Acting for the Stage: Level 1

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
THEA 1110
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course is an exploration of the actor’s internal and external resources for the creation of character. Students participate in scenes and dramatic exercises with emphasis on awareness, prepared improvisation, speech, and movement.
Course Content

Students will become familiar with the internal and external resources available to the actor for the effective creation of character.  They will learn specific terminology and vocabulary appropriate to the acting profession including terms and definitions of elements of theatre buildings, historical and contemporary acting styles, costumes, make-up, and stage properties.  They will learn to apply appropriate resources to the development and playing of characters in performance situations.

  1. Exploring an actor’s personal resources (imagination, sense memory, concentration, emotional recall)
  2. The Actor and His Purpose
  • Acting by doing not being
  • Finding the intention
  • Working against an obstacle
  • Finding truth in action
  • Making a score of physical actions
    • Beginning, middle and end of a unit or beat
  • Learning to concentrate
    • Concentrating on actions
    • Concentrating on other actors (listening)
  • Acting and Observation
    • Developing sense awareness
    • Observing people, animals and objects
  • Relating to other actors
  • Relating to objects, images and past experiences
  • Learning Activities
    1. Lectures will introduce the theoretical aspects of stage acting including the differences between various historical and contemporary acting styles.  Lectures will also include extensive use of appropriate vocabulary and terminology with respect to stage acting.
    2. In the classroom/studio, students will work on practical exercises in the development of character.  Students will be required to work in small and large groups in the preparation and performance of a number of short acting projects.
    Means of Assessment

    Attendance (10%)

    Due to the fact that this is a studio course, full attendance and regular punctuality is mandatory.  The following deductions will apply: 3% off the final mark per missed class and .5% off the final mark per late class.

    Written Journal (5%)

    Students are expected to keep a journal for this course.  Student reflections on class material, projects and exercises should be recorded at appropriate times throughout the semester.  The instructor is most interested in seeing how the student is able to express his or her understanding of how to apply the class work to practical acting events.

    Attitude/Participation/Progress (10%)

    Students are expected to approach their work in a mature and professional manner.  Promptness, out-of-class preparation, and consideration of others will be reflected in this mark.

    Students are expected to participate fully in all aspects of the work, not only as solo and/or ensemble performers but also as constructively critical audience members whose individual observations and opinions are valuable.

    Students will be assessed on an ongoing basis according to level of commitment and dedication to the process of class work and practical application of techniques.

    Presented Work (60%)

    Students will be assessed on their individual progress toward achieving course objectives with regard to presentations of some or all of the following: prepared improvisations, monologues, small and large group exercises and major performance projects.  The weighting and number of Presented Work assignments will be determined by the instructor but will correspond to the following guideline:

    • Up to 3 assignments x   5%
    • Up to 4 assignments x 10%
    • Up to 3 assignments x 15%

    Quizzes on lecture and textbook material (15%)

    Attendance 10%
    Attitude/Participation/Progress 10%
    Journal 5%
    Presented work 60%
    Quizzes 15%


    Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of the course, the successful student should be able to:

    1. develop a knowledge of internal and external resources available and necessary for the effective creation of a character
    2. learn and apply appropriate terminology and vocabulary of acting for the stage
    3. become familiar with the elements of specific historical and contemporary acting styles
    4. learn and apply specific resources to the development and effective presentation of character
    Textbook Materials

    Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

    A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided on the Instructor’s course Outline, which is available to students at the beginning of each semester. Example: Harrop, John and Epstein, Sabin R. Acting With Style.  Allyn & Bacon, 2000.



    No prerequisite courses.


    For Theatre Majors: THEA 1111, THEA 1171

    For Non-Theatre Majors: Nil


    No equivalent courses.

    Course Guidelines

    Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

    Course Transfers

    These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

    Institution Transfer Details for THEA 1110
    Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ACTR 100 (3) or CAPU ASAS 110 (3)
    Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ARTS 1XXX (3)
    Langara College (LANG) LANG ARTS 1XXX (3)
    Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU THTR 1110 (3)
    Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU THTR 161 (3)
    University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) DOUG THEA 1110 (3) & DOUG THEA 1230 (3) = UBCO THTR 1st (6)
    University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) DOUG THEA 1110 (3) & DOUG THEA 1210 (3) = UBCO THTR 1st (6)
    University of Northern BC (UNBC) No credit
    University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV THEA 111 (3)
    University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC THEA 120A (1.5)
    Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU THEA 105 (3)

    Course Offerings

    Summer 2023