MODULE CONTENT

The Foundation in Acting course is City Academy’s premier acting programme, offering intensive training across a range of core acting disciplines.

The Foundation Course is split into three annual modules, with each bringing its own unique focus, aims and challenges. Modules can be taken individually as a one-off block, or all together to form a truly comprehensive one-year training programme.

Each module is structured as a 7-week part-time course, running from 9.30am  to 5.30pm on consecutive Saturdays. Core skills are developed, before a showing of work is presented to an invited audience at the end of the module.

AUTUMN MODULE OVERVIEW
‘THE REALITY OF DOING’

In the Autumn module, students will work collectively with diverse and creative approaches to unlock the rich landscape of acting and develop the fundamentals of technique.

Training will be focused on a variety of exercises, tasks and theatre games, designed to unlock creative ways of thinking and learn to approach acting inventive and engaging way.

On the final day of the module, a culmination of the work covered in the previous weeks will be presented to an invited audience in a studio showcase performance.

ACTING CLASSES - AUTUMN MODULE
EXPLORING TEXT THROUGH CIRCUMSTANCE AND SETTING

In the core acting classes, students will focus on unpicking scripts contextually and practically with regards to environment. They will use selected scenes from Love and Information by Caryl Churchill and A Million Tiny Plays About Britain by Craig Taylor.

Playful and exploratory exercises influenced by Meisner, Brecht and Stanislavski, and others, will develop an open minded approach when working with text. Students will learn to delve deeper behind the meaning of scripts and understand how the ‘world of the play’ affects the characters emotionally, mentally, vocally and physically.

CLASS CONTENT

- Learn professional vocal and physical warm up techniques used in theatre
- Explore text creatively and develop tools to evaluate it as an actor
- Break down scripts to support character development and then put your findings into practice from an actor’s perspective
- Make bold decisions in performance and learn how to reflect on their own and others’ work
- Be responsive in scenes and learn to work with other actors

VOICE CLASSES - AUTUMN MODULE
CREATING ATMOSPHERE – PROJECTING VOCAL ENERGY USING COLLECTIVE VOICES AND SOUNDSCAPE

In the core voice classes, students will work on selected texts as an ensemble exploring choral and collective voices.

Basic breathing exercises will strengthen the vocal sound for effective projection, ensuring the voice can be carried across larger spaces and be sustained without becoming damaged. Ensemble voice work will highlight ways of working with collaborative vocal technique – emphasising range, power and energy of voice.

The foundations of good diction will be encouraged in a variety of styles and settings. Training focuses on developing speech for stronger articulation whilst working on the emotional connection when communicating a character’s thoughts and feelings to an audience.

CLASS CONTENT

- Practise vocal exercises to strengthen speech muscles Achieve clear, flexible vocal sounds more easily
- Gain an understanding of the placement and facial movements of accent
- Understand key vocal sounds, giving a solid foundation of tongue and mouth movement and sound length
- Understand how radiating vocal energy improves projection and impact through ensemble work
- Receive personal feedback on speech and accent habits and a plan for further development

PHYSICAL THEATRE CLASSES - AUTUMN MODULE
CREATING A PHYSICAL VOCABULARY USING BODY LANGUAGE AND GESTURE

In the core physical theatre classes, students will explore movement-based exercises influenced by the practitioner Michael Chekhov.

The classes will focus on personal body language to achieve more confidence when communicating an individual story. This module will concentrate on the observation of specific physical habits, traits, and mannerisms, to create an interlinking devised character piece.

CLASS CONTENT

- Practically observe others to create truthful performance
- Learn to inhabit the physical traits of others naturally
- Create a character through discovery and play
- Work as an ensemble member to build a themed piece
- Understand the importance of body language by creating a new physical vocabulary

ACTING THROUGH SONG CLASSES - AUTUMN MODULE

In the core Acting Through Song classes, students will work on individual character development, using the Musical Theatre performance genre. An introduction into Basic vocal technique and singing warm ups will support the learning of songs within the session.

The classes will focus on the development of character background, breaking down the story and understanding the lyrics in connection to character intention and emotion. Exercises will boost confidence in the delivery of the song as an actor by developing vocal expression and emotional connection to the words.

CLASS CONTENT

- Improve and extend vocal range through a secure breathing technique in a series of fun and energetic vocal exercises
- Connect to the body language of character through posture and alignment
- Learn songs as an ensemble to develop confidence when approaching Musical Theatre
- Explore the journey and circumstance of songs from the perspective of the character

WINTER MODULE OVERVIEW
‘ACCEPTANCE OF SELF’

In the Spring module, students will work collectively with diverse and creative approaches to unlock the rich landscape of acting and develop the fundamentals of technique.

Training will be focused on a variety of exercises, tasks and theatre games, designed to unlock creative ways of thinking and learn to approach acting inventive and engaging way.

On the final day of the module, a culmination of the work covered in the previous weeks will be presented to an invited audience in a studio showcase performance.

ACTING CLASSES - WINTER MODULE
DISCOVER CHARACTER THROUGH A PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL JOURNEY

In the core Acting class students will be working on the individual process of practically creating character, exploring background and physical personality traits, gestures and body language that often communicate more to an audience than the text itself.

Using selected monologues, students will develop the world of the character through improvisation and character research. Working with fundamental questions influenced by Stanislavski’s methods, students develop a truthful character with believable gesture and movement under imaginary circumstances.

CLASS CONTENT

- Rehearse character traits and gesture within context of the selected monologue using exercises developed by Stanislavski 
- Explore character as actor using mental investigation, animal study and imagination
- Work physically with the fundamental Actor’s Questions; Who am I, where am, what am I thinking, what do I want and How do I get it?
- Engage with observation, concentration and relaxation skills to bring a character to life
- Identify different physical interpretations of the same character. Work independently at analysis and blocking a monologue

VOICE CLASSES - WINTER MODULE
CREATIVE LANGUAGE – AWAKENING THE INDIVIDUAL VOICE THROUGH THE EXPLORATION OF WORDS

In the core voice classes, students will work on elementary vocal exercises to gain control over nervous energy within the voice. Specifically, honed exercises will maximise vocal range and connect the voice more effectively to body language and gesture. Using poetry, for delivery skills will be improved to create a clearer, more compelling and dynamic vocal presence.

The foundations of good diction will be encouraged in a variety of styles and settings. Training focuses on developing speech for stronger articulation whilst working on the emotional connection when communicating a character’s thoughts and feelings to an audience.

CLASS CONTENT

- Practise vocal exercises to strengthen speech muscles
- Achieve clear, flexible vocal sounds more easily
- Gain an understanding of the placement and facial movements of accent
- Understand how words are always signposts of character and story
- Work with technique and imagination to express language with energy, emphasis, thought and feeling
- Receive personal feedback on speech and accent habits and a plan for further development

PHYSICAL THEATRE - WINTER MODULE
OVERCOME FEAR AND BUILD TRUST THROUGH PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL COLLABORATION IN AN ENSEMBLE

In the core Physical Theatre classes, students will work with intuitive theatre methods and movement based exercises influenced by the ethics of ‘Frantic Assembly’. Working as a company of actors, bold theatrical movement pieces will be devised through a process of connecting energies physically and emotionally.

The physical theatre classes in this module will focus how a character’s environment or change of environment might affect interact with other characters. Music may also be a creative stimulus in this piece.

CLASS CONTENT

- Learn to collaboratively tell a story through movement to music
- Mark the moment through either still image, key line, sound collage etc.
- Explore the dramatic pause Work as an ensemble member to build a themed piece to others
- Use mime and narration individually and as a company

ACTING THROUGH SONG - WINTER MODULE
CONSIDER SITUATION AND SETTING AROUND A SONG, FINDING A NEW ANGLE ON HOW TO TELL THE STORY

In Acting Through Song classes, students will study and devise scene and setting leading into the song using Pop & Rock musical genre. A deeper level of understanding about the character relationship outside of the lyrics and music will be explored.

Basic Technique and Warm Ups will support the learning of the songs. Teaching will guide the students through understanding and deciding on the story of the songs and the various characters throughout. Answering questions like ‘how do we tell this story all together or differently to how it’s been told before?’ Improvising techniques will be used to lead into and out of the song to gain a further understanding of the story being told and improve performance.

CLASS CONTENT

Will work through given circumstances of the scene and character relationship to find new layers of storytelling within and around the song. Learn how emotional states are a consequence of working to achieve what the character wants in the face of resistance. Working around the song students will look for larger needs and bigger problems, by raising the stakes of the situation. Develop a sense of the given circumstances, establish relationships, get a clear sense of the character’s objectives and begin acting tactically with others in the scene Work on how to tell the story of the song from different perspectives and situation

SPRING MODULE OVERVIEW
‘ACTOR AS CREATOR’

In the Spring module, students will work collectively with diverse and creative approaches to unlock the rich landscape of acting and develop the fundamentals of technique.

Training will be focused on a variety of exercises, tasks and theatre games, designed to unlock creative ways of thinking and learn to approach acting inventive and engaging way.

On the final day of the module, a culmination of the work covered in the previous weeks will be presented to an invited audience in a studio showcase performance.

ACTING CLASSES - SPRING MODULE
VERBATIM THEATRE - TELLING A STORY BY CONNECTING TO PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

In the core Acting classes, students will work on the collective process of creating an ensemble piece of storytelling theatre about a London community using Verbatim text. Verbatim Theatre is a process in which a playwright interviews real people on a topic and issue, records the responses, then use those words exactly as they are to create a performance piece.

Through a devising process drawing from Lee Strasberg methods, characters and scenes will be worked on from several published pieces including (among others) ‘Home’, ‘London Road’ and ‘Little Revolution’.

CLASS CONTENT

- Rehearse text and character through improvisation
- Work creatively as ensemble to devise character, place and story using verbatim text
- Discover how to reflect work and casting type
- Explore different uses of the space, rhythm and movement to create truthful character interactions
- Use personal experience and sense memory safely to re-create a believable performance

REALISTIC ADDRESS - SPEAKING WITH RHYTHM, PITCH AND PACE

In the core voice classes, students will work on naturalistic communication between characters using selected texts. Training will emphasise the need for understated vocal realism without losing theatrical delivery.

Basic breathing exercises will strengthen the vocal sound working towards a more relaxed and flexible projection ensuring the voice can be carried across larger spaces within a more realistic stage setting.

The foundations of practising good diction will focus on stress, emotion, listening and situation. Training will develop stronger articulation whilst working on the emotional connection needed as an actor when communicating a character’s thoughts and feelings to an audience.

VOICE CLASSES CONTENT

- Practise vocal exercises to strengthen speech muscles
- Achieve clear, flexible vocal sounds more easily
- Gain an understanding of the placement and facial movements of accent
- Connecting the voice, body, feelings and imagination whilst delivering naturalistic text
- Explore tone, pitch and pace of the voice – and learn to use silence to carry meaning and clarity to communication
- Receive personal feedback on speech and accent habits and a plan for further development

PHYSICAL THEATRE CLASSES - SPRING MODULE
USING PROPS AS AN EXTENSION OF THE BODY IN STORYTELLING

In the core Physical Theatre classes, students will be guided to liberate their imagination by working through the body using approaches influenced by practitioners such as Dymphna Callery and Jacques Lecoq. There will be particular emphasis on taking attention away from self with the use of mask, prop and bamboo work.

Through a devised process this module will focus on creative freedom, allowing actors to become more expressive. Mobility, agility and sensitivity are the key aim for actors when moving. Training will consider dramatic tension at a physical level, changing between different qualities of energy in movement: fast and slow, holding and releasing, open and closedhe devised piece will be supported by the work explored in 100 by Petterle, Monaghan and Heimann.

PHYSICAL THEATRE CLASSES CONTENT

- Learn how neutrality is a key principle in actor training, that it is not a passive state but a potent one
- Work collectively to discover how energy relates to performance rhythm
- Discover how the emphasis is on the actor-as-creator rather than the actor-as-interpreter
- Work as an ensemble member to create a themed piece using mask, prop or bamboo
- Understand the importance of body language by creating a new physical vocabulary

ACTING THROUGH SONG CLASSES - SPRING MODULE
ENGAGING, BELIEVABLE AND EXPRESSIVE STORYTELLING WITHIN SONG

In the core Acting Through Song classes, teaching will encourage musical creativity and storytelling skills based on exploration of personal stories. Working in different musical styles and themes, stories will be worked into song.

Basic techniques and vocal warm ups will boost confidence in singing as an actor and support the learning and exploration of the final piece. The work created will develop character relationship and plot: by learning how the changes in emotional quality of a song reflects the mood of the character.

CLASS CONTENT

- Interpret music critically and understand its effect on an audience 
- Develop the skills to consciously notice and use musical information to express the emotional experience of a character more clearly
- Find flexibility and openness when in interpreting story through song
- Devise original lyrics and melody to illuminate a character’s experience
- Consider tempo, rhythm and basic key changes significant to the piece being performed and how they impact on the dynamics of the song