Acting and Improvisation

32 Hours / Access Length: 180 Days / Delivery: Online, Self-Paced

Course Overview:

This online acting course  aims to distil the skills, understanding and information that you would acquire from a three-year university course, into four modules. Gain an understanding of the theory behind the technique, see it in action and put it into practice for yourself.

Students will:
  • Understand key acting theories and how to apply them
  • Analyse a script in order to create a character
  • Build and portray a believable and interesting dramatic character
  • Practical skills for creating and performing comedic characters
  • Improvise and workshop characters, scenes and scripts

Course Outline:

Module 1:
Lesson 1: Lights, Camera, Action!             

In this lesson we will start with the most basic principle of acting namely how to relax and breathe correctly. We will then try our hand at physicality on stage/camera and discover the key to doing this believably. The students will choose a monologue which they will be working on for the next 7 weeks. At the end of the lesson, the students will have practically tried and failed and tried and succeeded at doing a few physical exercises on camera.

Lesson 2: What's My Motivation?            

It is time to elaborate on breathing and incorporate effective voice production. We will then explore our thinking patterns and take a look at how to harness them to add to and not subtract from our performances. By the end of the lesson you will have discovered through trial and error how your thinking influences your monologue performance.

Lesson 3: Given the circumstances          

Learn some relaxation exercises to reduce tension in the voice before we move on to your monologues. We will now start analyzing the given circumstances of the scene and explore how they influence the interpretation of the written text. We will read between the lines and discover how this new understanding changes our monologue performance at this stage.

Lesson 4: Magic IF           

Now for some relaxation exercises for the body and then we will venture into the creative land of the Magic IF. This is the hinge on which most of our character development will hang.

Lesson 5: It's logical dear!            

Lesson 5 starts off with focusing on the muscles of the face and the articulation organs. We learn to better control them and how to eliminate undue stress. Then we move on to exploring the concept of logic and how it comes to bear on my creative process.

Lesson 6: Don't fake it till you make it     

This lesson starts off with warm-up and relaxation exercises and then we explore the emotions behind the words of our monologues until we come up with creative thoughts that enable us to portray them authentically.

Lesson 7: Imagination: Character acting 

We warm-up with fun theatre games and then we move on to deepening the attributes of our monologue character with the use of our imagination.

Lesson 8: Genre

After our warm-up in this lesson, we jump back into our monologue and explore the setting and background using our imaginations and the other tools learnt so far. After this lesson and only if you decide to continue to Module 2 will you gain access to upload your final recorded monologues to the Facebook group for alumni and to give and receive feedback.

Module 2:
Lesson 1: Stanislavski vs Meisner 

We will be applying the physical technique from Module 1 to everything we explore in this Module. In this lesson we will take a look at the key similarities between these 2 techniques and finding ways to apply them to arrive at a deeper interpretation of the work.

Lesson 2: Memorization  

In this lesson we will focus on various methods of learning lines. We will take a look at what some famous people do and discover what works for us.

Lesson 3: Focus - Circles of Attention and Public Solitude  

Stanislavski devised a language for focusing on stage and this technique is explored and applied. This is the second part of Stanislavski's system that centers on focus on stage or camera. By the end of this lesson, you will have an excellent understanding of how to remain focused on stage or camera.

Lesson 4: Truth and Belief

In this lesson we will explore the elements that seem to make a scene and a performance seem truthful and how we can make ourselves and the audience believe in what we are doing.

Lesson 5: Communion      

Communion refers to the chemistry that develops among the actors in a scene and also how the audience is included in that communion. We will explore how to create and sustain that, in this lesson.

Lesson 6: Adaptation        

These elements drive the tension in a scene and we will dissect how they function and find a workable method of application.

Lesson 7: Emotion memory            

These elements drive the tension in a scene and we will dissect how they function and find a workable method of application.

Lesson 8: Units and objectives      

Every story is divided into units and objective. Learn how to break a script down into units and to discover the objective of each unit.

Module 3:
Lesson 1: What is funny?             

This lesson will start our journey of discovering comedy. We will look at the history of comedy as well as what makes things funny. We are also going to discover the first comedic archetype and how this character operates.

Lesson 2: How sitcoms work Part 1          

In this lesson we will discover the history behind sitcoms and then start delving into the technique behind them. We will then look at the second archetype of comedic characters.

Lesson 3: How sitcoms work Part 2          

You will learn what the universal structure is of jokes and then you will explore the second set of sitcom techniques. You will also discover the third archetype of comedic characters.

Lesson 4: Comedy Acting Technique Part 1           

It is time to discover how acting technique is applies specifically to comedy. We will also recap some acting techniques and top it off with discovering the fourth comedy character archetype.

Lesson 5: Comedy Acting Technique Part 2           

Here we continue learning how acting technique is applies specifically to comedy. We will recap the relevant acting techniques and discover the fifth comedy character archetype.

Lesson 6: Film and Comedy        

Here we are going to look at comedy in film and how that differs from the other mediums. We will then review the relevant acting techniques and apply them. Finally, we will discover the sixth comedy character archetype.

Lesson 7: Stage and Comedy      

In this lesson we will look at stage comedy and how that is unique to other mediums. We will review the relevant acting techniques and apply them and then we will discover the seventh archetype of comedy acting.

Lesson 8: Stand-up comedy        

We end of this module by looking at stand-up comedy and how that operates. We will review the relevant acting techniques and apply them and then we will discover the eighth archetype of comedy acting.

Module 4:
Lesson 1: Improv History and Types        

In this introductory lesson we are going to explore the concept of improvisation, look at where it comes from and discover some of its uses.

Lesson 2: Improv Technique - Openers  

Discover and explore other uses for improv and we learn the opening elements of improv technique.

Lesson 3: Improv Technique - Movement Part 1 

Improvisations around movement on stage or camera help us discover and explore their applications in characterization.

Lesson 4: Improv Technique - Movement, Part 2

Improvisations around movement on stage or camera help us discover and explore their applications in characterization.

Lesson 5: Improv Technique - Inner-life Part 1     

These improvisations have countless applications for us as professional actors. We will discover how to apply these improv exercises to discover and practice our character's thoughts and feelings.

Lesson 6: Improv Technique - Inner-life, Part 2   

These improvisations have countless applications for us as professional actors. We will discover how to apply these improv exercises to discover and practice our character's thoughts and feelings.

Lesson 7: Workshopping a Scene             

Using the same elements to unlock creativity for crafting scenes is our project in this lesson.

Lesson 8: Workshopping Comedy            

The contribution of workshopping technique to developing comedy is investigated and put into effect in this lesson.

All necessary course materials are included.

System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended for the best experience.
Hardware Requirements:
  • CPU: 1 GHz or higher
  • RAM: 2 GB or higher
  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 or higher
  • Speakers / Headphones
  • Microphone (Webinar / Live Online sessions)
Operating System Requirements:
  • Microsoft Windows 7 or 10 (Home, Pro)
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • Latest Chrome OS
  • Latest Linux Distributions

NOTE: While we understand that our courses can be viewed on Android and iPhone devices, we do not recommend the use of these devices for our courses. The size of these devices do not provide a good learning environment for students taking online or live online based courses.

Web Browser Requirements:
  • Latest Google Chrome is recommended for the best experience.
  • Latest Mozilla FireFox
  • Latest Microsoft Edge
  • Latest Apple Safari
Basic Software Requirements (These are recommendations of software to use):
  • Office suite software (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice)
  • PDF reader program (Adobe Reader, FoxIt)
  • Courses may require other software that is denoted in the above course outline.


** The course outlines displayed on this website are subject to change at any time without prior notice. **