450 N. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012
(213) 217-8600
Ken Martinez, Principal
Kim M. Bruno,
Executive Artistic Director
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Course Descriptions

Grading Policy

  • 15%     Homework/Class Preparation
  • 50%     Classwork/Participation
  • 10%     Quizzes, Tests, Projects, Presentations
  • 25%     Culminating Evaluations: Mid-term and Final Exams, Exhibitions, Juries, Performances
    • End of unit
    • End of marking period
    • End of semester

Sample Theatre Course Sequence

Grade 9

  • Acting 1
  • Improvisation 1
  • Voice and Diction 1
  • Freshman Seminar

Grade 10

  • Acting 2
  • Improvisation 2
  • Voice and Diction 2

Grade 11

  • Acting 3
  • Acting on-Camera
  • Directing 1
  • Stagecraft

Grade 12

  • Acting 4
  • Audition Technique
  • Career Management
  • Directing Seminar
  • Stagecraft

Theatre Course Offerings

Acting 1

This course emphasizes the basic tenets of acting, artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing and the interconnections of the arts and other disciplines and careers. Students are trained in the fundamental skills of acting, including improvisation, character development, stage blocking, theatre terminology, and stage projection. Students present scenes at the end of each semester for a peer audience.

Acting 2

Students build on the skills acquired in Acting 1. This course emphasizes exploration of realistic text based on the methods of Strasberg, Stanislavsky, Meisner, and Hagen. The focus shifts to a greater depth of character development using themes connected to contemporary American theatre. Students present scenes at the end of each semester for a peer audience.

Acting 3

Students deepen their abilities to create characters (outside of self). The focus on Shakespearean text as well as non-realistic, farcical, and modern genres helps the actor reach beyond the scope of everyday life. Playwrights include Chekhov, Ibsen, Moliere, Shakespeare, Shaw, Strindberg, and Wilde. Students present scenes at the end of each semester for a public audience.

Acting 4

Students expand their skills through a focus on avant-garde material that includes works from absurdist, expressionist, and modern playwrights; i.e., Beckett, Ionesco, Rice, Stoppard, Pinter, and Van Itallie. Students present scenes at the end of each semester for a public audience.

Acting on-Camera

This course prepares students for the particular demands and challenges of acting-on-camera as students work to create an individualized acting reel. Coursework includes assigned reading and discussion, monologue and scene rehearsals, playback and evaluation of recorded on-camera performances, and meeting with industry professionals.

Audition Technique

This course introduces audition preparation and process for theater, film, and television. Students prepare several audition pieces that show their range and proficiency: classical, contemporary, comedic, and dramatic. Students develop the tools necessary to actively participate in local and national competitions and to ensure their readiness to meet professional and college goals.

Career Management

This course is designed to prepare graduating seniors for the professional workforce. Students are introduced to various job opportunities in theatre, film, and media. Students acquire practical information about contracts, agents, resumes, head shots, job interviews, and theatre-related options after graduation. Guest artists include working professionals from theater, film, and television.

Directing 1

This course is designed to assist students in achieving the California State Standards in Theatre, emphasizing artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing and the interconnection of the arts and other disciplines and careers. Students are trained in the fundamental skills of directing in theatre, including improvisation techniques, blocking, projection of ideas and emotions, building an ensemble, and preparation of scenes.

Directing Seminar

(Prerequisite: Directing 1) This advanced course emphasizes composition, movement, stage business, tempo, script selection, analysis, casting, and the rehearsal process. Students gain a deeper understanding of how to identify thematic material and communicate their vision to actors. Students present finished scenes for an invited audience.

Improvisation 1

Actors learn basic improvisational skills through exercise, games, and activities. Students explore imagination, spontaneity, and risk taking through individual and ensemble improvisational exercises.

Improvisation 2

Improv activities continue with a focus on playing in the moment, building story, and operating on impulses. This class also develops technique and physical freedom through mime, juggling, hand-to-hand stage combat, fencing and relaxation exercises.

Stagecraft

An introduction to the behind-the-scenes elements of theatre production developed through theory and stage crew experiences. Subjects covered include scenery construction and painting, lighting, sound, and stage management. Students are required to crew annual Black Box and Concert Hall performance events. Guest artists provide master classes in set, lighting, sound, and costume design.

Voice & Diction 1 and 2

Students learn projection, diction, breath support, vocal anatomy, and standard American speech. Units include voice over, dialects, and working with heightened language. Emphasis is on freeing the natural voice, increasing resonance, articulation of consonants and blends, proper placement and breathing, ear training, and support and projection in voice production. Students create an individualized plan focusing on their own unique challenges and goals.