Course Description

This course is a basic introduction to theatre arts. Topics include theatre history, script structure, theatre terminology, stage movement, and character development. Performance work consists of exploring acting methods, audition techniques, and memorized scene work. Attendance at two home campus theatre performances (evening or weekend) per semester is required.

Learning Objectives

  1. To learn and apply basic theatre terminology and other theatre fundamentals

  2. To explore characterization through basic improvisation skills and games

  3. To explore techniques of physicalization as an extension of characterization

  4. To explore, in depth, two of the following acting methods as extensions of Stanislavski’s teachings: Meisner, Chekhov, Hagen, Practical Aesthetics, and/or Viewpoints

  5. To understand basic concepts of dramatic structure

  6. To develop and apply rudimentary audition skills

  7. To analyze and critique live performance through oral and written criticism

  8. To select, analyze, rehearse, and perform scenes in front of a peer audience


  • Be on time. Tardiness will not be tolerated.

  • Work hard. Come to all class periods with all necessary materials.

  • Love each other. Life is too short to be ugly to one another -- lift each other up.


  • Blue or black pen

  • Pencil

  • Highlighter

  • 1 subject spiral notebook (three hole punched preferred)

  • 1” binder for notes and class handouts


Major grades are projects, assessments, and/or other in-class presentations that account for 60% of the nine weeks grade. Daily grades are participation grades or homework assignments that account for 40% of the nine weeks grade. Per district policy, there will be a minimum of two (2) daily grades recorded per week and one (1) major grade recorded every other week, with a minimum of four (4) major grades being recorded during a nine week period.


Students are expected to attend two (2) Ovation Theatre performances per semester as a fulfillment of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for high school theatre. Attendance will be part of the course grades.

Recommended Reading

200 Plays Every Theatre Student Should Know

Ball, David. Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays. Southern Illinois University Press, 2017.

Bogart, Anne, and Tina Landau. The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition. Theatre Communications Group, 2007.

Bruder, Melissa, et al. A Practical Handbook for the Actor. PRCVI, 2007.

Chekhov, Michael, and Mel Gordon. On the Technique of Acting. Quill, 2001.

Hagen, Uta, and Haskel Frankel. Respect for Acting. Macmillan, 1973.

Silverberg, Larry, et al. The Sanford Meisner Approach: Workbook One. Smith and Kraus, 1994.

Yakim, Moni, et al. Creating a Character: a Physical Approach to Acting. Applause, 1993.