SemesterSpring Semester, 2021
DepartmentSophomore Class A, Department of English Sophomore Class B, Department of English
Course NameIntroduction to Theatre in Practice :Acting, Directing, and Production
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

The specific course schedule is To Be Announced. See for updates as well as the class facebook pages and other resources. See below for additional information on course requirements.


Students will present at several major performance, directing, and production assignments which include live presentation in front of classmates and video presentations. For the semester, these include SPOKEN WORD POETRY RECITAL (oral interpretation of literature), IMPROVISATIONAL THEATRE EXERCISES, SOLO ACTING (dramatic monologue), DUET (acting with a partner), SCENE WORK (production), BLOCKING ASSIGNMENT, NEW MEDIA PERFORMANCE (virtual reality and more), PROMPT BOOK PREPARATION, and PRODUCTION PREPARATION, and other short scene preparations. Typically, there are two to three weeks between these major performance assignments (depending upon the nature of the tasks involved). Videos of some of the original creative assignments will be considered for the SPARKSHOW channel as well as included in playlists for the IOOV program.


Preliminary Schedule (Subject to Change).











Orientation Documents



Improvisational Theatre Games




Spoon River

Spoon River


Improvisational Theatre Games




Fundamentals of Acting

Improvisational Language Structures - Improv Video

Guide to Acting (ch. 18-20)

Acting is Believing (ch. 2)

Improvisational Language Structures




Stanislavski Concepts

Every Other Line Exercise

Guide to Acting (ch. 21)






Inside the Actor's Studio: Hugh Laurie

Duet Scenes

Improv (Whose Line Is It Anyway? Handout)

Directing (ch. 8)






Directing (ch. 1-2)

Acting is Believing (ch. 3-4)

Blocked/Scored Scenes 1-2 pgs, 2 characters (3 copies)





Inside the Actor's Studio: Modern Family

Acting is Believing (ch. 5-6)

Directing (ch. 3-6)

Finish Blocked/Scored Scenes




Overview Midterm Project: Improv Everywhere

Acting is Believing (ch. 7)

Directing (ch. 7-8)

Acting Improvisation





Midterm Performance

Acting is Believing (ch. 8)

Directing (ch. 9-11)

Monologues (2-3 min.)




Music and Acting

Acting is Believing (ch. 9)

Directing (ch. 12-13)

Action to Music (2-3 actors, 3-4 min., tell story to music with action and no voice)




New Media

Trance-Acting and Stanislavski's Legacy

Acting is Believing (ch. 10)

Overview Final Project: New Media Production

New Media Performance

Trance Acgting





Set Design & Costume & Prompt Books, etc.

Acting is Believing (ch. 11)

Comedy Scene with Physicality (2-4 min.) with blocking




Improv Everywhere

Final Project Topics Due

Presentation: Improv Everywhere (10-15 min.)




Prompt Book and More

Overview Profile Presentations

Overview Final Papers

Prompt book, props/costume, rehearsal schedule, shooting schedules - all due.

Trance-Acting Activity Sets Due




Comedy VS Tragedy

The Cherry Orchard (comedy vs. tragedy)






Actor/Director/Designer Profile Presentations (7-10 min)

Actor/Director/Designer Profile Presentations (7-10 min)





Final Project New Media

Performance Presentation (10-12 min film, directing and acting)





Final Exam

Final Examination


Final Project Production Diaries and Critical Papers Due

Final Paper Due




Students will also be asked to perform critical evaluations of their own performances and those of classmates.


Students are forewarned that the vast majority of acting and performance assignments for this course require students to memorize their lines.


Additionally, students will be asked to participate in critical discussion activities. Students will also present informative talks related to playwrights, actors, and/or directors of note.


While there are no formal written midterm or final examinations for this course, there are performances and other assignments which are considered equivalent to such exams. There may also be occasional pop-quizzes related to weekly readings, lectures, or other course content.


Assignments and Performances:


  1. instructor reserves the right to add, change or delete material from this course schedule as deemed necessary. In the event he does so, students will be notified in advance. This list is the general activities list, there are others as part of each individual course unit.


  1. Play Performance Critique: You are required to write a review of a live theatrical performance. Purchase your tickets and arrange your schedules immediately. Links to websites that showcase such performance information will be provided on the course webpage. We cannot accept, "I couldn't get in" as an excuse. These reviews should be between two to three typed, double-spaced pages. All reviews must be accompanied by a ticket stub. Reviews must be submitted within two weeks of viewing the show, or will be subject to a "late paper" grade deduction. We will provide more specific guidelines for this assignment in class.


2. Playwright/Actor/Director research: For the an appropriate approved play, you are to research the playwright, prepare your findings, bring them to class, participate in group discussion of the playwright and hand in your findings.


  1. Play Analysis: For a contemporary play, you will write an analysis of the structure of the play, completing the outline you will be given in class. The analysis should be around three to five pages, double-spaced, and show a clear understanding of the structure of the play.


  1. Scene work performance: You will be assigned a scene from a play to perform with a group. These scenes are to be memorized and well-rehearsed. You and your scene partner(s) will work together to analyze the scene, but each member will turn in their own written analysis. The scenes will be performed in front of the class and are expected to clearly showcase each character's goals and tactics, as discussed in class. Each actor's grade is individual, but it is imperative that you work together with your scene partner(s) to create a cohesive scene.


  1. Hypothetical Production: You are required to participate in a hypothetical production of one of the plays that we study in class this semester. Each group will have a director, dramaturge, set designer, costume designer, and a publicist. You will work together to formulate a production plan and concept and give a group presentation at the end of the semester. You will be expected to evaluate the members of your own group. More guidelines will be given in class.


  1. Perform the Semester: In your respective groups, you will devise a 6-8 minute new media theatrical performance in which you collectively perform the course material for the semester. You will construct plot, characters, themes, etc. These performances tend to be highly parodic and entertaining, to say nothing of a fantastic study guide.



Student are Expected to:


For a number of the performance assignments, you may work with others. It is very important that all members of a team do their share of the work on time and be prepared on performance or presentation day.


Punctual attendance is expected. I do take roll every day. It is your responsibility to find out what went on and to make up the work, ask me for handouts, etc. See general course attendance policies.


Come to class with an open and willing mind. The study of theatre often involves contemplation of controversial material. As students of theatre, it is expected that you will not judge the material but rather attempt to discern the reason behind the expression of ideas.


Be prepared to participate in class discussions and activities. You must participate fully. While I will not grade on sheer volume, regular and enthusiastic participation is required. The quality of the participation is the most important factor. Quality covers originality or insight demonstrated as well as clarity of communication.


Read assigned readings by the due date - be prepared to discuss and/or perform.


Hand in assignments on time. Assignments are due at the beginning of the class period on the due date.


All students in the class are expected to foster respect, communicate with civility, cultivate the ideas of others, and encourage participation.


Comprehend that all class activities are vital to the understanding of theatre and should be studied as thoroughly as lecture and reading material.


Working Together: For a number of the performance assignments, you may work with others. It is very important that all members of a team do their share of the work on time and be prepared on performance or presentation day.


Students should prepare a USB drive (16GB or higher suggested) to hand in periodically with class video assignments on it. The drive will be returned the following week after the assigned files have been copied to the course media drive.



學生學習投入時間 Student Time Investment


每週課堂教學時數: 3 小時 Class Hours per week

每週預習/複習時數: 3 小時 Pre/Study per week (typical, actual time requirements vary)

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

N/A or TBA


1. Regular attendance

2. Participation in classroom activities

3. Completion of assignments


Oral and Written Examinations. Participation. Fluency. Projects. Note that students receive participation points for each course session, so absences lower final grades. If a student has three unexcused absences then that student will not be allowed to participate in final projects or take the final examination. Five absences (excused or unexcused) lead to automatic failure in the course. Except in unusual cases late assignments will not be accepted. Plagiarism results in an automatic failure of the course.


Students should familiarize themselves with course policies, including those specifically related to Attendance, Participation, and Extra Credit opportunities (if any).


? ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION POLICY: For the most current Attendance and Extra Credit policies, please see the webpages at or the class Facebook group files section. . . Attendance and Participation in this course are required. Students who are tardy or absent will be penalized through lower possible participation points. Attendance is taken regularly and penalties are applied. Typically, students receive on average ten to fifteen participation points each class period (more or less depending upon activities of the week and actual participation). Participation Grade Penalties are as follows: Tardy, -5 participation points; Second Hour Tardy, -10 participation points; Absence, no participation points possible. Use of Cellphone, tablet, computer, or mobile device without specific permission or instruction from the instructor, no participation points possible, -10 to -15 participation points and possibility of device being confiscated for the period (yes, just like elementary school students). Attendance Points and Penalties are as follows: Penalties for tardiness or absence are grade points taken from the course final grade of the semester. Tardy, -1 grade point; Second Hour Tardy, -2 grade points; Unexcused Absence, -3 grade points; Three Unexcused Absences, not allowed to take final exam and zero points for final project; Five Absences, automatically fail course. Note, students who missed the first few course sessions are still penalized for attendance and participation, even if they had not yet registered for the course.


? EXTRA CREDIT POLICY: For the most current Extra Credit policies, please see the webpages at or the class Facebook group files section . . . Students may makeup for points lost due to missed classes or gain additional grade points by completing optional extra credit activities. Extra credit is always optional. However, certain extra credit opportunities are not available to everyone and others are time sensitive. It is to your advantage to sign up for extra credit earlier rather than later to ensure that you are eligible and that the schedule allows for the activity. If you wish to pursue extra credit, do so early. Extra Credit is NOT available within the last two weeks of the semester.


? Days in which students are scheduled to make presentations or in which interactive drama or similar activities are planned count as DOUBLE ATTENDANCE DAYS and all participation and attendance points or penalties are double.


  • Missed Appointment, if you make an appointment to see Dr. Phillips in his office and are tardy, -1/2 grade point; if you do not show, -1 grade point; if you do not contact Dr. Phillips and let him know you are missing the appointment by email at least twenty-four hours prior to the appointment or by phone within twenty-four hours, an additional -1 grade point. Failure to contact the instructor within one day before or after is an additional -1 grade point.



Textbook & Reference

  1. from practical texts and plays. Photocopy or digital copies of plays and materials may be distributed.


Paul Baldwin and John Malone, GUIDE TO ACTING.


Charles McGaw, Kenneth Stilson, and Larry Clark, ACTING IS BELIEVING.


Charlie Todd, CAUSING A SCENE.


And/Or Other Texts as appropriate.


List may be modified at any time. Other texts to be assigned throughout the semester.

Urls about Course