Authorial Acting (N0215A310017)

Type of programme Mode of study Profile of the programme Standard study length Language Instruction Department
Continuing Master's Programme full-time academically oriented 2 years English Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy

Guarantor of study programme


Programme objectives

Authorial acting, or acting with an emphasis on authorial creativity and pedagogy is a course that has been offered in English as well as Czech since 2015. We want to continue to offer this possibility. The program is largely based on the original Czech version, though it has its specific features.

Acting with an emphasis on authorial creativity and pedagogy stands in true interdisciplinary fashion with one foot in the camp of acting, and the other in that of authorship, where we understand acting to be the capacity of a person for conscious action and play(ing), and authorship to be the capacity for original thought and imagination, in an artistic as well as a wider sense. At the same time, this is the study of dramatic play as the stimulus and aim of acting and authorship. We study these phenomena not only with the full knowledge of their dimensions and overlaps which we could call artistic and aesthetic, but also with a view to those we could call ethical, social, philosophical, psychological, and especially pedagogical. Pedagogy is a part of the study of psychosomatic disciplines, and of the method of their teaching. We therefore study acting in an authorial sense, which relates to the education of an individual to achieve a creative personality, creative in the artistic as well as other fields.

The master's degree studies widen and especially deepen the topics studied in the bachelor's program. The master's degree studies are, like in the bachelor's program, largely empirical, based on gaining experience in the main dimensions of human expression. Study takes place through:

1) the experiential getting-to-know of the psychosomatic disciplines, and through the rigorous reflection of the associated topics and problems,

2) integration of the gained proficiencies in authorial, or authorially-scenic, forms,

3) theoretical and historical contextualisation

The foundation psychosomatic disciplines are education in voice, speech, movement, dialogical acting and play. The integrating disciplines are authorial reading and authorial presentation. Theoretical subjects are chosen in order to provide the necessary wider horizon for the psychosomatic and creative proficiencies gained. Transparency and the public presentation of the studies (authorial reading, presentations and performances, the Autorská tvorba nablízko (Authorial creation up close) festival) are also emphasised, in order to enable current and long-term processes of making things more conscious, verifying them, and fine-tuning them to make them more precise. A speciality of the study of authorial acting with an emphasis on authorial creativity and pedagogy is dialogical acting, the legacy of the department's founder professor Ivan Vyskočil, which is now already being studied, developed and applied by the second generation of followers.

Profile of a programme graduate

A graduate is able to:

–practically and theoretically orient themselves with some quality in the field of authorial acting and psychosomatic disciplines.

–Pass on their discoveries and proficiencies in authorial acting and psychosomatic disciplines to interested individuals from the ranks of the professional as well as 'lay' members of the public, publish these and share them, and enter into expert discussion on these topics.

–Come up with, develop, realise and publish their authorial ideas, topics, forms, and this alone as well as in co-operation with others. They will have the competence to lead a creative team.

–Write their own authorial texts with scenic potential, but also with the potential to be used in the context of radio, television, videoperformance or film and so on.

–Work with others' texts and ideas in an authorial way.

–Consciously act with their own expressive media, like their voice, speech, gesture, movement, body and so on, in a psychosomatic (complete, holistic) way, as with natural parts of their personality, this both in the artistic as well as non-artistic fields.

–Perform in public in a quality way, in the context of theatre (or more widely, art) as well as outside of this.

Rules and requirements for creating study plans

A brief description of the system of study:

Study plans are designed in line with the Study and Exam Regulations of the AMU. These, on the basis of the specificities of higher education in artistic disciplines, requires a main, compulsory subject. This is a a key artistic subject, where talent is necessary, and which forms the basis of the discipline. The assessment of a student's progress in this subject is done by committee, and repetition of the final examination is not possible.

The theoretical and historical basis of the given discipline is a compulsory part of all study programs. This is taught in the form of compulsory subjects which provide a basis of knowledge, which contribute towards the academic profile of the graduate, and which form a part of the final state examination. The study plan also includes non-compulsory subjects.

A description of the credit system:

A classification is awarded according to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). In the two-year study period a student earns a total of 120 credits upon completion of all their individual subjects. (+/- 30 credits per semester, 60 per year).

Subjects classified by examination are then graded on a scale from A – excellent = 1, B – lower excellent = 1.5, C – very good = 2, D – lower very good = 2.5, E – good = 3, F – unsatisfactory = 4. Other subjects are classified with the binary passed/not passed; combining the two systems is not possible.

The extent of a teaching lesson, and other information relevant to the design of study plans:

The standard length of a teaching lesson is 45 minutes. The basic organisational forms of teaching are lectures, seminars, and workshops.

General information about admission process

In general:

The applicant should be in good physical and psychological condition.

The applicant should be in good condition as regards talent and character, and these should be capable of further development and cultivation.

It is necessary to have a need for learning and a capacity of learning, for studying, and for partaking in teamwork.

In particular:

We test the prospective student's degree of talent, and their ability for development, in the foundation disciplines of psychosomatic study, especially voice, speech and movement. Further, we test the ability to distinguish between different parts of acting on stage, the ability to consciously act in a playful way, the ability to act together with someone else, the ability to react authentically, the ability to improvise (these are the ability requirements for the study of acting). Last but not least, the ability to formulate authorial ideas is also important (authorial texts).

The presence of all of these skills in and of itself does not guarantee an authorial character, however, and this is why it is necessary to conduct an interview as part of the application procedure. (The subjects addressed here are the prospective student's motivation for study, their general knowledge of culture, art, philosophy, public social and current affairs.) This allows an assessment of the character and character potential of the individual.

There is usually just a single round of entrance exams, and they take place in English.

Applicability to other types of academic programmes

Applicants are usually recruited from among graduates of bachelor's degrees in mostly humanities and arts focused subjects. We receive applications from graduates of institutions of higher education from the European Union (Greece, Austria, Ireland, Finland etc.) and beyond (Macedonia, Serbia, India, the USA etc.). Our department is a reliable, and sought after, destination for foreign exchange students taking part in the Erasmus program.

Parts of the state final examination and their contents

The final state examination for the master's degree consists of the following individually classified parts:

  1. Degree presentation (an authorial, creative project)
  2. A written masters thesis, and the oral defence thereof.
  3. Psychosomatic disciplines (viva voce examination)
  4. Authorial theatre (viva voce examination)

The overall classification of the final state examination: A – B – C – D – E – F

The final result of the study program: pass / fail

Ad 1. Degree presentation.

The graduand creates a persuasive and communicating authorial scenic form (min. 30 minutes in length) in which they integrate the abilities and experiences gained during their studies of individual subjects.

Classification: A – B – C – D – E – F

Ad 2. A written masters thesis and the oral defence thereof.

The student writes a theoretical thesis at the end of their studies, which as a rule relies on their personal experiences in the discipline.

Classification: A – B – C – D – E – F

Ad 3. Psychosomatic disciplines (self-reflection, terms and definitions, concepts), viva voce examination.

The basic questions consist of reflections of the dissection of the psychosomatic disciplines, (Dialogical Acting with the inner partner, authorial reading, authorial presentation, voice education, speech, movement, acting and play.) they also concern the theory of these disciplines and the topics touched upon in the theoretical subjects.

Classification: A – B – C – D – E – F

Exam question topics:

• Dialogical Acting with the Inner Partner

• Authorial Reading and Authorial Presentation

• Speech and Voice Education

• Movement Education

• Acting, Play and Partner Play Education

Ad 4. Authorial theatre (historical context, terminology and concepts), viva voce examination on the basis of a randomly drawn question.

The student proves their basic orientation in the history and theory of authorial theatre, its philosophical and psychological conception, and related topics. Emphasis is given to the ability to interpret a selected dramatic text, with a view to the intentions of the author as well as with a view to one's own.

Classification: A – B – C – D – E – F

Question topics:

• Philosophical and/or Psychological Foundations

• Theatre and Drama Foundations

On the day of the final exam, the student draws one question at random from an envelope. In the envelope are questions on all the psychosomatic disciplines. Preparation of all questions is thus required. The student also chooses and prepares two Authorial theatre topics in advance. The first one is either from Philosophy or Psychology, the other is from Theatre and Drama Foundations. The student should be able to present these topics to the committee.

Other academic duties

Students in their second year of study (of both the bachelor's and master's programs) have full responsibility for the organisation of the festival Autorská tvorba nablízko (Authorial Creation Up-close) which is held annually under the auspices and supervision of the department. The festival is an open review of the most interesting things that have come to be created and realised as part of the study at the department, with events in Czech and English.

The festival is an opportunity for the presentation to the wider public of authorial attempts, forms and productions which have come to being at the department. Workshops are also a part of this. These enable prospective applicants and the expert and wider public to be introduced to the psychosomatic disciplines in a practical way.

Characterisation of professional practice

Information about practical co-operative projects relevant to the study program:

Degree presentations, and sometimes other authorial presentations that have been created as part of study at the department, are selected and performed, often after graduation, in public settings and venues outside the DAMU, sometimes abroad. As of 2020, we regularly co-operate in this way with the following festivals: Kočí v Chotči (Choteč u Jičína), Horem Dolem (Provodov u Zlína), Cihlafest (Slapy), the platform Open Sunday organised by the CreW collective, Po Pás (a series of authorial improvised meetings with selected guests at the Alta Studio) the KrKř (Kreativní Křivoklátsko) microfestival, and others.

In the years 2016–2020 we could name, for example the performances Slovobraz (Karolína Plachá a Daniela Grohová); Bohemia (Anna Luňáková & collective); Oj Kyjeve, Kyjeve (Maryanna Kozak); The Boršč Cycle (Eva Čechová a Hana Malaníková); Trilogie vzdoru (Oskar Bábek); Případy Léona Ciftona (Václav Zimmermann a Bára Purmová); Sólo pro pejska (Daniela Grohová); song-singing recitals of the students of prof. Přemysl Rut, and others. Plan B/C/D/E: life after the sea takes over (Meghana Telang), The Art of Crying (Meghana Telang), Apocalypse (Anna Luňáková, Jakob Keller, Jakub Štourač) at Kampus Hybernská, A Mountain Tale (Alex Asikainen), Authorial Acting Evenings in venues like A Maze in Tchaiovna, and klub FAMU, workshops of Dialogical Acting for beginners (Kierstan DeVoe, Jakob Keller), English and Czech-language authorial reading open-mic events (Jakob Keller, Anna Tomášková).

Anticipated job placement for graduates (typical employment)

The course is conceived with a wider goal in mind than 'just' acting in the traditional sense, the goal is a confident creative personality, who can -and do- apply themselves in practice in a wide range of activities. Our graduates become authors of their own projects in the realm of theatre, literature, art and design, video-performance, movement and dance, music etc. Graduates also find traditional creative jobs in the so-called mainstream as well as alternative theatre (acting, dramaturgy, directing), in the media they often work as writers, dramaturges, commentators and editors. Our graduates appear in the spheres of pedagogy, counselling and therapy and so on. Frequently our students study other subjects too, either in parallel or before or after studying at our department, resulting in creative work in other fields.

Accreditation validity

Study programme valid from Study programme valid to
2021-03-26 2031-03-26

Programme study plans