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Spring 2010


11:15a-12:35p MW


             This course is designed to help the actor develop physical movement skills that can be applied to theatrical performance. 
             The actor will learn to construct a character using specific tools and techniques provided in class.
             The actor will be able to identify discrete theatrical genres (including Realism, Greek, Physical Comedy and Post-Modern theatre) and recognize the inherent performance and movement requirements of each.
             The actor will explore and practice multi-cultural and diverse movement forms including but not limited to martial arts, and multi-cultural forms of dance-drama.
             The actor will understand and apply physical and theatrical concepts such as Psychological Gesture, and Gestus to their performance.
             The actor will learn to embody creative expression by stretching the imagination and tapping into unexplored areas of expression.
             The actor will find unique, and unorthodox ways to approach a role.

    Recommended: On the Technique of Acting by Michael Chekhov
    Recommended: Acting With Style by John Harrop and Sabin Epstein

There will be a written exam as shown in syllabus. Green Scantron sheet (882) & #2 pencil required.

                 Cheating will not be tolerated.

            A Journal must be maintained and submitted every other Wednesday, starting 2/24/10. Each entry must be numbered and about a page in length. The journal must reflect your understanding of the material presented and your incorporation of this material in your performance work. Journal entries must be typed or neatly handwritten and numbered and submitted on a separate sheet of paper. You will have a total of 8 journal entries. You may choose to email your journals to me with your name and journal number listed in the subject line.

            Attendance at SMC Main Stage Theatre productions is mandatory. A 2-3  page paper on the production is required (typed, double line spaced, using 12 point font), due as assigned on syllabus. Guidelines for writing paper will be provided. Please refer to grading table for percentage of grade allotted to your paper. Please note: Plagiarism or any other kind of cheating (including collaboration) in writing the paper will result in the highest form of disciplinary action against the students involved.  Attendance at two Studio Stage productions is mandatory. Please see under "Studio Stage productions" for details.

MAIN STAGE productions:
            1) KING HEDLEY II

You are advised to purchase your tickets in advance and rearrange your work schedule if necessary, as no excuse for missing these productions is acceptable! It will affect your grade! 

Please obtain a Student Attendance Card when you enter the theatre. Fill it out and submit it to the house staff as you leave at the end of the performance. This will be a record of your attendance. Late arrivals and early exits will be noted.

STUDIO STAGE productions:
Attendance is required. No papers are required. There will be no late seating for Studio Stage productions.
            1) PROOF
2) Musical Theatre Workshop

Extra credit will be given for attendance. No paper is required.

            1) TA 44 - ACTING, HISTORICAL STYLES (late)



Attendance in the class is mandatory. Since it is a learn-by-doing class, it is absolutely essential that you attend all sessions. I will excuse you from class for the following three reasons only: (1) illness (2) car trouble (3) legal matters. These must be supported by written documentation.  No unexcused absences will be allowed. Tardiness may result in being recorded as an absence. Please do not plan appointments during class hours.
Please Note:  The instructor is not responsible for dropping you.  If you choose to drop the class, please make sure you do so yourself. For deadlines, please refer to Dates and Deadlines.

    Clothes:  Please wear workout clothes - comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely and are within the bounds of common decency. No jeans or skirts. From time to time you may be asked to bring clothing appropriate for a particular movement or theatrical style. Please wear black or other dark clothing for Parts II and IV of this course.
    Footwear:  Please wear thin shoes - jazz or ballet shoes are appropriate. Being barefoot or just wearing socks is okay. No heavy sneakers or any other kind of footwear will be allowed. Inexpensive dance shoes ($10) can be purchased at Danny's Warehouse (5701 West Adams Bl, Los Angeles 90016, 323.954.8973, 9a-5p M-F).
    Masks:  Masks will be used for parts II and III of this course. You are required to purchase two white neutral masks (male or female). They may be purchased (approx. $4-$5 each) at the following locations:
    1)    Make Believe (3240 Pico, Santa Monica 90405, 310.396.6785)
    2)    Robinson's Beautilities (12320 Venice Bl, Los Angeles 90066, 310.398.5757)
    3)    Shelly's Studio Boutique (2089 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310.475.1400)

        Class Participation                                                20%
(includes attendance, enthusiasm, active participation and journal maintenance)
        Script #1 & 2 Presentations                                  20%
        Physical Comedy & Brecht Presentations           20%
        Written Exam                                                        10%
        Production Papers                                                 30%


                        91% +                A            
81% - 90%        B
71% - 80%        C
                        61% - 70%        D
Below 61%        F


Students assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate for an educational institution. Please follow rules below diligently. No exceptions will be allowed.

   1)      No eating or drinking in classrooms, lobbies or hallways.

   2)      No damage to property in class. This means you cannot throw or kick furniture in your scenes. Also, please do not use liquids in your scenes.

   3)      For scenes, no partial or full nudity allowed. Also, please wear clothing appropriate to your character, and within the boundaries of common decency.

   4)      Please remove any violence from scenes. I will help you cut the scene if required. Absolutely no use of guns, knives or any weapon in scenes, not even toy weapons.  I'll stop the scene and give you a failing grade if that happens.

   5)      If you have any disability that does not allow you to participate fully in class, please let me know so that I can make appropriate adjustments for you.

   6)      Please turn off all cell phones. You may not receive or make phone calls during class. No text messaging during class.

   7)      No cheating of any kind is allowed. Please refer to student conduct  guidelines.

   8)      No disruption during class is allowed. Please refer to student conduct  guidelines.

   9)      No visitors are allowed in class except at the discretion of the instructor.

 10)      Please do not enter / leave the classroom while a performance is going on in class.

 11)     Please maintain proper business etiquette when communicating with, or about the instructor in person or via any electronic or other means.



(The instructor reserves the right to make changes to this schedule.)

This course is divided into four parts as outlined in the description given below. Each class is divided into two segments. The first segment involves physical exercises including warm-ups, floor work, strength, stretch and endurance exercises, movement progressions, preparing the actor for the diversity of physical demand in performance. Also included in the first part are dance and other movement forms including but not limited to Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Bharata Natyam & Martial Arts.

The second segment includes exploratory and character work involving various theatrical and movement styles. Text work may also be included from time to time. Solo or group performances will be presented during class by the student.



1 2/17 W

Introduction. Alignment. Warm-up: Isolations.

2 2/22 M

Physical warm-up. Animal image. 

3 2/24 W

Movement routines/progressions. Start script exploration: Physicalizing Colored Words. 
Journal #1 due.

4 3/1 M Script exploration continues: Psychological Gesture.
5 3/3 W Movement routines / progressions. Script exploration.
6 3/8 M

Script #1 Presentation due: Physicalizing Colored Words.

7 3/10 W

Script #1 Replay: Physicalizing Colored Words.
Journal #2 due.

 Please wear black clothing for this section. Mask required.
 8 3/15 M

Movement routines / progressions. Introduction to stylized movement: Greek script exploration.

9 3/17 W

Movement routines / progressions. Stylized movement continues.
Greek script exploration: Emotional Abhinaya.

10 3/22 M

Movement routines / progressions. Stylized movement continues. Greek script exploration.

11 3/24 W

Stylized movement continues. Script exploration.
Journal #3 due.

12 3/29 M

Stylized movement continues. Script exploration.

13 3/31 W Stylized movement continues. Script exploration.
Discuss KING HEDLEY II paper guidelines.
14 4/5 M Greek Script Presentation with Mask due.
15 4/7 W Greek Script Replay with Mask due. 
Journal # 4 due.
4/12-4/18: SPRING BREAK - No Classes
Please wear clothing in bright primary/secondary colors. Mask required.
16 4/19 M

Introduction to Physical Comedy. Improvisations. 
KING HEDLEY II paper due. No late papers!

17 4/21 W Comedy continues. Improvisations.
18 4/26 M

Commedia del l'arte. Character improvisations.

19 4/28 W

Commedia del l'arte. Character improvisations.
Journal #5 due.

20 5/3 M

Commedia del l'arte. Scenario improvisations.

21 5/5 W Commedia del l'arte. Scenario improvisations.
22 5/10 M Physical Comedy character Presentation due. Mask Required
23 5/12 W Physical Comedy character Replay due. Mask Required
Journal #6 due.
Please wear dark clothing.
24 5/17 M

Introduction to Post Modern drama: Brecht: Verfremdungs Effekt.
Discuss DAMN YANKEES paper guidelines.

25 5/19 W Brecht: Verfremdungs Effekt.
26 5/24 M Brecht:  Verfremdungs Effekt. Introducing Gestus.
27 5/26 W Brecht:  Gestus.
Journal #7 due.
  5/31 M HOLIDAY - No Classes
28 6/2 W Written Exam Review. Brecht. Scene explorations.
DAMN YANKEES paper due. No late papers!
29 6/7 M

Written Exam. Bring green Scantron (882 E) & #2 pencil. Brecht scene explorations.
Journal #8 due.

30 6/14 M

12:00 pm to 3:00 pm: Final Scene Performance: Brecht.

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