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Thr 165 Voice and Diction

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh-Theatre Department
Spring 2014 Syllabus
Theatre (THTR) 165-001

Professor: Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft

Office phone: (920) 424-4425
Office Location: ACW119
Office Hours: Mondays, 11:30am-1:30pm, Wednesdays 9-10am, stop by or make an appointment.

Credits: 3

Class Location: ACW18

Time: Mon, Wed, Fri 10:20-11:20a.m.



At this time, there are no prerequisites for this class, but having had Acting Studio I or Fundamentals of Acting prior to this class is strongly suggested as acting experience at the college level will be beneficial to your work successful in this class.

Required Texts, Reading Materials and Other Required Materials:

-Read the syllabus.  Most of your questions will be answered on it.

-No required textbook. Reading assignments will be distributed from a variety of texts that will relate to the work being completed in class. 

-A bound notebook is required for reflective journaling assignments and will be turned in twice during the semester.

-A yoga mat.  You should be able to buy a yoga mat for $10-$15 at a department store or sporting goods store.  Those of you in Acting Studio are required to have a yoga mat for Acting Studio II and III as well so this investment will be used in more than one class.

-You will need to purchase tickets to the Theatre Department Productions.  Student rates are $4.


Goals and Objectives:

The focus of the class will be on the mechanics of the voice as they relate to physical relaxation, physical alignment, breath support, articulation and use of specific acting intentions.  By the end of the term, you will have accessed an awareness and command of your voice in a relaxed body.  You will have completed a collection of exercises and warm-ups that focus specifically on vocal production, articulation, vocal variety, and physical relaxation that affects the vocal instrument.  You will have applied this knowledge by acting in scenes and other literature, daily assignments and observation of acting performances to connect your personal individual process to what you observe in a final product.  You will have begun the process of clearing your speech of regionalisms by learning Standard American Speech for the Stage.  The voice work done in this class utilizes the four major approaches to voice work including, Linklater, Fitzmaurice, Rodenburg and Lessac.



-Leave shoes at the door.

-Commitment:  Don’t worry about doing something right or wrong – try, explore and enjoy!

-Attend class regularly and punctually!

-Be dressed appropriately and ready to work at the beginning of class.  Wear comfortable workout clothing that allows you to move freely.  We will be doing improvisational movement activities and floor/mat work.  Footwear: bare feet, socks and/or tennis shoes.

-Complete assignments on time.

-Participate in class activities and exercises with a sense of discipline and commitment.

-Participate in discussions by having an opinion about what you have read.

-You are required to attend the U.W. Oshkosh Theatre productions being offered this semester.

-All electronic devices must be off and put away.  Cell phones, laptops, iPad/pods, etc.  If you need to be contacted in case of an emergency, then give the phone numbers of the theatre office 424-7042 or campus security and they can find you if it is indeed an actual emergency.
-No eating or gum chewing in class.  They interfere with the voice.

-Water is the only beverage allowed in class but it must be in a water bottle with a closeable top to prevent spilling.

-If there are concerns about any aspect of the class, please meet with me to discuss them before they interfere with your progress in the class.

-Treat others in the class, the professor and yourself with respect and civility.  Harassment of any form is not acceptable.

-Academic honesty and integrity is expected at all times.  Plagiarism or other cheating will result in a zero on the assignment and appropriate official steps will be taken.


Attendance Policy: You are expected to attend class and to be on time.  3 absences are allowed for any reason – this includes illness, appointments, etc. For each absence beyond the three allowed absences, the end of semester grade will be lowered one grade level for example: a student with a B+ for the semester who has had four absences will receive a final grade of B.  Participation is an integral part of the work being done in this class so if you aren’t here you miss the application of the tools.  If you are late to class on a regular basis, points will be subtracted from the total participation points earned for the semester at my discretion.  Arriving a ½ hour late to class is considered an absence.  If your late arrival is less than ½ an hour, you need to inform me immediately following the class to receive credit for that day.  If you forget to do so, then send me an email that calendar day and I will mark you as being present otherwise you will lose credit for that day and it will remain an absence.


General information:

-All papers must be typed.  Papers will be graded for content, criteria met and general writing skills.  Papers are expected to be turned in on time = at the start of class.  Papers turned in after the start of that class or the next day will have half of the points earned subtracted.  Two days late and you will receive a quarter of the earned points. Papers received after that will get a 0.

-Missed presentations or performances receive a grade of 0 with no opportunity to reschedule. If you know of a conflict in advance and contact me in advance of the class, I will work with you to schedule an alternative date.

-If the weather conditions are questionable, I will follow the recommendations as recorded on the UW Oshkosh weather line, (920) 424-0000 and/or as announced on local television and radio stations regarding possible class cancellations at the university.



Participation:                                                            50 points                                50

These points will be based on the following:  You are prepared for class.  You exhibit a disciplined work ethic and commitment to the daily class expectations. You are on time. You participate in discussions based on readings and observations of your work and the work of others.  You are a supportive member of the class process by collaborating with others.  Your show a willingness to try new things to the best of your ability.  It is easy to get all 100 points but on the flip side it is easy to lose points.  These points will be assigned at the completion of the semester in consideration of your overall participation.

2 voice papers                                                            50 points each                                   100

2 times turning in journal reflections                   25 points each                                   50

4 miscellaneous assignments                                 50 points each                                   200

2 Acting assignments                                               50 points each                                   100

(25 pts. process, 25 pts. performance)

Attend 2 required Theatre Dept. Productions       25 points each                                  50

2 Vocal Critiques of Productions                 50 points each                     100

Total points                                                                                        =          650

Letter Grade




100 – 93

650 – 604.5


92.9 – 90

604 – 585


89.9 – 87

584 – 565.5


86.9 – 83

565 – 539.5


82.9 – 80

539 – 520


79.9 – 77

519.5 – 500.5


76.9 – 73

500 – 474.5


72.9 – 70

474 – 455


69.9 – 67

454.5 – 435.5


66.9 – 63

435 – 409.5


62.9 – 60

409 – 390


Less than 60

Less than 390


An assignment schedule for the semester will be posted/distributed during the 2nd week of classes.  Dates that class won’t meet: 3/7, Spring Break = 3/24, 3/26, and 3/28 and 4/18.

Liberal Arts Statement:

Theatre is a collaborative, creative process requiring a broad knowledge of the human condition to be successful.  The importance of theatre in society is well documented and understanding the role it plays in society contributes to the development of well-rounded citizens.  Theatre holds a mirror to society and teaches us what it means to be human.  Theatre, as with all areas of the Liberal Arts, is most effectively employed when it is built on a broad base of knowledge.


(I reserve the right to modify the syllabus to accommodate the individual or collective needs of this group of students.  Every class is unique especially when learning how to present yourself through your vocal work.)

by Alderson, James M last modified Jan 31, 2014 06:04 PM