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Acting for Screen

Have you ever been bowled over by a great performance in a movie or TV show and wondered how they did that…and maybe how you could do the same thing? In the Acting for Screen Module, we offer an innovative collaboration between Theatre and Film that not only prepares actors for the particularities of working with one another in front of a camera rather than for an audience, but integrates performers into a total filmmaking practice that includes understanding of camera, sound and editing. We believe the best preparation as an artist is to experience enough of the whole process to be a full collaborator in film storytelling, but we also know that in today’s market, the best professional training must give actors the tools to present themselves to the world, whether by shooting your own audition videos, editing your reel of scenes from past work, or directing short films and web content as your own best showcase. Our program offers a range of interdisciplinary approaches to screen performance from among a range of academic programs so as to best tailor the experience to your particular strengths as a craftsperson, as well as preparation for the business of acting, to begin your work as a professional.

Sponsoring Departments: Radio/Television/Film and Theatre

Module Coordinators (main student contacts): Detra Payne and Stephen Cone

Module Advisor: Catherine Carrigan

This is a course of study designed for RTVF and Theatre Majors who wish to focus on the craft of performance for narrative cinema, television, and web media. The module will consist of courses that exercise various traditions of stage and screen performance, alongside cinematic techniques for capturing and heightening performance through camera work, lighting and editing. As it is in the interest of students to work across disciplines, the RTVF and Theatre departments will work in concert on this module through advising and complementary course offerings. This is an innovative, interdisciplinary course of study, bringing together stage and cinema practice for unique focus on a craft that is central to both. It will thus offer perspectives and experiences that will more fully prepare our graduates from both areas for careers as artists. Completion of this module will be most ideal for students who wish to focus their studies on performance for screen.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of the module, students should:

  • Gain significant experience acting for camera (and possibly stage), with a working knowledge of acting techniques and strategies employed for screen and stage.
  • Gain awareness of historical developments in different performance styles and strategies employed in screen work.
  • Understand the effects of shooting and editorial choices upon the documentation of performance and expressive relationships between performance and cinematic technique.
  • Understand the processes necessary and resources available for continuing their work in a self-directed fashion after graduation.