THTR 105- Introduction to Acting 1

THTR 105- Introduction to Acting 1

THTR 105- Introduction to Acting 1

Great Basin College

Spring 2014

Instructor: Dr. John Rice


Phone: 775-753-2260

Meeting Time: Monday and Wednesday from 7-8:15 PM

Location: EIT 208

Section: 1001

Please note: This syllabus is tentative and subject to change.


THTR 105 Introduction to Acting 1

Course Catalogue Description:

Examines acting fundamentals and focuses on development of vocal, physical, and creative tools to be used onstage. Unlimited repeatability. (3 credits)

Required Texts and Materials:

Cohen, Robert. (4th Edition) Acting One.

ISBN: 9780073514161

Students need to dress comfortable and may want to bring water to class.

Learning Outcomes and General Education Objectives:

  • Communication Skills- Strong

Learning outcomes: Exhibit behavior in a monologue and scene as a person encountering the situation for the first time would, rather than preplanning.

Analyze a character and script

Measurement of outcomes: Improvisational acting exercises, scenes, monologues, and analyses

  • Critical Thinking Skills-Moderate

Learning outcomes: Assign Goals, Obstacles, Tactics, and Expectations to monologues and scenes.Have an awareness of how to use the entire body to effectively communicate onstage.

Measurement of outcomes: Improvisational acting exercises, scenes, monologues, and analyses.

  • Personal and Cultural Awareness-Strong

Learning outcomes: Understand how behavior affects others and ourselves to create

a “first time” performance. Assign Goals, Tactics, Obstacles, and Expectations to

scenes and monologues. Begin creating strong connections with other players/scene


Measurement of outcomes: Improvisational acting exercises, scenes, monologues, and analyses.

Method of Instruction:

A combination of discussion, improvisation, and performance will be used.

Academic Honesty Statement:

Great Basin College considers academic honestly one of its highest values. A student who obtains academic credit for work that is not the product of his or her own effort is being dishonest and undermining the academic integrity of the college. Students are expected to be the sole authors of their work. Use of another’s ideas must be accompanied by specific citation and reference. In addition, a learner may not submit the same work for credit in more than one course. The disciplinary consequences of plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty include non-acceptance of work submitted (failure of the assignment), a failing grade in the course, and/or other disciplinary action as outlined in Great Basin College’s Student Conduct Policy.

Copying a performance from a movie or DVD is a form of plagiarism. Please use your own creativity.

Cell Phone Policy:

Cell phones must be turned off before class (not on vibrate) and left off during class. Neither phoning nor text messaging is permitted.

ADA Statement:

Great Basin College is committed to providing equal education opportunities to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A qualified student must furnish current verification of disability. The Students with Disabilities Office, located in Berg Hall, will assist qualified students with disabilities in securing the appropriate and reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services. For more information or further assistance, please call 775.753.2271.

If this applies, please provide me with the appropriate documentation during the first week of class. Do not wait until the final.

Participation and Attendance:

Please alert me ahead of time about absences. While I understand circumstances occasionally arise that prevent attendance, try to let me know before class time. Please do not plan to leave BEFORE 8:15 pm, when class is over. We may not go the entire class time every meeting, but DO NOT schedule other appointments during class time. If you leave early, you will receive a point deduction in participation and attendance for that day.

Acting is a co-operative art, and therefore this class requires active participation. As a result, missing more than one class will severely impact ability to comprehend and apply concepts discussed in class. Additionally, a resistant or defiant attitude will also obstruct your growth.

Points will be deducted from the participation grade for tardiness, leaving early, unexcused absences, and failure to participate. After two unexcused absences, I reserve the right to withdraw a student from the course. Absences will only be excused if official documentation is presented, such as a doctor’s note, hospital admission, police report, or court order.

Computer Help

For all computer/webcampus/Peoplesoft/MyGbc related issues, please visit the following links:



Classroom Behavior:

Instructors have the responsibility to set and maintain standards of classroom behavior appropriate to the discipline and method of teaching. Students may not engage in any activity that the instructor deems disruptive or counterproductive to the goals of the class. Cellular phones and other technical devices can be a nuisance and are not to be brought out in the classroom. Instructors have the right to remove offending students from class. Repetition of the offense may result in expulsion from the course. I abide by the GBC Cares policy detailed in the catalog.

What this means:

  • There are no excuses. I will listen to reasons for absences, inability to complete work, etc. but ultimately in theatre, there are no excuses.
  • I expect students to willingly try all the exercises presented in class. Failure to adhere to the spirit and letter of any exercise or activity will result in a zero for the day’s participation grade and may include a request to leave the class session. Likewise, a grudging attitude will also lose participation points.
  • Turn off all cell phones, iPods, computers, and any additional objects I have not listed and put them away in a place where they will not fall during an exercise or in any way disrupt class.
  • Class ends at 8:15pm. Please refrain from packing up before then.
  • If something is discussed in class, whether it is said specifically to a student or not, all students are responsible for the knowledge and should incorporate it into future assignments.
  • Please be quiet and attentive while others are performing/working. Exercise the Golden Rule and do unto others. Disruptions while others are working will not be tolerated and will result in 0 participation points for the day.
  • Monologues and scenes need to be rehearsed before presentation in class. Failure to do so will result in a lower presentation grade. Trust me. I can tell if students have practiced.
  • Every exercise we do in class has a direct bearing on performance assignments. Please do not forget discoveries made in class.
  • I will not always provide reminders about homework/assignment due dates. Refer to the syllabus and course schedule often.
  • Theatrical literature often deals with adult themes. Therefore, another student may perform a piece with subject matter that makes others uncomfortable. No one will be asked to do anything that conflicts with their personal values. However, I do ask that we do not judge literature based on the content. We are all adults.
  • If for any reason a student has trouble with an assignment, concept, or anything related to the class, contact me sooner rather than later. Most problems can be solved if caught early.

Late Assignment Policy:

I do not accept late assignments (assignments turned in past the due date/time listed on the course schedule) and therefore, assignments submitted late will earn a grade of 0. If something occurs in your life that means you cannot complete an assignment, I need a medical excuse, court excuse, etc. Be aware that waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment and then trying to provide an excuse will not excuse you from the work (as in, a student waited until Sunday to work on Monday’s homework, something happened and all day Sunday was spent in the emergency room. Not excused, because Wed.-Sat. were available to complete the assignment.)

Graded Activities:

Musical Pantomime Scene 1= 50 points

Musical Pantomime Scene 2= 50 points

Acting Scene 1= 150 points (50 points for the first showing, 100 points final showing and self-evaluation)

Acting Scene 2= 150 points (50 points for the first showing, 100 points final showing and self-evaluation)

Monologue = 150 points (50 points for the first showing, 100 points final showing and self-evaluation)

GOTE sheet (3)= 50 points each

Play Critique= 50 points

Participation= 250 points

Total Points Available= 1,000

Assignment specifics will be given in class. The student’s name must be on all written assignments and written assignments must be double spaced and in the Times New Roman font. If there questions about this, please go to the GBC Academic Success Center.

Written Assignments:

I will grade for grammar in all written assignments, whether they are simply a discussion question or a full-length essay. I expect college-level writing on all written assignments. Please recognize that this is an academic class, and as a result, all written documents need an academic tone. If wording would be more appropriate for a text, blog, or Facebook post, it has no place in the college document. If a student needs assistance in writing, I suggest visiting the Academic Success Center.

Grade Scale:












FLess than 60%

A “W” will only be given through the 13th week. Incomplete grades will become an “F” if not completed. Incomplete grades are permitted only for medical reasons (with proper documentation). Please let me know if you have signed up as an “audit” student.

Grades are earned. They are not given arbitrarily or something up for negotiation.

Student Types:

The “A” Student:

  • The “A” student in acting isn’t the one with the most talent.
  • Checks WebCampus and their email daily.
  • Makes connections between the exercises and performance assignments and attempts to implement the concepts learned in class into the performance.
  • This student exhibits a willing attitude and is open and non-resistant to all class exercises.
  • This student is always on time to class.
  • Must make an A average on all work.

The “B” Student:

  • Understands the connection between class work and performances, but has more trouble implementing the concepts.
  • Checks WebCampus and their email weekly.
  • This student exhibits a reasonable good, willing attitude in class, but may become resistant when asked to move outside their comfort zone.
  • May be absent or tardy once.
  • Must make a B average on all work.

The “C” Student:

  • This student may understand the connection between class exercises and the performance work, but either cannot or will not apply the concepts.
  • Checks WebCampus and their email intermittently.
  • More than one class is missed, or more than two tardies accrue.
  • This student sometimes leaves class early.
  • Instead of a willing attitude, this student is either openly resistant, or simply projects an attitude of not caring.
  • Must make a C average on all work.

The “D” Student:

  • Openly resistant to instruction (either through fear of the unknown or from the belief that they already have mastered the subject), or the student is completely disengaged.
  • Rarely checks WebCampus and their email, therefore missing assignments.
  • Consistently leaves class early.
  • Chronically absent, and when they do come to class, they are tardy.
  • Their performances are barely memorized.

The “F” Student:

  • Is not even paying attention to the syllabus.

Attitude is everything. A willing, open attitude can make the difference between a B and an A, a B and a C, or a C and a D.

Course Calendar

Tentative and subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.

Week One: 1/22:Introductions, Syllabus


  • Trust
  • Team work
  • Stage Directions and terms

Week Two: 1/27-1/29: Lesson 1 Reading Due


  • Relaxation
  • Preparation
  • Voice

Week Three: 2/3-2/5: Lesson 3 Reading Due, Assign Musical Pantomime Scene 1


  • Establishing Goals
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Body awareness
  • Spatial awareness

Week Four: 2/10-2/12: Lesson 4 Reading Due, Performance of Musical Pantomime Scene 1, Assign Musical Pantomime Scene 2


  • Working with the other
  • Body awareness
  • Spatial awareness

Week Five: 2/19: Perform Musical Pantomime 2 Scenes


  • Team work
  • Co-operation

Week Six: 2/24-2/26: Lesson 8 and 9 Reading Due, Assign Scene 1, Work in Class


  • Establishing a Goal
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Trying different Tactics
  • Exploring Expectations
  • Memorization

Week Seven: 3/3-3/5: GOTE 1 due, Lesson 11 and 12 Reading Due, Work in Class


  • Doing vs. Being
  • Shedding personal habits
  • Honesty
  • Choices
  • Staging

Week Eight: 3/10-3/12: Lesson 14 Reading Due, First performance of Scene 1


  • Performance
  • Taking Critique and Direction

Week 9:3/17-3/19: Final Performance of Scene 1, Self-Evaluation


  • Taking Direction
  • Making Different Choices
  • Self-Evaluation

Week 10: Spring Break: 3/24-3/26

Week 11: 3/31-4/2: Assign Scene 2


  • Building the Scene
  • Staging the Scene.
  • Choices

Week 12: 4/7-4/9: GOTE 2 due, Work in class


  • Building the Exercise
  • Compromise

Week 13: 4/14-4/16: First Performance of Scene 2, Evaluation and Critique


  • Taking Critique and Direction
  • Transitions

Week 14: 4/21-4/23: Final performance of Scene 2, Self-evaluation


  • Performance
  • Self-evaluation

Week 15: 4/28-4/30: Assign Monologue, work in class, Lesson 28 reading due


  • Going it Alone
  • Choices in the monologue

Week 16: 5/7-5/9: Fist performance of Monologue, GOTE 3 due, Evaluation and Critique


  • Staging the monologue
  • Playing the monologue

Week 17: 5/14-5/16: Final showing of monologue


  • Performance
  • Bringing it full circle
  • Self-critique