Instructor: Jamie Miller
School: Wilson
School year: 2008-09
Course number: 1113
Course title: Fundamentals of Acting
Subject: Fine and Performing Arts
Grade level(s): 9, 10, 11, 12
Credits: 1
Course description:
In this class students will get the opportunity to study in an in-depth way how an actor uses their tools to create a believable character for the stage. Students will study voice work, physical work, character building, scenes, and auditioning. This class is intended for someone who has some experience in theatre and is looking to earn their way into the Advanced Stage Performance company, or to enjoy stage performance with their peers. This class may be taken mulitple times of credit.
Intro to Theatre Arts, or two (2) years theatre classes prior to signing up.
Priority standards:
The following Standards will be addressed within the various projects prepared for Fundamentals of Acting:

Create, present and perform works of art.

Apply the use of ideas, techniques and problem solving to the creative process and analyze the influence that choices have on the result.

Apply critical analysis to works of art.

Respond to works of art and give reasons for preferences.

Express ideas, moods and feelings through the arts and evaluate how well a work of art expresses one’s intent.

Evaluate one's own work, orally and in writing.

Understand how events and conditions influence the arts.

Understand how the arts can reflect the environment and personal experiences within a society or culture, and apply to one's own work.

Understand the place of the arts within, and their influences on, society.

(Standards drawn from the Oregon State Arts Standards)
Schedule of topics/units covered:
Fundamenals of Acting will work with the following concepts:
Voice Work: Projection, Diction, Pitch, Rate, Rhythm, Accent, Volume, Support
Physical Work: Posture, Center, Position, Improvisation
Character Building: Motivation, Action, Objective, Superobjective
Scenes: Comic, Dramatic, Monologue
Auditioning: Cold Reading, Prepared Monologue, Resume, Professionalism
Academic vocabulary:
See Schedule of Topics
District adopted materials:
None Assigned
Supplemental resources:
The Actor in You: Benedetti
Improvisation for the Theatre: Spolin
Audition: Shurtleff
Drama Games & Improvs: Jones/Kelley
Drama Sourcebook: Johnson
Various Scenes, Newspaper Articles, Art Books
Differentiation/accessibility strategies and support (TAG, ELL, SpEd, other):
-Students will have a more rigorous assessment rubric for selected projects requiring a more detailed demonstration of understanding relative to Standards
-Students will have a shorter completion time relative to projects in order to facilitate greater feedback, assisting them in achieving the greater demonstration of understanding asked of them
-Students will receive additional Question/Answer time relative to projects and instruction, facilitating greater understanding during skill building and assessment
-Students will receive accommodation on assigned projects in relation to their special education/504 plans
Final proficiencies:
Students will need to earn a 3 or above rating (of 5) on an assessment rubric for each thematic project to demonstrate a passing level of proficiency.
Career-related learning experiences (CRLEs):
  • Guest speakers
  • Project-based Learning
Essential skills to be taught:
  • Read and comprehend
  • Write clearly and accurately
  • Listen actively and speak clearly
  • Think critically
  • Personal management and teamwork
Essential skills to be assessed:
  • Read and comprehend
  • Write clearly and accurately
  • Listen actively and speak clearly
  • Think critically
  • Personal management and teamwork
Assessment/evaluation/grading policy:
Final Grades will be an accumulation of points over the course of a given semester. Points will be assigned relative to rubric ratings on each project/assignment. Grades will correspond to percentages of the semester's total points according to the following scale:
-A: 90-100%
-B: 80-89%
-C: 70-79%
-D: 60-69%
-F: 0-59%

Points will be assigned relative to the following scale (scale is approximate):
- Daily Participation (approx. 35%)

- Points are issued daily based on the following criteria:
- Daily Attendance (Was Student here?)
- Punctuality (Was Student on time?)
- Preparedness (Did Student have materials? Did Student do
their part ahead of time?)
- Involvement (Did Student take part in the class’ activities?)
- Engagement (Was Student an active, dynamic participant?)

- Skills and awareness only grow through practice and discipline. Athletes drill and watch film, academics study and review, and likewise, theatre artists constantly refine both their approach to their art and their understanding of it. This is a growth process, therefore consistent participation is vital!
- Performances/Projects (Approx. 35%)

- This course will offer a number of culminating (read: final) projects where students will be able to demonstrate what they've learned about the different aspects of theatre.
- Assignments (20%)

- There will be a number of activities intended to introduce students to, and develop students' skills in, the theatre art forms.
- Outside Viewing (10%)

- Since everyone needs something new to stir their creative juices on occasion, students are expected to see two live, theatrical productions per semester. One of these can be a Wilson High School production, but the other must be out somewhere in our community. Portland has a wide variety of opportunities from touring Broadway productions to other high school plays. Report-back options can be discussed with me prior to seeing the show.

Note: Live theatre can be a spendy proposition. There are, however, a number of low-cost options out there. See me for ideas!________________________________________________________________________
- Extra-Credit:

- See performed shows (points TBD)
Theatre doesn’t exist in a vacuum. See what’s going on in the world! There’s always something to take away that will raise one's awareness in the theatre arts. Points for attending performances will vary depending on the quality of the response to them.

- Participate in Wilson productions/activities (points TBD)

This year there will be a number of activities here on the Wilson Campus that involve theatre. Since the only way for someone to improve is through practice and participation, there will be opportunities to earn extra points outside of class. Students should talk to me if they have an idea!
Behavioral expectations:
Students will conduct themselves according to the following policies:
- All district/campus policies apply, including, but not limited to:
-Dress Code
-Personal Electronics
-Internet Usage

- Those things not covered by school policy will be governed by the following three categories

- Work Hard: In none of the theatre arts disciplines is there a way for progress to be made without a considerable amount of time and focused work. At all times, do what is necessary to insure you are working hard and that you are enabling others to do the same.

- Trust and Be Trustworthy: Any art form, but particularly performance, involves immense personal risk. The only way to insure that each person is allowed to develop to their full potential is to insure they are comfortable enough in their surroundings and with their classmates to take those risks. Model your behavior in such a way that you are a part of making that environment a reality.

- Respect Yourself and Others: As with the above rule, there is significant risk when it comes to a performance art. There is also an exposure to a number of different cultures and works of art involved, many of which may be foreign to our way of thinking. Keep an open mind to that which is new, and be respectful to the same. Also, show enough respect to yourself not to belittle yourself or not take proper care of yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy…many actors are!

--- I have every expectation that students will be able to control their own behavior (students are young adults, after all). If not, then they will be asked to change that behavior. If they are unwilling to do so, there will be consequences up to and including administrative intervention…that is, the office will be involved and more serious consequences may follow!
Safety issues and requirements:
Students may be exposed to potentially risky environments over the course of their time in Fundamentals of Acting. Students will be instructed in safe action in said environments prior to independent activity. Any student failing to adhere to safety protocols will be barred from participation in those activities.

Approved by Maude Lamont on 9/13/2008.