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Thr 410 Acting Studio IV



Theatre #97-410
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Theatre Department
Course Syllabus
Spring 2013

Professors: Merlaine Angwall and Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft


Office Phones: Angwall: (920) 424-7050     Purse-Wiedenhoeft:  (920) 424-4425

Office Locations: Angwall = ACW 120       Purse-Wiedenhoeft = ACW 119

Jane’s Office Hours: Monday 12:15-1:15 & Wednesday 10:30am-1:00pm and by appointment.

Merlaine’s Office Hours: Monday-Thursday, 1:00-1:50p.m.and by appointment.

Class Meets: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday @1:50p.m.

Location: ACW 18 and the theatres as laboratories.

Textbooks and other reading materials:

Audition, newest edition  By: Michael Shurtleff

Acting Professionally, 6th edition By:  Robert Cohen

Reading assignments will be distributed from a variety of sources.  Students will need to access plays by Shakespeare that are available in collections of his work and in anthologies.  Students need to read any play from which they are performing a scene or monologue.


Course Objectives:

You will build upon, develop and apply the analytical and characterization work that was introduced in previous Acting Studio classes.  You will complete hands on experience analyzing, rehearsing and performing a scene from the works of Shakespeare, another classical playwright of your choice as well as contemporary playwrights.  You will gain experience in selecting and rehearsing an acting audition package and will gain experience in preparing for and doing cold reading auditions.  Emphasis will be placed on identifying specific acting choices based in the texts and then actively communicating those choices in performance.  A portion of this semester is focused on career preparation.


Course Objectives:

To develop analytical skills necessary to uncover elements of characterization; to further understand the actor’s contribution to the creation of character through movement and voice; and to apply methods learned in previous Studio Classes to scripted and non-scripted work.  To study the methods and skills that will inform character development and analysis using the plays of Shakespeare, other classical playwrights and contemporary playwrights.


Course Requirements:

You will be required to participate in and/or attend three U.W. Oshkosh Theatre Department productions:  American Dream/Zoo Story, The Student Directed One-Act and The Mad Woman of Chaillot. 50 points will be subtracted from the semester point total for each show not attended.

You are required to participate in departmental auditions to gain practical experience in the auditioning process. Theatre majors are expected to be available to participate in productions as cast.   There will be two sets of auditions, The Mad Woman of Chaillot and auditions for the first show of next year.  You will have 50 points deducted from your semester point total each time this requirement isn’t met.

You are required to see the off campus production that the class will see as a group.  The date will be announced by the second week of class.

Two contrasting monologues are required.  Two scenes will be performed; one from Shakespeare and one from another classical playwright.  A character analysis of the Shakespeare scene is required.  A movement and vocal study will each be required. A performance analysis is also required.

As required previously, you need a yoga mat for various voice and movement applications.


Grading Criteria:

Participation in and commitment to daily exercises, discussions, using a disciplined work ethic and being a supportive member of the class will inform the grades that are assigned.  You are graded on an individual basis, not compared to one another.  Attitude, effort, class attendance, and completion of work – in and out of the class – are the key components of the class.  In scene and/or monologue work; growth in the application of feedback received from the professors and commitment to applying new skills and taking risks are of most importance.


2 Monologues @ 100 points each (50 pts. process/50 pts. performance)    =200 pts.

1 Performance analysis                                                                                   =100 pts.

1 Movement and 1 Voice assignment @ 50 pts. each                                    =100 pts.

1 TBD scene (50 pts. process/50 pts. performance)                                     =100 pts.

1 Shakespeare scene (50 pts. process/50 pts. performance)                          =100 pts.

1 Character Analysis of Shakespeare character                                              =100 pts.

700 Points Total

Grading Scale:

Letter Grade




100 – 93

700 - 651


92.9 – 90

650 – 630


89.9 – 87

629 – 609


86.9 – 83

608 – 581


82.9 – 80

580 – 560


79.9 – 77

559 – 539


76.9 – 73

538 – 511


72.9 – 70

510 – 490


69.9 – 67

489 – 469


66.9 – 63

468 – 441


62.9 – 60

440 – 420


Less than 60

Less than 420

Class Attire:

-Please wear clothes in which you can exercise to class.  No dresses, tight fitting clothes, flip flops, high heels, baseball caps, hats, etc.  If you are not dressed properly, you will be asked to leave and/or change into something appropriate for class.  Please secure hair so your face can be seen during class work.



-Attendance is mandatory.  You are expected to attend class and to be on time-in the classroom and ready to begin at 1:50pm.  If for some reason, we are delayed, we expect you to be warming up and/or preparing for class-use the time available to you.

-There are no “make-ups” for missed performance assignments.

-Everyone is allowed 3 absences for whatever reason; sickness, emergency, etc.  For every unexcused absence beyond the three allowed absences, the end of semester grade will be lowered one grade level.  If you are sick, email either Jane or Merlaine depending on who is scheduled to teach the class that day.  This must occur BEFORE the absence.  If you arrive late, it is up to you to inform us immediately following the class to receive credit for that day.

-If you are late to class on a regular basis, points will be subtracted from the total semester points earned at the discretion of the professors.  Arriving a half-hour late to class is considered an absence.

-If there are questionable weather conditions, the professors will follow the recommendations as recorded on the UW Oshkosh weather line, which is: 920-424-0000, and/or as announced on local television and radio stations.



-You are expected to rehearse and work on performance assignments outside of class.

-Attend class and be punctual.

-Commitment:  Listen, focus on the work at hand, be a supportive member of the class and disciplined in your work ethic.

-Specific assignment criteria and due dates will be distributed in class.

-Complete assignments on time.

-Participate in discussion.

-All electronic devices must be turned off.  Cell phones, laptops, iPods, etc.  In case of an emergency, distribute the phone numbers of the Theatre Department office and campus security.

-Treat other students, the professor and yourself with respect.  Harassment or bullying of any form will not be tolerated.  Use good judgment and appropriate behavior in class.

-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.

-Do not eat or chew gum during class.

-If there are concerns about any aspect of the class, please make an appointment to meet with us so we can discuss and address it.


General Information:

Papers will be graded on successful completion of criteria, grammar usage, spelling and standard writing skills.  All papers must be word processed using black ink, double-spaced, with a 10 or12 point font.  Back to back pages are acceptable.  Papers need to be turned in on time which is at the beginning of class on the due date.  Late papers will have 25 points deducted from the total points earned for every day the paper is late.  After class the same day = 1 day late.


-NO CLASS:  Wednesday, February 13th Opening of American Dream/Zoo Story, Thursday, March 7th Opening of Student Directed One Act, Mon-Thurs. March 18th – 21st = Spring Break, and Wednesday, April 24th Opening of The Mad Woman of Chaillot


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 d 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.


(The professors reserve the right to modify the syllabus to accommodate the needs of the students in the class.  If any such modifications are needed, they will be announced in class. This syllabus was jointly developed by Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft and Merlaine Angwall).

by Alderson, James M last modified Feb 07, 2013 04:10 PM