Fundamentals of Acting

I.     Course Prefix/Number: THE 103

       Course Name: Fundamentals of Acting

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


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:

  1. Utilize standard theater terminology
  2. Integrate use of voice and body techniques in exercises/performance
  3. Examine use of stage space in development of relationships
  4. Appraise their ability to stay on task truthfully and in character while performing
  5. Apply basic principles of the Stanislavski technique to acting
  6. Analyze and research elements of character development
  7. Identify several approaches to acting performance
  8. Memorize and perform scripted scenes

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• 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

Week One
Trust Me
*Auditions (see handout)
* Assignment – Read Lessons: 1,18

Week Two
Warm up
***Personal Object***
***Talent Show***

*Assignment – Read Lesson: 15

Week Three
Warm up
Doing vs. Being
Goal and Obstacle
***Simple Activity***
*Assignment – Contentless Scene
Read Lessons: 3,4

Week Four
Warm up
The Other
Tactics and Expectations
*Assignment – Read Lessons 6,7

Week Five
Warm up
Vulnerability and Discovery Exercises
Given Circumstances
***Present Contentless Scenes
*Assignment – Read Lessons: 5,8,9,10,11

Week Six
Warm up
Cold Readings
Assign Short Scenes
Due: 202 -  Book Choice for Oral Report

Week Seven
Warm up
The Rehearsal
Short Scene Rehearsal/First Presentation
*Assignment – Monologues

Week Eight
Warm up
Midterm Exam
Short Scenes: Second Presentation
Due: Monologue Choice

Week Nine
Final Presentations: Short Scenes

Week Ten
Assign Final Scenes
Discuss Character Workbook
Monologue Workshop
**Due: 101 & 202 - Audition Critiques

Week Elenen
Workshop: Monologues (memorized)

Week Twelve
Monologues: Final Presentations
Rehearsal:  Final Scenes

Week Thirteen
Rehearsal: Final Scenes
Due: 202 – Oral Reports

Week Fourteen
Rehearsal: Final Scenes (first presentations)

Week Fifteen
Rehearsal: Final Scenes (second presentations)
Due: 103/202 – Actor’s Critique

Week Sixteen
: Final Scenes (invited guests welcome)

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture and discussion
  2. Written analysis
  3. Workshop scenes and exercises
  4. Field trips
  5. Audition experience
  6. Guest artists
  7. Private individual workshop sessions

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading (college level).
  2. Writing (college level).
  3. Oral Presentation.
  4. Critical thinking.
  5. Scene study and rehearsal outside of class time.
  6. Physical and creative risk-taking.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

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

  1. Grades on written analysis.
  2. Grades on scenes and exercises.
  3. Group discussion and oral feedback on all scenes and exercises.
  4. 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
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.