Introductory Materials

theatre arts course syllabi.pdf theatre arts course syllabi.pdf
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Theatre Arts Criteria.pdf Theatre Arts Criteria.pdf
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Section 1: What is Theatre

Introduction Presentation ->


Read Chapter 6 in "The Stage and the School" beginning on page 269.  Answer 7 review questions on page 294: 4 from "Summary and Key Ideas" and 3 from "Discussing Ideas".  Submit your answers in your Google Doc Journal titled like this:

Your Name. Journal Theatre Arts

Introduction to Theatre Arts.pdf Introduction to Theatre Arts.pdf
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Voice & Memory Work

Journal Assignment: 

Read the "Your Speaking Voice" text below and complete the related Google Doc Journal assignment outlined in the next file.  "Actor's Voice" should be read for further class discussion.

YourSpeakingVoiceTxt.pdf YourSpeakingVoiceTxt.pdf
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YourSpeakingVoiceAssignment.rtf YourSpeakingVoiceAssignment.rtf
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Actor's Voice.pdf Actor's Voice.pdf
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memory for acting.pdf memory for acting.pdf
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Method Acting

Create a Heading for these questions called "On Acting"

Watch "Sir Ian McKellan On Acting"

1. In your journal write what Sir Ian says acting is in your own words...

Watch "Orson Welles On Acting"

2. What do you think Mr. Welles means when he says acting is "undressing",  "tearing yourself apart" or "eliminating from yourself those things which will interfere with that truth"?

Watch "Jonathan Pryce on Stage Fright"

3. Explain what Pryce means when he says that stage fright is selfishness.  Why do actors need to listen to each other? 


Biographical Reading Assignment: The Stanislavsky reading assignment and worksheet can be accessed HERE.  Please add your answers to your Google Doc Journal.

Extension Reading Assignment: Read Chapters 3 and Chapter 7 of Stanislavsky's first major work "An Actor Prepares".  Copy, paste, and answer the reading questions below in your Google Doc Journal.

Chapter 3 – Action
1. Characterize Stanislavsky's writing style.  Is it expository or narrative?  Based on what you know of Stanislavsky's experiences, why do you suppose he chooses the style that he does?
2. What was the difference between the sitting exercise done by the students and that demonstrated by the director? What was the secret of his success?
3. What is the difference between action and motion?
4. What made the difference in Maria’s two “find the brooch” scenes?
5. What happened when the students acted isolated emotions?
6. Did the intricate, detailed set help the acting exercises?
7. The students’ repeated requests for ideas from the director shows a lack of what quality in them?
8. What vital little word is suggested by the psychopath scenario given by the director? How can this monosyllable help the actor?
9. What do the words regisseur and mise-en-scene mean?
10. How are Pushkin’s words “sincerity of emotions, feelings that seem true in given circumstances – that is what we ask of a dramatist” of importance to an actor? Is this approach trivial?

Chapter 7- Units and Objectives
1. What is the significance of the turkey dinner?
2. Traveling home from the dinner, the narrator divides his trek into units. What is his difficulty? How does the director suggest he deal with the problem? ( small number of units define a channel)
3. In light of all of this, explain the difference between units and objectives.
4. What happens if you keep your role divided into units?
5. How important is it for an actor to be able to dissect and analyze a play? Why?
6. The director states that, “There is (a) more important (than unit division) inner reason. At the heart of every unit lies a creative objective to prepare your role. ” Why, then is it wrong to directly use the creative objective to prepare your role?
7. Discuss the 9 guidelines to light objectives.
8. Discuss the 3 types of objectives:
External or physical- (mechanical) discuss tropism.
Rudimentary psychological- emotions in an everyday responsive way.
Inner or psychological- deep rooted and calculated
9. Discuss inseperability of the physical and psychological.
10.Discuss the naming of objectives. (verbs not nouns)

Summative Assessment

 Stanislavsky/Voice/Memory Essay Test


StanislavskyTest.pdf StanislavskyTest.pdf
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Acting Assessment: Contentless Scenes

Contentless Scenes Rubric

Contentless Scenes Script


Monologue resources
You will be required to perform a 3-5 minute memorized monologue in character.  Use these links to find a monologue for performance.  Remember, monologues must be GSIS appropriate.

Includes Monologues for Guys and Monologues for Girls

by These Aren't My Shoes Productions.

Includes Women's and Men's Monologue links

Most of these are too short but some may work

Movie Monologues (To Watch in Class)

Miracle -

Erin Brockovich -

Rocky Balboa -

Steel Magnolias -

Blade Runner -

Jaws -

Other Great Movie Monologues


10 Things I Hate About You -

The Color Purple -

300 -

Spiderman 2 -


Saving Private Ryan -

Braveheart -

Remember the Titans -

Glory -

Journal Assignment: 

Choose one of the above monologues.  Identify the dominant emotion(s).  How are these portrayed?  Discuss the use of pauses.  Discuss the interaction of the character with their audience.  

Online Journal Assignment 

(FEB 28, 2013)
Reading Comprehension 

The Naked Voice: An Interview with Patsy Rodenburg
By Randy Gener
American Theatre Journal, January 2010

Directions: Read the article linked above.  While you are reading, copy, paste, and answer the following questions in your Google Doc Journal.  Each question deserves at least one complete sentence.

Patsy Rodenburg's "Three Circles of Concentration" are similar to Stanislavsky's "Circles of Attention".  One key difference is found in her focus on the voice.

1. Define First Circle according to the text

2. Define Third Circle according to the text

3. Define Second Circle according to the text

4. What does the author of this article refer to as "the bread-and-butter of the trained actor?"

5. How can anyone (non-professionals, businesspersons, etc) build their own presence?

6. Rodenburg believes we’re all born with this quality of presence, but it gets lost.  How and why?

7. What aspects of performance work that involve voice does she touch on in her five books?

8. Why does Rodenburg believe that actors during the Elizabethan era might not have needed a voice coach to build vocal athleticism, but that actors often do today?

9. What is a "naked voice" according to Rodenburg?

10. Why might Rodenburg say to an actor, “Lie on the floor”?

11. Rodenburg says she's a "pragmatist".  When does she says that the voice will work for you without training?

12. What is "it"? (As in he hasn't got "it".)


Monologue Reflective Response:

The Task

Write a reflective response answering three questions with at least one paragraph per question. Your responses should be submitted in your drama journal Google doc under the heading Monologue Reflection.  The questions are as follows:

1) Describe your progress as an actor so far. (Compare and contrast your skills and abilities now with 6 months ago.) Think about the areas of Voice & Breathing, Memorization Skills, Character Work (Method Acting). 

2) Identify your strengths & weaknesses as an actor.

3) What feedback (positive or negative critique) did you find most useful?



A Mini-Unit

Improvisation Assignment from “The Stage and The School” Textbook

1) Read pages 7-18, the chapter on “Improvisation”.  

2) Define or discuss, using only the assigned reading in the book, the following terms or concepts in your Google Doc Journal:



     "illusion of the first time", 

     "is" rather than "pretending to be", 

     "do nothing", 




     "stay in character", 

     motivated sequence, 

     "play the character down"

3) Find and attempt three of the "exercises" described in the text on pages 10-17.  Write about your experience in your Google Doc Journal.


Musical Theatre Unit

Introductory Presentation: 

introtomusicaltheatre.pdf introtomusicaltheatre.pdf
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Video Resource:

Watch and take notes in your journal... 

The Story of Musicals (BBC) - Youtube Playlist

Fiddler on the Roof

Assessment Task 1: Dramaturgy 

Due By May 13

Download the questions for this task here and paste them into your Google Doc Journal.

Part 1- Finish watching "Fiddler on the Roof"  

The film has been uploaded onto You Tube and can be accessed through a link here:  

Fiddler on the Roof - Youtube Full Length Film

When you are finished answer the related questions on the Dramaturgy Worksheet. 

Part 2 - A Biography of Shalom Aleichem: 
Read the following.  

"Shalom Aleichem" By Daniel Septimus,

When you are finished answer the related questions on the Dramaturgy Worksheet.  

Part 3 - Life in the Shtetl:

Read the following.

"The Shtetl" by Temple Emanu-El of San Jose
Map of the Pale of Settlement and Other Images

When you are finished answer the related questions on the Dramaturgy Worksheet.  

Part 4 - Personal Stories:

Choose one of Ms. Helberg's stories from her index, Mr. Kornblau's memoir, or the excerpt from Ms. Antin.  

"Life in the Shtetl - Earlient Years" by Joseph Kornblau
"The Promised Land" by Mary Antin

When you are finished answer the related questions on the Dramaturgy Worksheet. 

Complete Musicals on You Tube:

Watch and review one of these by May 16!

Jesus Christ Superstar



Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

My Fair Lady



Thoroughly Modern Millie


Writing a Theatre Review   

Below are some resources for you to draw from for writing a theatre review.  There really is no one way to write one, but you should select from these resources the format that you choose to use, or use the format we brainstormed in class.  

1) Each of you are responsible for writing a review of the production of a play in English at the High School, College, or Professional Level.  You should have viewed this production between Jan 1 and June 1, 2013.  "Into the Woods" and the spring comedy production are great options for this assignment.  For full credit submit your review in your Google doc journal and hand in your ticket stub, a program of the play, or a signed note from someone who accompanied you to the production verifying your attendance. Due By May 22

2) You will be asked to write a review of one of the above musicals on You Tube as part of your Musical Theatre final exam.  You may take notes on the film and bring those notes with you to the exam. Due By May 16

ReviewWorksheet.pdf ReviewWorksheet.pdf
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CritiqueFormatChart.pdf CritiqueFormatChart.pdf
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Les Miserables

Musical Theatre Performance Experience

Spring Comedy Performance

History Class (Jerry Seinfeld)

Useful Links:

A YouTube clip of "One Day More".  The portions you are singing begin at 2:21 and again at 3:10

A link to the YouTube clip of the "Do You Hear the People Sing/Finale".  The portion you are singing begins at 7:25. 

The Polish "One More Day" flash mob we watched in class.

The entire "Les Miserables" 10th Anniversary Performance done in concert style in October of 1995 at the Royal Albert Hall, London.


Final Reflection  Due By May 22

To be completed in your Google Doc Journal after your second public performance ("Into the Woods" or the Spring Comedy on May 21.

1. Besides by acting, in what ways have you contributed to your group’s scene work or the play as a whole?

2. Identify some things that seem similar between you (or someone you know) and the character you play.

3. How did your work as an actor help the audience understand the message or comedy of the play?

4. Describe what you have learned are your strengths as an actor.  

5. Describe what you have learned are areas you can still improve on. 

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