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Acting for the Stage: Level II

Course Code: THEA 1210
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Theatre
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: Winter
course overview

This course continues to explore the actor’s internal and external resources for the creation of character. Students participate in scenes and dramatic exercises with emphasis on script analysis and acting styles appropriate to specific plays, playwrights and genres.

Course Content

Students will continue to become familiar with the internal and external resources available to the actor for the effective creation of character. They will learn specific techniques for script analysis. They will learn specific terminology and vocabulary appropriate to the acting profession including terms and definitions relating to specific historical and contemporary acting styles. Students will learn to apply appropriate resources to the development and playing of characters from specific historical and contemporary acting genres.

  1. Script analysis
    • finding the playwright’s basic meaning
    • interpreting the lines
    • finding the event structure
  2. Speaking the lines
    • understanding the words
    • motivating the lines
    • handling long speeches, finding beats and transitions
    • memorizing the lines
  3. Stage terminology
    • stage directions
    • stage areas
    • actor’s positions
    • stage movement
  4. Historical & Contemporary Styles (specific genres to be selected by the instructor and included on course outline)
    • Greek
    • Shakespeare
    • Comedy of Manners
    • Farce
    • Realism – Ibsen, Chekov, Synge, Williams
    • Absurdists and PostRealism – Pinter, Mamet, Beckett
    • Epic Theatre – Brecht
    • Physical Metaphor – Artaud, Grotowski
    • Canadian Content

Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures will introduce the theoretical aspects of stage acting including detailed examination of specific 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 individually as well as in small and large groups in the preparation and performance of a number of short acting projects. Students will rehearse and perform monologues and scenes from plays and playwrights with regard to their specific historical or contemporary relationship to changing acting styles.

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 shall be determined by the instructor but shall 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%)

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this 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, including script analysis techniques
  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.

course prerequisites

THEA 1110 or permission of instructor


THEA 1211, THEA 1271

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.