“Drama is action…”

“Drama is action, sir, action not confounded philosophy.”  Luigi Pirandello

In this case Pirandello is drawing a distinction between drama as an intellectual exercise and drama as a physical, emotional, psychological activity. He much preferred drama as a total human experience inclusive of it’s intellectual understanding, but a dominant feature of the learning experience.

Course Description

The course is an on-your-feet, kinesthetic approach to learning English.

The course is particularly effective with international students who may be shy about expressing themselves in their own language as well as in English. Using theatre as a basis for communication, students are able to break through cultural barriers (including their own) because their focus is outside themselves and they are involved in a dynamic process that is fun. Fun is the key ingredient, but the work is exacting. By totally immersing themselves in English students find their own key to self-expression in the new language.

By the conclusion of the course they will be able to:

  • Communicate in English conversation to a high degree.
  • Express themselves verbally and physically with confidence and   determination.
  • Comprehend our language and culture beyond a text book experience.
  • Apply the skills they learn both philosophically and practically.
  • Derive joy in learning.

Sample Syllabus (Week 1 to Week 5 Outline)

WEEK 1: Introductions
History of  World Theatre
Stage Directions
Theatre games
Movement
Voice
Speech
Play reading

Homework: Read Acting: The First Six Lessons by  Richard Boleslavsky
Theatre Games  by Viola Spolin; and class hand-out.

WEEK 2: History of American Theatre:
Drama
Comedy
Musical
Warm-up.
Movement: Free-form, Fencing, Dance, Sport

New vocabulary.

Play reading: Inherent the Wind.

Homework: Write a paper on character motivation.
Reading:  Opening Night on Broadway by Steven Suskin.

WEEK 3: Script Development:
Concept
Plot
Conflict
Character
Dialogue
Incorporate new vocabulary.
Discuss character motivation.

Homework: Read Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen

WEEK 4:
Discuss Respect for Acting. How is the actor perceived as an integral part of society? Is acting different from everyday life? How does stage acting relate to every day “acting.”

Script Development.
Improvisation:
Group
Silent
Gibberish
Vocal
Pairs

Homework:  Write one-act skits. Hand-outs on playwriting.

WEEK 5
Cast skits
Rehearse skits
Stage Make-up
Costume
Props

Homework: Learn skit dialogue. Be off-book by next week.

Beauty and Beast

Students created all props for the performance, as well as building the set

Students created all props for performances, as well as building sets.Beauty and Beast by Showa Boston Student. February 2002

42nd Street cast

Showa Boston Students. After enthralling performance of West Side Story

Showa Boston Students. After enthralling performance of 42nd Street.

42nd Street

Women's College Showa Boston Students take all roles, woman, man, boy, girl, and everything in between!

Women’s College Showa Boston students play all roles, women, men, boys, girls, and everything in between!

Behind the scenes: make-up time

Not you usual make-up.

Not your usual make-up.

Showa Boston Students perform Soran Bushi Dance

Soranbushi Dance is a traditional fishermen's dance of Japan

Soran Bushi Dance is a traditional fisherman’s dance from Japan.