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Course Philosophy

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City Drama Studio Pty Ltd - Beginner's Acting Course has evolved substantially since its formation in 1997. The craft of acting, in this course, is presented so that there is a balance between the rigorous physical and intellectual requirements of actor training, and the recreational nature of a three hour per week educational experience. Very few of our students express the desire to pursue a career as professional actors prior to the start of their training (although some develop this goal at a later stage). The vast majority seek a basic introduction to fundamental concepts, and the opportunity to develop self-confidence in a stimulating and enjoyable environment.



The principles on which the curriculum is based have evolved from a wide range of sources. The primary texts influencing curriculum at City Drama Studio are Robert Cohenís Acting One (1984), and Acting Power (1978). They have a strong foundation in Stanislavskian theory, and use very practical and easy to understand terminology and methods.

Another influential text is Keith Johnstoneís (1981) Impro. Johnstoneís theories on traditional educational practices and their potential for limiting the creativity and spontaneity of individuals are important to the success of classes at City Drama Studio. Creating a relaxed and trusting environment in which individuals are confident in the support of their fellow students is essential.

Other principles on which the course is founded are espoused in Viola Spolinís (1963) Improvisation for the Theatre. The following passage, from the beginning of her book, accurately reflects a fundamental philosophy espoused by City Drama Studio:

Everyone can act. Everyone can improvise. Anyone who  wishes to can play in the theatre and learn to become "stageworthy". We learn through experience and experiencing, and no one teaches anyone anything... If the environment permits it, anyone can learn whatever he chooses to learn; and if the individual permits it, the environment will teach him everything it has to teach. "Talent" or "lack of talent" have little to do with it. (Spolin 1963 p3).

Spolinís techniques are based on freeing the individual to play, and to achieve "organic penetration" with their physical environment. This penetration must be achieved intellectually, physically and intuitively.

The book explains Spolinís "Seven Aspects of Spontaneity" as a process by which her desired outcomes are achieved:

*    GAMES

      Provide mechanism for involvement and development of personal freedom.



      Removal of the need for approval.



      Development of healthy group interaction.



      Development of student actorís relationship with an audience.



      Developed organically through direct experience, games and exercises.



      Using drama skills in social and workplace situations.



      Assimilation of concepts produce physical relationship with audience.


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