Approved by FAculty Senate.

THAD 331 PERFORMANCE 3 (3 sh)                                     FALL SEMESTER 2002

University Studies: Writing Flag                        MWF 11:00-11:50am   PC DBM 



Becky Foster                                                  Gretchen Cohenour

Office: PAC 217                                           Office: PAC 212

Phone:  457-5248                                         Phone: 457-5665

Email:                             Email:

Office Hours:             MW 3-4 PM                            Office Hours:  MWF 9-10 AM, MT 11-12 AM,

                        TR 10 AM-12N & 2-4 PM                            TR 1-2 PM, R 9AM-12N

                        & by appointment                                          & by appointment


Text: Style for Actors by Robert Barton (Mayfield Publishing, 1993)


Course Description: Theories and practice of acting in non-realistic styles.   Concurrent registration in THAD 090 required unless excused by the Department.  Open to declared Theatre majors and minors only.  Offered yearly.  Grade only.  Prerequisite:   THAD 131 & 231.


Course Objectives:

  1. To gain a basic understanding of acting styles, including the major historical periods of Greek, Elizabethan, Restoration, Moliere and Georgian theatre.
  2. To identify and integrate plays, playwrights, audience demography, costumes, theatre architecture, set design, lighting, stage movement, gender roles, and attitude of the time toward theatre.
  3. To learn actively as an individual and within groups, both through individual research and the formulation, rehearsal, refinement and performance of scenes selected from the dramatic literature of each historical style.
  4. To develop and increase professional knowledge, skills, techniques and competencies in artistic performances which bridge historical periods as well as social and gender issues of each period.
  5.  To analyze period literature within its own time as well as within ours.
  6. To evaluate and critique one’s own and group performances, as well as those of one’s peers, in oral and written form.


Student/Faculty Expectations:

1. Students shall increase their knowledge, understanding, and ability to research each style, create a scene, perform it, and critique it.  This will require class attendance and outside research/rehearsal to a minimum of 6 hours per week.

2. Students shall research each style of literature, and develop a performance utilizing staging, body movement, and oral expression for each of the historical styles.  This will require individual and/or group rehearsals outside the classroom setting.

3. Through the use of research, play analyses, and journals, students will relate to their peers and instructor how each performance has come about, the accomplishments and lessons of the experience, and thoughts on how it would be better accomplished were it to be repeated.  Thus, for each style, there will ultimately be a personal written record of the student’s experience, including a critique that will be submitted to the instructor.

4. Peer and faculty feedback will be accomplished through oral and written performance reviews.


Unit Assignments:

Journal:  Keep a record of your learning experiences for each unit, including emotional/visceral as well as intellectual responses to the cultural and theatrical conventions of each historical period, and observations about the skills an actor would need to succeed in each historical context.   (6 submissions, 20 points each)

Book/Article Reviews:  For any two historical periods, find and review an article in a theatrical journal that would contribute to an actor’s performance experience in plays from those periods.  For any two historical periods, read and review a book that would make the same kind of contribution.  (Yes, you only have to research four of the five historical units!)

For the final unit, find at least two articles and/or reviews about a current/recent production that uses a “displaced” style, and report on what you would perceive would be the challenges for an actor cast in that production.  Follow the format provided on the attached handout.  (two article reviews, 10 points each; two book reviews, 20 points each; “displaced” submission, 15 points)

Play analysis:  For each play from which a scene is chosen, submit a play analysis using the “style checklist” inside the front cover of your textbook.  (5 submissions, 15 points each)

Scenes:  You will perform a scene from each historical period.  For three periods, choose a partner (or partners) for scene work; for two others, choose a monologue.  Each scene will be performed twice so that critiques can be given and improvements made.  (First performances = 25 points each; final performances = 50 points each)

Critiques:  You will participate in oral and written critiques of peer performances.  Critiques will not be assigned a point value, as they are an integral part of class participation.


Writing Flag:

Practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields.

Understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields.

Students will submit written analyses of books, articles, and theatre reviews; five play analyses; and journal entries for each unit. Faculty will provide written feedback for all written assignments.

Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields.

The target audience for student writing in this course is a college-educated individual with a basic knowledge of theatre arts in general and acting/performance in particular.  Students taking this course are majors and minors at the junior/senior level; written work is expected to communicate effectively to their peers within the field, as well as to professors and other theatre practitioners.  Students will receive written feedback from the instructor on each assignment.  These comments will allow students to improve their written submissions over the course of the semester.

Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields.

All class writing assignments shall be submitted in word-processing format.  Students will submit journal entries via E-mail; other assignments shall be submitted by email whenever possible.  Use of both electronic and conventional resources for course research is expected.  Written work is to be accomplished at an upper-division undergraduate scholarly standard; the instructor will provide written feedback toward this goal.

Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields.

Except for journal entries, which are informal and reflective, written submissions will appropriately document sources and clearly demonstrate critical thought and appropriate expression.  As in all university writing assignments, grammatical errors (which include, but are not limited to, sentence structure, spelling, etc.) will be kept to a mandatory minimum standard.


Attendance:  Attendance is mandatory for studio classes.  This includes a responsible attitude toward rehearsal outside of classroom experiences.  If you have an absence, contact the instructor BEFORE the absence occurs. DO NOT miss class on a day you are to present.  In the unlikely event that you should accumulate more than two unexcused absences, your final course grade will be lowered by 10% for the third and each subsequent unexcused absence.