers techniques for hitting marks and the differences between close-up, medium and long shots, and over-the-shoulder shots.
By learning to recognize the hidden beats, intentions and images, students will focus on interpreting a script with emphasis on character study and development.
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
An introduction to the principles and practice of presentational communication, including personal history, impromptu speaking, humorous and persuasive speeches. Methods of topic analysis, evidence evaluation organization and delivery are covered.
This advanced scene study class allows the student to build on the tools they gained in Intro to Acting and Acting II to stretch their abilities as they attack more difficult acting problems through situations that are foreign and unfamiliar. Recognizing and understanding the subtext of a scene is explored as students examine the texture, tone and timing found in plays of contemporary and classic writers to bring subtle nuances to their performances.
Speech and Phonetics
Using the International Phonetic Alphabet as a basic tool, this course focuses on neutralizing regional sounds and dialects. Using drills and exercises in combination with the IPA, students work to increase their vocal flexibility and ability to approach new dialects for the stage and screen.
The first half of this course is focused on the art of stage combat and disciplining the body. Students learn specific techniques to create a striking reality of violence on stage, with safety being the primary focus. The second half of the course introduces students to mime. This ancient art not only heightens students’ awareness of the body, but gives them an additional avenue for artistic expression.
Students expand their technical knowledge of acting for the camera with an emphasis on continuity and the importance of matching the action between master shots, close-ups and re-takes. Focus is also placed on creating camera magnetism by encouraging spontaneous behavior and developing the actor’s ability to find the character in him/herself.
This course is designed to stretch the actor’s vocal and physical range while exploring the rich emotional layers contained in Shakespeare’s writing.
This course is designed as a culmination of the student’s acting training and as preparation for entry into the professional community. Special emphasis is placed on recognizing character types, the choice of suitable audition material and interacting with partners. Under the supervision of the instructor, students will focus on selecting and rehearsing monologues for theatre auditions and on partnered scenes to be performed in the graduation showcase.
Musical Performance – Vocal
This course, which is subtitled “How to Act a Song”, focuses on singing performance and concentrates on relaxation, vocal and breathing exercises, characterization and the transition from dialog to song. The appropriate use of the actor’s voice and personality in the selection of audition material is also emphasized.
Musical Performance – Dance
With an emphasis on dance, this course covers the fundamental techniques of dance performance and basic styles through practical application of performing skills. The focus is placed on body awareness, mental discipline and non-verbal communication as students gain experience working with a choreographer and performing in a laboratory setting.
Camera Technique IV
In preparation for entry into the professional community, students work to enhance their audition skills by reading the film audition script, making quick, bold character choices, listening and adding dimension to the character. Students gain practical experience in shooting out of sequence, staying “in the moment”, working off-camera and all aspects of camera acting technique from previous semesters work.
The focus of this course is on perfecting cold reading technique for commercial, industrial and film auditions, with emphasis placed on identifying and using personal qualities, developing spontaneity, improving concentration and listening skills. Students also work on the preparation, organization and presentation of resumes, headshots and other marketing materials for their graduation showcase.
Pop Culture Through Film
This course is a survey of early film making through modern cinematography, focusing primarily on domestically produced films. The impact of film and cinematic literature on historical and current American culture will be discussed in depth. Also discussed will be the influence of the early studios (personalities such as Thalberg, Warner and Goldwyn will be covered) and cinematic developments through history.