Instructor: Bethany Lee
Class held in: I'm
in the regular classroom, in the Hoblitzelle Auditorium.
purpose of this workshop is to introduce students to some fundamental
elements of creating theatrical performances. Students will learn how to
consider emotion, and how that feeds into the physical, vocal and
internal aspects of a performance. We will be working with
“contentless scenes”—scenes where the dialogue contains no real
indication of character, attitude, relationship, motivation, etc.—to
discover ways to present information that is not inherent in dialogue.
We will also talk about “verbing” your dialogue, in order to
associate a meaningful action to every word you speak. We will play some
improv games, a la Whose Line is it, Anyway?, to help students
become more comfortable with one another and the stage. The final
project for the workshop will be a memorized three-and-a-half- to
four-and-a-half-minute monologue or seven- to nine-minute duet scene. I
will have some resources for you to choose from in class, or you may
find your own; regardless, I must approve you duet or monologue before
you start working on it. All of these activities will be graded based on
effort, willingness, and completeness/thoroughness of the written work,
and not on whether the acting itself was “good” or “bad.” There
will most likely be outside work required (you will note that there is
only one session scheduled for rehearsing your final monologue or duet),
in order to memorize your dialogue and mark up your script (you’ll
have your own copy) with appropriate verbs and other pertinent
information we go over in class (you may have to do some research, as
well). There will also be an approximately two-page paper on the
“creative process” that went into the final project. We will go over
this in class, but, essentially, you will write about how you came to
interpret/present things in the ways you chose, your feelings about the
process and the piece, obstacles you faced, things you learned, etc., in
the course of creating you final project.
Because we only have a short time, attendance is mandatory, and
your grade for the workshop (which is 15% of your overall grade for the
course) will go down 5% per absence, unless you have a note from God
Him- or Herself.
Session 1: Introduction,
improv games, warm-up techniques, discuss ideas and emotions that the
paintings and poems (for transformation) evoke and how those can be
employed on stage, begin looking for duets or monologues to perform.
Improv games, students receive list of verbs and practice “verbing”
their dialogue, find a monologue or duet if you have not already (you
must pick by the end of this session).
Improv games, discussion of how to perform a contentless scene, find
partners and begin background work on contentless scenes (these do not
have to be memorized).
Finish work on contentless scenes and perform them in class.
Rehearse monologues and duets, discussion of how to write “creative
process” papers (this will actually be a follow-up/question time—I
will also discuss it in the introduction to the workshop.)
Perform monologues and duets, turn in scripts and papers about the
(Only the first workshop group will have seven sessions) Improv games,
finish any overflow from previous days, and talk about how to create a
will be graded on whether or not you were on task during the process of
producing these scenes (though that’s a very small portion of the
grade) and your background work for the scene—you’ll be developing
relationships, personalities, etc. for the characters you play, and
you’ll be verbing the dialogue. All of this will be written (the
written portion that you hand in to me will be the majority of the
grade), as well as acted. Other students will try to determine some of
these elements (like the relationship between the characters) just from
your performance, though whether or not they can figure it out will not
affect your grade.
[For the note on final projects—they must
now find a duet or monologue by the 2nd class session.]
The grade breakdown will be as follows
(subject to minor changes with notice):
Final Paper about the Creative Process - 10%
*Participation is only listed as
20% of the grade, but, essentially, everything is based on participation,
because desks and computers will not appreciate your acting nearly so much as
your classmates and instructor (in other words, you can’t perform in a
corner). There will be some written exercises with verbing and the final
project, but those are primarily completion grades.
**Final workshop products will be
graded based on several things: picking a scene in a timely fashion (by the end
of the third session), staying on task during the class time allotted to work on
them, memorization, and marking up your script as instructed.
You may email questions
to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org