Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Bryan C. Reeder

Second Advisor

Robert Scoggins

Third Advisor

Ann Canale


Many college and universities across the United States offer programs in theater and dance. Training often exists to facilitate the actor or the dancer in becoming separate participants in a similar art. For the college actor, movement training typically incorporates traditional approaches as developed by Matthias Alexander, Tadashi Suzuki, or Sanford Meisener. Although these lessons in movement training hold merit, alternative strategies exist. The development of the Dancing/or the Actor program utilizes the principles of dance as the primary tools in actor movement training. By experiencing the components, theories, and techniques of dance, the college actor will focus on physical development and the mental/emotional aspects of movement as they relate to personal awareness, improvisation and character development. The Dancing for the Actor program broadens students' awareness of diverse theatrical venues, thus expanding their creative potential.

This thesis should serve as a type of proposal to be submitted to college, or university, theater departments for their consideration. The Dancing for the Actor program can be thought of as a work-in-progress, as the program itself is flexible and can be altered to suit the needs of individual departments. This describes what the program aims to accomplish, why the program could be successful, and how educators might implement recommended materials and strategies.

Chapter one includes a statement of philosophy and a list of program goals. In particular, the uniqueness of the Dancing/or the Actor program is commented upon, with regards to approaching actor training from a movement perspective. Whether preparing a role or composing a movement piece, the Dancing/or the Actor program emphasizes the understanding of movement in a multicultural context. The program aims to juxtapose the unification of mind and body with the applicable techniques to characterization, production creativity, and overall artistic expression. Emphasis is divided between process and production. Special attention is paid to practical application, i.e. how the actor, director, and choreographer can use these techniques, thus expanding the possibilities of what is eventually brought to the stage.

Chapter two outlines the curriculum, which includes the following sections of study: introduction lo Dance, Physical Training, Movement as Communication and Performance Workshops. Explanations are given to support the sequential order of courses. Course descriptions are included as general statements about subject contents.

Chapters three through six describe each area of study and the courses that facilitate each section. Each chapter begins with an introduction and explains how this segment of study relates to the overall goals of the program.

  • Chapter three: Introduction to Dance Dance Appreciation, Musical Theater
  • Chapter four: Physical Training Dance Technique I, Yoga/Tumbling, Tap I

  • Chapter five: Movement as Communication Movement Improvisation, Laban I

  • Chapter six: Performance Workshop

Within each section of study courses are described, highlighting the general units of concentration that are included in each subject.

Chapter seven addresses the issue of assessment. J have made recommendations as to which type of assessment style would be most appropriate for this program.

Finally, chapter eight provides conclusions regarding the many positive attributes of the Dancing for the Actor program Previous student evaluations, which attest to the faculty and student interest in a trial program started at Carroll College, are given as evidence to this program's potential. The program's versatility is stressed, as it would compliment many college theater programs, as well as provide the individual student with many opportunities for success.

Lastly, an extensive set of appendices is included. These additional materials support the curriculum by providing examples of syllabi, worksheets, and assessment tools. In addition, actual documentation of students' work, and course evaluations written in a trial setting contribute to the overall credibility, and successfu potential that this program maintains.