Fall 2019 - CA 150 E100

Introduction to Acting (3)

Class Number: 9779

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    SP 291, Surrey

  • Instructor:

    Tara Harris
    Office Hours: By appointment



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.


CA 150 is 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. Through individual and group exercises, warm ups, prepared improvisations, monologues and scene studies, the class will help students develop their acting and script interpretation skills. Specific focus will be placed on ensemble building, and developing student’s awareness, performance sensibilities, confidence on the stage, and access to their creative impulses.

Previous theatre study is not required, this class is targeted at non or pre theatre majors at SFU. In class exercises will be tailored to the specific needs of the students and be accessible to all experience levels.

Format: This course will consist of 2 three-hour studio classes per week of exercises and discussion, as well as in-class student performative presentations.  


  • Attendance and participation 30%
  • Monologues 25%
  • Scene work 25%
  • Journal 20%



Weekly Schedule, Fall Semester 2019:
• Class schedule to be distributed in the first class
• Please Note: Class schedule subject to adjustment based on enrollment


Attendance and participation: 30% Cumulative


1) Monologues - 25% Due: Oct 16th
2) Scene Work  - 25% - Due: Week of Nov 25
3) Journal - 20% - Due: Tues. Nov 4th


Attendance and active participation in studio is mandatory and essential for the
successful completion of this course. Students are required to come to class prepared and open to engaging with others in the ensemble. Students will be marked on their participation for each class, and the final participation grade will be cumulative. All absences and lateness not excused by a doctor’s note or not approved by the instructor will result in grade deductions. Students with more than one absence over the course of the semester will have one half-letter grade deducted from the participation component of their course grade for each subsequent absence.

Tardiness: Anyone arriving to class more than 15 minutes late will be counted as absent for that day’s session.

Failure to attend will result in either academic penalty or a request that the student withdraw from the course.

Assignment Details

1. Monologues – (Oct. 16) Students will be provided with a contemporary monologue text which will help them to focus specific areas of development. Texts will be given early in the term so they can be used for in class exercises, culminating in a class showing (closed) on Oct. 16th. Students are encouraged to be off book as early as possible. We will also engage with in class exercises around learning and integrating text. Students are expected to rehearse their monologue outside of class time in preparation for the final performance.

2. Scene Work – (Week of Nov. 25th) Students will be paired up and provided with a contemporary scene to further their development in character, text and partner work. Texts will be given immediately following the completion of monologues so that they can be used during in class exercises, culminating in a class showing during the week of Nov. 25th (closed). Students are encouraged to be off book as early as possible. We will also engage with exercises in class around learning and integrating text with a scene partner. Students are expected to meet with their scene partner to rehearse outside of class time in preparation for the final graded performance.

3. Journal – (Week of Nov. 4) – Students are expected to keep a journal for notes during in class discussions and reflections outside of class. Students are expected to journal at least one page per class, as well as recording thoughts on their ongoing creative process. Journals should also be used for script work during scenes and monologues. Journaling does not have to be restrained to written work, intermedial approaches are encouraged and welcomed. The journal will be collected for grading during the week of Nov. 4th.


Grading, Assignment Submission, Lateness Penalties:

Grading: The grading scheme for the course conforms to SFU’s Undergraduate Grading Systems and Policies which can be found here:

Assignment Submission: Academic success depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time. Accordingly, assignments for this course must be prepared for submission or performance on the due date specified for the assignment.

Lateness Penalty: Assignments not ready in class on the due date will be penalized half of a letter grade (1 grade point) for every day that the assignment is late. Assignments that are more than one week late will not be accepted unless special permission has been granted. Exceptions to the lateness penalty for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., may be entertained by the Course Instructor, but will require supporting documentation (e.g. a doctor’s letter).

Academic Honesty and Integrity:

Students are required to maintain high standards of academic integrity and are subject to SFU’s policies of Academic Integrity:



Studio booking policy: 

Rehearsal space is always at a premium in the Department. To book a studio space contact the ca@sfu.ca including the following information: your full name, student ID, program, and the amount of time you require for rehearsal.

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