Performance Skills I

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
10 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W412 Acting and Stage Combat

Module description

This module will look at the more traditional approach to actor training, grounded in the theories and methodologies taught at East 15 Acting School. The units will deal with relaxation, concentration and acting truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

Term One will focus on widely applied principles, such as the understanding of self and habitual traits; improvisation; the creation of a dramatic character; focus and concentration; communication; script analysis; intentions and given circumstances. You will be pushed towards finding a truthful approach to text, circumstances and your fellow actors – through both body and voice. You will be developing tools and skills that you will be able to apply in rehearsals and projects.

The Acting unit is designed to introduce students to some of the fundamental principles of acting – beginning with an exploration of the self. The focus is to move away from the tendency of presenting a character and begin to understand what is involved in being a character – in the given circumstances of an imaginary world. By exploring personal traits, habitual tendencies and through raising awareness of your own comfort zones – you will be able to challenge yourself to begin creating unique characters.

The Voice Unit will encourage students to use their voice effectively – for the creation of both verbal and non-verbal utterances. It will reinforce and localise the theories introduced in EA156 Contextual Studies Anatomy and Physiology by informing students on how voice is produced; you will learn to root and support each sound you make as you explore the relationship between posture, breath and voice. You will also begin to stretch your imagination and expression through the practice of storytelling.

Through study and practice, you will begin to see the difference between "habitual" traits and your "potential" voice. A major focus of the voice work will be: how to protect your vocal instruments. Phonetics are introduced in thecontext of a practical environment and classes in enunciation will assist your development as a performer. Throughout the year, your classes are divided into practical voice and articulation.

Module aims

The module aims to:


1. Create a safe and comfortable ensemble nature among the year

2. Begin to identify, and work to overcome, personal stumbling blocks

3. Encourage a connection between physical, emotional, and thoughtful aspects of acting

4. Introduce modern acting methodology and terminology

5. Foster creativity and improvisational skills

6. Draw a connection between circumstances, text and imagination


1. Become familiar with the anatomy of voice and speech in relation to your own body

2. Understand the need for warming-up the voice and other forms of vocal preparation

3. Develop ability to make specific vocal choices

4. Develop a flexible and expressive use of volume and resonance

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

1. Understand a range of key principles that underpin modern acting theory
2. Commit truthfully to a script or improvisation
3. Work comfortably on one’s own or within a group
4. Construct a physical and imaginative warm-up
5. Create a believable, on-stage relationship with a fellow performer
6. Create and sustain improvisation with discipline, spontaneity and creative imagination
7. Take directions and apply this to scene work
8. Objectively analyse your own work

1. Explore the voice freely in rehearsals and performance
2. Connect to an audience through voice, language and sound
3. Distinguish between the habitual voice and the potential voice
4. Use vocal expression in performance
5. Explore the application of different kinds of muscular support to the production of sound and speech
6. Recognise voice and write phonetically the consonants and monophthongs of RP
7. Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy of articulation and the placement of consonants within the mouth

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Practical classes, workshops, independent study, rehearsals.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Practical   Acting    60% 
Practical   Voice    20% 
Practical   Articulation    20% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Gordon Kemp, email: gkemp@essex.ac.uk.
Gordon Kemp, Acting and Voice Tutors
East 15 Acting School Gateway Building Elmer Approach Southend-on-Sea SS1 1LW



External examiner

Mr Philip D'Orleans
British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat
Physical Skills Instructor
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

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