• Theatre Arts Course Syllabus


    Theatre Arts I - IV

    Course Syllabus

    Mrs. Beam—dbeam@augusta.k12.va.us


    I.  Standards of Learning.  See Mrs. Beam’s Webpage.


    II. Course Descriptions:


    Theater Arts I – In Theatre Arts I, students will survey the history of drama from the Greek theatre to the 18th Century. Students will be introduced to basic acting techniques, and basic design and production concepts. They will begin to interpret texts for multiple meanings and historical implications for technical theatre. Students will also analyze theatre for the use of integrated art forms. Theatre Arts I is based on the Proficient Standards of the National Standards for Theatre Education as developed by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the Educational Theatre Association.


    Theater Arts II – Students will build on their prior knowledge and experience in Theatre Arts I.

    They will write and refine their own scripts. They will develop their acting techniques in improvisation, and informal and formal productions. They will conceptualize and realize their artistic interpretations in various fields of design, such as sets, costumes, and make-up. Students will focus on directing by interpreting dramatic texts, and organizing and conducting rehearsals. Finally, students will evaluate and integrate other forms of artistic expression, and conducting rehearsals. Finally, students will evaluate and integrate other forms of artistic expression, and analyze various performance media and their role in society. Throughout the course students will be expected to apply their knowledge and practical experience in extracurricular productions.


    Theater Arts III – Theatre Arts III will reemphasize skills learned in Theatre Arts II. Special emphasis will be placed on playwriting. Students will study the elements of playwriting and develop their own scripts. They will analyze famous plays and their own scripts to design, produce, and direct informal and formal productions. They will continue to expand their acting techniques by developing characters in these productions. They will also compare and integrate into these productions art forms such as dance, music, visual arts, and new art forms. Finally, they will research and analyze the roles of the theatre, film, television, and electronic media.

    Theater Arts IV – Theatre Arts IV is designed for the upper level student who wants to achieve in Theatre Arts. The content of the course will vary to reflect each student’s needs and special interests. For example: for directing – a student will be expected to direct a one-act play for VHSL or other competition; for technical theatre – a student will be expected to create and enter a portfolio in the appropriate contest at Virginia State Thespian Conference or another competition, and to design or assist with the design of a school or community production. An internship with a community group, such as ShenanArts, is suggested part of the course work.

    II.  Key Concepts



    • Improvisation
    • Auditions 
    • Pantomime
    • Monologues
    • Script Analysis
    • Character Development

    Acting Theory

    • Stanislavski
    • Method Acting
    • Meisner Method


    • Costume Design
    • Lighting Design
    • Set Design
    • Make Up Design
    • Sound Design
    • Technical Theatre


    • Vocalization
    • Physicality
    • Movement
    • Laban Techniques

    History of Theatre

    Careers in Theatre

    Film Study

    Script to Stage Project



    Play Production

    Self Evaluation


    III.  Tools & Materials


                  Three-ringed notebook with dividers and notebook paper.  Index cards, writing utensil (pencil or pen), composition book for journal writing, and costumes, props, set pieces, etc… as needed.  It is also recommended that you have a flash drive to store your computer work.


                  Textbooks: Basic Drama Projects, Exploring Theatre, The School and Stage, Truth in Comedy


    IV.  Evaluation


                Grading Scale


              A+  99-100           B+  92-93               C+  84-85               D+  76-77               F  69-0

              A    96-98             B    88-91                C    80-83               D    72-75

               A-   94-95            B-   86-87               C-   78-79               D-   70-71


    Six Weeks Grades


    Students will receive a daily class participation grade that is calculated as part of Bellwork/Participation (5%) therefore attendance is very important.  In addition, assignments will be divided into the following categories and will be weighted appropriately:  Improvisation (10%), which includes Warm-up Activities, Rehearsal/Memorization/Homework (25%), Writing Assignments/Projects (10%), and Performances, your performance grade will be weighted at 50% of your six weeks grade.  Theatre Arts is a performance based class, therefore EVERYONE is expected to perform on the stage in front of an audience.  There will be an exam at the end of the semester that will have a written and performance section.


    Progress Reports


                Progress reports will be sent home after the completion of the third week in each six week grading period.  Students with a grade of D+ or below will have their progress reports sent home.  Other students will have progress reports handed to them in class to take home to be signed and returned.


    V. Field Trips


                There will be at least one field trip to Blackfriars Theatre in Staunton to see a production produced by Shenandoah Shakespeare’s American Shakespeare Center.  Cost for each field trip will be approximately $20.00.  Students will also need to provide money for lunch at a fast food restaurant, which generally is around $6.00.  Students must return an Augusta Country field trip permission form in order to attend.  There are limited scholarship monies available for those students in financial need.  Parents wishing to attend should contact Mrs. Beam.