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Course Information

Instructor Info:William MacAdams
Office Extension x6202
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Wednesday Friday
09:30 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 104
09:30 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 104

What is presence on stage? And how does an actor manifest it? This course examines the work of the actor through a hands-on, experiential approach, focusing on the body, voice, and imagination.  It focuses on the relationship between the actor and the text, on your body as an expressive form, and on developing the alive and electric space between performers on stage.  We will explore:

  • Character development
  • Text analysis
  • Physical and vocal presence on stage
  • “Sending action,” or bringing energy to the space between you and your fellow performers, or between you and the audience
Course Objectives:

See above

Evaluation Criteria:

Students in the course will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Completion of three performance assignments (monologue, movement piece, and scene) and demonstrated growth during your rehearsal process
  • Listening, collaborative skills, and support of the ensemble
  • Three writing assignments, corresponding to each performance  (DUE on 9/21, 10/19, and 11/16)
  • Writing one 2-3 page theater review (DUE on11/9)
  • Critical reflection, both of one's own work and the work of the class
  • Additional acting assignments, as discussed in class
  • Attendance and punctuality
Additional Info:


As a student in this course, you are a member of an ensemble.  For some of you, this is an ensemble that will develop and sustain you throughout your time at Hampshire.  Developing an ensemble requires personal emotional commitment, trust, and listening – and the awareness that we will all be taking risks, making mistakes, and learning.

Learning will take place both on your feet and through observation.   I ask that you be attentive to how you can learn from your peer’s work, as the most skilled, dynamic actors are constantly learning from one another.

Much of the rehearsal of your scenes, monologues, and movement pieces will take place outside of class time – in-class time will be used for presentation and to develop work already rehearsed .  Please make sure that you allow time to accommodate your partners’ schedules, particularly if you are working in groups.  Although all of us are capable of brilliant, unrehearsed moments, this is is a very tricky thing to rely on – and hardly ever can supplant thorough preparation and the inspiration that comes when you have created a solid foundation.