DRAM20170 Introduction to Acting

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module introduces students to the basics of acting through a practical approach to analysing text and performing a dramatic monologue. Drawing upon approaches based in Stanislavski, Hagen, Meisner, Donnellan, and Bogart, students will learn how to carry out practice-based enquiry into dramatic text and come to a performative embodiment, conducting practical work in studio and analytical work through supported autonomous learning. Students will acquire a vocabulary of concepts that enable them to create a sense of organic connection in thrall to fictional circumstances in performance; to analyse and perform a monologue as a component part of a larger play text; and to acquire a vocabulary for the discussion of work by oneself and others. Specifically, students will examine the concept of actor and character as mutually influencing entities; fictional circumstances; the here-and-now'; intention, motivation and relationship; context and conflict; space; gesture and voice; and use of the entire instrument, including body, voice, thought and gesture. There will be an emphasis on the part of play in the actor's creative life.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
demonstrate a grasp of the process involved in analysing, exploring, rehearsing and performing a piece of dramatic text;
take some degree of ownership in crafting and performing a monologue within an audition environment;
engage in discussion with a basic analytical/practical vocabulary, having internalised key concepts in the creation of a 'character';
demonstrate a deeper, broader understanding of the actor's part in theatrical style and genre, especially in thrall to realism;
demonstrate a deeper, broader understanding of the creative process beyond the context of acting for the theatre.

Indicative Module Content:

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is run as monologue workshop, engaging in active/task-based learning, peer assessment, critical writing, reflective learning, case-based learning, and student presentations, etc. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Book Report "Audition" by Michael Shurtleff Week 5 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Monologue workshop -- second pass Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Weekly Workshop Reflective Writing -- Using the vocabulary learned in the module, students will assess the work of their peers in the weekly workshop. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Practical Examination: Students will perform their monologue for instructor and class as a final presentation. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Assignment: Monologue Workshop -- first pass Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

In the workshop environment, students will receive feedback individually and from peers. Final assessment feedback will be offered post-assessment.

Course Reading:
Bogart, Ann and Tina Landau, The Viewpoints Book (TCG, 2005)
Chekhov, Michael, To the Actor: On the technique of acting (Harper & Row, 1953)
Donnellan, Declan, The Actor and the Target (TCG, 2002)
Hagen, Uta Respect for Acting (John Wiley & Sons, 2008)
Meisner, Sanford and Dennis Longwell, Sanford Meisner on Acting (Vintage, 1987)
Konstantin Stanislavski, An Actor Prepares or An Actor’s Work (Routledge, 2010)

Recommended and Supplemental Reading:
Chamberlain, Franc, Michael Chekhov, Routledge Performance Practitioners (Routledge, 2004)
Frost, Anthony & Ralph Yarrow, Improvisation in Drama, second edition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
Merlin, Bella, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Routledge Performance Practitioners (London Routledge, 2003)
Spolin, Viola, Improvisation for the Theater, third edition (Northwestern University, 1999)
States, Bert O., Great Reckonings in Little Rooms: On the Phenomenology of Theater (University of California, 1985)

Acting (Re)Considered, ed. by Phillip B. Zarrilli (Routledge, 1995)
Actor Training, Second Edition, ed. by Alison Hodge (Routledge, 2010)
A Sourcebook on Naturalist Theatre, ed. by Christopher Innes (Routledge, 2000)