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DRAMA 351 A: Intermediate Acting-Scene Study

Meeting Time: 
TTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
HUT 201
Jeffrey Frace
Jeffrey Fracé

Syllabus Description:

Drama 351: Intermediate Scene Study

Dates: March 28 – June 1, 2023

Class times: Tu & Th 11:30am-1:20pm

Final Exam: June 7, 4:30-6:30pm

Location: Hutchinson 201

Instructor: Jeffrey Fracé

Office: Hutchinson Hall main office

Email: fracej@uw.edu

Phone: (917) 514-6541 (emergencies only)

Office hours: Please email me to make an appointment.

Description: How to break down a scene and build a performance with physically-based acting approaches. Increases understanding of motivation, concentration, focus of attention, clarity of action and expression. Attention to what makes an effective scene partner. Perform two scenes.

Learning Goals: By the end of the quarter, my goal is that you can take a scene, or an idea for a scene, and (1) map out a physical score, (2) rehearse effectively to adapt the score and increase its clarity, specificity, and power, and (3) perform the scene with heightened concentration, awareness, and connection to your partner(s), using the score, so that beautiful, compelling, magical, complex things might occur.

Requirements: Class attendance and participation are essential for success. Always bring a notebook and something to write with. Wear clothes you are comfortable moving in.

Grading: Participation is 30% of your total grade. I will keep daily tabs on the class – all you need to do is to be present, awake, willing, communicative, generous, enthusiastic and focused on the work to ace this part of the grade. There are three class presentation days worth points toward your grade: Thursday April 6 (10%); Thursday May 4 (20%); and Thursday June 1 (30%). There will be one final reflection paper due June 7 (10%). Meeting on June 7 during exam time is optional, but worth extra credit (up to +5%).

Communication: Check Canvas or your email. I may offer assignment clarification via Canvas announcements.

Class rules:

  1. We begin class on time. Late arrival is distracting and will adversely affect your participation grade.
  2. Cell phones & food at break time only. (we will take a 5-minute break roughly half way through class)
  3. The room is to be left as clean and tidy as it was found.
  4. GOLDEN RULES: Commit; take care of yourself and of each other; work with an open heart.

Helpful practices: Stay healthy, write in your journal or notebook, assume other people in the class are brilliant.

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 environment in which each class member is able to hear and respect others. If something is said or done in the classroom, or in a discussion, or in a group process, by the instructor or guest artist or other students that is particularly troubling or causes undue discomfort or offense, I would like to know about it. While my intention will not be to cause offense, the impact is something that I consider to be very important and deserving of attention. The Department of Drama developed the following resource that can help you navigate how to proceed if you would like to voice a concern beyond me as your  instructor:  https://drama.washington.edu/process-voicing-concerns (Links to an external site.)

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 (Links to an external site.)

Pandemic Accommodations: I can’t believe it’s still happening, but it is. The university has resources or health and wellness, please take advantage of them if you want or need to. Important resources: https://livewell.uw.edu/Links to an external site. and https://wellbeing.uw.edu/Links to an external site.

For information on UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy, see: https://www.ehs.washington.edu/system/files/resources/COVID-19-face-cover-policy.pdf (Links to an external site.)

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/ (Links to an external site.)

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 (Links to an external site.)

For information on Student Standards of Conduct see:

https://www.washington.edu/cssc/for-students/student-code-of-conduct/ (Links to an external site.)

http://www.washington.edu/admin/rules/policies/WAC/478-121TOC.html (Links to an external site.)

Religious Accommodations: 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/) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.). 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/) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.).

Safe Campus: Call SafeCampus at 206-685-7233 anytime – no matter where you work or study – to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. SafeCampus’s team of caring professionals will provide individualized support, while discussing short- and long-term solutions and connecting you with additional resources when requested.https://www.washington.edu/safecampus/ (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Classroom and Rehearsal Guidelines for Stage Intimacy

Concurrent with UW’s policy on Affirmative Consent*, these guidelines are all towards the goal of affirming that intimate action, though sexual or heightened in nature, is a “simulation” – like a fight – intended to convince an audience. It is not the ‘real thing.”

1 – Identify any intimate or heightened physical action in a scene together with your partner before rehearsing

2 – State any personal boundaries you may have regarding physical touch or action.

3 – After your rehearsal, check in with your partner. Did anything arise that was uncomfortable? Were the boundaries set in # 2 successful?

4 - After your improvisation or rehearsal conversation, set and/or choreograph all physical action.

5 – If these guidelines aren’t being honored or you’re having a difficult time voicing your concerns, please speak to your teacher. If this problem arises during a rehearsal process, speak to your director or your stage manager.


1 – What do I do when I feel uncomfortable speaking up in the moment?

A: Speak to the teacher who assigned you the material

B: If you feel uncomfortable speaking with that teacher, go to a faculty member you feel most comfortable with. Use the “How To Converse” guidelines below.

2 – What do I do when I didn’t realize I was uncomfortable until the moment has passed?

A: This affords you time to figure out how you want to speak to your acting partner about the situation. Express yourself honestly and openly. Put boundaries in place for your next rehearsal.

3 - What do I do when my partner is unable to listen or adjust?

A: Speak to the teacher who assigned you the material

B: If you feel uncomfortable speaking with that teacher, go to a faculty member with whom you feel most comfortable.

Conversation Techniques

1 - Speak from the first person “I” and not from an accusatory “you”.

2 - When listening, stay open and repeat what you have heard at the end of the conversation back to your partner. EXAMPLE:

“I feel uncomfortable when you kiss my neck.”

“Ok, you feel uncomfortable when I kiss your neck. What do you suggest instead?”

This is all towards the grander gesture of Owning Your Own Voice.

*Affirmative Consent: Affirmative Consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Affirmative consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

For UW’s Policy on Affirmative Consent, refer to the UW Student Conduct Code Chapter 210, Section 7, or UW Executive Order No. 51.

This Rehearsal Guide for Stage Intimacy was adapted from NYU’s rehearsal guide, authored by Fay Simpson.

Catalog Description: 
Actor-training methodologies of Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Michael Chekov, and other physically-based approaches. Increases understanding of psychological motivation, concentration, focus of attention, clarity of physical expressiveness. Perform three scenes. Prerequisite: DRAMA 251.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
February 9, 2023 - 8:57pm