Special Performance Skills

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
02 September 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W496 Acting and Community Theatre

Module description

The work of this second year Acting and Community Theatre module provides a training in voice, music movement and any other skills required for performance in community settings. Students will explore techniques of physical theatre and extended vocal work.

The work of this module provides students with an overview of the music appropriate to contemporary and historical contexts of their acting projects. Students will be able to apply standard body and vocal warm-ups and take active responsibility for identifying and remedying areas of personal weakness in performance. Contemporary theatre practices to extend students' understanding of physicality, voice, movement and characterisation in relation to community theatre.

Students will undertake a series of intensive workshops with visiting practitioners active in the contemporary theatre profession to stimulate fresh responses to space, place and identity.

The work of the module is completed by providing students with opportunities to develop a range of skills in samba, street music-making and circus in support of the outdoor project being developed in EA242 Applied Theatre Skills II. Students will learn how to perform percussion improvisations using junk and found instruments to create outdoor processional spectacles. They will explore a range of carnival traditions and learn to make appropriate choices for their use in practical projects.

Movement Content

The students will experience:
1. Physical, emotional and imaginative fitness
2. The ‘technical/spontaneous body’
3. Identification of blocks and challenges of physical weakness in the body
4. Movement vocabulary in relation to character choices
5. Using the body to the full in a free, safe and flexible manner
6. Inhabiting character bodies in the studio and in production work.
7. Elimination of blocks and challenges of physical weakness in the body
8. Expansion of movement vocabulary in response to character discoveries
9. Methods of physical characterisation based on learnt vocabulary
10. Taking big physical risks
11. Using bold action verbs or physical actions
12. Making and sustaining appropriate physical choices for characters
13. The transformation away from self towards character
14. Communicating physically in performance.
15. Agility and specificity in individual and ensemble work.

Movement Aims

To encourage students to:
- Sustain an appropriate level of physical, emotional and imaginative fitness
- Work the ‘technical/spontaneous body’ with precision and organicity
- Eliminate blocks and challenge areas of physical weakness in the body
- Expand movement vocabulary in relation to a range of character choices and theatrical styles.

Movement Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to demonstrate advanced awareness of and ability to put into practice:
1. Class Etiquette: Attends and arrives for class in a timely manner with the body and mind in a state of readiness to work. (This includes dress code.)
2. Ensemble: Works well with peers by contributing both physical and creative ideas to group work and discussions. In collaboration is able to lead and follow.
3. Alignment: Working towards a physicality that is free of excess muscular tensions and imbalances. Centred with core stability and ease in alignment.
4. Dynamics: Able to adapt and take on other forms and qualities of movement, styles, rhythms, efforts, use of space etc. Shows variety in personal qualitative range.
5. Body Confidence: Brave and willing to take the space with a full-energized presence. Has confidence in the use of one’s own body.
6. Creativity: Uses the body as an extension of one’s imagination and is rigorous, inventive, and original in the development of an idea.
7. Inner Life: Connects the physical to the emotional, is able to reveal their own and or characters interior life through body language.

Module aims

To provide opportunities for students to apply:
- vocal, musical and movement/dance skills to the development of performance work
- practical techniques to resolve performance problems and issues uncovered in community settings
- awareness of posture, breath and body safety in a range of performance environments

Module learning outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate:
- An increase in singing, dynamic and vocal range
- Improved audience communication
- Sustained characterisation using accent, sound, music and lyrics
- Effective ensemble work in music, movement and circus
- Circus technique to performance standard
- Ability to make appropriate performance choices in a range of settings

Module information

Students build on the skills developed in the first year to extend their technique in movement, voice and music. They are offered challenges and opportunities which can develop their competency to industry entry level. As well as developing the skills required of performers in community theatre, students will develop specific skills related to their projects such as period dance or song, song writing and playing samba instruments.

New skills are introduced in circus skills, with students developing at least one circus skill to performance level competence.

Learning and teaching methods

Group studio classes, independent study, continuous formative verbal feedback and written reports where appropriate.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Practical   Voice     
Practical   Movement     
Practical   Music     
Practical   Circus     

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Ms Ainslie Masterton, email: amast@essex.ac.uk.
Ainslie Masterton, voice, movement and music tutors, visiting practitioners
For further onformation please email amast



External examiner

Dr Kerrie Vanessa Schaefer
The University of Exeter
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

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