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Theatr 140 - Acting Fundamentals - David Stears

Course:Acting Fundamentals
Professor:David Stears
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Picture of David Stears

I'm David Stears, full-time faculty, a trained actor and director, originally from New York. I love teaching this class, because it is an opportunity for performers to build a strong foundation in basic skills and concepts, and begin developing their own artistic discipline, and their own technique. I have trained with a variety of teachers, and theatrical traditions. While I don't have any particular guru, but believe that the more tools an actors has at their disposal the better. This will be a fun exploration, and by the end of the class, you will have a couple of monologues under your belt.

Course Description

Course Description: Introduces principles, practices, and techniques of acting as an artistic discipline.

Exploring a variety of tools, our work will be rooted on modern theatre training, exploring work of Stanislavski, Misner, Hagen, and Adler. Our text is a simple (and inexpensive) primer to give a foundational vocabulary to our work together.

What to Expect in this Course

You can expect to explore the craft and discipline of acting.  This includes:

  • preparation for performance (physical warmups and vocal warms)
  • written assignments (scoring your script and basic script analysis)
  • performances.  You are expected memorize and perform your monologues, or recording and presenting your work for other people to view.  You will be expected to find your own material to perform. 

As this will be an ONLINE LIVE course, you are expected to have consistent access to the internet, a working webcam and microphone.  It will be helpful if you have a place where you can move around, and can, on occasion, get loud.  

Types of Assessments

Students can expect two to four theory worksheets per week. Quizzes will happen every 2-3 weeks and will always cover just the material for those few weeks.  Some quizzes will be on Canvas; others in the classroom.  There is a lot of overlapping information.  What you learn one week carries over to the next week; what you just learned always becomes the catalyst to the next chapter.  Music is a series of building blocks.  By the time we reach the end of the semester, your stack of blocks will be pretty high.

Types of Assessments

1.  Performances (graded)

2. Classwork/Homework assignments (graded)

3. Quizzes (graded)

4. Class Discussions & Canvas Discussions

Textbook Information

REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: A Practical Handbook for the Actor by Melissa Bruder, ISBN: 0-394-74412-8


ACTIONS: The Actors Thesaurus by Calrarone & Llyod-Williams, ISBN: 978-089676252-7

Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen ,ISBN: 0-02-547390-5

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 07/26/2021 Sub#: 418