Areas of Study

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Graduate Acting Classes

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester. This listing is not considered authoritative. Please visit Access.SMU for authoritative course offerings including meeting times, professor, and more.

THEA 5205, 5206: Movement I–II
Exploration of the actor’s self through immersion in physical skills for the theater, including T’ai Chi Ch’uan, corporal mime, improvisation, juggling, hatha yoga, unarmed stage combat, animal-style wu-shu and foil fencing.

THEA 5207, 5208: Voice for the Stage I–II
A series of progressive exercises/experiences designed to introduce basic principles of physical, vocal and imaginative freedom, encouraging the removal of psychophysical barriers to sound production and developing the voice’s sensitivity to impulse, power, flexibility and range. Organic exploration of sounds of speech using International Phonetic Alphabet pillows and sound and movement improvisations. Text work includes development of self-scripted solo pieces, exploration of poetry and song, and the application of voice work to modern dramatic texts.

THEA 5209: Applied Movement I
Body work as it pertains to economy of movement, alignment, proper use, kinesthetic awareness, strength, flexibility and freeing the physical instrument. This course includes acrobatics, the Lecoq 20 movements and Neutral Mask, as well as physicalization of text, improvisation and ensemble projects employing the physical work investigated throughout the term.

THEA 5210: Applied Movement II
Continuation of bodywork as it pertains to economy of movement, alignment, proper use, kinesthetic awareness, strength, flexibility and freeing the physical instrument. This course includes acrobatics, the Lecoq 20 movements and Neutral Mask, as well as physicalization of text, improvisation and ensemble projects employing the physical work investigated throughout the term.

THEA 5298, 5299: Production Research and Development
Script analysis, background research and performance design for the actors and designers.

THEA 5303: Acting I
Studio focuses on defining a fundamental acting process. Stress is placed on the identification of behavioral blocks, channeling impulses into uncluttered and organic psychophysical connections and using the text as a blueprint for action. A mix of exercise, improvisation and scene study with materials drawn from modern American realism as well as the early modernist plays of Ibsen, Strindberg and Chekhov.

THEA 5304: Acting II
Studio focuses on defining a fundamental acting process. Stress is placed on the identification of behavioral blocks, channeling impulses into uncluttered and organic psychophysical connections and using the text as a blueprint for action. A mix of exercise, improvisation and scene study with materials drawn from modern American realism as well as the early modernist plays of Ibsen, Strindberg and Chekhov.

THEA 6107: Voice for the Stage V
A continuation of the voice and speech curriculum to further enhance the actor’s technique, reinforce good vocal usage and address any outstanding habits or issues in the actor’s process.

THEA 6108: Voice for the Stage VI
A culmination of the voice training with forays into other media. Cold readings and the use of a microphone for commercial and radio work will be addressed to prepare the actor for entry into the profession.

THEA 6111: Applied Voice I
The application and acquisition of speech sounds and the International Phonetic Alphabet to expand the actors’ technique, flexibility and range. Ideas of standardization and the identification of habits and regionalisms are addressed.

THEA 6114: Improvisation
Graduate-level exercise of actor spontaneity and intuition through theater games and improvisation.

THEA 6205: Movement III
The extension of energy and physical listening skills. Skills taught include quarterstaff, rapier and dagger, court sword and broadsword.

THEA 6206: Movement IV
An opportunity for the student to process personal experience into the movement and sound of a character. Skills taught include clowning, LeCoq figures and neutral mask.

THEA 6207: Voice for the Stage III
Continued exploration and reinforcement of basic physical, vocal and imaginative freeing processes through the classic Linklater voice progression. Introduction to structural analysis of Shakespearean text. Application of voice work to speaking of Shakespeare and other period texts: scenes, monologues and sonnets.

THEA 6208: Voice for the Stage IV
Further deepening of the voice foundation work set out in previous terms and expanding the breath connection, range and resonance using a variety of challenging texts. Shakespeare, Shaw and Milton are examples of texts used to enlarge the actor’s palette as well as explore how to use the voice in different venues, spaces and media.

THEA 6209: Applied Movement III
Continuation of body work, improvisation and ensemble projects as they apply to acting. This course offers additional Lecoq-based work using character mask; physical inquiry into the young, old and animals; and their relationship to creation of a physical characterization and connectedness (word to action).

THEA 6212: Applied Voice II
An extension from speech sounds and International Phonetic Alphabet into the research and application of dialects and accents.

THEA 6214: Acting for the Camera
An intensive approach to acting for film and television. Students will work with actual scripts and copy.

THEA 6303, 6304: Acting III–IV
Focus placed on the actor in the classics. Scene study work begins with the Greeks, moves to Shakespeare and culminates with work in Molière, Restoration drama and Shaw.

THEA 6313: Business Aspects of the Professional Theater
An introduction to business skills and self-marketing for the professional, including audition preparation – compiling résumés, photographs, cold readings, monologues and scene work for repertory, summer theater and professional theater casting.

THEA 6503, 6604: Acting V–VI
The expansion of the actor’s technique through extensive exposure to contemporary dramatic texts and performance demands.

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