THES613: History and Theory of Acting and Directing - Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου - Open University of Cyprus

THES613: History and Theory of Acting and Directing

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module, students become familiarized with the main axes of stagecraft which will afford them the opportunity to perceive and use the text-performance polarity in a creative, unbiased manner. THESP 613 opens by foregrounding a historical-aesthetic framework of contemporary performance production, then focuses on the core principles that define the work of directors and actors in conjunction with tools for text analysis, interpretation and scenic expression, as well as with the initial stage of choosing the play and collaborators down to the opening night, but also in the course of a theatrical production.

After successfully completing this module, students are expected to:

  • Cite landmarks in the 20th c. history of theatre directing internationally
  • Know the most important trends in the contemporary directing landscape in the West and be familiar with the work, artistic style but also the emblematic techniques of important directors and stagecraft theorists (Craig, Meyerhold, Reinhardt, Αrtaud, Brecht, Beckett, Brook, Wilson, Mnouchkine, Le Compte, etc.)
  • Identify and make judgements about various acting approaches
  • Recognize essential elements of actor training and major acting systems (Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Grotowski )
  • Actively participate in the process of preparing a show, contributing as actors if required
  • Analyze a dramatic character but also interpret the motives and actions of characters on stage through a personal point of view
  • Understand the significance and function of necessary acting components such as observation, concentration, imagination, interpretation
  • Handle basic improvisation exercises
  • Report contemporary trends in the area of performing arts to the extent that they define the directing and acting process (e.g. devised theatre, melodrama, cyber-performance)

Module Content

  • Introduction to the World of Directing
  • Acting Currents Stanislavski and his heritage.
  • Action
  • Imagination
  • Action in the Stanislavski System
  • Imagination in the Stanislavski System
  • Concentration of Attention
  • Creating a Role: Building a Character
  • Concentration of attention in the Stanislavski System
  • Creating a Role: Building a Character in the evolution of the Stanislavski System
  • Units and Objectives
  • Faith and a Sense of Truth
  • Units and Objectives in the Stanislavski System
  • Faith and a Sense of Truth in the Stanislavski System
  • Communion
  • Emotion Memory in the Stanislavski System
  • Communion in the Stanislavski System
  • Directing: Main Definitions: Interpretation-conception
  • Interpretative Pyramid and the Director as orchestrator of the production
  • Pioneers of the 20th c.: Appia and Meyerhold
  • Artaud and directing
  • Acting currents 2: Challenging Psychological Theatre/antirealism
  • Brecht
  • Alienation
  • “The street scene”
  • Antirealism in the Theatre: German Expressionism, Bauhaus, Futurism, Dada and Surrealism.
  • The street scene as a basic paradigm for Epic Theatre.
  • Brecht’s instructions to actors
  • Acting currents Actors, Physicality and Transcendence
  • Peter Brook: “Transparency and the invisible network”
  • “Towards a Poor Theatre” (Grotowski)
  • The Actor’s Technique (Grotowski)
  • The dynamics of formulating the actor according to Brook
  • The essence of Theatre according to Grotowski
  • The Actor’s Technique in terms of its objectives and mediums
  • The innovative character of the Poor Theatre
  • Directing in the 21st c.: “The director as author of the play script”
  • The aesthetics of the multi-media
  • “Theatre and high technology” (Patsalides)
  • New trends in contemporary performance



Additional Info

  • Κωδικός / Course Code: THES613
  • ECTS: 15
  • Τρόποι Αξιολόγησης / Assessment:

    10% interactive educational activities, 30% written assignments and 60% final examination

  • Διάρκεια Φοίτησης/ Length of Study: Εξαμηνιαία (χειμερινό) / Semi-annual (fall)
  • Κόστος/ Tuition Fees: 675 euro
  • Επίπεδο Σπουδών/ Level: Μεταπτυχιακό/ Postgraduate