Acting I is fun and rigorous. It is an opportunity to explore some fundamental acting concepts and techniques through exercises, improvisations, presentations, readings and discussions. It is a way of understanding what we do in life and making it work on stage. Acting is a life-enhancing process that involves commitment and focus with a willingness to explore and communicate. Both newcomers to acting and those who have experience will have a chance to challenge themselves and enjoy the work.

Classes begin with a vocal and physical warm-up preparing everyone for the day’s work followed by theatre games, projects and script work (monologues and scenes). We create an ensemble where students feel free to work together and give feedback. Over the course of the semester you will learn improvisation and audition techniques and work on a monologue and a scene. Some techniques explored are Meisner, Stanislavski, sensory work, mime and Rasa Boxes.

We delve into many different acting techniques to achieve the following goals:

  • To learn the basic components for both scripted and unscripted work
  • To learn and practice analyzing a script and explore its cultural context
  • To develop spontaneity – a sense of “being in the moment”
  • To learn techniques for engaging the body and voice
  • To transform self into dramatic characters
  • To connect emotionally to the inner life of the character
  • To work cooperatively and collaborate with fellow actors
  • To let go of inhibitions, free up creative energy and manage tension
  • To take emotional risks

As a group, we explore a diverse set of concepts and topics over the three-week program, including:

  • Preparing the actor’s instrument - Integration of Voice and Movement
  • Observation and Sensory work
  • Who, What, Where, When – includes Characterization and Atmosphere
  • Improvisation and Being in the Moment                                     
  • Interaction and Character Relationships
  • Truth and Treatment                                                
  • Objectives, Obstacles, Tactics, Expectations
  • Interpret and score a script                                 
  • Sensibility, Emotional Vulnerability, Emotional Memory
  • Rehearsal and Preparation

Students leave the course having worked on one monologue and one scene. With the monologue students learn about audition techniques. We talk about what they want to study in college and what to look for in a potential college. Even students who just want to try acting come out having learned new things about communication and giving them tools to feel more comfortable in and in front of a group.

At the end of the semester, students have the opportunity to perform their scene publicly for their family members and other students. 

This course uses a workshop approach that encompasses theatre games, physical/vocal exercises, improvisation, outside readings, class discussions, and script analysis, resulting in the performance of a monologue and/or scene. Most students in this class will have some prior acting experience or lessons, but it is not a prerequisite for the course.

3 credits.

Taught by Barbara Anger, instructor, theatre arts. 

Barbara has been teaching acting at Ithaca College since 1985. At Ithaca she wrote and directed Socially Transmitted Dread and the interactive play, Date At Eight. Both plays toured to several colleges including Wells College, Binghamton University, Cornell University, and Dartmouth College. In 2000, under her direction, she initiated the yearly production of The Vagina Monologues. She also directed an alcohol awareness program for athletes, and a suicide prevention program for the counseling center.

In 2008 her screenplay, The Boulder, garnered her an individual Saltonstall Screenwriting Grant and she was one of the top three finalists in the Ashville Film Festival Screenwriting Contest.

Barbara was cofounder and director of Mischief Mime Theatre Co., a national touring troupe that existed from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. They performed off Broadway and at many theaters and colleges across the United States. She continues to perform original theater and has been a teaching artist in many primary and secondary schools throughout upstate New York.

Barbara graduated with a BA in Humanties with concentrations in Drama and Fine Arts from New College at Hofstra University. From Vermont College she received an MA in the Healing Aspects of Theatre. She studied acting and mime at the HB Studio in NYC, with Michael Henry in Rochester and with Tony Montanero of Celebration Mime in Maine.

All Acting I students will attend the 2019 Hangar Theater Production INTO THE WOODS. A $45 activity fee is automatically applied to students' accounts to cover the cost of the ticket and transportation. Cast and crew are frequently available for post-production Q&As.