FNA910 - Fundamental Acting Techniques I

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:32:55.269
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:33:16.376

Subject Title
Fundamental Acting Techniques I

Subject Description
This subject offers a practical approach to acting whether it is for film, TV or theatre. Students receive a basic understanding of the vocal, physical and creative demands placed on the actor. Through monologue and an introduction to scene development, they learn basic disciplines in acting, including concentration, observation, imagination, and communication.

FNA910 is the mandatory first subject for all students who want to obtain a Theatrical Performance Certificate.

Credit Status
One credit.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Integrate a basic theatre vocabulary.
2. Demonstrate entry level acting skills.
3. Incorporate and apply constructive criticism given by the instructor.
4. Identify acting 'objectives' and 'beats'.
5. Present assigned monologues by preparing, memorizing and rehearsing scripts outside of class.
6. Apply a variety of acting techniques.
7. Examine a text and describe 'character', relationships to persons, place, era, and objects.
8. Establish a 'realistic' style of acting.
9. Summarize, in writing, the acting techniques covered in class.
10.Demonstrate a basic comprehension of the approach to the craft of acting.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Students will develop their acting skills and comprehension of a basic approach to acting through: 

  1. generating, improvising, practising new ideas and taking 'acting risks'
  2. observing, reflecting, comparing, evaluating
  3. bringing past life experience to bear upon work
  4. learning a basic vocabulary of acting techniques
  5. integrating acting concepts into presentations
  6. applying critical feedback
  7. logically summarizing acting techniques and their purposes in clear precise language
  8. listening effectively and speaking clearly and directly as participants in class activities
  9. respecting other students work and ideas

Mode of Instruction
To ensure that students are engaged as much as possible in the communication process and in developing basis skills, the instructors will use appropriate teaching modes, such as the following: 

  • ongoing constructive criticism
  • appropriate examples
  • question and answer techniques
  • classroom discussion
  • theatre exercises, games and improvisation
  • group work
  • individual, pair and/or group work
  • independent and team work
  • consultation

Prescribed Texts
An assigned play (which will vary from student to student)
One or more  monologue(s) chosen by the student.

Reference Material
Hagen, Uta, Respect for Acting. MacMillan Publishing
Shurleff, Micheal, Audition
Sher, Antony, Year of the King. Metheun
Nagler, Eric, A Source Book in Theatrical History. Dover Publications, Inc., N.Y.

Required Supplies
Students should bring a pencil and notebook to take acting 'notes'.   Students should also bring in appropriate props and costume pieces to aid performance.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Students are evaluated on their understanding of the overall process of acting in their performances and in a written analysis of acting techniques. 

Monologues must be prepared in accordance with techniques and methodology introduced in the course.  The instructor will analyse and criticize individual work, and offer constructive 'notes' to the individual and the group as a whole.  Students are required to make the 'adjustments', and repeat the monologue for additional critique and development. 

The highly practical nature of the sessions makes regular attendance a vital factor in understanding the vocabulary and gaining a viable approach to the work.  Students are therefore evaluated on attendance, participation and commitment to the work.  If a student misses three or more sessions, their final mark will be lowered accordingly. 

Marking Scheme:

Monologues (presented twice) 40%
Acting Excercises 10%
Paper on acting techniques covered 10%
and Individual Growth/In Class Work

Approved by: Lisa Somers