If you are having trouble envisioning yourself at acting school, try to imagine how much you would enjoy taking any of the following classes.
Introduction to Theater
Many theater programs ask students to take an introductory course at the beginning of their studies before moving on to more advanced courses that might hone in on more specific aspects of acting and performance. In an intro level class students are given a survey of many different components of the theater and film industry. You might study basic features of performance and learn about the many different artists who contribute to a theatrical performance. You will be asked to think about different strategies and factors that help to enhance a viewer’s appreciation of a piece. Because you will probably take this class early on in your studies – and in fact it may be required in order for you to move further into the program – if you decide you are uninterested in the topics you will have a chance to switch your major or concentration before taking additional unnecessary classes.
Theater Lab Production
Even if you are sure that you want to be an actress and take the center stage in theatrical performances, you may be asked to study topics that don’t directly relate to acting. There is a lot that goes into putting on a successful show that many people don’t ever think about, such as lighting, directing, sound, props, set design, costumes, and other aspects of production. A lot of acting and theater degrees include within them a chance for students to become acquainted with these aspects of a show. In a theater lab production class you will be given practical experience in these other elements. You may be instructed in a classroom or given a chance to learn by observation and practice in the form of an in-school apprenticeship.
Stage Craft or Stage Lighting
If you decide that you are interested in one or more of the other aspects of production already mentioned, you may choose to take another class that allows you to learn more and receive more specialized training. Two of these classes could include stage craft and stage lighting. In a class such as stage craft you will get experience building sets. This includes their initial construction, painting and other aesthetic applications, and their adjustment during a show. Such skills could come in handy whether you choose to work in the theater or film business. In stage lighting you will learn about stage lighting equipment and their uses in a performance. You might learn how to hang lights, apply different films, adjust their angle and position, or work a spotlight. Again, these skills could come in handy both in stage or film acting.
Elements of Theater
Acting involves reading a script and not just reciting lines, but really tapping into what emotions and motives the writer is trying to convey in a particular scene. In order to be able to do this successfully in your career, you need practice analyzing and interpreting scripts. In a class like this you will study scripts and plays and then practice turning your ideas into a viable concept for a performance. These skills will be helpful in both the performance and technical aspects of theater production, and can be particularly helpful if you aspire to be a director.