Course Syllabus

Acting 1- Semester 2


5 Meetings per Cycle

Winter/Spring 2022/2023


Instructor: Kara Sullivan (She/Her/Hers)

Class Meeting Location: The Little Theatre- Room 165

Office Hours: By Appointment



“There is that smaller world we call the stage and that larger stage we call the world”


- Isaac Goldberg - America Journalist


Course Description:

Interpersonal skills are further developed in this beginning course in acting techniques. Actors will 

learn the basics of developing stage presence as well as the confidence to speak in front of others in 

a variety of situations. Self-esteem is built through positive reinforcement in a supportive and nurturing

environment. Fundamental Improvisational skills build trust and standards for the basis of all 

class work. Important Acting skills are continued through scene study table and floor work

and students will be introduced to a variety of acting methodologies as well as vocal and movement

techniques. In addition, students will explore how acting skills are relevant in real-world situations

and be able to apply this work to their daily lives. This course is recommended for all freshmen 

and others new to high school drama. 


Ongoing Assignment: Artist Journals

For each class, please write one entry in your google doc Artist Journal reflecting on your 

experience, which could include the artistic process and /or personal perspectives from 

work in class. 3-4 sentences per journal entry are fine. 

(Times New Roman font size 12). Your journal will be submitted to me electronically after

the first entry so I can continue to track progress.

Required for In Class:

  • Notebook, 1 inch binder, Writing utensil

Mandatory for Semester 2:

  • Attend the Winter play, Eurydice- Dates in March TBA
  • Attend the Spring Play, TBA, May 4-6

Optional for Semester 2:

  • Broadway in Boston trip to see Hamilton on 2/7



Course Expectations:

It is required that you SHOW UP for class.  Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. There is very little homework (aside from your artist journal) and I expect that we can make the most of our 5 days a cycle together.  Kindness is my biggest expectation and it is imperative that we treat our peers, the space, the teachers, and ourselves with respect.  I will encourage your very best and in return, I will give you my best. Acting has the benefit of being a fun and often less stressful part of your day and I aim to keep that as is- however, I also want us to work, grow and develop skills that will help us in life and on stage. 

Acting 1 Learning Goals

Grade 9-12

Essential Questions:


Skills/Learning Goals




Yes And & Imaginary Circumstances

  • How do you live authentically in imaginary circumstances?

  • What is the World of the Play?

  • How do Actors Listen?

  • What is the difference between being a person in a room and an actor on the stage?
  • There is a difference between representational and presentational acting.

  • Our instrument is our body and mind.

  • Improvisation is the foundation of an actor’s work.

Students will be able to:

  • Students will demonstrate self-confidence and risk-taking through a variety of theatre games, exercises, trust games 
  • Students will synthesize physical and vocal work to take risks when working alone or in groups
  • Students will be able to visualize the details of their stage world and apply a naturalistic approach to their work



Stage directions and terminology

  • How does a stage picture tell a story?

  • How is being an actor supported by other roles in the theatre?
  • The stage is set up the way that it is for a reason.

  • Being an actor means being a part of a team of people who work to make a production happen. 

Students will be able to:

  • Navigate the theatre space with a respect and understanding of its roots and meanings
  • Utilize terminology that demonstrates an understanding of various locations on the stage

UNIT- 2 


(Stanislavski, Brecht, Meisner) 

Approaching the Craft

  • What techniques of acting are universal? 

  • How do different methodologies inform the perspective of the actor?

  • Is there a right or wrong way to approach a role/scene/monologue?
  • There are many teachers who set the groundwork for acting as we know it today.

  • Understanding different ways in which to apply technique is beneficial to the actor. 

Students will be able to:

  • Identify and access the various approaches to acting and discover and articulate what works for them.
  • Recognize and respect that there is no right or wrong ways to approach the craft- just different techniques. 
  • Apply different theories to script analysis.
  • Compare and contrast various acting theories



  • What kind of character am I?

  • Whose point of view does a story belong to?

  • How does a character's world influence how they act?
  • A character is more than just putting on a costume.

  • All characters have backstories.

  • Accessing all aspects of our instrument is vital when creating/accessing a character. 

Students will be able to:

  • Endow themselves and their peers with identifying character traits and be able to play those traits with honesty.
  • Discover the essence of characters as the true art of theatre.
  • Explore how given circumstances are instrumental in creating characters.





  • How does what we have learned apply to approaching a scene?

  • What clues do we find in text?

  • Does improvisation apply to scene work?

  • Table work is an important skill for an actor.

  • Identification of beats and objectives is a huge part of our work

  • Applying what we have learned will help us dig deeper into the world of the play.

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze scripts using full scoring methods
  • Identify beats, given circumstances and objectives within a script. 
  • Apply physical and vocal techniques to create characters with honest and realistic impulse.
  • Discover how applied knowledge of methodology can be helpful in determining how they approach the work.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due