423 Acting IV

ACTING IV: Fall 2011

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Theatre Department

Course: THR F423 F01

3 credits

Required Prerequisites: THR 121 Fundamentals of Acting, THR 221 Acting II, THR 320 Voice and Speech for the Actor, THR 321 Acting III

Recommended Prerequisites: THR 310 Acting for the Camera

Location: Fine Arts Building, Lab Theatre (Salisbury backstage area)

Dates: September 1- December 17, 2011

Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30 AM- 1PM

 CARRIE BAKER, Assistant Professor of Theatre          


Office Phone: 907-474-7754

Office: THEA 109A

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30-11am or by appointment

 I. Course Description:

This course will focus on the refinement of physical, vocal, emotional, and imaginative awareness. This is a scene study class which will include audition technique, acting for the camera skills, and preparation for the professional world of acting. This course is intended for students who are senior Theatre majors at UAF.

II. Course Goals and Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will become familiar with advanced acting techniques and methods while developing their creative tools. Students will have a deeper understanding of character development and will be more fully prepared for auditioning and the professional acting world. The semester will culminate with a final public performance.

III. Instructional Methods:

This is a scene study class that will require extensive memorization and rehearsal outside of class. You will present 2 monologues and 3 scenes this semester. The class will also include class discussions, a midterm exam, critical writing, journal writing, and character analysis.

IV. Required Reading: 

You will have weekly readings from the following books. Your midterm exam is on the Cohen and Shurtleff readings, so keep up with the reading. The following books are available in the online bookstore and there are also copies of the Shurtleff and Caine books on 2-hour reserve in the library. Please make sure you purchase the 7th edition of the Cohen book.

Acting Professionally: Raw Facts About Careers in Acting, Robert Cohen, 7th Edition, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company ISBN: 9780230217249,

Audition, Michael Shurtleff, Bantam Books ISBN: 9780802772404

Acting in Film, Michael Caine, Applause Theatre Book Publishers ISBN: 9781557832771

V. Recommended Reading

New York Agent Book, K. Callan, Sweden Press ISBN: 978-1878355195

Film and Television Acting: From Stage to Screen, Ian Bernard, 2nd edition, Focal Press, ISBN: 0-240-80301-9

Secrets of Screen Acting, Patrick Tucker, 2nd edition, Routledge, ISBN: 0-87830-177-1

VI. Audition:

All Acting IV students are required to audition for the fall Theatre UAF production The Messenger Saturday September 3, 2011 in the Lee H. Salisbury Theatre starting at 1pm. Find more information about the auditions and season at www.uaf.edu/theatre/.

VII. Absence & Lateness Policy:

Attendance to all classes is mandatory. Exercises, improvisations, discussions, and scene work cannot be made up for the simple reason that they happen in class. If you miss classes, you are missing the course.

Students are permitted two unexcused absences. Excused absences must be supported with written documentation (such as a doctor’s note) presented when you return to the following class. Each unexcused absence will reduce your final grade. Missing a class in which you are scheduled to perform is unacceptable and will further reduce your grade. When possible, notify me via email or phone before class if you will be absent. All handouts and assignments will be given in class; if you miss a class, you are responsible for getting all handouts and assignments. All course paperwork (syllabus, assignments) will also be posted on Blackboard.

Please arrive to class on time. Being late will reduce your grade. Three lates will equal one unexcused absence and reduce your grade accordingly. Come to class everyday and be on time. I expect the highest level of professionalism and responsibility from each of you.

VIII. Grading Policy:

Please note: Grading will be based on a +/- system this semester.

Class Participation/ Readings Discussion………….…………………10 pointsMidterm Exam……………………………….…………..……..…………….20 pointsPerformance Critiques..…….……………………………….………..10 pointsMonologue/Scene Work (presentation & written work)…………….50 pointsFinal Public Performance/ Written Assessment……………………..10 points


  • A.    Class Participation/ Readings Discussion (10 points):

Your level of participation, enthusiasm, energy, and willingness to work in this class is of the utmost importance. Extensive reading, preparation, and rehearsal outside of class is expected.  Watching others work is a huge part of what you will do in this class. Your participation as a watcher, listener, and responder is extremely important. Watching others working on a scene and responding to their work in class discussions can be tremendously beneficial to your own acting.

I think you will find the readings in Cohen, Shurtleff, and Caine to be very informative and great supplements to the stage work that you will be doing in this class. Keep up with the weekly readings as they will be a consistent part of class discussions and our work together. When commenting on in-class work, I expect each of you to draw on your readings. I expect each of you to be committed to creating a positive, supportive, respectful atmosphere.

What to Wear: Please wear clothes that you can easily move in, such as sweat pants, T-shirts, and sneakers. No blue jeans, clunky hard soled shoes, or clothes that will inhibit movement. Shut off cell phones. Arrive to class on time, dressed properly, and ready to work, armed with an open mind and spirit.

  1. B.     Midterm Exam (20 points): The in-class midterm exam will be on the facts and concepts covered in Acting Professionally and Audition. Make sure that you read closely and take notes on your reading as the exam will be very specific and detailed.
  1. Performance Critiques (10 points: 5 points each):

Two typed pages. You will write two critiques this semester of the following plays: The Messenger directed by Professor Mendelowitz produced by Theatre UAF October 21-30, 2011 and Winter Shorts produced by Student Drama Association December 2-11, 2011. Both productions will be presented in the Lee H. Salisbury Theatre. As a Theatre major, you receive one free ticket for each show.

The critique will be due the Tuesday the week following the last performance of each show. I will hand out Critique Guidelines closer to the production dates. If you are in the show that you are supposed to be critiquing, I will have different critique guidelines for you to follow.

  1. Monologue/ Scene Work: Presentation & Written Work (50 points):

Each monologue or scene is worth 10 points. I will assign scene partners, but you will choose all your own stage material during the semester. We will all work on the same film scene at the end of the semester. I further explain performance expectations and written work in the handouts Scene & Monologue Guidelines.

  1. 1.      Monologues: You will present two contrasting 60 second monologues this semester. One monologue will be contemporary, one Shakespeare (in verse). You will present each monologue twice. Only work on NEW material!
  1. 2.      Scene Work: You will present two stage scenes (1 contemporary and 1 Shakespeare) and one film scene this semester. You will present each scene twice. For the first showing, you will present the scene and we will work on it in class. You will then have a final showing of the improved scene. For each scene you will turn in written work at the final showing. Written work will include character analysis, a unit-by-unit breakdown of the scene, and a journal about the process of rehearsing the scene. When you present the scene or monologue in class for the first showing, you need to come in with the scene rehearsed, blocked, and off-book. Also, you should dress appropriately for your character in the scene and have necessary props and set pieces (furniture, etc.).
  1. Final Public Performance/ Written Assessment (10 points):

At the end of the semester the class will present a public Acting IV Showcase in which each actor will present two monologues and one stage scene from his/her work during the semester. This presentation will be in the Lab Theatre. Final Written Assessment: Four typed pages. Due at the final performance. I will handout guidelines for this paper later in the semester.

IX. Important selections from the UAF Student Code of Conduct:

“UAF requires students to conduct themselves honestly and responsibly, and to respect the rights of others. Conduct that unreasonably interferes with the learning environment or that violates the rights of others is prohibited…. Honesty is a primary responsibility of you and every other UAF student. The following are common guidelines regarding academic integrity:

  • Students will not collaborate on any quizzes, in-class exams, or take-home exams that will contribute to their grade in a course, unless permission is granted by the instructor of the course. Only those materials permitted by the instructor may be used to assist in quizzes and examinations.
  • Students will not represent the work of others as their own. A student will attribute the source of information not original with himself or herself (direct quotes or paraphrases) in compositions, theses and other reports.
  • No work submitted for one course may be submitted for credit in another course without the explicit approval of both instructors.”

If you cheat or plagiarize in this class, you will FAIL the assignment and possibly the entire class.

X. Disabilities Services:

The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. I will work with the Office of Disabilities Services (203 WHIT, phone: 474-7043) to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities.

XI. Support Services:

XII. Tentative Semester Overview (subject to change):

NOTE: “Weekly Reading” should be done by Tuesday’s class each week.

Week 1:

9/1 Enrollment, Business, Course Objectives, Grading Policy, Handout Guidelines

Week 2:

Weekly Reading: Cohen: Chapter 1; Shurtleff p. 1-32

  • ACTING RESUME due 9/6
  • Shakespeare scene partners assigned 9/6

9/6 Contemporary Monologues First Showing (2)

9/8 Contemporary Monologues First Showing (2)

 Week 3:

Weekly Reading: Cohen: Chapter 2; Shurtleff p. 33-76

9/13 Contemporary Monologues First Showing (2)

9/15 Shakespeare Scene First Showing (1)

Week 4:

Weekly Reading: Cohen: Chapter 3; Shurtleff p. 77-113

9/20 Shakespeare Scene First Showing (1)

9/22 Shakespeare Scene First Showing (1)

Week 5:

Weekly Reading: Cohen: Chapter 4; Shurtleff p. 114-144

9/27 Shakespeare Scene Round Robin (ALL)

9/29 Shakespeare Scene Final Showing/ Discussion/ WRITTEN WORK DUE on day of final scene presentation

Week 6:

Weekly Reading: Cohen: Chapter 5; Shurtleff p. 145-200

  • Handout Sample Resumes

10/4 Classical Monologues First Showing (2)

10/6 Classical Monologues First Showing (2)

Week 7:

Weekly Reading: Cohen: Chapter 6; Shurtleff p. 201-257

  • Contemporary scene partners assigned
  • Revised ACTING RESUMES DUE Thursday 10/13
  • Headshots due (if available) 10/13

10/11 Classical Monologues First Showing (2)

10/13 Monologue Final Showings Audition Format (pairs)/ Cohen/Shurtleff discussion

Week 8:

  • Attend The Messenger performance

10/18 Midterm Exam Review


Week 9:

  • Attend The Messenger performance

10/25 Contemporary Scene First Showing (1)

10/27 Contemporary Scene First Showing (1)

Week 10:

  • CRITIQUE DUE Tuesday 11/1

11/1 Contemporary Scene First Showing (1)

11/3 Contemporary Scene Round Robin (ALL)

Week 11:

Weekly Reading: Caine p.1-56

  • Film scene assigned 11/10

11/8 Contemporary Scene Final Showing/ Discussion/ WRITTEN WORK DUE on day of final scene presentation

11/10 Introduction to Acting for the Camera

Week 12:

Weekly Reading: Caine p. 57-104

11/15 The Business of Acting: Auditions, Agents, Marketing, Casting Breakdowns

11/17 The Business of Acting: Auditions, Agents, Marketing, Casting Breakdowns

Week 13:

Weekly Reading: Caine p. 105-163

11/22 Shoot: On Camera Film Scenes (1)


Week 14:

  • Attend Winter Shorts performance

11/29 Shoot: On Camera Film Scenes (1)

12/1 Shoot: On Camera Film Scenes (1)

Week 15:

  • Attend Winter Shorts performance

12/6 Film scene play backs and discussion

12/8 Final Showcase Rehearsal/Final Discussion


Final Exam Performance: Tuesday December 13 at 2:30-3:30 in the Lab Theatre.

Invite friends and family to this final performance! This is scheduled on a “reading day” between classes ending and exams beginning, so none of you should have conflicts with other classes or exams that day.

  • Public Performance of Acting IV Showcase in Lab Theatre.
  • Final Written Assessment Paper due.