Fall 2021 - CA 250 D100

Acting III: Composing Through Materials (3)

Class Number: 7253

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

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

  • Prerequisites:

    CA 153. Corequisite: CA 254.



The third Performance acting course. Work focuses on composition, employing a range of existing and original materials. Students with credit for FPA 250 may not take this course for further credit.


From Let’s Play videos on Twitch, to the changing behavioural patterns of social media platforms, and to the rise in popularity of long-form binge-watchable serialized narratives, this course will explore the changing nature of digital cultures, participation, spectatorship, and games as a container for performance and play in the current ludic era. Beginning with a crash course on the node-based virtual programming environment Isadora, we will be learning how to construct real-time interactive digital systems as they relate to performance creation. Further topics include immersive and experiential participation, theming and worlding environments, and compositional tactics from game design. By the end of the semester, we will have developed a literacy around the material conditions by which performance and play frame our active participation in contemporary society. We will also develop a creative lens with which we can imagine and prototype alternative worlds and possibilities.

The activities for this course will be comprised of weekly creation exercises, bi-weekly assignments (projects and/or presentations), a midterm project, a final project, out-of-class research (see experience points in the Evaluation section), and the upkeep of a concise process journal. The content of the course may change with the flow of the class as well as our trajectories of curiosity and engagement.


  • Establish a creative and rigorous rubric for participation and play.
  • Attain skills using Isadora for rapid prototyping of compositional ideas.
  • Develop game and participatory systems literacy; inside and outside of art contexts.
  • Broaden the container for what performance variability and liveness can manifest as.
  • Study the works of contemporary participatory performance makers.


  • Bi-Weekly Assignments 15%
  • Midterm Project 20%
  • Final Project 20%
  • Involvement in Discussions 10%
  • Participation Experience Points** 15%
  • Process Journal*** 20%


Evaluation will be based on integration of concepts into personal performance practice as well as participation in studio work, project presentations, and discussions.

** On Experience Points: Part of this course is an examination of participation. In the second week of classes students will work with the instructor to develop a rubric for their critical participation and are invited to experiment, strategize, and play with these frameworks.
*** On the Journal: Each student is expected to keep a concise process journal (one page maximum each class) which will serve to record exercises and reflect on practice. In addition to this, writing will be assigned in the form of reflective questions on performance practice and technique. Students are also expected to include in their journals, responses to three professional performances over the course of the semester.


Access to personal computers, internet, headphones/earphones, Zoom, Gather (using
the Firefox or Chrome browsers), and Isadora****

**** The instructor will send instructions on how to download Isadora one week prior to the first class.

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 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.