THEA 2311: The Art of Acting


Course Description

This an immersive, beginning level acting class designed for students who are not theatre majors but would like to learn the skills of the actor.  Improvisation, voice, movement and acting exercises will be used to help the student begin to free the voice and body and to initiate a personal acting process. Basic work in acting theory, as well as techniques and applications of relaxation, concentration, and imagination are emphasized. Students will be asked to read a short acting handbook and a play, “Proof” by David Auburn. Students will also work extensively on their feet, memorizing and presenting two short scenes during the eight-­ day session.   

This course fulfills 2 University Curriculum components -­ Pillars: Creativity and Aesthetics I, and Proficiencies and Experiences: Oral Communication

Instructor Biography

Jack Greenman is an actor, director, educator, and voice and dialect coach.  As an actor, he has performed at Seattle Shakespeare Company, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Sound Theatre Company, Insight Out, PCPA Theaterfest, GEVA Theater Center, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Centerpoint Theatre Group and at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle.  He is the recipient of a Santa Barbara Independent Award for both Oleanna and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and Robby Awards for Arcadia and The Daly News.  

As a director, Jack has guided productions of Measure for Measure, Assassins, The Laramie Project, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Fuddy Meers, and Picasso’s Women/Francoise.   For the past six summers, Jack has served as one of two Voice/Text Directors at the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival.  He has guided the voice and text work for The Tempest, Anything Goes, Twelve Angry Men, Private Lives, The Secret Garden, Foxfire, The Taming of the Shrew, The School for Wives, Fiddler on the Roof, Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Music Man, Noises Off, Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Scapin and Les Miserables.  

In the summer of 2007, he directed the apprentice acting program at Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN and served as voice/text coach for As You Like It.  Prior to arriving at SMU, Jack spent two years on the faculties of Cornish College of the Arts and Freehold Theatre/Studio in Seattle and fourteen years as an Artist-­in-­ Residence at PCPA Theaterfest in central California.  This is his seventh year serving as a Professor of
Voice in the Division of Theater at SMU where he has served as the TA advisor for “The Art of Acting”.  

Learning Outcomes and Benefits

Students will:

  • Develop the ability to work as a supportive member of an ensemble.
  • Begin to understand and create a fundamental approach to acting using vocabulary and skills based on action, objective and obstacle.
  • Develop the ability to identify methods and techniques of the actor’s process.
  • Begin to apply these methods and techniques of acting kinesthetically, visually and aurally through class exercises and scene work.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the building blocks of working on a scene.
  • Develop a deeper appreciation for the craft of acting and their own expressive capabilities.
  • Fulfill two basic components of the University Curriculum.
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