Theatre Arts II Course Description and Syllabus Churchill High School Department of Theatre Instructor: Wade Young E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Required Materials: Books, handouts, art supplies, etc. will be provided by the instructor as needed. All students will bring pencils/pens and writing paper/notebook daily. An actor always has a writing instrument available- preferably a pencil. This is a point that will not be compromised and will directly affect daily grades. All students will wear appropriate clothing and shoes suitable to floor exercises and/or set work. Time provisions and clothing storage can be made available for students to quickly change into such attire as long as it does not infringe significantly on instructional time. Introduction: The following course description has been excerpted from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills provisions. (1) Four basic strands—perception, creative expression/performance, historical and cultural heritage, and critical evaluation—provide broad, unifying structures for organizing knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire. Through perceptual studies, students increase their understanding of self and others and develop clear ideas about the world. Through a variety of theatrical experiences, students communicate in a dramatic form, make artistic choices, solve problems, build positive self-concepts, and relate interpersonally. (2) Students increase their understanding of heritage and traditions through historical and cultural studies in theatre. Student response and evaluation promote thinking and further discriminating judgment, developing students who are appreciative and evaluative consumers of live theatre, film, television, and other technologies. The primary focus of this course, however, will be acting. There will be daily opportunities to participate in group and individual exercises designed to broaden the actor’s experiences, understandings and techniques involving the craft. Exercises include those designed by Hagen, Alexander, Stanislavski, Shurtleff and Cohen, as well as monologue work, duets, student written performance pieces and ensemble scene work/fully staged plays. Goals and Objectives: The following goals and objectives have been excerpted from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills provisions. (1) Perception. The student develops concepts about self, human relationships, and the environment, using elements of drama and conventions of theatre. The student is expected to: (A) practice warm-up techniques; (B) employ stage movement and pantomime consistently; (C) demonstrate effective voice and diction; (D) analyze dramatic structure and genre; (E) identify examples of theatrical conventions in theatre, film, television, and electronic media; and (F) relate the interdependence of all theatrical elements. (2) Creative expression/performance. The student interprets characters, using the voice and body expressively, and creates dramatizations. The student is expected to: (A) demonstrate safe use of the voice and body; (B) analyze characters from various genres and media, describing physical, intellectual, emotional, and social dimensions; (C) create and sustain believable characters; and (D) improvise and write dialogue that reveals character motivation in short vignettes. (3) Creative expression/performance. The student applies design, directing, and theatre production concepts and skills. The student is expected to: (A) construct and operate the technical elements of theatre safely and effectively; (B) examine cultural, social, and political aspects of a script to depict appropriately technical elements; (C) consider script selection, casting, and directing skills; (D) define the director’s responsibility to the author’s intent, script, actors, designers, technicians, and the audience; (E) compare the roles of actor, ensemble, and director in production decision making and produce theatre with a unified production concept and style for public performance; and (F) select one or more areas of theatre production, demonstrating responsibility, artistic discipline, and creative problem solving. These are the TEKs regarding performance. There are also TEKs regarding history, socio-political considerations, and evaluations of plays and performances. They will be covered, as well. But as has been stated, the focus of this course is acting. Grading Policies and Procedures: The standard district grading scale will be used: A: 90-100%, B: 80-89%, C: 75-79%, D: 70-74%, F: Below 70%. Because of the nature of this type of course, the majority of grades will assessed authentically through acting projects and performances (40%) and daily participation in exercises and warm-ups (30%). However, there will also be some opportunities for those who excel in research papers and written/practical quizzes to demonstrate their understanding. When assigned, these papers/quizzes will be weighted at 30%. The weighted percentages are qualitative representations and do not reflect the quantity of assignments that may be made in any particular category. Additionally, as with many school courses such as athletics, band, choir, etc., there are before/after school events/assignments from time to time that students will be required to attend/ participate in. These grades will be weighted as acting projects and performances (40%) or practical quizzes (30%). These will be announced in advance so that transportation, etc. can be arranged. If for some reason, including absence from school, the student cannot attend a given workshop, tech call, audition, rehearsal, performance, etc., provisions for alternate assignments can be made with the instructor. The alternate assignment will generally take the form of a research paper- which is weighted equally with acting projects (40%) or practical quizzes (30%)- whichever is appropriate to the original assignment. Classroom Policies and Procedures: All school rules will be followed, enforced and consequated at all times. That being said, I’ll just make it simple: Respect. Respect your classmates and instructors- their persons and property. Respect the responsibility of being on the stage- it is a position of trust and privilege to be earned every time you set foot on it. Respect the responsibility of being an audience member- it is not an easy thing to open oneself on stage only to be treated badly by an audience. Respect yourself- you are a person of value and your contribution to the group dynamic is important. Tardiness is not acceptable and tardy students will report to the tardy center- it’s a respect issue. There are severe consequences for lapses in academic integrity. So don’t cheat! You are responsible for making up all work in the event of an excused absence. Make-up work may take an alternate form from the original. Late written work will be accepted at a reduced grade for each class day that has passed. Special note: Because much of this class involves performance pieces, absences- even excused ones- present a particular problem. If you are absent on a day that you or your group is called to perform, alternative written assignments will be made for you and/or your entire group. So don’t miss performance days. If you must miss class on a scheduled performance day for some extraordinary reason, contact the instructor and a member of your group immediately and it may be possible to re-schedule. If the reason is illness, a doctor’s note will be required. The bottom line is that theatre has a lot of trust issues and if you let down your group, you will be looked upon most unfavorably. (On a case by case basis, it may be possible for the group to redress the situation by performing the piece with an understudy/cold reader in the place of the absentee for a grade letter reduction in lieu of the writing assignment.) Commitment and a positive attitude are essential to the successful completion of this course. Disclaimer Statement: I reserve the right to change any and all of the above should it prove to be ineffective, unfair or at odds with school policy. I strive for equity and fairness with all students. If, however, a student might feel unfairly treated, that student should come and see me. Together, I feel confident that we can work out whatever difficulties there might be. May the magical powers of theatre energize you to achieve performances you only dreamed possible? Break a leg!