TA 115 Acting One


Although acting is an ancient art form, the idea that the art and craft of acting can be taught is relatively new. Acting received its first comprehensive investigation in the early 20th century by Constantine Stanislavsky, founder of the Moscow Art Theatre.  Since that time, many people have devised effective systems or methods for training actors.  Some claim to be superior to the others; however, there is no single system, method or set of exercises that will “teach you” how to act.  It is your task to learn as much as possible from every available resource and develop a process that works for you.  In our textbook, The Great Acting Teachers and Their Methods, you will read about the broad range of approaches to actor training.  Most acting teachers today draw from a variety of these approaches to create opportunities for the student to develop a personal approach that is effective and flexible.

For those who wish to pursue it, Actor training is a lifetime’s work.  In this class you will develop strong foundations of discipline, inquiry and playfulness to serve your ongoing development in the craft and art of acting.


  • Acting is the art of communicating through human behavior
  • Human behavior emerges from driving needs and the actions a person takes to fulfill those needs
  • We study human behavior with our instrument: body/voice/imagination/intuition/curiosity
  • Our goal is truthful action magnified and purified for the stage
  • Our actions should be specific and powerful enough to affect our stage partners
  • Our needs should be strong enough to make us vulnerable to the actions of our partners
  • Our object is to tell the story in the most compelling and honest way possible
  • Acting is always in relation to an ensemble

An actor uses her instrument to bring the fictional events of the play alive and to convey those events to the audience.  She does this by using her instrument to create (inter)actions that distill and intensify the truths of the play’s characters, situations, relationships and style.

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