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Advanced Speech for the Stage

Course Code: THEA 1211
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Theatre
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: Winter
course overview

This course is a practical workshop in advanced speech in which the student practices the basic techniques learned in THEA 1111. Emphasis will be placed on the reading and interpretation of prose, drama, and poetry.

Course Content

  1. Reinforcement
    Students will understand the continuous nature of the actor’s voice work through a review of techniques and development of the vocal instrument. Physiology, breath, sound, resonance, range, articulation, speech sounds, impulse and pacing will all be investigated. The journey will begin to create an effective and flexible voice in order to meet a wide range of theatrical demands.
  2. Character
    Students will explore vocal components that contribute to the development of character by exploring breath center, resonating center, vocal range, dialect, speech sounds and verbal energy.
  3. Dialect
    Students will learn how to approach and practice a dialect.
  4. Improvisation
    Students will start to explore the development of organic characters by creating character voices, which in turn are the impulse for the creation of character body. This is the beginning of the body/voice work.

Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures to illustrate various aspects of voice production. Particular attention will be paid to locating and encouraging the integration of the many resonating chambers within the body.
  2. Warm-up exercises to encourage good vocal and physical preparation for the work.
  3. Practical application of techniques to materials from poems, plays, prose, and songs.
  4. Discussion of material and presentations in a manner that encourages constructive criticism of the dramatic piece.
  5. Use of tape recorder and/or video for evaluation of student voices.

Means of Assessment

Attendance (10%)
Due to the fact that this is a studio course, full attendance and regular punctuality is mandatory. Therefore, the following penalties will apply:  3% of the final mark lost per class missed and .5% lost per late class.

Written Paper  (10%)
My Voice/Body: A Year’s Journey (or other topic as deemed appropriate by instructor.)

Attitude/Participation/Progress  (10%)
Students are expected to approach their work in a mature professional manner. Promptness, out-of-class preparation, and consideration for others will be reflected in this mark.
Students are expected to participate fully in all aspects of the class 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 applications of techniques and levels of awareness, as demonstrated by the ability to develop a personal warm-up regimen.

Presented Work (55%)
Students will be assessed on their individual progress towards achieving course objectives and completing assignments with regard to presented work.

Chapter Quizzes  (5%)

Final Exam  (10%)

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply improved vocal and physical techniques to create sound and speech
  2. Energize sound (both verbal and vocal) with a relaxed instrument
  3. Demonstrate improvement in oral readings or performances of selected passages of prose and poetry from both modern and classical works
  4. Demonstrate improvement in the use of stress and phrasing while reading or performing 
  5. Demonstrate improvement in placement of breath, breath control, resonance, and tone quality 
  6. Demonstrate the ability to articulate speech sounds
  7. Demonstrate an ability, where required, for improved articulation and clarity of the voice
  8. Demonstrate an ability to project the voice within a given space
  9. Continue his or her personal journey to “find the natural voice.” Emphasis will be on relaxation, sufficient breath, breath support, clarity, and impulse
  10. Energize sound (both verbal and vocal), with a relaxed instrument to shape impulse into improvisation.

course prerequisites

THEA 1111


THEA 1210 and 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.