Stage Movement

Stage Movement


Fall 2010
08/23/2010 - 12/12/2010

Course Information

Section 001
MW 12:00 - 12:50
RGC1 201
David Yeakle

Section 001
MW 12:50 - 14:10
RGC1 201
David Yeakle

Office Hours

  • M W
    10:30 - noon
    RGC room 301.1

Course Requirements

 Students are required to wear appropriate attire, such as sweats, shorts or tights (clothing that will not restrict or limit movement of the body in any way.)  Working barefoot is best; dance shoes or athletic shoes are also allowed; no sandals, boots, or hard shoes of any kind.  Students’ success (grade) in this class is determined by Punctuality, Presence, and Participation as well as their grades on class performances.  Attendance is mandatory - more than 2 absences will result in a reduction of the averaged final score, possibly reducing the letter grade as well.  Punctuality is a virtue that is expected - 3 tardies = 1 absence. Please turn off cell phones before entering the classroom.  Each cell phone ring = 1 tardy.  No food or drink is allowed in classroom (except bottled water).

Graded assignments: Mime duet, 20%.  Mime solo, 20%.  Vaudeville routine, 20%.  Stage combat, 20%.  Final performance, 20%.



Suggested reading:


Commedia dell’Arte: An Actor’s Handbook              The Moving Body

By John Rudin                                                               by Jacques Lecoq


The Physical Comedy Handbook                               An Acrobat of the Heart

By Davis Rider Robinson                                              by Stephen Wangh


Acrobats of the Soul: Comedy and Virtuosity in Contemporary American Theatre

By Ron Jenkins


The Articulate Body: The Physical Training of the Actor

By Anne Dennis


Talking About Mime: An Illustrated Guide              The Tricks of the Trade

By David Alberts                                                           by Dario Fo

Course Subjects

Week One:

Introduction; discussion of class policies and procedures; introduction

to movement

Week Two:

          Development of warm-up.  Fundamentals of mime technique.

Weeks Three-Five:

Illusory Mime Technique

Development of vocabulary of mime illusions.  Duet mime assignment, rehearsals, performance.  Solo mime assignment, rehearsals, performance.

Weeks Six and Seven:

          Physical Comedy






Development of physical comedy vocabulary.  Duet vaudeville assignment, rehearsals, performance.

Week Eight:

          Introduction to modern dance and dance for musical theatre.



                   *turns, leaps, hops, jumps

Week Nine:

Introduction to Unarmed Stage Combat.  Training in combat techniques and fight choreography emphasizing safety and believability.

Students choreograph and perform a realistic “fight” with a partner.





                   *safe falls

Weeks Ten - Twelve:

Development of Mask Technique in ensemble and solo work.  Exploration, discovery, and embodiment of the mask character.  Application of text to mask character movement.

                   *Neutral mask

                   *Character mask

Weeks Thirteen - Sixteen:

Introduction to and exploration of 17th Century Italian Theatre, Commedia dell’Arte.  Continued application of skills of mime, combat, mask, dance, and slapstick to create final solo and ensemble performances.

                   *Stock characters


The instructor reserves the right to revise or amend the schedule as necessary to accommodate the needs of the class as a whole. 

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

This class is a study of the use of the body on stage to communicate character and action.  Activities include exercises in body control, body language, dance, and stage combat designed to provide movement theatre skills for the student actor, as well as to instill self-awareness, spatial awareness, and tools and techniques for effective physical expression.