Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 30 (15) Mary McNulty checkmark-circle


The course will introduce basic skills related to the craft of acting, predominantly within naturalist and realist idioms. This acting course will provide a core practical introduction to mainstream acting techniques descended from the teachings of Stanislavski and his heirs, as well as providing an introduction to contrasting practice and theories from other significant practitioners.

The course will introduce students through practical means, to basic terms and concepts in mainstream rehearsal-room practice. The students will develop a practical and usable understanding of a contemporary approach to the Stanislavskian system. Students will explore approaches concerning the use of detailed textual analysis when preparing a naturalistic role for performance and concepts to be introduced will include text analysis and uniting, actions and activities, objectives, obstacles, stakes, and given circumstances. On some level, this course will allow the student to explore varied and contradicting ideas from the world of actor training.

All of these concepts will be explored in practice through a combination of physical and text exercises, improvisation and close textual analysis. Students will be encouraged to adopt a critical overview of the work and to evaluate for themselves, both via class discussion and through reflective analysis on paper, the strengths and weaknesses of the techniques to which they are introduced.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 72
Private study hours: 228
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Scene Study 1 (30%)
Scene Study 2 (40%)
Written Scene Analysis (2,500 words) (30%).

Reassessment methods:
Like for Like

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Adler, Stella, The Technique of Acting, New York: Bantam; 1990
Benedetti, Jean, Stanislavski & The Actor, London: Routledge, 1998
Chekhov, Michael, To the Actor; on the Technique of Acting, New York: Harper & Row; 1953
Hagen, Uta, Respect for Acting, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley; 2009
Marowitz, Charles, The Act of Being, London: Vintage; 1978
Merlin, Bella, The Complete Stanislavski Toolkit, London: Nick Hern; 2007

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 be able to adopt a systematic approach to the analysis of a naturalistic dramatic text in order to prepare an acting role for performance;
2 have developed your critical reflection on the applicability and efficacy of various modern approaches to role preparation within a range of theatrical contexts;
3 have enhanced your skills in play analysis and close reading of plays.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 have consolidated and improved the clarity of critical thinking and ability to express an argument, written and spoken;
2 become more aware of the need for resourcefulness and inventiveness in research, writing and practical work;
3 have enhanced skills in using evidence from a range of sources including their own processes, to support their arguments appropriately;
4 have enhanced ability to engage in constructive dialogue and in practical work alone and with peers.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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