Acting II Courses
THTR 3005UN ACTING II - 3 points
Under the heading of Acting II, there are several course offerings which vary by semester, along with the instructor. See below for past examples of Acting II course offerings. Please see here or in the Directory of Classes for an accurate listing of course offerings by semester.
ACTING II: ACTING SONDHEIM
This class is an in-depth exploration, through song performance and study, of Stephen Sondheim's artistic output from 1954 – 1981 (Saturday Night – Merrily We Roll Along) using as our textbook:
Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010
In this compendium, the first of two volumes, Sondheim gives detailed insight into the development of his lyric writing process and guiding principles from his first professional effort at 24, through his decade of remarkable collaboration with Harold Prince, and includes his opinions on other major lyricists of the 20th century. This class builds performance skills in text analysis and musicality to develop the craft of effective storytelling through song.
In addition to building effective song performances, the class requires weekly study of chapters, listening to corresponding original cast recordings, writing ten critical essays, and participation in class discussion. The course also includes at least one visit with a guest artist who has worked closely with Sondheim. Guests in the past include Recording Producer Thomas Z. Shepard, Jim Walton, Ann Morrison, and David Loud.
ACTING II: ACTING DEVISED AND SOLO PERFORMANCE
This lab class explores composition, direction and performance of devised, interdisciplinary theater projects, and is grounded in research, experimentation and rigorous play. We work collectively, in group and solo forms, exploring developmental processes that engage your intuition, imagination and impulse, as makers and performers. In the first half of the course we work through a series of quick studies. These projects take you out into the field to hunt, gather and bring back juicy research materials you’ll use in class and explore on your own. And while this is not a class in autobiography (or stand-up comedy) the projects you create and perform will be uniquely expressive of … you! All the while, as individuals and as a group, we are in a process of discovering and defining what devised and solo performances can be. Our first reading and viewing assignment includes Liz Lerman on Critical Response, and Anna Deavere Smith’s performance “Notes From the Field.” The second half of the semester is devoted to the development of your final project, with an informal presentation at the end of term.
ACTING II: COMEDY
In this course we will explore the comic scene in classical and contemporary plays. We will use the traditions of Clowning and Commedia to explore the full range of comedic possibilities in each performer. Each performer will be encouraged to find their own entry point into the comedic world. We will spend time on how to table work comedic scenes, and listen to the rhythms inherent in comic writing. We will learn how physical comedy can teach us how to block a scene and how improvisation can live within that blocking. We will learn how to bring our own selves to the full realization of a comic script.
ACTING II: CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL THEATRE
This class builds skills in text analysis, monologue work and musicality to develop the craft of effective storytelling through the Contemporary Musical Theatre song. In addition to building song performance technique in class, the class requires weekly listening to original cast recordings, keeping a journal on assigned scores, and participation in class discussion. This class will also explore the development of Contemporary Musical Theatre and a Q&A with a Guest Artist currently working in the field. In order to be considered for the class, a short video sample of your singing ability and a paragraph describing your musical theatre or singing experience should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. No musical theatre experience is required to get into this class, but some singing ability is necessary. Pre-requisite: Acting I
ACTING II: TEXT IN ACTION
Considering Shakespeare as one of the best acting sources we have, this class embraces the idea that diving inside his work is a way of training our acting muscles while learning more about ourselves and the society we create. It is also a way of solidifying and challenging the knowledge that a student interested in theater may have by approaching Shakespeare's work through a physical approach to the text. Shakespeare's words were created to be uttered by a company of actors in a time when the performers’ bodies solely achieved the truth of the event with minimum technical support. For this reason, his work triggers the importance of using the body as a way of entering his world and the experiences he proposes. The first part of this class will explore the sonnets and soliloquies; in the second, A Comedy of Errors and Richard III. In the third and final part, we will examine master playwrights whose work explores the text's muscularity and rhythm as a source for acting: Susan-Lori Parks, Samuel Beckett, Anne Carson, Edward Bond, among others.
ACTING II: SCENE AND CHARACTER STUDY
This class is designed approach the performer’s work as an independent artist capable of interrogating the material at hand and producing specific proposals on stage that can stimulate their collaborators and contribute to the overall creation of the staging.
The student will work a series of scenes during the semester chosen from diverse plays seeking to stimulate theatrical questions that can contribute to a playful, vital, and dynamic role. The class will teach active ways of analyzing the script at hand as well as a series of physical techniques to approach character work. The mindset this class seeks to foster rests upon the idea that an actor must hone their craft as a muscle. For this reason, the physicality of the actor will be trained through key techniques to understand the performer’s embodiment as an essential element to produce thought from and through the stage. Familiar practitioners we will be referring to are: Laban, Malmgren, Pagneaux, among others.
ACTING II: SUZUKI
This class is designed to give the student a specific approach to the actor's rehearsal process that engages both the mind and body. The Suzuki Method of Actor Training, developed by Japanese theatre director Tadashi Suzuki, is a somatic approach to acting training that gives the student a practical way to enter into a scene rehearsal. The technique is a rigorous physical discipline drawn from traditional Japanese and Greek theatre, ballet, and martial arts. Focusing on the actor's use of breath, the center of gravity, and energy, this training develops power, presence, and precision both physically and vocally. Students will be led through a series of the basic Suzuki forms to cultivate an acute physical awareness, an energized stage presence, and discover the power of their voice. Students will study the theater practice of Tadashi Suzuki and The SITI Company, who adopted his training, and examine how this corporeal technique is used to build physical expressivity through its application to the rehearsal and performance of contemporary scenes. Suzuki's creative practice will also be examined, culminating in a final performance of a classic scene that is adapted and/or re-examined and presented in response to current world or social events.
ACTING II: ACTING THE MUSICAL SCENE
Acting the Musical Scene is a course designed as an introduction to the world of the American Musical Theater through an exploration of scenes from Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Golden Era and Sondheim. Together with our musical director we will help develop the actor’s physical and vocal instrument, text analysis skills, as well as study the history of the art form which was born right here in New York City.
ACTING II: IMPROVISATION
This course is designed for creators and performers interested in improvisation and devised theater. Improvisation invites us to connect with the imagination, trust our instincts and work with spontaneity, expanding our range and abilities. We investigate contemporary ideas and practices of structured improvisation and indeterminacy in acting technique and text analysis, as a means of generating material and as a structuring principal in composition and direction. Our work is interdisciplinary, engaging with text/ movement/ objects/sound/time/space etc. and is grounded in experimentation and rigorous play. We develop skills through individual and group engagement. This is a highly participatory course. Come prepared to share, support, experiment, and explore! Weekly research and development assignments and a mid-term project proposal culminate in final improvisation based performance projects.