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Advanced Problems in Stage Movement

Course Code: THEA 1271
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 movement for the actor. It continues the exploration and development of the body as an instrument for theatrical creativity and interpretation. A greater understanding of character physicalization in relation to acting is emphasized. Work in dance techniques and stylized movement is also included.

Course Content

  1. Body Awareness and Exploration
    Alignment; centering; breath; physical conditioning; disciplined warm-up regimen; greater emotional connection to movement; more powerful and relaxed vocal connection to movement.
  2. Movement Techniques
    Movement Concepts; Yoga; Abstract and Symbolic Movement; Laban; Feldenkrais; Alexander Technique; Contact Improv; Stage Fighting.
  3. Character Development Through Physicalization
    Laban Character exploration; environmental character studies; improvisation; self story and embellishment; scene study work.
  4. Dance Technique
    Introduction of a dance technique such as ballet, modern, jazz, folk, tap.
  5. The Actor’s Body on Stage
    Relaxation; presence; energy; tasking; different spaces, different truths; styles of movement.

Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures to illustrate physiology and the philosophy behind physical and vocal impulse.
  2. Lectures to illustrate movement and dance techniques.
  3. Lectures to encourage interesting character exploration and the sources available to the actor.
  4. Introduction of additional warm-up exercises to encourage good physical preparation.
  5. Practical application of acquired body techniques to text including poems, plays, self story, film scripts, prose, songs and choreographed pieces.
  6. Discussion of material and presentations in a manner that encourages constructive criticism.
  7. Video and audio tapings of rehearsals, exercises and performances in order to allow the student the opportunity for self-observation, analysis, and evaluation.
  8. Public performances of selected projects to ensure the body techniques are efficiently and effectively maintained under the pressure of audience observation.

Means of Assessment

Attendance (10%)
Attendance and punctuality is mandatory in this course. Therefore, the following penalties will apply: 3% of the final mark lost per missed class and .5% lost per late class.

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

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 and levels of awareness.

Presented Work (60%)
Students will be assessed on their individual progress towards achieving course objectives and completing assignments with regard to presented work.

  • 2 assignments x 15%
  • 3 assignments x 10%
  • 1 assignment x 5%
  • or other appropriate breakdown as determined by the instructor.

Written Exam  (10%)
An Exam will be given towards the end of term on theory and related term discussions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the successful student should:

  1. Design his/her own personal warm-up regime
  2. Understand the technique of various new movement methods for use in character development as related to acting
  3. Continue to expand his/her movement vocabulary
  4. Continue to develop a greater kinesthetic sense
  5. Develop, explore and acquire a vocabulary in dance/movement techniques.

course prerequisites

THEA 1171


THEA 1210 and THEA 1211

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.