Specialised Performance Skills

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
09 March 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W412 Acting and Fight Performance

Module description

These units look at increasing your range of skills, while instilling the principles that will be taught in EA154 Performance Skills 1.

By concentrating on more specific disciplines, you will gain skills that will be called upon in performance, extend your range as a performer, and introduce alternative styles of approaching character or a rehearsal situation. These units provide the building blocks for further specialist skills and performances that you will encounter as you progress through the first year.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To understand the fundamentals of good voice production (posture, breath, onset of tone)

  • To begin to acquire a sense of rhythm and aural awareness

  • To understand basic score-reading skills

  • To understand ensemble singing disciplines

  • To begin to appreciate the role of music as an entity in theatrical performance

  • To understand the connection to be made between singing, music, movement, voice and acting in approaching song performance.

Commedia Dell'Arte

  • To extend the students’ physical expression and introduce them to an alternative style of theatre

  • To develop improvisation skills and increase their imaginative flexibility

  • To develop confidence and freedom as a performer

  • To consolidate appreciation of the strength of the ensemble

  • To widen the range of physical skills

Devised Improvisation Project

  • To use research to aid the truthful creation of character

  • To improve improvisation skills and creativity

  • To encourage bold and clear character decisions

  • To improve teamwork and foster a safe, creative atmosphere among the year group

  • To learn how to apply direction and constructive criticism from a director

  • To improve the ability to work as part of a collaborative team

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, the student will be expected to be able to demonstrate:


  1. Understanding of the fundamentals of intercostals diaphragmatic breathing, posture and relaxation

  2. An ability to identify a constricted sound and/or poor use of breath

  3. An awareness of the various resonators and differentiate between them

  4. A recognition of the function of the jaw, lips and tongue in singing, and their correct use

  5. Understanding of the function of balance in relaxation and energy in singing

  6. Development in abdominal support and anchoring

  7. Understanding of resonance and placement

  8. Awareness of group singing dynamic

  9. The student will be able to demonstrate a basic sense of the "geography" of a song in printed form, recognising repeat sections, codas, segnos, length of notes and Italian instructions.

  10. The student will be able to demonstrate an awareness of and an ability to maintain ensemble singing disciplines - pitch, rhythm, dynamics, harmony, group-awareness.

Commedia Dell'Arte

  1. Confidently use the body to the full in a free, safe and flexible manner

  2. Communicate physically and vocally in performance with confidence and assurance

  3. Deliver a committed contribution to the group process

  4. Apply research and skills to performance work

  5. Connect to an audience while sustaining character

Devised Improvisation Project

  1. Truthfully recreate moments discovered through improvisation

  2. Sustain character and style within the demands of improvisation and performance

  3. Utilise skills during the extended improvisations and in performance

  4. Communicate character and story-line through words and movement

  5. Work effectively part of a team

  6. Demonstrate an ability to identify problems and produce practical solutions within a given frame of reference

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Practical classes, presentations, tutorials, research, rehearsals, screenings.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Practical   Singing    50% 
Practical   Commedia    30% 
Practical   Devised Performance Project    20% 

Additional coursework information

Written assessment, performance, continuous assessment

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

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, specialist tutors
East 15 Acting School Gateway Building Elmer Approach Southend-on-Sea SS1 1LW



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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