Working with Actors 2

Subject is not scheduled Not scheduled

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311WAC2 ZK 3 2T English summer

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)

Learning outcomes of the course unit

To understand scene structure, building a scene, changing dynamics within a scene

To prepare rehearsal plans for directing actors.

To further understanding of the actor´s process

To practice a range of rehearsal techniques which would create authentic characters and relationships, explore scene dynamics, raise the stakes for the dramatic action, create texture for a scene through the integration of characters into space, exploration of an atmosphere, and variety of tactics used to pursue goals

To practice giving clear directions so as to get optimal work from actors.

To gain confidence as a director.

Mode of study

In-class exercises, in-class scenework with the CDM students directing actors and teacher observing/providing feedback. Students are also expected to prepare for rehearsal outside of class, by familiarizing themselves with the scene to be rehearsed, formulating clear objectives for the rehearsal, and reading analyses and specifics about rehearsal techniques in the reading material distributed for the course. Students will always meet in room 2 at 18.10 to share plans for rehearsals, then go to separate rooms when actors arrive in order to work the scenes in an atmosphere of concentration. Directing students return to room 2 following rehearsals to get feedback and complete reflection on the process.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Working with actors I.

Course contents

This course aims to provide students with tools for working with actors, and practice using them. In part II., students focus on scenework, preparing and directing actors or fellow-students in scenes. Students should apply the specific rehearsal techniques practiced in part I of the course, and deepen their understanding of these techniques and confidence in using them.

Course Outline

Thursday 14.2 (Blocks 1/2)

Focus: Preparation for course

Scene analysis, Review of techniques learned last semester, Course expectations

Preparation for A Piece of Apple Pie – Read through, Scene Analysis, Review and planning of rehearsal techniques; possible screening of Mark Travis’ master class on Blocking

Assignments: Reading from Nicholas Proferes: “Scene analysis: A Piece of Apple Pie”

Complete preparation sheet on plans/goals for next rehearsal

Thursday 21.2 (Blocks 3/4)

Scenework: A Piece of Apple Pie (APOAP) – six groups (12 actors, 6M, 6F)

Homework: Bring to class completed rehearsal plan to turn in.

Focus: Improvisations technique, scene structure

2 Directing Students with two actors – introduce scene, practice improvisations for backstory

“Learn the role, not the lines” exercise

Directing by beats – naming tactics, getting actors to fully play that tactic, paraphrasing the lines, possible parallel situation

Assignment: Complete Self Evaluation form for Rehearsal of APOAP, Prepare rehearsal plan for Sex, Lies and Videotape scene

Read chapter on rehearsal techniques from Weston’s The Film Director’s Intuition, with applications for scene from Sex, Lies and Videotape (SLV)

Thursday 28.2 (Blocks 5/6)

Scenework: Sex, Lies and Videotape (12 - 15 actors, 6-7M, 8-9F)

Homework: Bring to class completed rehearsal plan to turn in.

Focus – scene structure, rehearsal technique

“Thinking the Character’s Thoughts” exercise, word association

“More Inner Doing” – Active/Still exercise wherein subtext is voiced out loud

Technique of using secrets with actors

Assignment: Complete Self Evaluation form for Rehearsal of SLV, prepare rehearsal plan for When you coming home, Red Ryder

Read Chapter on scene analysis from Weston’s Directing Actors, with applications for scene from When You Coming Home Red Ryder (WYCHRR).

Thursday, 7.3 (Blocks 7/8)

Scenework: When You Coming Home, Red Ryder? (12 actors, 6M/6F)

Homework: Bring to class completed rehearsal plan to turn in.

Focus – scene structure, rehearsal techniques, building a relationship, building a character through rhythm/tempo, activities

Meisner technique/variations on repetition, Travis technique to get the actor into initial state

“I could really love you/I could really hurt you exercise”

Assignment: Complete Self Evaluation form for Rehearsal of WYCHRR, prepare rehearsal plan for The Glass Menagerie

Thursday 14.3 (Blocks 9/10)

Scenework: The Glass Menagerie (12 actors, 4-5M, 7-8F)

Homework: Bring to class completed rehearsal plan to turn in.

Focus on truthful performances, parallel situations, as if (Atlantic Acting School’s 1,2,3)

Meisner technique/variations on repetition, Travis technique to get the actor into initial state

Assignment: Complete Self Evaluation form for Rehearsal of The Glass Menagerie, prepare rehearsal plan for next class

Sunday 17.3 Open Casting. CDM students expected to lead one casting block of 15 minutes.

Thursday, 21.3 (Blocks 11/12)

Scenework: Diverse scenes depending on actors (12-15 actors)

Possible scenes: Girl, Interrupted (3F) Changeling (F, child), (2F), Warrior (2M) Thelma and Louise (2F) Harold and Maude (M,F) Arsenic and Old Lace (2F,1M)

Homework: Bring to class completed rehearsal plan to turn in.

Focus: authenticity of character, relationship, scene dynamics, raising stakes, texture through activities, integration into space and variety of tactics used to pursue goals.

Assignment: Complete Self Evaluation form for Rehearsal, prepare rehearsal plan for next class

Thursday, 28.3 (Blocks 13/14)

Scenework: Diverse scenes depending on actors (12-15 actors)

Possible scenes: Girl, Interrupted (3F) Changeling (F, child), (2F), Warrior (2M) Thelma and Louise (2F) Harold and Maude (M,F) Arsenic and Old Lace (2F,1M)

Homework: Bring to class completed rehearsal plan to turn in.

Focus: authenticity of character, relationship, scene dynamics, raising stakes, texture through activities, integration into space and variety of tactics used to pursue goals.

Assignment: Complete Self Evaluation form for Rehearsal, prepare rehearsal plan for next class

Recommended or required reading

Judith Weston. Directing Actors (Weise Productions,1996.)

Judith Weston. The Film Director´s Intuition: Script Analysis , (Weise Productions, 2003)

Robert Cohen. Acting Power (Mayfield, 1978)

Robert Cohen. Acting One (Mayfield, 1982)

Mark Travis. Directing Feature Films: The Creative Collaboration (Weise Productions, 2002)

Nicholas Proferes. Film Directing Fundamentals: From Script to Screen (Focal Press, 2001)

Screenplays:

Sex, Lies and Videotape

The Glass Menagerie

The Changeling (2008)

Assessment methods and criteria

Attendance, written preparations/rehearsal plans, written reflections following rehearsals.

Course is offered on an exam basis. At end of course, an exam will be given to students in the form of a take-home with questions related to scene analysis, rehearsal techniques and the readings for the course.

For credit, students must have 80% attendance.

It is necessary to keep up with readings and preparations for each session with the actors.

It is necessary to turn in all rehearsal plans and reflections (there will be five of each in total).

Students are expected to come to every class. One excused absence would be allowed if the instructor is informed in advance and the excuse is valid (i.e., grave illness).

Note that each session is four academic blocks, so missing two sessions would make it impossible to achieve the 80% of attendance necessary to pass the course.

Note

Students need to rehearse outside class time on scenes with actors from DAMU.

Further information

No schedule has been prepared for this course

The subject is a part of the following study plans