Summer 2003
Fully Enrolled

Elements of Acting: On & Off Stage

Francisco,William H.

06/23/2003 - 08/05/2003
Tuesday & Thursday 05:30 PM - 08:30 PM

Theater East

The phrase "being in the moment" and the concept of "action" have long been major components of most approaches to dramaturgy and to the process of acting. More recently, they have also become a part of dramaturgical analysis in the study of human interaction within the disciplines of anthropoloty, psychology, sociology, political science, and communications. By working with two of the basic elements of performance on stage and in life-voice and acting-we will explore how the concepts of dramaturgy apply to everyday life's performances at work and at home.

In the first part of the course, we will practice a variety of techniques and exercises to learn about the production of an efficient and pleasant speaking voice. This voice work includes breathing, relaxation, and concentration exercises as well as some work on diction. Our work in the second part of the course centers on the relationship between the director and the inexperienced actor in which the director helps to create (evoke?) a performance that is not totally imposed. We will pay particular attention to character and play analysis, and ultimately, performance, through the process of studying and rehearsing scenes from plays by several major playrights. At the end of the term, we combine these two main elements-acting (the internal) with voice (the external)-as we conclude with intensive scene study work and performance.

We will study O'Neill, A Long Day's Journey Into Night; Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Miller, Death of a Salesman; Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire; and a few one-act plays. Students will be evaluated on classroom discussion/participation, written character/scene studies, rehearsal preparation, and a final performance project to be selected in consultation with the instructor.

William Francisco (B.A. Amherst College; M.F.A. Yale University) is professor emeritus of theater. He has directed 83 theatrical productions, 14 operas, 12 television specials, and three films, including the National Shakespeare Company's 1970s productions of She Stoops to Conquer, A Middsummer Night's Dream, and Julius Caesar; Central City (Colorado) Opera's productions in the 1980s and 1990s of Gianni Schicchi, Don Pasquale, The Merry Widow, The Elixir of Love, and Die Fledermaus. He directed the television special of Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's performance of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex. During the 1990s, he directed Wesleyan productions of Caligula, Evita, Under Milkwood, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Waiting for Godot, Nixon Apologizes to the Nation, The Face on the Bar Room Floor, Bent, Oleanna, and Little Murders.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

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