ACTING PROGRAM

Course Descriptions

* Please note that course offerings and course descriptions are subject to change. Current Students: Please reference the relevant University Catalog to find the course listings and descriptions applicable to your cohort.

ACTING FOUNDATION

  • Acting I: Foundations

    The purpose of this course is the introduction to Stanislavski terminology and technique, developing character from self, beginning rehearsal techniques, and performance analysis. Meisner exercises are used to develop emotional honesty and reliance on impulse.

  • Acting II: Action and Text

    In this course text and dialogue are considered from the actor’s perspective. Scene work is explored and students are instructed in text analysis (the study of the language within the script) and scene study (the study of the structure of the script) for performance.

  • Acting III: Character Building and Development

    This course is an exploration of building and performing characters that fall outside the student’s physical/ vocal type. The emphasis will be on creating characters based on the recognition of the student’s internal emotional life, demonstrating characters based on the establishment of external vocal/physical adjustments, and interpreting characters based on script analysis.

  • Introduction to Performing Techniques

    This course is a study of the fundamentals of stage movement and vocal production. Course work includes ensemble building, Linklater exercises, relaxation exercises, and the creation of physical and vocal warm-ups.

STAGE ACTING

  • Voice and Speech

    The course builds on “Introduction to Performing Techniques” with advanced explorations of the voice and speech techniques of the master acting technicians Linklater, Berry and Skinner.

  • High Style in Comedy

    In this course students perform classical comic scenes which stress language, delivery, wit and style. The plays of Noel Coward, Oscar Wilde, William Congreve and Richard Sheridan will be utilized.

  • Acting Production Project I

    From first reading through to performance, students rehearse and perform a play from a classic or contemporary American writer. Students must audition to register for this class.

  • Scene Study

    This course consists of rehearsal of scenes from classic and contemporary American playwrights including Miller, Williams, Shepard, Foote and others.

  • Movement for the Actor

    This course is an exploration of stage movement based on work of masters such as Suzuki, Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Bogart. It may include physical character development, Kabuki theatre physical techniques, Noh theatre physical techniques and mask work.

  • Playing Shakespeare I

    This course provides students with a fundamental approach to playing Shakespeare. Particular emphasis will be placed on a rhetorical approach to text and punctuation utilizing Shakespeare's First Folio as the key to unlocking the text in a presentational actor/audience experience.

  • Playing Shakespeare II

    This course provides advanced skills for playing Shakespeare. While building on the scansion skills introduced in Playing Shakespeare I, this course will develop those skills and introduce the more subjective aspects of performing Shakespeare.

  • Acting Production Project II

    From first reading through to performance, students rehearse and perform a play from a seminal writer such as Tennessee Williams, Bertolt Brecht, Noel Coward, Harold Pinter, Anton Chekhov, or Samuel Beckett. Students must audition to register for this class.

  • Acting Practicum II

    Students complete a film or live theatre performance approved by the director of the acting program.

SCREEN ACTING

  • Acting for TV Commercials

    In this course, students learn, develop, and practice how to successfully audition and act in TV and New Media Commercials. Emphasis is placed on the commercial casting process, necessary tools, as well as learning specific and proven commercial acting techniques. Students will learn how to effectively market their brand, and learn vital information regarding commercial contracts, pay scales and residuals. Students will perform actual TV commercials on camera for practice, discussion and review.

  • Business of Acting in Hollywood

    This course provides students with vital insider information on how to obtain work and succeed as an actor in Hollywood. This course prepares students for the actor’s journey, with emphasis on career tools and strategies, industry terminology, and extensive information about casting, representation and union membership.

  • Screen Acting

    This introduction to screen acting begins by analyzing the similarities and differences between stage and screen acting. Course work continues into exercises that instruct students on basic screen techniques and will evolve into introductory scene work in front of the camera.

  • Cold Reading

    This class fosters the skill of creating a character with little or no preparation, as is often the case in television audition situations.

VOCAL & DANCE TECHNIQUES

Vocal

  • Vocal Techniques I

    Students develop fundamental skills to effectively perform musical theatre songs. Students work toward producing a free sound without constriction by focusing on singing basics like resonance, diction, clear tone, and the release of physical constrictions.  An introduction is made to the three main styles of vocal production: head register, chest register, and the mixed voice. Individual assessments help establish vocal range and reinforce a healthy voice and breath management.  Students develop aural skills and directly apply them to sightsinging.  Interval and rhythm recognition is the initial focus, with an introduction to the Moveable Do Solfege and numerical sightsinging methods. Melodic and rhythmic dictation is also explored. Individual private training will focus on each individual student's acquired foundation and develop more refined and nuanced vocal skills, including breath control, expanded vocal range, purity in vowels, projection, vocal dynamics, and techniques for singing a variety of musical genres.

  • Vocal Techniques II

    A continuation of the skills developed in Vocal Techniques I, this course will provide the student with the opportunity to explore their natural singing voice and find their vocal identity through a variety of musical genres.  Utilizing healthy vocal technique, students will develop and practice skills to enhance solo vocal performance. Topics may include but are not limited to: body alignment, releasing tension, onset/offset, breathing, resonance, focus of tone, registration, articulation, and expressivity. Students continue to work on sightsinging techniques, further developing aural skills and melodic and rhythmic dictation and working with sightsing material with shifting meters. Individual private training will have continued focus on each individual student's abilities as well as development of more refined and nuanced vocal skills needed for singing a variety of musical genres.

  • Vocal Techniques III

    Building upon the foundational understanding of the vocal mechanism introduced in Vocal Techniques I and II, the three main areas of vocal production are further explored.  Students are guided to reinforce healthy singing habits by identifying core baseline sound and maneuvering through passaggio.  Finding the optimal balance of the voice (chiaroscuro) is also examined. Students begin to explore the complexity of harmonics.  Skill areas include singing harmony, blending, analysis, and execution of harmonics in duets, trios, and ensemble selections.

    ndividual private training will have continued focus on each individual student's abilities as well as development of more refined and nuanced vocal skills needed for singing a variety of musical genres.

  • Vocal Techniques IV

    A continuation of the vocal skills developed in Vocal Techniques I, II, and III, this course will explore a vocal exercise regiment that increases range and ease of execution within all styles of practical vocal production.  Retaining basic harmonics is also explored, particularly emphasizing complementary nuance when singing with one or more partners. Students also explore retention of basic vocal technique when engaged in physical movement onstage. Students continue to work on the complexity of harmonics.  Skill areas include singing harmony, blending, analysis, and execution of harmonics in duets, trios, and ensemble selections. Individual private training will have continued focus on each individual student's abilities as well as development of more refined and nuanced vocal skills needed for singing a variety of musical genres.

  • Vocal Techniques V

    This course requires students to apply their knowledge of musicianship, song structure, and basic sound production to song material from the genres of musical theatre. Students refine and advance their overall musicianship and learn how to recognize cues in a musical score that will assist them in making dynamic, expressive, acting, and sound choices suited to the character needs within the given circumstances of the song material. Students learn the different anatomical and physiological processes of sound production for each of the styles studied. Individual private training will have continued focus on each individual student's abilities as well as development of more refined and nuanced vocal skills needed for singing a variety of musical genres. Students prepare for auditions, selecting material considering the actor’s “type,” marketability, and diversity of range.

  • Vocal Techniques VI

    Students work on repertoire exemplary of the variety of styles represented in musical theatre. Students prepare and perform material in correspondence with selected styles and time periods, while approaching performances with relevance to the modern audience. The course will include styles of musical theatre from 1875 to 1975, such as Gilbert and Sullivan, Tin Pan Alley, and the emergence of plot-driven musicals. Individual private training will have continued focus on each individual student's abilities as well as development of more refined and nuanced vocal skills needed for singing a variety of musical genres. Students will learn to  master the musical theatre audition for any genre or style.

Dance

  • Dance Techniques I

    Ballet classes are conducted to address the variety of skill levels present in each class. Training will be appropriate to each student’s individual skill, providing the most appropriate environment for learning and being challenged but without taxing the body beyond what it is prepared to handle in a safe and controlled manner. All training places an emphasis on spine and alignment while exploring vocabulary, technique, and traditional ballet positions while continuing through choreographic combinations of varying difficulty. Class content will include explorations of combinations including plier, tendu, degage, battement, por de bras, pirouettes, jetes, fuettes, adage, and petite allegro.

  • Dance Techniques II

    Students will continue to develop ballet skills and techniques as well as choreographic combinations of varying difficulty.

  • Dance Techniques III

    Jazz classes are conducted to address the variety of skill levels present in each class. Training will be appropriate to each student’s individual skill, providing the most appropriate environment for learning and being challenged but without taxing the body beyond what it is prepared to handle in a safe and controlled manner. All training places an emphasis on spine and alignment while exploring vocabulary, technique, flexibility, control, stamina, and endurance as well as choreographic combinations of varying difficulty. Class content will include explorations of positions in parallel and turned out, isolations, jazz walks, jazz runs, pas de bourre turns, chaines, jazz pirouettes, fuete turns, attitude turns and leaps, stag leaps, and other across-the-floor sequences and combinations.

  • Dance Techniques IV

    Students will continue to develop jazz skills and techniques as well as choreographic combinations of varying difficulty.

  • Dance Techniques V

    Tap classes are conducted to address the variety of skill levels present in each class. Training will be appropriate to each student’s individual skill, providing the most appropriate environment for learning and being challenged but without taxing the body beyond what it is prepared to handle in a safe and controlled manner. All training places an emphasis on spine and alignment while exploring vocabulary, technique, weight transitions, rhythmic acuity, acoustic dynamics, flexibility, control, stamina, and endurance as well as choreographic combinations of varying difficulty. Class content will include explorations of the basic tap steps including flaps, ball change, shuffles, back flaps, essence, time steps, military, cramp rolls, Cincinnatis, riffs, tap turns, crossing drawbacks, double pull backs,and other across-the-floor sequences and combinations.

  • Dance Techniques VI

    Students will continue to develop tap skills and techniques as well as choreographic combinations of varying difficulty. Also, ballroom dances will be introduced over the course of the semester including Waltz, Fox Trot, Jitterbug, Swing, Cha-Cha-Cha, Ballroom Tango, Bolero, Rumba, and Samba. Students will explore partnering styles and partner manipulation, developing essential partnering skills such as giving and supporting weight, expanding range of spatial concentration, lifting, catching, and falling. In addition, utilizing the skills, techniques, and styles learned in Dance Techniques I, II, III, IV, V, and VI, students will prepare for a variety of dance audition experiences. Students will learn audition strategies, rehearsal techniques, technical skills, and performance qualities.

MEDIA CORE

  • Story, Genre, and Structure

    A theoretical and practical introduction to the human phenomenon of storytelling, what stories are, their central role in culture from ancient times to the present day, and how storytellers seek and communicate meaning. Particular attention will be paid to the significance of story in the Judeo-Christian tradition and story’s role within the Christian faith.

    Students will generate numerous story ideas, and with the help of their classmates and the instructor will evaluate those ideas in terms of audience appeal, theme and meaning.

  • Media Survey

    This course introduces students to the diverse world of radio, television, news, cinema, internet, print and advertising. Students will learn how to critically experience such media and analyze its desired results. Students will also explore how media has developed and evolved through history and examine the current influences of media on society from a cultural, artistic and economic perspective. In addition, we will explore what the role of Christians in this new media environment can and should be, and how we can best utilize the opportunities available to us to become who we want to be.

  • Film Criticism and the Art of Visual Storytelling

    This class will study some of the most important and influential films in American cinema to understand the cultural context in which they were created, the role of the director in the film-making process, and the lasting legacy that the various films enjoy.

  • Media Law and Ethics

    The course examines the legal relationships in the motion picture and television industries, as well as the legal relationships between artists and their personal managers. It covers the key legal principles that are involved in most media productions. This includes with trade unions, licensing, intellectual property and contract issues. In addition, this course explores ethical challenges students are likely to encounter working in entertainment and guides them through the development of a personal code of ethics that is informed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

  • Career Strategies - Film/Animation

    In this course students identify their specialized interest and value within the media industry, and through the creation of a comprehensive career strategy, use specialized knowledge, skills and experience to prepare themselves to be hired by media companies and promote themselves within the media industry. The class will also look at the unique world of freelancing and give students the tools necessary to venture into self-employment.

  • Acting Practicum I

    Students complete a film or live theatre performance approved by the director of the acting program.

general education

Theology

  • Christian Experience I (Fundamentals of Catholicism)

    This course examines foundational beliefs of the Catholic faith:  divine revelation and its sources, the role of faith, the Incarnation, Christ’s work of redemption, beliefs about Mary and the communion of saints, the nature and mission of the Church, and more. Focus is placed on connecting your faith to the study of theology and in developing a personal relationship with Christ.

  • Christian Experience II (Sacred Scripture and Sacraments)

    In this course students will examine Divine Revelation, concentrating specifically on God’s Revelation of His Love and Truth in Sacred Scripture.  Attention will be paid to the Covenants of the Old Testament and how these lead to the fulfillment of those Covenants in the person and mission and Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ.

  • Christian Experience III (Mission and Morality)

    This course offers students an in-depth study of the sacraments, liturgy, spirituality and prayer. The course examines the challenges of developing an interior life, focusing on the nature and difficulties of prayer. In addition, students analyze the Church’s liturgical life, with a focus on the seven sacraments by studying the Catechism and spiritual masters.

  • Christian Experience IV (Theology of the Body)

    In this course, students will come to appreciate their own lived experience of God’s design for human life.  Students will examine the moral imperatives that result from their own bodily existence and how these honor the dignity of those around them and guide them in their own loving service to others in the pursuit of their vocations.

Philosophy

  • Philosophy of Man

    After providing an overview of the basic principles of the Philosophy of Nature, this course examines the nature of the human being, beginning from the Epic of Gilgamesh, continuing through the Classical period by means of Aristotle, the Middle Ages in St. Thomas Aquinas, the Renaissance via Blaise Pascal, and concluding in the modern period in Nietzsche, Freud and T. S. Eliot.

  • Philosophy of Nature

    This course is a detailed study in the various understandings of nature, beginning from the mythology of the Enuma Elish as a primitive attempt at grasping the world, to the classical understanding found in Aristotle’s Physics and 141 Parts of Animals and their Medieval development in Thomas Aquinas’s The Principles of Nature, to foundational texts in modern natural sciences such as those of Descartes, Galileo and Newton, to discussions of evolution found in Darwin, and finally to near contemporary physicists such as Heisenberg. The contrast between the classical stress on substantial form and formal causality and the modern method of material causality and mathematical law will be brought to the forefront, as will the emphasis on technology as a mastery of nature in modern science and the question of teleology, whether nature acts for a purpose.

  • Philosophy of God

    This is a course in the various understandings of metaphysics, or the nature of being as being, beginning from Plato’s Timaeus, continuing through the Classical period by means of Aristotle, and the Middle Ages in St. Thomas Aquinas. The course continues by covering several related questions, beginning with Natural Theology (discussing the traditional proofs for the existence of God, the Divine Attributes that can be understood using reason alone, the analogy of being, and the act of creation), continuing with the “problem of evil” and the question of free will

  • Logic

    Students learn about the basic structures of sound reasoning, focusing largely on classic Aristotelian logic. The course serves to help students think and argue with clarity as well as to effectively analyze arguments of others.  The course includes a careful analysis of the operations of the intellect, i.e., understanding, judgment, and reasoning, focusing on their products, i.e., term, proposition, and syllogism.

Humanities

  • Cultural Foundations I

    As this course engages apparently timeless literary works from the classical tradition, it situates them within specific historical contexts.  This approach enables students to better appreciate the enduring power of story even as they recognize the complex relationship art to its surrounding culture.  Masterworks of pagan antiquity (Homer and/or Virgil) give way to key texts of early Christendom (Augustine, Beowulf, and others) in order to further illuminate the impact of Christian theology and anthropology on artists and thinkers in myriad disciplines.

  • Cultural Foundations II

    This course tracks the development in European art and thought during the transition from the High Middle Ages to the Renaissance.  Special attention is paid at the outset to the tensions arising from, surrounding, and even bringing about this epochal shift, especially as evidenced in Dante’s Divine Comedy.  When the course later shifts its focus to texts produced by Shakespeare and other authors in Renaissance England, students find these tensions now located in increasingly realistic and complex human figures and dramas.  Through these explorations students come to see the distinctive groundwork being laid for what will later be recognized as the modern period.

  • Cultural Foundations III

    This third course in our Cultural Foundations series tracks the rise of modernity against the backdrop of various 18th and 19th century upheavals.  In order to best appreciate the dynamism and complexity of this period, students will immerse themselves in the literary form most characteristic of the 19th century: the novel.  By applying order to an increasingly dissonant world, the great novels of the European tradition illuminate daily life amidst revolutionary change in a uniquely personal way, and they capture in their progress both the subtlest movements of human consciousness and the most profound transformations of human hearts.

  • World History and Culture

    At the highest level, the course looks at how nations and regions across the world are navigating the tumultuous currents of globalization.

  • College Writing I *

    This course will emphasize the use of correct grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics. Students will be required to apply these skills to writing assignments.

  • Culture Making and Aesthetics *

    This course examines how media and business shape the attitudes, practices and beliefs of individuals and groups, and develops in students a rich understanding of the subtle and powerful cultural currents swirling around them, so that they can make valuable contributions to the development of future cultures. Students will consider critically how media and business shape them, learning to recognize the attitudes, assumptions, arguments and ideas promoted by media and business enterprises and products. They will develop a full, thoughtful and practical understanding of what cultures are and how they grow, and of the university’s mission to impact culture for Christ. They will gain an understanding of how Christians are perceived by the cultures around them, and appreciate how one gains the privilege of participation in the shaping of cultures. Finally, students will learn to articulate what of value they have to offer the cultures around them, and how they hope to make that contribution over the course of their lives and careers.

  • College Writing II

    This course will build on the skills learned in College Writing I.

* Must take one of these two courses

Science and Mathematics

  • Decisions Based on Data (Math)

    This course is a review of basic mathematical skills, with a focus on those needed to review and understand business statistics and information. The course focuses on real life application of the concepts learned.

     

    Students will also be introduced to basic financial literacy concepts such as budgeting and planning for large purchases that require a loan. The course is also designed to help students learn how to interpret quantitative information and other data in order to make decisions.

  • Natural Science

    This course explores the scientific method and reasoning. A special emphasis is placed on the design found in nature and environmental science.

Business

  • Entrepreneurial Thinking

    In today’s world there is a need for strategic thinking and business vision based on a different paradigm. Competition is not only between products and services, but also between business models. Students will learn about innovation-driven business strategies and methodologies to develop business designs to successfully compete in the new economy.

  • Introduction to Marketing

    This course focuses on introducing the idea of “entrepreneurial marketing” and is aimed at students who plan to start a new venture or take a job as a marketing professional pursuing an innovative marketing approach. Students will study a full spectrum of marketing strategies and tactics that are especially suitable for entrepreneurial firms aiming for high growth and innovation yet faced by limited resources and uncertain industry dynamics.

     

    Students will work in teams on marketing plans for their own venture or for other high profile entrepreneurs or executives. The focus of this course is on hands-on experiences and practical application of marketing concepts.

  • Business Planning

    In this class students get a “big picture” look at the ingredients of a start-up firm and the process of creating one. The class details those ingredients, discusses the stories (good & bad) of people who have done it, and learn the process by going through it with a team. Students learn the business planning process, how to craft a compelling and clear business story, and acquire inquisitiveness as to how the world of business really works.

     

    The class deliverable is a complete Business Plan created by student teams along with a presentation of the plan.

  • Negotiation Skills

    This course teaches students to meet and resolve objections and conflicts that result from written and oral proposals and pitches. Emphasis is on resolving customer obstacles before addressing your own. Topics covered include: Wants vs. Needs; Win-Win Strategies; Best Alternatives to Agreement; Schedule vs. Quality vs. Cost; Progress vs. Perfection. The class progresses through carefully structured, progressively more complex negotiation exercises. Students learn how external and internal negotiation has become a way of life for effective managers in a constantly changing business environment.

  • Social Media Marketing

    This course will prepare you to act both strategically and tactically –utilizing social media tools like blogs, microblogs (Twitter), vodcasts, video, and networking sites to engage with your audience and sell your products and services. You will discover how to use analytic tools to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns and communicate meaningfully with your audience. In this class, we will divide into small groups. Each group will build their own blog, as well as two accompanying social media accounts (Twitter & Facebook) for their chosen “business,” and we will analyze their implementation & progress.

  • Leadership and Management

    This course gives an in-depth understanding of the differences between – and similarities of – leadership and management. The course focuses on the major traits of leaders and managers, and augments these with examples of great historic leaders, including George Custer and Jesus Christ.

     

    The course also studies the leadership traits of Abraham Lincoln, and looks at how these can be applied in business to improve management techniques.

  • Business Communications

    This course will teach students how to write and speak effectively in business and other communication.

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