Junior Level Courses
- Honors Acting 3A
This course begins developing a genuine understanding of the actor’s craft, exploring techniques and theories essential to theatrical performance. Students are introduced to the Stanislavski system and exercises of Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, Robert Lewis and others. Actors learn to define and identify the components of technique through script analysis. Improvisational exercises emphasize ensemble, commitment, risk, imagination, and intuition. The work culminates in the rehearsal and performance of selected scenes.
- Honors Voice and Speech 3A
This course is devoted to the following topic areas: physical alignment, breathing, vocal production, the anatomy and physiology of the human voice, articulation, an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (Skinner System). In singing class, students begin with folk songs as a means to focus on pitch legato and personalization; music theory is introduced to form a greater context for the entire course of study.
- Honors Special Topics 3A
This course offers experiences not wholly encompassed in traditional acting classes. In the first year, movement forms the primary focus, encouraging flexible, well-conditioned bodies that respond to the creative demands of acting. Topics are drawn from physical conditioning, dance, Pilates, yoga, stage combat, and mask. A separate unit in theatre history establishes a context for all Drama studies.
- Honors Acting 3B
This course expands upon the foundations learned in Acting 3A classes. Actors are challenged to apply their knowledge of acting technique to improvisational situations and non-dramatic material. Text analysis may include playwriting and the investigation of plays from the American realist genre. Students progress toward integrating the analytical and intuitive components of acting through the rehearsal of selected scenes, which are presented in the spring scene showcase.
- Honors Voice and Speech 3B
The second semester builds on the first to create a free, personal, and responsive vocal instrument while layering in work on dramatic and non-dramatic texts. The second half of the semester signals an introduction to classical language and Shakespearean sonnets. Singing class continues the study of fundamentals which students apply to the musical theatre genre.
- Honors Special Topics 3B
This course continues the movement studies begun in the previous semester. As actors develop more responsive instruments, they begin to distinguish between habitual physical expression and more organic, dynamic, and stage worthy responses, while acquiring valuable professional skills. Topics are drawn from physical conditioning, yoga, Pilates, modern dance, tap, stage combat, theatre movement, Suzuki, and mask.
Senior Level Courses
- Honors Acting 4A
This course encompasses the process of rehearsing and performing a play or theatre project. In rehearsals, students apply physical, vocal, and interpretive skills as they transform themselves into dramatically viable characters. In technical rehearsals, actors learn to incorporate costumes, lighting, scenic elements, and props into their performances, and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the theatrical process. Work culminates in performance before a public audience, as actors synthesize elements of training and rehearsal.
- Honors Voice and Speech 4A
The first semester of the second year applies voice and speech fundamentals to Shakespeare’s text. Students learn tools necessary to speak Shakespeare and integrate aspects of acting and voice and speech. Singing studies include vocal health and the building of repertoire for college and conservatory auditions.
- Honors Special Topics 4A
In the third semester, the course transitions to audition preparation, readying student portfolios for college auditions and national competitions such as YoungArts. Additional topics may include movement studies, dramatic literature, professional aspects, and interdisciplinary projects.
- Honors Acting 4B
This course explores advanced topics in acting. Students broaden their knowledge of the craft as they approach material and projects that make increased demands on their physical, vocal, technical, and imaginative resources. Topics are drawn from contemporary, modern, or classical drama, and may include Chekhov, the Greeks, and other assignments that challenge the actor to integrate all components of the training.
- Honors Voice and Speech 4B
The final semester is devoted to application and synthesis. This takes the form of a language play or project, often from Shakespeare. This is presented at semester’s end and effectively culminates the two-year training cycle. Singing studies are often folded into this performance and/or presented in additional demonstrations.
- Honors Special Topics 4B
The final semester of this course introduces the actor to possibilities and potentials which contribute to a successful, lifelong, self-directed pursuit of excellence. Representative topics include audition workshops, stage combat, dance, tai chi, yoga, Suzuki, playwriting, fundamentals of technical theatre, stage management, and original performance projects.
For a complete listing of Governor's School courses, view the 2022-2023 Course Selection Guide.