Fundamentals of Acting
I. Course Prefix/Number: THE 103
Course Name: Fundamentals of Acting
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course develops skill in the basic principles and techniques of acting. Content includes concentration, imagination, observation, relaxation and objectives, and improvisation, as well acting approaches such as Cohen, Meisner, Stanislavski, and Shurtleff. Creation of roles is stressed, as well as development of voice and body control.
IV. Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion, students will be able to:
- Utilize standard theater terminology
- Integrate use of voice and body techniques in exercises/performance
- Examine use of stage space in development of relationships
- Appraise their ability to stay on task truthfully and in character while performing
- Apply basic principles of the Stanislavski technique to acting
- Analyze and research elements of character development
- Identify several approaches to acting performance
- Memorize and perform scripted scenes
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
Example Schedule reflects topics covered in The Actor in You by Robert Benedetti
*Auditions (see handout)
* Assignment – Read Lessons: 1,18
*Assignment – Read Lesson: 15
Doing vs. Being
Goal and Obstacle
*Assignment – Contentless Scene
Read Lessons: 3,4
Tactics and Expectations
*Assignment – Read Lessons 6,7
Vulnerability and Discovery Exercises
***Present Contentless Scenes
*Assignment – Read Lessons: 5,8,9,10,11
Assign Short Scenes
Due: 202 - Book Choice for Oral Report
Short Scene Rehearsal/First Presentation
*Assignment – Monologues
Short Scenes: Second Presentation
Due: Monologue Choice
Final Presentations: Short Scenes
Assign Final Scenes
Discuss Character Workbook
**Due: 101 & 202 - Audition Critiques
Workshop: Monologues (memorized)
Monologues: Final Presentations
Rehearsal: Final Scenes
Rehearsal: Final Scenes
Due: 202 – Oral Reports
Rehearsal: Final Scenes (first presentations)
Rehearsal: Final Scenes (second presentations)
Due: 103/202 – Actor’s Critique
Performance: Final Scenes (invited guests welcome)
VII. Methods of Instruction
- Lecture and discussion
- Written analysis
- Workshop scenes and exercises
- Field trips
- Audition experience
- Guest artists
- Private individual workshop sessions
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
- Reading (college level).
- Writing (college level).
- Oral Presentation.
- Critical thinking.
- Scene study and rehearsal outside of class time.
- Physical and creative risk-taking.
IX. Instructional Materials
Representative texts such as The Actor in You by Robert Benedetti, Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen; handouts and plays selected by instructor which may be purchased or obtained from libraries.
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
- Grades on written analysis.
- Grades on scenes and exercises.
- Group discussion and oral feedback on all scenes and exercises.
- Self analysis.
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.