Acting Theories 2
Subject is not scheduled Not scheduled
Name of lecturer(s)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
-To gain a familiarity with fundamental acting principles common to different approaches to the craft.
-To gain a recognition of the different schools for acting training
-To learn and use a vocabulary related to various acting techniques
-To exercise different techniques from various schools of acting, techniques for creating character, analyzing scene principles, increasing spontaneity, responding to the other and the space of the story, promoting playfully creative work
Mode of study
In class exercises, inter-active work on scenes with partners, consultations on scenes with instructor outside class.
Prerequisites and co-requisites
Acting Theories I is recommended but not required. Some familiarity with Stanislavskian or Method acting principles would be as asset if the student has not taken Acting Theories I
Acting Theories II continues to examine the diversity of valid approaches to actor training and the principles underlying these approaches. Starting with a quick review of the legacies from Western teachers Stanislavski and Meyerhold, who laid groundwork for many future approaches to the art, Acting Theories II surveys additional contemporary approaches, many of which incorporate elements from Eastern/Asian schools of acting into the actor's work, or use approaches quite different from mainstream schools of acting. Students gain an awareness of the richness of the actor's craft and the variety of tools used by the actor or by the director working with actor. The course also contains a strong component of improvisation techniques used in actor training and used for story development.
Recommended or required reading
Alison Hodge. Actor Training, Routledge, 2010 available as PDF online at:
In particular these articles:
„Training with Eugenio Barba: acting principles, the pre-expressive and personal temperature“ by Ian Watson
„Michael Chekhov on the technique of acting: was Don Quixote true to life“ by Franc Chamberlain
„Peter Brook: transparency and the invisible network“ by Lorna Marshall and David Williams
„Jacques Lecoq, Monika Pagneux and Philippe Gaulier: training for play, lightness and disobedience“ by Simon Murray
„Anne Bogart and siti company: creating the moment“ by Royd Climenhaga
„Augusto Boal and the theatre of the oppressed“ by Frances Babbage
Plus additional materials distributed in class from the work of Stephen Book, and Keith Johnstone
Additional Recommended Texts:
Stephen Book. Book on Acting: Improvisation Technique for the Professional Actor in Film, Theater and Television (Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 2002).
Keith Johnstone. Impro for Storytellers (London: Routledge, 1999).
Assessment methods and criteria
Regular punctual attendance is a must in order to receive credit for the course. (Students cannot receive credit without having a minimum of 70% attendance.) Students are expected to actively participate in class exercises and read the articles in the online Allison Hodge book related to the acting theorist who is the focus of that week's lesson. Two short tests on material covered in class will be given over the course of the semester.
Final grades are determined in this way:
40% Participation in class exercises
30% Written responses to the readings
30% In-class objective tests on material covered
OPENING OF THE COURSE IS CONDITIONAL. IF 10 STUDENTS REGISTER THE COURSE IS OPEN. PLEASE NOTE: THOSE WHO REGISTER ALSO MUST FINISH THE COURSE.
Session 1: Background: Schools for Psychological Creation of Character and Schools for Immediate Expressivity (Stanislavski and Meyerhold)
Session 2: Eugenio Barba and the Principles of Acting
Session 3: Michael Chekhov and a nod to Method Acting
Session 4-5: Lecoq, Pagneux and Gaulier: Training for Play
Session 6: Peter Brook and the Transparency of the Actor (+ first test)
Session 7: Anne Bogart and Viewpoints
Session 8: Augusto Boal
Session 9-10: Stephen Book and Improvisation Technique
Session 11-12 Keith Johnstone and Improvisation techniques
Session 13-14 Additional exercises, review of principles covered, + 2nd test
No schedule has been prepared for this course