Fall 2020 - CA 150 E100

Introduction to Acting (3)

Class Number: 7631

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2020
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM



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 investigating the foundational elements of acting. The second half of term will focus on application of these elements into self-selected individual monologues and assigned scenes. In Fall 2020, this course will be offered remotely. Please note, students must still be available at the given times, as synchronous online learning will form the basis of this offering. The class will be divided into two cohorts, who will each meet for 80 minutes twice weekly during the appointed times. Class discussions on given topics will occur asynchronously on Canvas, which will also house additional assignments expected to be completed outside of class times.


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 artistic work
  • Embody greater physical presence including greater ease of breath and body
  • Demonstrate increased self-awareness, including of thoughts, feelings, body, breath, and imagination
  • 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


  • Commitment, participation, attitude 25%
  • Progress and development 20%
  • Assignments and showings 55%


Commitment, Participation, Attitude (25%)
Attendance, punctuality, curiosity, active engaged participation, commitment, 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 (55%)
Reflection Papers (5%)
Voice Body Paper (5%)
Audition Guideposts Discussions (5%)
Monologue Text Assignment (10%)
Scene Text Assignment (10%)
Monologue and Scene Work (20%)


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. 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 on canvas before class on the due date. Handing assignments in late will result in a penalty of -10% per week. 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.

Office Hours

The instructor does not keep set office hours, but is happy to meet with any students at a mutually convenient time. Please send an email to request a meeting.


In these unusual times, your living space will substitute for our usual studio space. You will need a space in which you feel free to move, voice (perhaps loudly), emote, etc. This is very important. Please contact the instructor asap if you have concerns. Ideally, you will have enough space in which to walk around a bit and lie down on the floor comfortably, though accommodations can be made if this isn’t the case. During class time, please treat your living space as a studio space. Turn off cell phones or distracting notifications, refrain from eating, and do what you need to help you remain focused and engaged with the task at hand.

Theatre Area Performances

Students are strongly encouraged to attend performances put on by the Theatre Performance Area. Details will be provided and these performances may be discussed on Canvas or in class.


Required Resources:

  • desktop computer, laptop, or tablet with built-in or compatible video camera, microphone, and speakers
  • a reliable internet connection
  • space in which you are able to lie down on the floor comfortably, swing your arms, and move around a bit
  • space in which you are able to comfortably and freely vocalize, at times loudly and expressively




Audition. Shurtleff, Michael.  Bantam, 1979.  Paperback
ISBN: 0553132040

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).