Course Syllabus

THAR 10A – Introduction to Acting Technique 

Classes: Mondays & Wednesdays 12:00-2:20pm
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30am-12pm by appointment in Burbank Offices 
Section: 8188 – Spring 2023

Instructor Contact

Sarah Wintermeyer


Course Description

An introduction to fundamental acting techniques and concepts through theatre games, improvisations and lecture/demonstrations.  It is designed for both majors and minors and it includes individual and partnered performance assignments.  Attendance at both departmental performances is required.

COVID-19 Prevention Protocol

All class meetings will be in Burbank room 129. Theatre Arts takes your health  seriously. All COVID-19 prevention protocols will be followed. Please review this SRJC COVID Prevention Protocol at prior to coming to class. 

Course Web Site

Students will use the Canvas course website for assignment instructions, submitting assignments, asking questions, sharing resources, and viewing grades.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to analyze, rehearse, memorize and perform characters from modern realistic plays in a variety of performance situations at a beginning acting level.

Course Objectives

In order to achieve these learning outcomes, during the course the student will: 

  1. Apply and demonstrate control of basic vocal acting techniques including projection, articulation, and breath support.
  2. Apply and demonstrate control of basic physical acting techniques including relaxation, “alert restfulness”, and motivated action.
  3. Develop and demonstrate ability to concentrate and maintain focus, awareness and spontaneity while acting.
  4. Demonstrate basic techniques of physical and vocal characterization.
  5. Use direct observation and basic research techniques in creating a character
  6. Analyze a script and document that analysis, applying basic principles and techniques of Stanislavski-based psychological realism to develop a character.
  7. Work collaboratively within partnered/ensemble acting situations in the development of characters, whether scripted or improvised.
  8. Apply basic improvisational acting techniques, including listening, responding, being in the moment, focusing, “saying yes”, and respecting one another.
  9. Memorize, retain, and accurately perform scripted text.
  10. Assess and critique a performance from an observer’s point of view, applying constructive evaluation techniques in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the acting within that performance.
  11. Correctly use acting terminology and basic staging concepts during rehearsal and performance process.
  12. Rehearse, prepare, memorize and perform a role in a partnered scene from a modern realistic play.
  13. Rehearse, prepare, memorize, and perform a realistic monologue from a modern play, following basic audition protocol and procedures.

Course Materials

ACTING ONSTAGE & OFF 7th Edition by Robert Barton – ISBN: 9781305077447

You can locate and order textbooks new or used online via the SRJC Bookstore.  Also on Reserve in the SRJC Library. Can also be  rented for the term. Details on book rentals are available in the SRJC Bookstore. If you have  questions, feel free to email the bookstore manager, Will Crawford, 

Binder: 3-Ring Binder. Other supplies: highlighter, pens/pencils, stapler, dividers, hole punch.

Scripts: You are required to read 2 plays: one for your monologue and one for the scene you are performing. 

Class Expectations

  • Wear loose fitting clothes and light, flexible shoes that allow you to move your whole body without limitation or potential damage to you or your clothes. 
  • No eating or drinking is allowed anywhere in Burbank, other than water. We will be taking a short break in the middle of class and that is a good time to have a bite to eat, if needed.
  • The best way to learn is through active participation. Respect others by showing up on time, listening actively, and speaking courteously (even when we disagree).

Class Format

The first five minutes of every class are your time to get situated, a time to make yourself comfortable and to share whatever you want with the class. Tell us about something interesting that happened to you. Something you read. Something you saw. Something you discovered. Something you recommend. Something you want to know more about. Something you want to announce. Declare. Proclaim.

Following announcements, we will have a vocal and physical warm up so please wear loose fitting clothes and light, flexible shoes that allow you to move your whole body without limitation. 

We will often spend time as a class or in small groups exploring a variety of vocal and physical acting techniques for solo monologue performance as well as collaborative ensemble development including listening, responding, being in the moment, focusing, “saying yes”, and respecting one another in group improvisations and partnered scenes.  

We’ll also uncover techniques for script analysis and character development, memorization, as well we learn acting terminology and basic staging concepts for the rehearsal and performance process, and regularly engage in discussions constructively assessing and critiquing performances.

In addition to in class activities, you will have the honor of attending two department theatrical productions, and collaborating with a partner or small group to rehearse, prepare, memorize and perform a partnered scene from a modern realistic play.

The Bottom Line: This is your class, and I want you to tell me what I can do to help you get the most out of it.

Participation Requirements:

In order to earn your participation point each class, you just have to show up for the full class period having read/memorized/prepared all of the material assigned for the week, which will be demonstrated through your engagement in class discussion and performance.

Participation – You don’t have to talk all of the time or voice your opinion on every topic we go over; you just have to open your mouth once or twice each class session to share your thoughts. If you make a comment on the reading, you got your participation point. If you contribute to the class discussion, you got your participation point. If you help me out by volunteering or reading aloud, you got your participation point. Things that don’t earn participation points: staring out the window, refusing to engage in vocal or physical exercises, checking your phone during class, talking to the person next to you while I’m talking, not knowing where we are or what day it is when I call on you, and texting.

Punctuality – You earn 1 participation point for each class session you attend. You will lose 1⁄2 point if you arrive to class more than 5 minutes late or leave more than 5 minutes early. You will not earn any points if you arrive more than 30 minutes late or leave more than 30 minutes early. 

Important Dates

Day Class Begins: Monday January 18, 2023

Day Class Ends: Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Mid-Term Exam: March 13, 2023

Day/Time of Online Final Exam: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 from 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM

Last Day to Add without instructor's approval: Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Last Day to Add with instructor's approval: Sunday, February 5, 2023

Last Day to Drop and be eligible for enrollment/course fee refund: Sunday, January 29, 2023

Last Day to Drop without a 'W' symbol: Sunday, February 5, 2023 

Last Day to Drop with a 'W' symbol: Sunday, April 23, 2023

Dropping the Class

It is your responsibility to drop the class. If you decide to discontinue this course, it is your responsibility to officially drop it to avoid getting no refund (after 10% of course length), a W symbol (after 20%), or a grade (after 60%). Also, for several consecutive, unexplained absences, the instructor may drop a student.

Pass‐No Pass (P/NP)

You may not take this class P/NP.

Instructor Announcements and Q&A Forum

The instructor will post announcements on the “Instructor Announcements” page in Canvas throughout the semester. Canvas notifies students according to their preferred Notification Preferences as soon as the instructor creates an Announcement. A “Q&A Forum” is also on Canvas to ask for assistance of your classmates or of instructor.

SRJC Attendance Policy

It shall be the policy of the Sonoma County Junior College District to maintain an attendance policy and procedures consistent with State and local requirements.

1.0 Attendance

1.1 Students are expected to attend all sessions of the course in which they are enrolled.

1.2 Any student with excessive absences may be dropped from the class.

2.0 Excessive Absence Defined

2.1 A student may be dropped from any class when that student's absences exceed ten

percent (10%) of the total hours of class time.

2.2 Instructors shall state in each course syllabus what constitutes excessive absence for

that course.

3.0 Excused vs. Unexcused absences

3.1 Unless state or federal law requires that the absence be deemed excused, no instructor shall be required to make a distinction between excused and unexcused absences.

3.2 If individual Instructors wish to distinguish between excused and unexcused absences the instructor shall state in each course syllabus all criteria for any excused absences in addition to those required by state or federal law.

4.0 Nonattendance

4.1 Students who fail to attend the first two class meetings of a full semester course may be dropped by the instructor.

The Department Attendance Policy for All Acting Classes at SRJC is as follows:

  • You are allowed a maximum of 3 absences for the semester without point penalty. These include both excused and unexcused absences, work conflicts, natural disaster, family emergencies, etc. After a total of 3 absences you may be dropped from the class.
  • Excessive absence for the course: Your final grade for the course will be reduced one full letter grade for the fourth absence, another full letter grade for the fifth absence, and three full letter grades for the sixth absence. If you have six absences (excused or not) the best grade you would be able to receive for the course would be a D.
  • If you are late for class, the time missed will be added together to count as an unexcused absence.
  • Any anticipated absences for the semester (class/team events, work conferences, personal responsibilities, etc.) must be discussed with your instructor within the first two weeks of class and will count as part of your three absences.
  • Any student who does not fully engage or fully participate in class may be dropped from the course.
  • For the purpose of late work, an ‘Excused Absence’ is defined as: illness or hospitalization accompanied by a note from your doctor for an office visit or hospitalization.

Please email me when you are ill or any other time you will be missing class. We are a team now. We need to know where you are.

Late Assignment Policy

All assignments are due before 12 midnight PST on the due date. A late submission will receive a 20% penalty. Submissions more than one week late are not accepted without prior arrangement. Late work will not be graded unless student sends instructor an email regarding late work.


There will be an ONLINE final exam on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 from 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM. The material comes from the textbook, class lectures and supplemental materials. If any exam is missed, a zero will be recorded as the score. It is your responsibility to take the exam on time.

Grading Policy

Individual grades will be posted and updated monthly on Canvas. See “Grades” in Canvas to keep track of your grades for this class.

The following breakdowns show the weight that will be given to each of the course requirements in order to determine the final grade, along with a scale showing the overall score you would need for the course to earn an individual letter grade:

Grades will be assigned as follows:

A 90% - 90 points or more

B 80% - 80 to 89 points

C 70% - 70 to 79 points

D 60% - 60 to 69 points

Grading Breakdown

30% - Class participation 
21% - Scene Project
14% - Monologue Project
10% - Performance Presentations 
10% - Journals & Critiques in Canvas 
10% - Final Exam
5% - Reading Quizzes 1-5

Assistance with Canvas

If you have not used Canvas before and need assistance, here is a link for Student Help for  Canvas: 

Student Online Resources

Santa Rosa Junior College has many online resources available to students including – Financial Aid, Tutoring, EOPS, Student Health Services, Library Services, and Free Or  Affordable Technology. Click here for more information about these services and many others:

Academic Integrity

Standards of Conduct

We will conduct ourselves in a manner which reflects our awareness of common standards of decency and the rights of others. Students who register in SRJC classes are required to abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. Violation of the Standards is basis for referral to the Conduct Dean or the Vice President of Student Services or dismissal from class or from the College. See the Student Code of Conduct page.

An academically honest student submits assignments and essays for evaluation that are created solely by that student. On those occasions when the stated rules of a course permit collaborative efforts, the contributions of other individuals and sources should be appropriately acknowledged. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain conduct consistent with the concept of academic integrity, including not only the avoidance of plagiarism, but also other actions further outlined under College Policies in the Student Handbook. 

Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s idea, writing or work, and passing it off as one’s own. If you fail to give credit to the source of the material, whether directly quoted or put in your own words, this lack of credit constitutes plagiarism. When you borrow, buy or receive material from the internet, from a book, from another student or from any other source, and you fail to give credit, you are stealing ideas and you are engaging in plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic standards and has serious academic consequences for the student.

The student code of conduct operates implicitly in everything you do in this course. Academic dishonesty is a violation of this code and will not be tolerated. If you cheat or plagiarize work EVEN IF IT’S FROM THE INTERNET, you will receive a grade of zero on the assignment. 

Collaborating on or copying of tests or homework in whole or in part will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and result in a grade of 0 for that test or assignment. I encourage students to share information and ideas, but not their work. See these links on Plagiarism:

SRJC Writing Center Lessons on avoiding plagiarism

SRJC's policy on Academic Integrity

Netiquette, or Why Is It Harder to Be Polite Online?

Netiquette refers to using common courtesy in online communication. All members of the class are expected to follow netiquette in all course communications. Use these guidelines:

  • Use capital letters sparingly. THEY LOOK LIKE SHOUTING.
  • Forward emails only with a writer's permission.
  • Be considerate of others' feelings and use language carefully.
  • Cite all quotations, references, and sources (otherwise, it is plagiarism).
  • Use humor carefully. It is hard to "read" tone; sometimes humor can be misread as criticism or personal attack. Feel free to use emoticons like :) for a smiley face to let others know you are being humorous.
  • Use complete sentences and standard English grammar to compose posts. Write in proper paragraphs. Review work before submitting it.
  • Text speak, such as "ur" for "your" or "ru" for "are you" etc., is only acceptable when texting.

Emergency Preparedness

In case of emergency, dial District Police at 527-1000! Do not dial 911 from on campus. You can contact the District Police at (707) 527-1000 any hour of the day or night. In the event of a safety emergency, the District Police will contact the closest officer to the incident to quickly respond and assess the situation. 

Nonemergency facility and utility issues and questions can be directed to the following numbers: Santa Rosa Campus (707) 527-4231 Petaluma Campus (707) 778-3976 Public Safety Training Center (Windsor) (707) 836-2918 Shone Farm (Forestville) (707) 535-3702 Southwest Santa Rosa Center (707) 527-4231

Emergency Resources

  • The SRJC Emergency Response Guidelines
  • For Santa Rosa Safety alerts, register with Nixle: alerts-signup
  • For SRJC Police alerts, register your cell phone with ALERT-U Text Messaging System: Text the letters SRJC to 55155.

No student may be driven to the hospital by a faculty member. We are required by law to call an  ambulance. Please notify the instructor if you have any medical condition that puts you at risk.  There are first aid kits in the THAR office, the costume studio, makeup lab, and scene  shop. There are fire extinguishers either inside each room in the hallway just outside the room. 

Title IX: Confidentiality and Responsible Employee Statement 

Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Theatre Arts are committed to helping create a safe and open  learning environment for all students. In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments  of 1972, SRJC prohibits unlawful sexual harassment against any participant in its education  programs or activities. This prohibition applies to all students, SRJC employees, and visitors to  campus. If you (or someone you know) have experienced any form of sexual harassment,  including sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking, know that help and support are  available. The College strongly encourages all members of the community to take action, seek  support and report incidents of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Jarrett  at or 707-527-4822. Reports may also be filed online. 

If you wish to speak to a confidential employee, you can contact Student Psychological Services  (Santa Rosa Campus 707-524-1595/ Petaluma Campus 707-778-3919). For more information  about reporting options and resources at Santa Rosa Junior College and the community, please visit

Student Equity 

Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) aspires to be an inclusive, diverse, and sustainable learning  community. Its mission is to passionately cultivate learning through the development of its diverse community. 

What is Student Equity? 

Title V California Education Code state the goal of Student Equity is “…to close achievement  gaps in access and success in underrepresented student groups, as identified in local student  equity plans.” 

In the state of California and at SRJC, we have a diverse student population from a variety of  backgrounds. The data shows that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are not achieving  their academic goals at the same rate as the average population. At SRJC, the Office of Student  Equity is committed to supporting campus wide efforts focused on reducing these achievement  gaps. 

Special Needs

Disability Resources Department  |  Phone: 707-527-4278  |   Location: Bertolini Hall, 3rd Floor

Students with disabilities who believe they need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disability Resources as soon as possible to better ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. 

This syllabus is intended to give you, the student, guidance in what may be covered during the semester and will be followed as closely as possible. However, the instructor reserves the right  to modify, supplement, and change the course as needs arise.