SRJC Course Outlines

7/24/2024 9:43:03 PMTHAR 10B Course Outline as of Spring 2019

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  THAR 10BTitle:  SCENE STUDY & CHARACTER  
Full Title:  Scene Study and Characterization
Last Reviewed:5/14/2018

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled2.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled35.00
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled3.0014 min.Lab Scheduled52.50
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total5.00 Contact Total87.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  70.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade Only
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
Untitled document
An intensive acting study of characterization focusing on psychological, physical, and vocal techniques, as exhibited through modern/contemporary scene work.  The course focuses on Stanislavski-influenced theoretical methods and script analysis, as well as an introduction to the business of acting.  Attendance at one or more SRJC Theatre Arts productions is required.

Course Completion of THAR 10A

Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
An intensive acting study of characterization focusing on psychological, physical, and vocal techniques, as exhibited through modern/contemporary scene work.  The course focuses on Stanislavski-influenced theoretical methods and script analysis, as well as an introduction to the business of acting.  Attendance at one or more SRJC Theatre Arts productions is required.
(Grade Only)

Prerequisites:Course Completion of THAR 10A
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Spring 1988Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Spring 1988Inactive:
 CID Descriptor: THTR 152 Acting II SRJC Equivalent Course(s): THAR10B

Certificate/Major Applicable: Both Certificate and Major Applicable


Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
Untitled document
1. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to develop, rehearse, and perform a
variety of roles in scenes and monologues from modern realistic plays, creating distinct and
believable characterizations through the application of physical and vocal techniques,
script analysis, research, and varied acting methodologies.

Objectives: Untitled document
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
1.   Effectively analyze and interpret a script; identify and expand upon a script's
      character details and given circumstances in the development and performance
      of a role.
2.   Implement the major principles of Stanislavski-based acting theory in the analysis,
      rehearsal, and performance of a truthful and dynamic portrayal.
3.   Perform a variety of characters from realistic plays; explore characters both within and
      outside type (age, physical type, etc.) in order to stretch the student's ability to develop
      authentic characterizations that lie outside his/her personal experience.
4.   Research a role and synthesize the research results in the development of a character.
5.   Explore a variety of acting methods through the use of representative exercises and
      rehearsal tools.
6.   Employ direct observation of a life model in the development of a role, embodying the
      person observed through physical and vocal adaptations.
7.   Exhibit audition skills, including the selection, preparation, and performance of a contrasting
      monologue package that showcases the actor's skills, range, and self-awareness of type.
8.   Expand vocal and physical flexibility and control, including the ability to redirect physical
      hypertension into productive performance energy; utilize warm-ups as mental, physical,
      and vocal preparation for rehearsal and performance.
9.   Develop and exhibit basic skills in psychological, physical, and vocal characterization.
10. Observe and objectively critique performances in writing and class discussions; distinguish
      between acting that is truthful and that which is mechanical, forced and/or self-conscious.
11. Accurately use theatre terminology and acting vocabulary in a variety of circumstances,
      including class discussions, analysis documentation, scene rehearsals, and critiques.
12. Stage partnered scenes, applying a working knowledge of basic blocking concepts and
       incorporating motivated movement and business within a floor plan.
13. Cultivate organizational skills as a beginning actor, rehearsing independently outside of
      class and completing other responsibilities in the preparation of a role for
14. Collaborate with one or more partners in the rehearsal, preparation, and performance of
      partnered scenes.
15. Demonstrate an introductory understanding of the business of acting, including recognition
      of key tools, unions, training paths, and resources; compile an acting resume according to
      a professional format.

Topics and Scope
Untitled document
[Note:  While all content listed below is introduced during this course, some subtopics
may only be touched on briefly, whereas others will be covered in more depth.  Instructors
may change the chronological order of topics and subtopics, as well as determine degree
of subtopic emphasis to suit student needs and his/her individual teaching style.]
I.  Introduction
    A. Making a first impression
    B. Learning to multi-task (an essential skill for an actor)
    C. Techniques for giving and receiving criticism
    D. Maintaining an actor's notebook
    E. What a focused study of acting requires
II. The Business of Acting*
    A. Self-marketing tools
         1. Acting resumes (purpose, content, and format)
         2. Headshots (types, shoots, and selection)
    B. Actor resources
         1. Publications
         2. Organizations
         3. Unions, agents, casting directors, and managers
    C. The life of a working actor
    D. Training and education
    E. Alternative career paths for actors
III. Auditioning
    A. Monologues
         1. How to find audition monologues
         2. Selecting material that works for you
         3. Establishing a monologue morgue
         4. Staging and presenting a monologue in an audition
    B. Contrasting audition packages
         1. What makes a good contrasting package?
         2. Selecting material that works for you
         3. Staging and presenting a contrasting package
    C. Cold reading techniques
    D. Other types of auditions (musicals, etc.)
    E. Audition etiquette and protocol       
IV. What's My Type?
    A. Type casting and character types
    B. Identifying your type and your range
    C. Embracing your type and making it work for you
V. Developing the Actor's Instrument:  The Mind
    A. Mental warmups
    B. Trust and risk
    C. Self-perceptions
    D. Enhancing inner resources
         1. Focus and concentration
         2. Awareness and self-awareness
         3. Sensory awareness, recall, and imagery
         4. Memory and emotional recall
         5. Personalizing and substitution
         6. Tapping into the imagination
         7. The mind/body connection
    E. Leaving the role 'at the office'
VI. Developing the Actor's Instrument: The Body
    A. The "physical recipe"
         1. Breathing
         2. Alignment and silhouette
          3. Balance
         4. Center - where we lead from
         5. Movement - tempo, rhythm, energy, directness, etc.
    B. Physical Awareness
         1. Analyzing one's habits, adaptions and 'cultural binding'
         2. Diagnosing physical tension and self-consciousness
    C. Physical performance and characterization techniques
         1. Balance and centering
         2. Expanding flexibility  and clarity of gesture
         3. Physical neutrality
         4. Psychological gesture
         5. Sustaining performance energy and 'relaxed readiness'
         6. Changing centers
         7. Using abstraction (e.g. animals, objectives, etc.) to develop character
         8. Direct observation
    D. Physical warmups - function and types of exercises
    E. Types of physical training methods (e.g. Laban, Alexander, etc.)
VII. Developing the Actor's Instrument: The Voice
    A. The "vocal recipe"
         1. Articulation
         2. Projection and volume
         3. Quality or tone
         4. Pitch or range
         5. Pronunciation
              a. Dialects and accents
              b. Speech impediments
         6. Tempo and rhythm; rate
         7. Word choice and non-verbals
    B. Vocal Awareness
         1. Analyzing one's habits, adaptions and "cultural binding"
         2. Diagnosing vocal tension and self-consciousness
    C. Vocal performance and characterization techniques
          1. Expanding diaphragmatic breathing
         2. Relationship of physical and vocal elements
         3. Enhancing vocal variety
         4. Working with text (operative words, upward inflection, etc.)
    D. Vocal health
    E. Special vocal demands (e.g. screams, crying, etc.)
    F. Vocal warmups - function and types of exercise
    G. Types of vocal training and methods (e.g. Linklater, Berry, etc.)
VIII. Delving Deeper into Stanislavski-Based Character Development
    A. Psychological character development techniques
    B. Relationships
         1. Status
         2. Other aspects of relationships
    C. Objectives
    D. Obstacles
    E. Strategies, tactics and units of action (beats)
    F. Text, subtext and interior monologue
    G. Working with the ten system steps
         1. Given circumstances
         2. The "Magic If" and Super Objective
         3. Through-line of actions and scoring the role
         4. Endowment, recall, and images
         5. External adjustment and the creative mood
    H. Applying intention and motivation to an open scene script
IX. Working With a Script
    A. The world of the play
    B. Research techniques for an actor
    C. Analyzing a script
    D. Preparing a rehearsal script
    E. Scoring a script
X.  Interpretive Techniques and Challenges
    A. Internal vs external character development
    B. Playing a character out of type
    C. Playing a character very similar to you
     D. When a character's values/beliefs are very different from your own
    E. Balancing truth and technique
    F. Believability - "performing a role" vs. being a role
XI. Rehearsal Preparation and Process
    A. Researching a role
    B. Motivating blocking and making dynamic staging choices
    C. Developing business and bits
    D. Memorizing and rehearsing lines
    E. Working with a director, teacher or coach
    F. Working with a scene partner
XII. Expanding Your Rehearsal Process
    A. Rehearsal improvisations, exercises, and development tools
    B. Endowing props and working with costumes
    C. Expanding characterization choices (physical, vocal)
    D. Commitment - raising the stakes and getting past "the wall"
    E. Types of creative character development projects (optional)
XIII. Brief Overview of Other Acting Theories and Methods
    A. Offshoots of Stanislavski (e.g. "The Method", Michael Chekhov, Meisner, etc.)
    B. New theories and methods (e.g. Viewpoints, Suzuki, etc.)
XIV. Special Performance Skills and Situations (Optional Topics)
    A. Working in thrust and arena spaces
    B. Handling scenes requiring intimacy
    C. Basic unarmed combat techniques
    D. The differences between stage acting and acting for the camera
    E. Other special performance skills and situations
All topics above are covered in both lecture and lab portions of the course, except those
topics marked with asterisks.  Those marked topics are only covered in lecture.

Untitled document
Lecture and Lab Related Homework and Assignments:
This class requires approximately four-five hours per week of homework
and out-of-class rehearsal for performance assignments.
Reading Homework
 The student will read approx. 20-40 pages per week from the following:
      A.  Textbook, course reader, and/or other instructor prepared materials.
      B.  Three to five scripts (including 1 for Class scene, 1 for Risk scene and 1-2 for
                   contrasting monologue package).
Performance Assignments
    Students will complete 4-6 partnered and solo performance assignments. All performance
    assignments will incorporate physical and vocal characterization techniques.
    Scene Study Assignments
    Assignments may vary, but will include the following criteria:
               1.  Students will complete a minimum of three partnered scenes.
               2.  One partnered scene will be from an assigned play selected by
                     the instructor for the entire class.  Assignment will focus on
                     script analysis, researching the world of the play, given circumstances,
                     and collaboration with others in developing characterization within a
                     larger context.  (May also introduce one or more special skills, such
                     as dialect work.)
               3.  At least one partnered scene will focus on applying Stanislavski-based
                     techiques, psychological character development, and motivated action.
               4.  At least one partnered scene will require the actor to play a character within
               5.  At least one partnered scene will require the actor to play against type.
               Recommmended criteria for scripted scene assignments:
               1.  From a published stage play or open scene script (aka Chekovian script)
               2.  Acting style of scene - realism
               3.  From a modern or contemporary play, preferably written after 1940
               4.  Recommended length:
                        a.  2-person scene:  2-5 minutes
                        b.  3-person scene:  4-7 minute
              Scene Study Examples:
            A.  Open Scene - With a partner, develop the given circumstances for a
                 scene using a short Open Scene script, applying Stanislavski-based
                 techiques and focusing on psychological character development and
                 motivated action.  Prepare, memorize, rehearse, and perform the
                 scene.  (Recommended length:  2 minutes)
                       Documentation:  Brief character profile, given circumstances,
                        and scene breakdown (intentions moment-by-moment)
             B.  Class Play Scene - Prepare, memorize, rehearse, and perform a role in
                 a partnered scene from an assigned modern/contemporary play,
                 selected by the instructor for the entire class.
                        Documentation: Character profile, creative project, or character
                        analysis, and/or scored script.
            C.  Actor's Risk Scene - Prepare, memorize, rehearse and perform a role in
                 a partnered scene from a stage play that presents the actor with a
                 significant identified risk (e.g. playing out of type).
                        Documentation: Character analysis, and/or scored script.       
      Contrasting Monologue Package  
      Select, memorize, rehearse, and perform a contrasting monologue package,
      presenting it in an audition format.  Intended to be a culminating performance
      assignment, demonstrating the student's ability to apply vocal and physical
      characterization and performance skills in the portrayal of two contrasting
      characters within the student's type and range.
                 1.  Recommmended criteria for monologue selection:
                       a.  One must be from a published play. The other may be from a play
                             or another source (screenplay, literature, self-written, etc.).
                       b.  Preferred acting style of monologues - realism
                       c.  From a modern or contemporary play or other source, preferably
                            written after 1940
                       d.  Length of Monologue Package:  2-3 minutes maximum  
                  2.  Monologue selections:  Students are expected to find monologues
                       independently, subject to instructor approval.
                 3.   Documentation:  Possible character profiles in notebook
     Optional Physical/Vocal Performance Assignments - Examples
               A.  Original Monologue Assignment:
                   Perform an original 1-2 minute monologue, drawn from interviews and
                   detailed observation of a fellow classmate of the same gender, embodying
                    his/her physical, vocal and behavioral attributes while discarding one's own.
                         Documentation:  Personal profile, physical profile, vocal profile
              B.  Leading a Warmup:
                   Outline and lead a physical and/or vocal warmup, demonstrating knowledge
                   of warmup techniques and their benefits. (May collaborate with classmate)
                         Documentation:  Warmup outline
Production Attendance as Homework
  Attend 1-3 Theatre Arts Department productions; participate in class discussion
    regarding the acting demands within each production and their relationship to course
    content.  Students receive a free ticket for each SRJC production; they select their
   own performance date and provide their own transportation.
Written Assignments      
       A.  1-2 written Character Analysis assignments (for scenes and/or monologue package)
      B.  1-2 script scoring assignments (for scenes and/or monologue package)
      C.  Actor's Notebook:  Compilation of written exercises, class and rehearsal notes,
             observation notes on peers' work and thoughts on the artform.  Purpose is to
            chart and reflect on the progress made during the semester.
      D.  2-8 brief written exercises, usually part of preparation for performance
                  1.  Acting resume (draft and final)
                  2.  Physical profile (analysis of one's own physical traits and patterns)
                  3.  Vocal profile (analysis of one's own vocal traits and patterns)
                  4.  1-3 SRJC production critiques (analyzing the acting in the shows;
                        may be entries in notebook instead)
Quizzes and Exam
      A.  Approx. 6-10 quizzes on assigned reading to assess comprehension and
            application; may be in-class or take-home quizzes, or may take the form
            of a take-home reading assessment exercise.
      B.  In-class exam on acting terminology and concepts; exam may or may not
            be given as a final.
Professionalism and Attendance
Adhere to the following standards of acting professionalism throughout the course:
       A.  Arrive promptly and prepared for all class meetings, outside rehearsals,
           and performances.
      B.  Maintain an amiable and supportive attitude when interacting with
           other members of the performance ensemble.
      C.  Participate actively in class discussions and exercises.
      D.  Work collaboratively with scene partners.
      E.  Perform each role in a conscientious and dedicated manner.
      F.  Strive to maintain good health and safety practices.
      G.  Follow the terms of the course syllabus.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
15 - 25%
Written homework; Character analyses; Script scoring; Notebook
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
60 - 75%
Performance assignments
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
5 - 15%
Terms and concepts exam; Quizzes and/or reading assessments
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
5 - 10%
Professionalism (includes attendance, preparation, effort)

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
Untitled document
Acting: Onstage and Off. 7th ed. Barton, Robert. Cengage. 2016
Respect for Acting. 2nd ed. Hagen, Uta. Wiley. 2008 (classic)
Scripts for selected scenes
Instructor prepared materials

Print PDF