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COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Theatrical Performance"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Rosa Filardi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 3:00 4:15 PM

During this course students will learn to: collaborate creatively; employ basic acting techniques such as sensory work, the principles of action, objectives, status, etc.; develop an expressive speaking voice; engage with a variety of stage props; analyze the process of placing a dramatic text on stage; critique and enact a variety of theatrical techniques; define specific terms relating to the study of drama and theater; develop an appreciation for theater as an art form and a reflection of society; understand the responsibility of an actor’s work ethic, especially to one's fellow actors; initiate and upkeep a gradable class-by-class journal (either blog or v-log) of their personal growth throughout the course.

The course is an introduction to the basic elements of the art and craft of acting. Students will explore this through improvisation in the space, using body and movement exercises, voice, sounds, and text work. The focus of the course is on the creative approach. The goal is to stimulate creativity and imagination, develop communication skills, and encourage social interaction emphasizing teamwork, as well as providing specific techniques for literary analysis and theatrical presentation. Students will be introduced to basic principles and techniques of character building and perform supervised individual and group work in class. The course, however, will emphasize the importance of self-discipline and commitment. Students will be asked to establish a daily regimen and develop a personal methodology that will allow them to produce an original theatrical work.

The first part of the semester will be dedicated to the study of two Cechov ‘s plays: The Seagull, Three Sisters; in the second part the students are going to work on some selected scenes and monologues by Pinter’s plays. Through a critical journal students will reflect on assigned readings, responses to the work, and continuing assessment of personal growth.  At the end of the semester students will present their final work under the supervision of the theatre professor for a final performance at John Cabot University, open to students, faculty, staff and friends. 

In addition, students will be asked to write a paper based on readings on theatre and acting selected from the list provided, on reserve in JCU library, combine with the insights and observations gathered throughout the course. Paper will be due before the end of the semester.


Course structure:

aily physical and vocal training
Technique development (body language and movement, voice, speech)
Individual and group acting exercises
Supervised individual and group exercises in class
Reading from the selected plays, analysis and discussion
Study of action and character (role creation)
Individual and group improvisation
Monologue and scene work rehearsal
Final assembling of the works produced by students and general rehearsal
Final performance and video


On completing this course, students will be able to:

-acquire body and vocal awareness

-acquire confidence and self-esteem

-facilitate communication

-team work

-develop an expressive body and voice

-grow as individual belonging to a community

-become confident independent learners as well as effective and responsive group members

-acquire acting techniques as well as analyze a variety of theatrical texts

-give an original, personal interpretation acting in front of an audience


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Empty SpacePeter BrookLondon, Penguin Classics, 2008 9780141189222  
PlaysAnton CechovLondon, Penguin Classics, 20029780140447330  
The short plays of Harold PinterHarold PinterLondon, Faber & Faber Drama, 2018 9780571349913  
The Invisible ActorYoshi Oida/Lorna MarshallLondon, Methuen Drama, 2008-9780413696106  

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
An Actor PreparesStanislavskij Kostantin S.New York, Theatre Arts Book 1967n/a  
Towards a Poor TheatreGrotowski JerzyRoutledge, London 2002n/a  
The Paper Canoe: A Guide to Theatre AnthropologyBarba EugenioRoutledge, London 1995n/a  
The Art of ActingAdler StellaApplause Books, Canada 2000n/a  
- Attendance and participation - 15%
- Monologue and scene work  25%
-Theatre journal  20%
- One paper based on the readings  20%
- Final performance  20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to come prepared to class and participate in all activities. More than three absences will be lowered the final grade by 1 point for each additional absence, and 7 absences may result in a failing grade. Tardness is equally unacceptable as it disturbs the lesson. If  you should miss a class, please contact another student to find out what was covered that day so that you will be prepared for the next class.
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 

-leave the room as it distracting the professor and to your classmates
-answer you cell phone, read or sent messages
-use your computer for anything not related to the class
-eat or drink

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


This is a preliminary schedule and may change

Week 1: 
Course introduction. The actor training: space, body, voice and movement.
Week 2: Body and voice work, improvisation.
Reading assignment: Peter Brook, The Empty Space
Week 3: Body and voice work, improvisation; feedback on Brook’s reading assignment.
Study on Cechov: character and scene study from Cechov’s plays The Seagull and Three Sisters;
analysis, discussion, improvisation. 
Week 4: Body and voice work, improvisation; character and scene study from Cechov’s plays
Week 5: Body and voice work…; character and scene study from Cechov’s plays
Week 6: Body and voice work…; character and scene study from Cechov’s plays continue…
Week 7-8: Body and voice work...; Midterm: study on Cechov’s Presentation in class +Theatre Journal Due (first part)
Week 9-10-11: Body and voice work; Pinter’s world: work on some selected scenes and monologues by Pinter’s plays;
analysis, discussion, improvisation.
Week 11- Paper due based on reserve readings in the library.
Week 12: presentation in class on scenes/monologues from Pinter’s works
Week 13: Rehearsals for final performance
Week 14: Final rehearsals

Final Exam:  Public performance