Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: This course is included in the Acting family of activity courses; not open to students with credit in DRAM 20A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Upon satisfactory completion of this course, through introduction to the practices of the theatre arts and developed ability to analyze text from multi-cultural sources and performance content for self-advancement, students will be able to employ basic foundational acting premises towards confident, embodied performance.
  • Upon completion of this course students will have develop the voice and body as an instrument of expression applicable in multiple public and interactive situations through the means of analyzing and projecting the intricacies of human behaviors from an empathetic platform. Additionally, students will gain confidence through the experience of interaction--applicable in both interpersonal and performance circumstances.


Introduction to the craft of acting, including theory and technique emphasizing body movement, voice production, articulation, characterization principles of motivation, scene analysis, cultural empathy through standard theatre games, exercises, monologues, scenes and the background research thereof.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Practice and employ fundamental steps in developing vocal and bodily control for dramatic communication.
B. Employ skills of imagination, observation and concentration, as they apply to characterization and dramatic action.
C. Analyze dramatic text for motivation, characterization and dramatic action.
D. Apply basic principles of stage composition and visualization while performing in ensemble acting situations.
E. Construct and integrate a system of theatrical discipline appropriate to the actor.
F. Recognize a variety of dramatic literature for performance, drawn from a broad range of multi-ethnic/multi-cultural sources.
G. Analyze dramatic text for societal placement, relevance and commentary.

Course Content

A. Develop voice and speech acumen.
1. Audibility and intelligibility
2. Characterization through speech
3. Emphasis, tempo, vocal dynamics
4. Principles of memorization
B. Enhance body expression capability.
1. Relaxation
2. Flexibility and freedom of motion
3. Characterization through movement
4. Connotative effects of specific bodily action and gesture
C. Engaging specific, industry-appropriate acting techniques in assessing dramatic texts as a means of developing self as a communication vessel.
1. Imagination
2. Observation
3. Concentration
4. Sensory awareness and recall
5. Emotional awareness and recall
6. Incorporate principles of characterization and motivation through active application of human behavioral premises
D. Unify and practically apply multiple premises of of time, space, materials and content as they apply to the multi-layered collaborative art of performance.
E. Employ stage blocking and movement principles and terminology.
F. Employ a broad range of dramatic literature drawn from the great classic works and the best of contemporary drama, including culturally diverse literature, for performance.
G. Apply background elements of research and creative speculation as they would apply to interpreting dramatic text with "the world" in which the work was derived.

Lab Content

A. Cooperative rehearsal of class assignments and projects.
B. Individual and partner exploration and self-analysis of concepts and exercises introduced in class.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Clothing suitable for rehearsal work.
B. A flexible, open-space classroom.
C. Rehearsal furniture and props.
D. Video recording and playback equipment.
E. Tutorial support for student scene work.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Evaluation of student performances, including scenes, improvisations and acting projects.
B. Demonstration of theory and techniques acquired, depth of dramatic characterization, consistency of vocal and bodily execution through prepared performance.
C. Assessed development of accepted standards of theatre discipline.
D. Required written assignments, specifically demonstration by the student of involvement in the course material through written critiques by the student of projects and assignments, followed by the instructor's evaluation of both the project and the critique.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture: presentation of theory and foundational premises
B. Discussion: assessment and analysis of theory and practice discoveries
C. Cooperative learning exercises: scene and partner performance projects
D. Oral presentations: solo performance exercises
E. Laboratory: rehearsal and preparation
F. Demonstration: peer and instructor modelling and self-assessment through performance presentations
G. Field trips: observation and analysis of performance presentation
H. Through structured lecture, teacher demonstration and guided instruction in solo and ensemble playing situations, students are introduced to the core theory and techniques of modern acting
I. Students will actively, practically develop an enhancement of a personally-developed acting process through exposure to a minimum of four of the listed primary outline topics

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Play texts to be selected by the instructor on a quarterly basis, drawn from the best contemporary and classic works.
Hagen, Uta. Respect for Acting. Wiley Publishing, 2008.
O'Neill, Rosary. The Actor's Checklist. Cengage Advantage Books, 2013.
Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Read assigned individual and/or class scripts.
B. Write personal reflection journal.
C. Write live performance critique.
D. Assigned text readings for content, analysis and application.


Theater Arts