Course Outline

DRA100 Acting 1: The actor's craft

Course Coordinator:Hannah Banks ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course focuses on building performance skills and exploring approaches to realistic acting and theatre practice. This includes knowledge of the actor’s craft, character development and the elements of live performance. Through practical applications, workshops, rehearsal processes and critical reflection, you will acquire an understanding of the conventions of realism, improvisation, script interpretation and skills in acting, including the effective use of voice and movement. You will learn how to effectively collaborate with your peers and hone your performance skills to communicate with an audience.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous Online Delivery of Learning Material 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled On-Campus Workshops 2hrs Week 2 11 times
Seminar – Scheduled On-Campus Seminar 1hr Week 1 2 times

Course Topics

In DRA100 students will:

  • Build performance skills and explore different approaches to realistic acting and theatre practice
  • Summarise and reflect on key theories from leading practitioners
  • Develop improvisational skills and apply them in creative scenarios 
  • Collaborate to rehearse and perform a scene from a realistic play text. Note: Depending on the scenes selected for the semester, they may contain adult themes and coarse language.
  • Develop a reflective journal as part of a role preparation process 

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate knowledge of performance theories and reflect on the application of these theories. Knowledgeable
2 Implement improvisation, acting and performance skills with proficiency and confidence. Empowered
3 Create a polished performance of a scene from a realistic play text. Creative and critical thinker
4 Reflect on the performance process undertaken to prepare for a specific role. Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Competent English language skills for oral and written work

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

You will receive feedback on your Task 1 Structured Improvisation in the Week 4 workshop. In Weeks 3 and 4, you will participate in a peer review process to assist you with Task 2 Reading summaries. From Week 6 onwards, you will receive feedback during workshops on your Task 3 Performance.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Creative Performance Individual 15%
3-5 mins
Week 5 In Class
All 2 Written Piece Individual 45%
1,500 words (5 x 300 word entries)
Week 10 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Creative Performance Individual 40%
5-8 minutes
Week 13 In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Structured Improvisation
Professional actors are able to improvise a scene to develop a realistic character.
Product: Creative Performance
Prepare an improvisation to explore and develop a given character. In workshops you will be given a choice of characters to explore, and you will work in groups of 2 or 3 to devise a scene between these characters. You will work in groups to prepare your improvisation but will be marked individually. Further information will be provided in workshops and on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Expression of the character’s objectives.
Exploration of a key moment in a character’s background.
All - Assessment Task 2:Reading Summaries
Reflection and synthesising information are key elements of effective acting. Professional actors utilise acting theory to develop and reflect on their craft.
Product: Written Piece
In weeks 3 and 4, you will be required to summarise a set reading and bring your draft summary to class for peer and tutor feedback. You will submit a final version of five reading summaries in Week 10. Your responses will record your on-going learning linked to issues explored through improvisation, role-play and acting techniques. Further information will be provided in workshops and on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge of key concepts with references to set readings
Analysis and synthesis of workshop experience with set readings
Clarity of ideas and written communication for professional purposes.
All - Assessment Task 3:Performance Scripted Text and Rehearsal Journal
Professional actors undertake detailed role preparation; effectively collaborate with others; and present polished performances.
Product: Creative Performance
This assessment is designed in two parts. Part one (Performance) will assess your performance skills in a scene from an Australian or New Zealand play. Part two (Process) will assess your preparation process, rehearsal development and collaboration with your scene partner/s. 
Select a scene, with two-three characters, from one of the set choices and collaborate with your peers to bring the script to life. Create a rehearsal script and analyse the scene. Present the polished scene to your workshop group using appropriate rehearsal props and costume. You will also keep an Individual Rehearsal Journal. Your journal will reflect on your rehearsals and document your character development process. You will submit this in hard copy or online via Canvas on the day of your performance.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Characterisation: Clarity and effectiveness of choices and expression of the character’s motivation
Connection and Presence: Responsiveness, connection and collaboration with scene partner. Physical energy and presence
Voice: Centred voice work, audibility, vocal expression and articulation
Process and Reflection: Character and scene development during rehearsals as evidenced by in-class presentations and by rehearsal journal
3 4

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Students are expected to wear comfortable clothing suitable for movement and rehearsal purposes to all workshops. Students must supply their own costuming and rehearsal props for all performance tasks.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all studio and laboratory classes and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risk concerns may include equipment, instruments, and tools; as well as manual handling items within the laboratory. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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General Enquiries

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