Acting Courses Now for Everyone


Not every student is an actor or artist, but at USAO all students must fill an "artistic expression" requirement.   "Now their options have been expanded slightly," announced Roger B. Drummond, associate professor of drama.

Under a new interpretation of the guidelines, students may take a class in basic or advanced acting to fill the requirement, he said.

Instructor for the courses is USAO graduate Judy Carroll, who recently completed her master's degree at the University of Arkansas. Carroll also will teach Introduction to Theatre.

No experience is necessary for the two acting classes, says Carroll, an adjunct member of the faculty. No pre-requisites apply, either.  For the fall, the two courses -- ACTING 1113 and ACTING 2213 -- will be combined and offered at 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

"This class will offer as much for the non-major as for the major," Drummond says. "The function of the class will be to examine forces affecting the characters in a scene. With this perspective, a student begins to understand the motivations for his character. And more importantly, he may gain insight into his own motivations.  Learning about acting can be learning about psychology and human behavior."

Students in the course are not required to perform in a stage production, Drummond explains.  The course description, as offered in the USAO Catalog, is as follows: "ACTING 1113 -- Application of the basic principles of acting and the development of basic acting techniques.  Training through lectures, class improvisations, scene work, and play analysis.  ACTING 2213 -- ... a study of period styles in acting through scene work from period plays."

Faculty members should know this offering is an expansion of Drama 1801, which is laboratory credit for acting in a play.

Carroll also will be teaching INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE.  "I'll be presenting a survey of the general periods of theatre history, covering a play in each period, as well as the social factors and economic factors affecting each play," Carroll said. "We'll also study developments in stagecraft, costuming and acting."

While the course is not team-taught, it is designed to complement USAO's interdisciplinary learning methods, Drummond says. "The 'intro' course also includes a focus on society around theater in each period.  Since theater is a reflection of society around it, Introduction to Theater is a good examination of a cross-section of society in a particular history."

This course is offered at 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Carroll participated in more than 20 productions during her years at USAO.  Besides appearances on stage and as a technical crew member, Carroll directed two Jack Heifner comedies, Patio in 1986, and Vanities in 1984, and an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, also in 1984.

She was named Best Actress at USAO for her role in Oliver, and earned the Francis Dinsmore Davis Scholarship in 1984. Her work at USAO included many other awards and scholarships.

Since 1986, Carroll served as graduate assistant in properties at the University of Arkansas, where she earned an M.A. in theatre. While in Arkansas, she directed Shadows and Laundromat. She also appeared in plays and served as stage manager or properties manager of 13 other productions.