High School Students Studying Acting At Sheridan College

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Last week I had the great pleasure of visiting the dual-credit classes offered to senior secondary school students by Sheridan’s Faculty of Animation Arts and Design. One of these was Introduction to Acting, a course right out of our Performing Arts – Prep program.

Marc Richard – who is teaching the special summer class – explained the class as follows:

“The Intro to acting class focuses on the basic preliminary steps in learning to become an actor: impulse and listening. The students learn a whole series of warm-up exercises developed to enhance their awareness of being onstage with other individuals and responding to them kinesthetically. Through partner, small group and whole class improvisational exercises they become aware of responding from a place of impulse. The focus is on a melding of the brain and body (a minded-body) such that the acting never feels like a cerebral exercise, but rather one of  whole body and spirit. Rather than focusing on simply saying lines, we focus on being active.

The two main question we learn to ask ourselves are What do want? (objective) and How are we going to get it? (action/tactic). Learning to be active in these exercises translated to script work as we read our class play The Melville Boys by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. The students did some basic script analysis and began to get their scenes blocked using props – the whole time allowing the information they’ve learned about impulse and listening to guide them.”

To find out more about programs offered by the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design, see our program pages.

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