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Thr 409 Acting Studio III


Theatre #97-409

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Course Syllabus Fall, 2012

INSTRUCTORS: Merlaine Angwall and Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft

PHONES: Angwall:  424-7050, Purse-Wiedenhoeft:  424-4425



Angwall:  1:00-1:50, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or by appointment.

Purse-Wiedenhoeft:  1:00-1:50, Monday & Wednesday 11:15-12:30, Tuesday & Thursday or by appointment.

Required Reading:

-The syllabus for the class.

-The plays from which monologues and scenes are selected.

-Additional reading assignments distributed in class and/or posted on D2L.


Course Objectives:

-To apply methods learned in previous Acting Studio Classes to advanced scripted and non-scripted work.

-To further develop analytical skills necessary to uncover more intense elements of characterization including emotional preparation.

-To further understand and incorporate the actor’s responsibility to apply movement and vocal choices to the creation of a specific character.

-To study the methods and skills used in character analysis through the application of scene study based in Chekov’s plays and Stanislavski’s actor training.

-To apply acting skills and experience to acting Shakespeare monologues and sonnets.


Course Requirements:

You are required to participate in or attend two U.W. Oshkosh productions:  More Fun Than Bowling and The Christmas Schooner. We will attend an off-campus production as a group.  Location, date/time and student ticket price for the show will be announced in class. Two monologues are required, one from the realistic genre and one from Shakespeare.  Two scenes will be performed; one from Chekov and the other from contemporary realism.  A Character Analysis on the Chekov character is required.  A movement study will be required and a voice assignment requiring scansion of the Shakespeare piece to inform acting choices for the monologue.  You are required to participate in all UW Oshkosh Theatre auditions that occur during this semester.  All students need a yoga mat for voice and movement work.


Grading Criteria:

Participation in and commitment to daily exercises, improvisations, discussions, using a disciplined work ethic and being a supportive member of the class will inform the grades that are assigned.  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.


1 Contemporary Monologue                                                                          =100 pts.

1 Shakespeare Monologue                                                                              =100 pts.

1 Voice Assignment/scansion of the Shakespeare monologue                      =  50 pts.

1 Performance analysis of the off-campus performance                                =100 pts.

1 Movement Assignment                                                                               =  50 pts.

1 Character Analysis of Chekov scene character                                           =100 pts.

1 Chekov scene                                                                                               =100 pts.

1 Contemporary realism scene                                                                       =100 pts.

Total = 700 points

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


Please wear clothes in which you can exercise to class.  You will be spending time on the floor and the theatre may be in varying states of cleanliness.  No dresses, tight fitting clothes, flip flops, high heels, baseball caps, hats, etc.  Being dressed appropriately for acting class is part of being prepared for class.  Please secure your hair so that it is out of your eyes for class.



Attendance is mandatory.  You are expected to attend class and to be on time.  If you arrive after class has started, it is up to you to inform us of your arrival 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 our discretion.  Arriving a half-hour late to class is considered an absence as is leaving early without prior permission granted.  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 or call both of us so we will both know your status for a given class.  This should occur BEFORE the absence. There are no “make-ups” on performance assignments.


50 points will be deducted from your semester points if you fail to attend a required audition.


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 or we will give additional instructions in 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.

-You are expected to rehearse outside of the regular class time.  It is evident if you haven’t.

-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 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 it and address it in the appropriate manner.



Registration in the Studio Acting Courses requires the permission of the professors.  Continuation in the program into the next studio course will require permission.  The decision will be made at the end of the semester and will be based on a number of factors; the most important being attendance, discipline, attitude, and quality of class participation.



-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 = 1 day.

-No class on Wednesday, September 26th, opening of More Fun Than Bowling, and on Wednesday, November 14th, opening of The Christmas Schooner.  No class on Wednesday and Thursday, November 21st and 22nd = Thanksgiving holiday break.


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.

(The professors reserve the right to modify the syllabus to accommodate the needs of the students.  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 Aug 29, 2012 03:48 PM