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Voice & Movement on Stage

Course Code: THEA 2311
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Theatre
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

This course is a practical workshop in the use of body/voice as an instrument for theatrical creativity and interpretation. It is designed to reinforce the vocal and physical tools already acquired by the student actor and to guide the integration of these techniques into the reactive dramatic situation in order to find the organic reality of a character.

Course Content


Students will understand the continuous nature of the actor’s work through review of techniques and deeper development of the body/voice instrument so as to be effective and flexible enough to meet a wide range of theatrical demands. Physiology, breath, sound, resonance, range, articulation, speech sounds, impulse, kinesthetics, gesture, action, rhythm, space, time and mask will all be investigated at a new and deeper level.


Students will apply the voice to dance improvisation to find freedom and spontaneity in the use of the vocal and physical instrument and to explore the internal/external and individual/world relationships.


Students will explore components that contribute to the development of character through:

  1. Voice
    • breath centre
    • resonating centre
    • vocal range
    • dialect
    • speech sounds
    • verbal energy
  2. Movement
    • body centre
    • gesture and walk
    • animal essence
    • facial mask
    • action verb essence
    • energy essence

Creative Work

Students will write, compile, and choreograph short dramatic pieces through which they will be encouraged to make use of the body/voice as the major instrument for individual creative expression.

Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures to illustrate the physiology and philosophy behind vocal and physical impulse as transmitted from thought, feeling, breath, sound and motion.
  2. Warm-up exercises to encourage good vocal and physical preparation for work.
  3. Practical application of techniques to material from poems, plays, prose, songs and choreographed pieces. Special attention will be paid to the creation of original work, both written and choreographed.
  4. Discussion of material and presentations in a manner that encourages positive objectives of the dramatic piece.

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 Journal   (10%)

Students are expected to keep a journal for the class. The journal should contain a daily account of class work, the lesson for each session, and reflections with regard to these. Special consideration will be given to “creative” journal application and the ability to find the relationship between class work and its application to acting and real life situations/experiences.

Attitude / Participation / Progress   (15%)

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 and levels of awareness, as demonstrated by the ability to develop a personal warm-up regimen.

Presented and Written Work   (55%)

Students will be assessed on their individual progress toward achieving course objectives and completing assignments with regard to presented work. (Presentations will be of prepared work from plays, poems, prose pieces and original work and should demonstrate awareness and employ newly developed technique.)

  • 4 x 10%
  • 1 x 15%
  • or other appropriate breakdown as determined by the instructor.

Final Exam   (10%)

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply effective vocal and physical technique for characterization and character intention
  2. Energize sound (both verbal and vocal) with a relaxed instrument to shape impulse into improvisation
  3. Explore the use of improvisation mythology (or appropriate alternate) to create original dramatic pieces that challenge the use of the body/voice as a dramatic instrument
  4. Use technical exercises to deepen individual exploration and to design a disciplined warm-up regime.

course prerequisites

THEA 1110, THEA 1111, THEA 1210, THEA 1211, THEA 1171, THEA 1271


THEA 2310

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.