ACTING TECHNIQUE - 2024/5

Module code: MUTM049

Module Overview

This module is founded upon a commitment to integrate Acting with Text, Voice, and the Body to acquire the requisite skills necessary for a career in Musical Theatre.

Acting Fundamentals explores the key approaches to building character and delivering work in performance in a truthful and performatively sound way.

Material covered/chosen will be reflective of the continually developing global perspective within the theatre industry, with an understanding and awareness of the history and context from which it is derived. This class runs at the very start of the module across the first five weeks of study.

Song Interpretation (TB1)

In this class work on text and score begins to explore how we produce meaning, emotion and understand the motivation of writers in acting through song. This is aligned to work on scenes and character that also inform the process of creating a performing in character.

Acting in Musical Theatre 2 (TB2)

Building on the work delivered in TB1 this part of the module looks at extended sequences from Musical Theatre and the wider Music Theatre cannon. Dance is also included here – enabling students to explore the progression of character through dialogue, song and dance.

Teaching delivery will be designed and planned to be accessible for all students.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

SCRIVENS Nicholas (GSA)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 170

Practical/Performance Hours: 130

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Classes in Acting Fundamentals and Musical Theatre Integration form the basis of this module. Work is not restricted to spoken text, but will encompass singing, basic understanding of the role of music in dramatic contexts and how Musical Theatre performance integrates vocal technique, musical technique, vocal technique, and dance technique. These classes serve as a place to explore and to begin to enquire about and define a personal methodological approach to creating an acting performance for Musical Theatre.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Character Study - Self Tape Monologue 20
Practical based assessment Musical Theatre Integration - Continuous 1 (Text & Song) 40
Practical based assessment Musical Theatre Integration - Continuous 2 (Text, Song & Dance) 40

Alternative Assessment

Should a student miss an assessment point a re-sit opportunity will be decided at the Board of Studies. Students will be given a new brief and in liaison with the tutor agree on a date and format for the assessment to ensure that missed learning outcomes are met.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate practically their comprehension and progression in acting technique for musical theatre. Focusing on the skills needed to maximize employability as a Musical Theatre performer.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Character Study – Self Tape Monologue.                                                     

Work is developed in class in a group setting and across the Winter Vacation a self-tape performance will be developed for submission at the start of Teaching Block 2. The text of this project is expected to be by the student and evidence an understanding of character, form, and dramatic choice.

Musical Theatre Integration – Continuous 1 (Text & Song)                     

This continuous class takes place across Teaching Block 1 and will culminate in a presentation (in group) of a piece of integrated Musical Theatre, in terms of text and song. This takes place across Teaching Block 1.

Musical Theatre Integration – Continuous 2 (Text, Song & Dance)  

This continuous class takes place across Teaching Block 1 and will culminate in a presentation (in group) of a piece of integrated Musical Theatre, in terms of text, dance and song. This takes place across Teaching Block 2.

Formative assessment.

Formative assessment and continuous verbal feedback in the form of teaching interaction, corrections and notes are crucial to the module. Students are given detailed verbal feedback during classes. Students are also encouraged to reflect on these in their reflective journal which encourages a deep analysis of the learning sequentially.

Summative Assessment & Feedback

Students receive written and individual rubric-based feedback on the summative aspects of the module. The first in response to their work throughout term one, generally verbally, then with more formalized written feedback in term two.

Module aims

  • Explore the potential for individual and collaborative work in a spontaneous and creative way and to understand these skills within the context of the classroom and rehearsal room.
  • Develop and enhance awareness of the demands placed on the mind, body, and voice in the study of text and character.
  • Foster accurate and analytical delivery in praxis of text and character
  • Investigate various acting, physical, and vocal styles required when studying and performing diverse texts, writers, and genres in Musical Theatre
  • Develop a comprehensive knowledge, and apply appropriate techniques of the varying acting, physical and vocal styles within a Musical Theatre context.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Ref
001 Evidence physical spontaneity, imagination, creativity, and flair, when working solo and/or in an ensemble. KCPT SUSTAINABILITY. RESOURCEFULNESS & RESILIENCE. DIGITAL. EMPLOYABILITY
002 Convey period, character and mood, demonstrating a creative approach to character and performance. KCPT SUSTAINABILITY. RESOURCEFULNESS & RESILIENCE. EMPLOYABILITY
003 Analyze and interpret text utilizing integrated vocal and physical skills commensurate with the styles required within musical theatre performance. KCT SUSTAINABILITY. RESOURCEFULNESS & RESILIENCE, EMPLOYABILITY.
004 Evidence of an autonomous and creative approach to decision making in character building and communication in performance. KCT RESOURCEFULNESS & RESILIENCE. DIGITAL. EMPLOYABILITY
005 Evidence of a consistent, autonomous, and professional approach to individual and group work. KCPT SUSTAINABILITY. RESOURCEFULNESS & RESILIENCE, EMPLOYABILITY.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Acting Fundamentals.

This class is designed to introduce the key concepts of practitioner-based study of text and character analysis. Working with various methodologies students are encouraged to develop a personal approach to their acting process. Stanislavski, Meisner, Laban, and Meisner all add to the basis of these classes. At the end of the first teaching block of study students are required to submit a character study, which has been developed over the first term.

Musical Theatre Integration.

This class is designed to approach work in a practical way on scenes and sequences from Musical Theatre. The aim is to look at character and the development of an approach to various styles and texts. In the first teaching block students will apply technique to text and sung text with the addition of dance in teaching block two.

Classes are delivered as a group and often involve the use of dance and music alongside a practitioner-led and improvisational approach to working and developing personal performance.

Students are expected to work in their own time to prepare work for class and to enable an ensemble-based approach to the work.

Texts chosen for the cohort aim to reflect lived and personal experience as well as facilitating inclusivity and diversity in performance.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MUTM049

Other information

Digital Capability 

Students are encouraged to use current media such as email, virtual meeting and communications software, for appropriate use in communication, recording and team working.  Students will utilize the University’s VLE (Surrey Learn), and a range of Digital media platforms for appropriate use in communication, administration, scheduling, and reporting.  Students will also engage with creating Digital Content as part of the first assessment in the module, embedding skills that are transferable and engaged with industry later in their course of study.

Employability 

Employability is at the core of this module. Employability is embedded in teaching, learning and assessment. The skill base embedded in the module enables students to acquire the technical skills needed to gain employment as a Musical Theatre performer as acting forms a key skill for the contemporary Musical Theatre performer. The focus on integration forms part of a year-long approach to ensuring that students comprehend the importance of and embody acting within all elements of their practical work. .

Global & Cultural Capabilities 

Students are expected to commence the programme with an open mind and a willingness to learn, engage in discussion, and to broaden their understanding of the lived experiences of the varying characters and communities they will be portraying as a professional actors-in-training.  All modules benefit from an inclusivity ethos and students across their course of study benefit from the oversight of the Director of Equality and Diversity at GSA.  Every effort is made to make a range of performances accessible, and students are also encouraged to reach out to the Disability and Neuro-Diversity service within the University of Surrey if they are experiencing barriers to individual learning. Acting is highly personal and as with any class that involves practical work, feedback on and use of the body staff are trained to adhere to intimacy guidelines (as set out in the student handbook) and have a keen awareness of different global approaches and cultural approaches to musical theatre texts.

Resourcefulness & Resilience 

Classes, rehearsals, and performances adopt independent and collaborative learning, peer support, problem-solving, communication, independence, perseverance, stamina self-value and critical thinking, all of which promote resilience and resourcefulness.  The classes and the structure of the verbal and written feedback enable students to build a rounded holistic view of their individual process. Students are supported throughout, and beyond, their training by expert staff with practitioner backgrounds, most full-time staff are Mental Health First Aid trained and can give advice and guidance on where to seek further help – again, enabling students to take control of their learning and any barriers to learning. Acting staff should be made aware of any pre-existing conditions or injuries before the commencement of any class. GSA has a large cohort of first aid trained staff.   

Sustainability 

Students are encouraged to contextualize their learning and reflect on their current and future social, cultural, ethical, political, economic, and environmental impact from a personal, professional and global perspective, and to recognize a sense of shared responsibility.   Students are encouraged to reflect on the values, perceptions, and actions of their own, of others and of characters they are portraying in rehearsal and performance, and the impact this has on audiences. Sustainability in Acting is also a collective institutional and personal approach, students are advised regularly that any issues in terms of their own practice can be shared individually with their teachers and students are encouraged to ethically source texts and any props needed as part of their work and at the end of their use-cycle dispose of sustainably.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.