Transformation: an Approach to Character (DRA4149.01)

Oliver Wadsworth

Whether Meryl Streep transforms into an old male Rabbi in Angels in America or Mark Rylance becomes a whisky swilling cult leader in Jerusalem, actors transforming into characters can be inspiring. It not only challenges the actor’s instrument – vocally, physically and emotionally – it can be artistically fulfilling in a deeply personal way. Walt Whitman said, “I contain multitudes”. The same is true for a transformational actor. Playing against gender, age, and type, allows us to inhabit perspectives other than our own, resulting in empathy for people we might not otherwise know. In this advanced acting class we will study techniques actors have used throughout history to become characters: techniques to expand physical vocabulary from Rudulf Laban, voice from Beverly Wideman, speech from Tim Monich, and dialect from Gillian Lane-Plescia. Through monologue and scene study, we will explore characters with whom we identify, and those far beyond our definition of self. Fearlessness and a willingness to risk are encouraged. Co-requisite: Dance or Drama Lab required

Prerequisites: At least one previous Acting Class plus permission of instructor. See Kirk Jackson for interviews conducted Nov.19 & 20
Credits: 4
M 10:00am - 11:50am; Th 10:00am - 11:50am
Maximum Enrollment: 14
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Areas of Study, Drama, Four Credit, Monday and/or Thursday Mornings, Oliver Wadsworth.