For a complete listing of Governor's School courses and course descriptions, view the 2023-2024 Course Selection Guide.
Junior Level Courses
- Honors Acting 3A
Acting is embodied, present tense storytelling, which requires the practitioner to engage with empathy, commitment, and a deep understanding of the character’s motivations and aspirations, as well as their function in the themes within the context of a dramatic work and its contribution to cultural conversation. Through movement, text-based work, improvisations, guided studio exercises, reflective writing/ discussion, and collaborative and solo projects, students encounter the fundamental principles and foundational components of the craft of acting. The class interates the Michael Chekhov technique and perspectives from and components of the work of Viola Spolin, Uta Hagen,Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Augusto Boal, and other practitioners. The semester culminates in the rehearsal and performance of selected scenes.
- Honors Voice 3A
This course introduces the foundations of Voice and Speech for the stage. The following topic areas are explored: respiration, phonation, articulation, resonance, physical alignment, vocal production, the anatomy and mechanics of the human voice, an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet, and phonetic transcription.
- Honors Special Topics 3A
This course includes classes designed to augment the Drama curriculum by offering experiences in areas not wholly encompassed in traditional acting classes. A twice-weekly movement class focuses on a mindful connection to the studio exploratory performance piece. physical instrument as well as building strength, flexibility, and overall stamina. First year students will also study Theatre History as a means of better acquainting themselves with the art’s origins, influences, and innovations. Essential Arts is a class designed to teach these young actors how to think like an artist by exploring the commonalities and motifs evidenced in all the art forms.
- Honors Acting 3B
Building on Acting 3A, students continue to hone their artistic point of view and the skills through improvisation, interpreting classical and non-dramatic texts, contemporary plays and monologues, and devising pieces of their own. Students investigate and embody the analytical, physical, and imaginative aspects of acting through active kinesthetic engagement, process-focused reflection, ensemble collaboration, independent exploration, the selection and study of monologues, and play reading, expanding their knowledge of global perspectives on the work and training of the actor through research, guest artists, and in studio. Students share their work in the Spring Showcase.
- Honors Voice 3B
The second semester adds the study of heightened texts as well as singing. Students deepen their skills with the International Phonetic Alphabet as they apply their knowledge to the exploration of dialects. Other topics include vocal health and basic musicianship skills.
- Honors Special Topics 3B
This course continues the movement studies begun in the previous semester with the addition of West African Dance. As actors develop more responsive instruments, they begin to distinguish between habitual physical expression and more organic, dynamic expression while acquiring valuable skills.
Senior Level Courses
- Honors Acting 4A
Through intensive, purposeful, human behavior analysis and exploration, diverse, freeing, movement exercises aimed at bodily awareness, students will gain deeper insight and practical knowledge of the art of creating and embodying characters. A physical, full-body, approach to the craft is introduced in an effort to help students create characters with a full, rich, separate physical identity and communication style. Applying this work to movement pieces, monologues, duo, and large group scenes, this semester culminates in a full studio exploratory performance piece.
- Honors Voice 4A
Voice classes focus on communicating through heightened text, spoken and sung. Students are guided through study of delivering Shakespeare’s language, structure, rhythm, scansion, and other essentials. In singing class, actors learn how to apply fundamental techniques to various musical genres, culminating in a cabaret performance.
- Honors Special Topics 4A
In the third semester, movement training is still a mainstay, with other topics that support the actors’ development layered in. Topics may include various genres of dance, as well as stage combat, and strength and conditioning.
- Honors Acting 4B
The second semester of Acting 4 continues to develop and expand upon the deep physical character work of 4A. Students will further explore and apply their knowledge of creating full-body characters, building rich physical scores for theatrical pieces, and working collaboratively in scene and ensemble work including devised pieces, musical theater, and experimental pieces.
- Honors Voice 4B
The final semester will be devoted to application and synthesis. The student will work to assimilate skills learned in voice and speech, singing, and acting through various projects and performances that utilize the full vocal instrument.
- Honors Special Topics 4B
The final semester of this course introduces exciting new elements such as acting for the camera and voice over technique in addition to West African Dance.