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CCOG for TA 141 Spring 2024

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Course Number:
TA 141
Course Title:
Fundamentals of Acting Techniques
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces basic theatrical acting techniques. Offers opportunity to develop critical thinking and acting skills through reading and analyzing plays. Covers and explores the beginning-level awareness of the physical and vocal skills required of a stage performer. Includes reading and analyzing plays to develop critical thinking and acting skills. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Analyze, deconstruct and reconstruct selected dramatic texts in order to prepare for future performance.
  2. Gather script data from an actor's perspective in order to rehearse a role in a play.
  3. Research cultural values in order to perform characters from varying backgrounds.
  4. Set goals both individually and collaboratively that meet established deadlines.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Acting is an inherently self reflective as well as an outward observation based craft. Therefore students undertaking the work of the actor are required (in the Signature Assignment) to consider the perspective of a character in a selected scene. During this process they must contextualize and discern specific information from the text/script to offer them a resource onstage to better create the appearance of shared fictional reality. The students THEN have a real time self-reflection opportunity once they begin the Signature Assignment. Because acting is a time based process, the student is required to respond to both internal and external assessment of their rehearsed work. The student’s evolving awareness of themself, the character, the context of the playwright’s lens, characters and the relationship to the audience are integrated and developed with each rehearsal. This process requires organizing ideas, considering their work in relation to their partner(s), their responsibility to an audience, and ultimately, after performing, reflecting on their process’s use of text, context, and subtext.

Course Activities and Design

Suggested Textbook: Since each instructor has a spectrum of foundations for this course, and the CCOG tends to lean toward a text analysis foundation, the SAC chair suggests the following books: Robert Cohen's Acting (Most recent edition), any in the Sonia Moore's "Stanislavski" series, "Backwards and Forwards by David Ball or Audition by Michael Shurtleff.  Of course, other books are certainly acceptable.  

Some instructors might also benefit from contacting a publisher to create a custom version of a book that they find useful.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

1. Appropriate use of relaxation and concentration
2. Analysis of script in preparation of a role
3. Application of theatre vocabulary
4. Critical analysis
5. Team work
1.1 Master stage directions
1.2 Evaluate performances with a supportive as well as critical eye
1.3 Determine basic character goals, obstacles, and tactics
1.4 Demonstrate basic blocking terminology
1.1 Memorize assigned/chosen scenes
1.2 Develop blocking for scenes
1.3 Rehearse with partner in preparation for performance
1.4 Practice cold reading techniques
1.1 Portray a developed character
1.2 Use the voice with projection and articulation
1.3 Display blocking choices consistent with the script
1.4 Demonstrate the partnership aspects of a scene (give-and-take)
1.5 Accept criticism and praise
1.1 Demonstrate a physical and vocal warm-up routine
1.2 Apply projection and articulation techniques in a scene
1.3 Determine necessary vigorous physical activity and apply rehearsal techniques
1.1 Write character biographies as assigned
1.2 Write critical analysis of plays as assigned