Intro to Theatre Arts

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Theatre Arts Syllabus 2020-21_docx.pdf

Introduction to Theatre Arts Syllabus

Instructor: Ms. Kristina Cummins Room:  Drama


Phone:  (360) 596-8043

Course Description:  This course is designed for the student interested in dramatic activities with an emphasis on performance. Areas covered in depth include: vocabulary, roles in the theatre, pantomime, movement, acting (scene work and one act plays), theatre evaluation, and theatre history (from ancient Greek to the present), the reading of plays, theatre design and tech, and attendance at a live theatre performance.  Students will be involved every day in some performance-based activity. There is an emphasis on memorization, working as a team, and classroom attendance. Students will be creating projects throughout the term in groups/ teams just as they would encounter in the professional theatre world. This course will not count as an English credit.

Major Assignments and Projects:

Classroom Based Assessment on Improvisation Pantomime Performances

Vocal Recitations Play Reviews and Analysis

Duo Scenes and Monologues Technical Theatre Projects

Theatre History Presentations Class One Act Production

Playwriting Scripts Film

Play Performances:  The best way to learn about theatre is to experience it.  Students are expected to see at least one production over the course of each semester and write a review of the show.  As most theatres are closed during the pandemic, there are opportunities to watch a streamed performance or view performances filmed and produced.  This can be a show produced at CHS, or another local high school, community, or professional theatre.  


Theatre is heavily based on building ensemble and the art of creative storytelling.  The audience is a key component of this work.  This will be challenging during distance learning; however, there are unique ways to still experience theatre.  Our Zoom classes are essential, as we will be playing theatre games, creating both a safe and BRAVE space as we build community.  You will also be given some Wednesday work to build your own improvisational skills.  

Class will consist of Zoom class sessions (synchronous learning opportunities) followed by work time and online assignments (asynchronous learning opportunities).  Attending our Zoom classes is vital to a student's experience; however, if there are obstacles preventing a student from attending, it is important to communicate with me.  

Zoom classroom etiquette and behavior expectations will be shared the first week of school and revisited throughout the course.  It is important for students to show up and bring the best of themselves for our class time together.

COMMUNICATION will be key this year!  Don’t hesitate to email me or to ask questions and share concerns.  I also ask that you consider sharing your celebrations as well!  This year we are extending patience and grace, along with a high standard of effort and engagement.


Environment and SafetyTo have a truly meaningful experience in this course, it is important that we observe two types of safety rules:  physical and emotional.  Our basic physical safety rule is no unplanned bodily contact.  Without this rule someone may come to physical harm.  Just as important are emotional hurts.  You and your peers put yourselves on the line when you present for each other.  You openly share yourself with us and then allow others to comment on your expression.  To preserve the integrity of and maintain positive feelings about your work, the following rules apply to all comments about presentations:


Respect the effort of each member of the class

Appreciate the choices made by each person

Be constructive of any criticism

Include positive responses as part of any fill critique

Focus your comments to the individual presenting (i.e. do not compare people)

Limit discussions to in-class only (our work is confidential)

In this class we become a family!  It is essential that we care for each other well and work together for the common goal of a meaningful production.

Performance Materials:  In order to establish the best environment possible it is important that all students feel comfortable being a part of the audience.  Many award winning theatrical plays, scenes and monologues have objectionable words, subject matter and situations.  Please don’t bring material that is inappropriate for a classroom situation into the classroom.  If you personally find something that is being presented objectionable in any way feel free to step outside the classroom, you may cut the material from your selection or talk to me personally so that a suitable solution can be found.  It is important that we work together to create the most creative environment possible, in which all feel comfortable and learn.  Creating this classroom environment is an important task for all of us!

Rules and Regulations of the Capital High School Theatre:

We are fortunate to have a nice performing arts facility and it takes cooperation from all of us to maintain it.  Upon entering this theatre you hereby agree to abide to and enforce the following rules:


No food, drinks, or gum in the space at any time

No feet on the seats, seat arms or backs

Do not climb over the back of the seats

Persons may be backstage or onstage with permission only

Students may only be in the space with supervision

Cell phones are not to be used during class or rehearsal


Grading and Evaluation:  

Student progress will be evaluated using a standards-based assessment system.  Instead of earning points for individual assignments, you will earn your letter grade on how skilled you are in the following areas:

*Engaged Learning (25%): assesses participation and involvement in class activities, journal responses, and script reading reviews.  Everyone is expected to be an active participant when appropriate AND respectful members of the audience when observing others perform.  

*Performance: (75%) assess students’ creative process, performances, some weekly assignments, and reflections.  All assessments are graded on rubrics. These assignments can be redone since they are linked to standards, with teacher approval and within the same time/unit as the standard was addressed. 

Work will be assessed on a 4 point scale. 



Percentage in Skyward


Advanced - consistently exceeds proficient level of standard(s).

A =           92.5 – 100%


Proficient with partial success at advanced level.

A-=           86.67 – 92.49%

B+=          80.84 – 86.66%


Proficient - Consistently meets standard(s).

B =           75.0 – 80.83%


Basic but partial success at proficient level

B- =          66.67 – 74.99%

C+=          58.34 - 66.66%


Basic - Inconsistently meets standard(s).

C =           50.0 – 58.33%


Below basic but partial success at basic.

(C) C- = 41.67 – 49.99%*

(C) D+= 33.34 – 41.66%*


Below basic - Rarely meets standard(s).

(C) D = 25 – 33.33%*


The work does not reach a level identified by the descriptors above.



An asterisk on the Skyward report means that students have not yet been assessed in this area or is in the process of being assessed, but not yet entered – it is not a missing assignment.


Our grading motto is:  4,3, 2, or REDO.  We expect students to show at least “Basic” understanding of a concept; otherwise, they must revisit the assignment.

*FINAL COURSE GRADES: All students with percentages of 25% - 58.33% will receive a "C" for the course. Any percentage below 25% will receive an Incomplete for the class. This is a district and School Board decision for the Standards Based Grading Scale.