Embodying a Character
Course Number: DRAMA 353
Location: Synchronously on Zoom:
Meeting ID: 984 5575 7359
Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30am-11:20am
Instructor: Associate Professor Jeffrey Fracé, School of Drama
Office hours: by appointment – please email me with 3 times that work for you.
Course Description: How does an actor take clues from a script and form a compelling character? How might you invent a character for your own original show? What even is a character? This course offers practical steps to demystify those bottomless questions. Drawing inspiration from various theatrical styles, as well as fiction, psychology, and portrait art, we will practice ways to make the roles we play more expressive, alive, and fully realized.
Required Texts and Viewings: There are no books to buy. All readings and viewings will be available via Canvas via link or PDF.
Student Learning Outcomes: Upon the successful completion of this course students will possess a more nuanced view of how Character functions in dramatic performance, and a more substantial toolkit for developing characters whether in scripted roles or original/devised performance. Students will have honed their powers of observation, both of themselves and of others, and developed a more deliberate practice of perception, organization, and creation. Finally, students will have a working knowledge of various physical acting techniques that they can apply in rehearsal and performance.
Grading as percentages: Participation (40%) is actively taking part in class discussions, offering feedback on others’ work when prompted, and being a good project-partner when working in teams. Etudes (20%) are smaller projects you’ll work on in the first four weeks. Scenes (40%) are larger projects you’ll work on in the last six weeks. There is no final exam, but we will use our final exam day to review and discuss our final scenes. Time and date tbd.
Advice about time management: For a 3 credit course you should expect to be doing about 9 hours of work a week https://www.washington.edu/students/reg/credit.html. For this course, about four hours of that is in-class time. The other five-ish is your homework, which in this case, will be mostly creating original work or rehearsing a performance. Making ample time to rehearse is key: always assume your piece could use a little more rehearsal. I realize that, in addition to the normal everyday challenges of life, you are all currently dealing with other potential stressors. If you find yourself having trouble, let me know and I’ll do my best to help you strategize to succeed.
Respect for Diversity Statement: The diversity students bring to this class (including gender identity, sexuality, dis/ability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, and culture) should be honored as a resource, strength and benefit. I will do my best to create an online environment in which each class member is able to hear and respect others. If something is said or done in the virtual classroom by one of the instructors or other students that is particularly troubling or causes discomfort or offense, I would like to know about it. While our intention may not be to cause discomfort or offense, the impact is something that I consider to be very important and deserving of attention. The School of Drama has developed the following resource that can help you navigate how to proceed if you would like to voice a concern to someone other than your instructor: https://drama.washington.edu/process-voicing-concerns
Academic Accommodations: Your experience in this class is important to me. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please activate your accommodations via myDRS so we can discuss how they will be implemented in this course. If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), contact DRS directly to set up an Access Plan. DRS facilitates the interactive process that establishes reasonable accommodations. Contact DRS at disability.uw.edu.
Pandemic Accommodations: These are difficult times, and we want to accommodate students as best we can. The university has resources or health and wellness, please take advantage of them if you want or need to. https://wellbeing.uw.edu/
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with remote classes, please alert your instructors to discuss accommodations. Most importantly, please take your self-care seriously.
The UW Food Pantry: A student should never have to make the choice between buying food or textbooks. The UW Food Pantry helps mitigate the social and academic effects of campus food insecurity. We aim to lessen the financial burden of purchasing food by providing students with access to food and hygiene products at no-cost. Students can expect to receive 4 to 5 days’ worth of supplemental food support when they visit the Pantry. For information including operating hours, location, and additional food support resources visit https://www.washington.edu/anyhungryhusky/the-uw-food-pantry/
Academic Honesty: Students at the University of Washington are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic conduct. Cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct are considered serious offenses and could result in a variety of disciplinary actions, including suspension or permanent dismissal from the University.
For more information on Academic Honesty (Cheating and Plagiarism) see: http://depts.washington.edu/grading/pdf/AcademicResponsibility.pdf
For information on Student Standards of Conduct see:
Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (https://registrar.washington.edu/staffandfaculty/religious-accommodations-policy/). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (https://registrar.washington.edu/students/religious-accommodations-request/).
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If you are taking UW courses outside of the United States, you have reason to exercise caution when enrolling in courses that cover topics and issues censored in your jurisdiction. If you have concerns regarding a course or courses that you have registered for, please contact your academic advisor who will assist you in exploring options.
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