Fall 2019 - CA 150 D100

Introduction to Acting (3)

Class Number: 9856

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
    GCA 4270, GOLDCORP



An approach to the elements of acting for non-theatre performance majors. Work will include development of individual powers of expression - vocal, physical, intellectual, imaginative, and emotional. Students with credit for FPA 150 may not take this course for further credit.


An introduction to acting with a focus on developing physical presence and the individual’s creative powers of expression – vocal, physical, intellectual, imaginative, and emotional. The first half of term will focus on games and explorations that encourage creative expression, imagination, presence, relationship, and ensemble building, and on exploring the basic elements of acting. The second half of term will focus on application of these elements into self-selected individual monologues.


Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

• Participate creatively, generously, and supportively as members of an ensemble
• Take risks and move beyond their habitual comfort zone in their work
• Embody greater physical presence including greater ease of breath and body
• Demonstrate an increased range of physical and vocal creative expression
• Demonstrate an applied understanding of basic acting principles
• Demonstrate the ability to analyze a piece of dramatic text towards performance
• Demonstrate the ability to embody a character and personalize a piece of text
• Demonstrate increased confidence performing or presenting before an audience
• Demonstrate increased self-awareness, including of thoughts, feelings, bodies, breath, and imagination


  • Commitment, participation, attitude 30%
  • Progress and development 20%
  • Assignments and showings 50%



Commitment, Participation, Attitude (30%)
Attendance, curiosity, active engaged participation, willingness to explore, depth of investigation, following creative impulses, respect for peers, cooperation, leadership, willingness to take risks.

Progress & Development (20%)
Individual demonstration of understanding and progress, skill development and application.

Assignments (50%)

Reflection Papers
(5% of final grade) Due Dates: Wed Oct 16 & Wed Nov 27
An opportunity for you to reflect on your work of the term and articulate your personal discoveries, questions, observations, patterns, frustrations and joys. They may include feelings, sensations, emotions, thoughts, questions, images, and drawings. Emphasis on curiosity and detail. They may include descriptions of particular assignments or explorations and your response. You may also include relevant experiences from outside of class, or applying the work in presentations, rehearsals, etc. Please identify what you have discovered through our work together, and what is your next step, question or curiosity. It is suggested that you keep a work journal for yourself throughout the term documenting these themes that you can draw from in writing your reflection papers. The instructor respects your confidentiality. Papers will be graded on depth and detail of exploration and articulation. 2 – 3 typed double-spaced pages. Legible hand-written responses will also be accepted, and should reflect a similar word count.

Voice Body Paper (5% of final grade) Due Date: TBD
Full details to be provided in class. As with reflection paper, the instructor respects your confidentiality. Hand-written or typed. Minimum writing time is one hour, and maximum four hours.

Audition Group Presentation (10% of final grade) Due Date: TBD
Sections of Audition by Michael Shurtleff will be assigned to read each week. Students will be placed in small groups and one group will lead an exploration of the concepts from the assigned readings each week. Students will be graded on preparation, creativity, engagement, content, and organization. Aim for a lively, interactive exploration of the key points, or most important information from your chapter. You are welcome to use handouts, props, A/V, active explorations, theatre games etc. Remember, the goal is to inspire your peers to share/apply information and entice them to engage with it, not simply to repeat what you’ve read. Your presentation should be 60 – 90 min in length.

Audition Take Home Test (10% of final grade) Due Date: Tues Feb 12
Students are required to read the text Audition by Michael Shurtleff. Students will be expected to complete weekly readings and to participate in class discussions on the assigned material. Guidelines and format for the take home test will be provided by the instructor.

Monologue Text Assignment (10% of final grade) Due Date: TBD
Students will be required to complete a written text assignment in relationship to their individual, personalized understanding of the given circumstances of their monologue and character. The format and guidelines for the written assignment will be provided in class by the instructor.

Monologue Showings (10% of final grade) Due Date: Selections: TBD Showings: TBD
Students must choose a two-minute, age-appropriate, monologue from a modern, published play. A list of possible choices will be provided; other submissions will be considered. Students must submit their top two choices by the due date, marked first and second choice. Please hand in a copy of the monologue (not just the name of it) that includes the play’s title and playwright’s name. Choices will be finalized by the instructor in consultation with students. Each student is expected to read the entire play their selection comes from to inform their understanding of character and context. Students must bring a hard copy of their monologue to every class. Working off of cell phones will not be permitted. Students will show their monologue twice throughout the term, and will receive individual coaching on their monologue in class. All students are also expected to practice and develop their monologues for homework. Students will be graded on preparation, depth of investigation, discovery, risk, creative impulse, clarity, and application of studio work to their performance.



Attendance at all sessions is mandatory and lateness is unacceptable. Any absence or lates will affect your final grade. Five absences may result in course failure. If you are more than fifteen minutes late for class you will be marked absent. Three lates will be counted as an absence. Exceptions to these penalties for valid reasons such as illness, etc., will be considered with supporting documentation (e.g., doctor’s note). If you are going to be late or absent you must notify the instructor at the number above. Keep it simple: arrive early.


Please wear comfortable clothing you can easily move in: tights, sweats, yoga pants. No jeans or skirts, dangly jewelry, or heavy scents. Please tie hair back away from the face. No shoes – we will work in bare feet or socks (unless orthopedics are required, in which case, please speak to the instructor). Dressing in layers is recommended. Bring a bottle of water.


All assignments must be handed in at the start of class on the due date. Handing assignments in late will result in a penalty of -10%. Exceptions to the lateness penalty for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., will be considered by the instructor with supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor’s letter). Students absent from a class that involves showing work may not be given the opportunity for a make-up.


Studios are work spaces, to be distinguished from social spaces. Please enter the space respectfully, ready to work, and refrain from cell phone use, and eating/drinking in the studio. No outside food or drink. Water and clear tea are permitted. Please keep your studio space clean and free from garbage and unnecessary clutter.



A ticket to see the theatre performance fall mainstage show


Audition. Shurtleff, Michael.  Bantam, 1979.  Paperback.
ISBN: 9780553272956

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html