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DRAMA 352 A: Intermediate Acting-Verse

Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 4:50pm
HUT 202
Bridget Connors
Bridget Connors

Syllabus Description:

Experiential workshop exploring Shakespeare’s verse with scenes and monologues. Through vocal, physical ,  imaginative and acting  exercises, we will explore Shakespeare's language so that it can begin to live through you, finding your own connection to heightened text, character and the world of the play. We will explore the sense as well as the structure of the verse: figures of speech, specificity of thought, rhythm and metre, line endings, antithesis, imagery, puns, double meanings, wit and folly.

University of Washington School of Drama. Winter 2023  Drama 352 Verse Syllabus

Instructor: Associate Teaching Professor Bridget Connors, Designated Linklater Voice  Email: connorsb@uw.edu

 Class meets: Monday/Wednesday 2:30-4:50 pm Hutchinson 202

Office hours: 215 Hutchinson by appointment.

Course description: Exploration of Shakespeare’s verse through vocal, physical, text analysis and acting exercises. By studying the demands of verse in an experiential way, the language can begin to live through you, enhancing your own connection to heightened text, character, and the world of the play. Students will work on monologues, scenes, and sonnets.

Required Course Materials:

  • Textbook: A Complete Works of Shakespeare. Recommended: The Riverside Shakespeare
  • Notebook: Every class: bring a notebook to record notes and assignments; pencil, eraser, pen.
  • Handouts: Various handouts of course materials will be given out during the quarter.

Recommended Texts: Numerous sources will be discussed during the quarter as recommended text

Learning outcomes/ course objectives

  • Speak from the full body connecting breath and vibration with ease, clarity, imagery and emotional impulse. Increase vocal range, texture and musicality of language.
  • Recognize and embody imaginative and creative discoveries.
  • Ability to speak verse embodying the structure of language (operative words, figures of speech, specificity of thought, architecture, rhythm) through verse/text analysis.
  • Understand the text to illuminate the story.
  • Highlight your unique individual voice in Shakespeare’s world and make it your own.
  • Performance of sonnet, monologue, scene, and final project.

Evaluation: (Grading is based on a 1000 point scale/see Grading scale, attached):

 Participation:                400 total points

Daily class exercises, adhere to class expectations/ active and willing participation. *

Written work 

Monologue text analysis 100 points

Scene text analysis          100 points

Reflection paper              100 points

Performance work:         

Monologue                     100 points

Scene                              100 points

Final project                   100 points            

Total Points :                 1000 points       

* Class Expectations: Your work in class, completion of assignments, participation within the ensemble and commitment to class expectations will factor into your final grade.

Participation: Students are expected to be in class, on time, and prepared to work. If you are unable to be in class due to extenuating circumstances, please notify me via email prior to class. This class is a laboratory for the exploration of acting verse and Shakespearean text. The learning is experiential and happens during class. Participation in all class exercises and discussion is expected. Absences and tardiness will lower your overall participation grade.

Assignments. Come prepared. Completion of assigned readings/homework, memorization, out of class rehearsal required of assigned scenes, monologues, exercises, and material learned fully and ready by performance date. Review class exercises outside of class as each class will build upon the last. We will cover a lot of material each class, so if you do miss class, it is student responsibility to find out what happened in the class from me, what the assignment for the next class is, so that you can complete it and come to class prepared with the appropriate assignment.  Late assignments will not be accepted unless a prior arrangement has been made with me. Specific assignment details to be discussed in class.

Stay engaged. Stay engaged in class as an actor and audience member as it directly influences the work of everyone in the class and will directly influence your participation points. Courage and risk taking, creativity, a spirit of willingness and imaginative preparation will support your level of engagement, depth of insight and passion for expression. Students are expected to participate in discussions and to be attentive and focused while instructor and others are working. Respectful and professional conduct, positive and constructive participation displayed consistently.

Attire/phones: dress to move, loose clothing, no hats, jewelry, cell phones off in class.                                                                                                                                                         Access and Accommodations: If you have already established accommodations with DRS, please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs 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) you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or uwdrs@uw.edu or disabilily.uw.edu.

 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.

Please let me know if I can be of help in any way during these challenging times. Additionally, the university has resources for health and wellness and are available. If you feel the need, you can reach out to resources on the UW Seattle campus. https://wellbeing.uw.edu/topic/mental-health/.   If you are experiencing technical difficulties with remote classes, we can discuss accommodations to make it work.  Also, here's a link to resources for students in need of laptops, internet access, and other technology:  https://webster.uaa.washington.edu/asp/website/online-learning/technologyaccess/.  

Academic Integrity: Please refer to the Bachelor’s Degree Planbook for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Student Conduct Code to learn what behaviors constitute academic misconduct and applicable penalties (i.e. plagiarism).

Class Schedule: The following is a guideline; subject to change in terms of when outlined material may be covered or when assignments are due.

Week One: January 3-6

Wed Jan. 4 Introductions. Review syllabi. Exercise: The experience of speaking.

Week Two: January 9-13

Mon Jan. 9 Learn by heart. The creation of thought.

Wed Jan. 11 Thought continued

Week Three: January 16-20

Mon Jan. 16  No School  Holiday

Wed Jan. 18 Scansion, line endings, caesura, elision, punctuation.

Week Four: January 23-27

Mon Jan. 23 Review . Add figures of speech, word content.

Wed Jan. 25 Structure. Climb the ladder. Find antithesis

**Week Five Jan 30-Feb.3

Mon Jan. 30 Performance of monologues- memorized

Wed Feb. 3 Performance of monologues- memorized. Monologue text analysis due.

Week Six: February 6-10

Mon Feb. 6 Begin scenes -first rehearsal

Wed Feb. 8   scene work -second rehearsal

Week Seven: February 13-17

Mon Feb. 13 scene work- third rehearsal

Wed Feb. 15 scene work- fourth rehearsal

Week Eight: February 20-24

Mon Feb. 20 No School Holiday

Wed Feb. 24 Performance of scenes- memorized

Week Nine: February 27-March 3

Mon Feb. 27  Elizabethan world picture. Rehearse final project.

Wed March 3  Last class. Rehearse final project.

Week Ten: March 6-10  Final exam- Perform final project. Tuesday March 14 2:30-4:20 pm.


Grading Scale

The grading scale for this class is based on a 1000-point system. The 1000-point system is the converted into the University’s grade-point system as outlined below:

A 4 950-1000 points                  C+ 2.2 720-729.9

A 3.9 940-949.9                          C 2.1 710-719.9

A- 3.8 930-939.9                         C 2 700-709.9

A- 3.7 920-929.9                         C 1.9 690-699.9

A- 3.6 910-919.9                         C- 1.8 680-689.9

A- 3.5 900-909.9                         C- 1.7 670-679.9

B+ 3.4 880-899.9                        C- 1.6 660-669.9

B+ 3.3 860-879.9                        C- 1.5 650-659.9

B+ 3.2 840-859.9                        D+ 1.4 640-649.9

B 3.1 820-839.9                          D+ 1.3 630-639.9

B 3 800-819.9                             D+ 1.2 620-629.9

B 2.9 790-799.9                          D 1.1 610-619.9

B- 2.8 780-789.9                         D 1 600-609.9

B- 2.6 760-769.9                         D- 0.8 580-589.9

B- 2.5 750-759.9                         D- 0.7 570-579.9; Lowest passing grade.

C+ 2.4 740-749.9                        F 0 0-569.9; Failure or Unofficial

C+ 2.3 730-739.9                        Withdrawal; no credit earned.



Some thoughts on words and language from the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano:

“ I was looking for a language who could integrate everything that has been culturally divorced from, for instance, heart and mind. I was looking for a feel-thinking language, sentipensante, it’s a word. I think that when the world, perhaps one day the world, our world, won’t be upside down, and then any newborn human being will be welcome. Saying, “Welcome. Come. Come in. Enter. The entire earth will be your kingdom. Your legs will be your passport, valid forever. And for me, this is true also for words”.

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning”.    Maya Angelou

“Ay, is it not a language I speak?”   William Shakespeare




Catalog Description: 
Addresses character motivation within classical verse of Shakespeare, Moliere, Racine, etc. Sonnets, monologues, scenes in iambic pentameter and rhyming couplet, exploring rhythm, music, and how these relate to character psychology, motivation. Prerequisite: DRAMA 251.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
December 1, 2022 - 8:57pm