Acting: building a character
Time: 19:00 - 21:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: DRA051
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
The course provides a highly focused and supportive arena in which to develop your talent and hone your craft. You will gain practical experience of acting text by using physical exploration and play, to broaden and develop your skills when building character. Making use of the approaches to preparation and characterisation developed by Stanislavski and the key modern practioners, the aim is to stimulate real, thoughtful, responses to authors' lines and to achieve spontaneity in delivery. We will look at characters and scenes from a key contemporary text as we approach each element of the actors preparation process.
Session work will be intensive and you will need to be fully prepared for all classes memorising your scene very early in the process. From session three, you can work with a prompter but by session four you need to be off book solidly with only an emergency assist, in order to rehearse more freely and to get the most from this active process. You need to be able to work co-operatively and with discipline and commitment.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Imagining a full life for your character, visualisations and profile
• Text work. Understanding and employing actions and beats
• Improvising in character, improvising around a scene
• Contextualising character and situations in the play
• Understanding Stanislavskian vocabulary - objective, superobjective, motivation, etc.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Analyse a scene effectively for information to build character Identifying beats, objectives and motivations
• Identify and employ realistic actions
• Identify clues in the text that inform the physicality of the character
• Make effective use of Relationships, Space, Previous Circumstances, and Motivation.
• Perform with greater authenticity.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need to have completed a beginners course. This class is for improvers and advanced students.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
In pairs, groups and individually. You will need to prepare work and learn lines outside of the sessions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
If possible the script will be made available to you via google classroom but you may need to purchase a copy of the set text. You are encouraged to read more extensively outside of class studying further texts to support your learning in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Depending on how much experience you have continue on in any improvers level or Advanced class. Students who have completed several courses at improvers and or advanced level may wish to consider auditioning for DRA142 City Lit Theatre Company.
Deirdre is a supportive and dynamic acting, drama and accent tutor at Citylit. She trained in acting in NYC and at RADA , and studied Performance and Culture at Goldsmiths (MA). Her directing credits include new writing workshops of Shaken by Louise Page and staged readings of plays and musicals at RADA, a devised play The Disunderstood at CityLit; she has also directed large scale Music Hall Events for The Portico Gallery. As a writer, plays include Waking Beauty, The People Downstairs (Young Vic, Shortlisted for LWT Plays On Stage), The Lizzie Play directed by Rufus Norris (UK and international tours, Time Out & Playbill Critic's Choice) A Cautionary Tale for the National Theatre Studio, and Betty Has To Go Now, commissioned for the 2013 Solo Theatre Festival. Performance credits include Betty Has To Go Now, Adult Child/Dead Child, and What Happened to the Tyrant, Bessie in Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mount Morgan (West End world premiere), Joanna in Home Free (directed by Kathy Burke), Jeeves and Wooster (ITV) and Simon Gray's Unnatural Pursuits (BBC TV)
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.