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Main · Arts and Sciences · Comm Media and the Arts Dept


  • Spring 2021
  • Section 51699
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/11/2021 to 05/10/2021
  • Modified 01/10/2021


Students will explore the unique demands of acting and speaking Shakespeare and the qualities of his verse, including alliteration, assonance, rhymes, antithesis, puns, onomatopoeia, imagery, and iambic rhythms. Status, social, and historical context will be addressed. (F)


Prerequisite Courses: Minimum 2.0 in (THEA 131 and 141 and 143) or Department Approval
Placement Scores: None
Co-requisite Courses: THEA 233

Contact Hours







Total Hrs


Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Perform Shakespeare scenes and monologues.
  2. Perceive and evoke the images contained in various Shakespeare scenes, soliloquys, and sonnets.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of Shakespeare's use of antithesis, alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme, puns, and assonance.
  4. Develop one character with clear vocal and movement pattern from a Shakespearean text.
  5. Scan Shakespearean verse for emphasis, breathing, pauses, and character choices.
  6. Perform a comic Shakespeare scene, demonstrating an awareness of wit and innuendo.
  7. Demonstrate relaxation, effective breathing, resonance, and enunciation during scenework and monologues.
  8. Demonstrate facility with Shakespeare's language
  9. Score a Shakespearean text for the actions, motivations, and obstacles for one character.
  10. Perform in a production of a Shakespearean text.


Shakespeare's Words: A glossary and Language Companion

  • Author: David Crystal & Ben Crystal
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Availability: Campus bookstore &

This book is required. In lieu of buying the book you may use the Web version at  But you will be expected to have access to the book during class as a reference. 

New and used versions of this text are widely available online, often at bargain prices.

Romeo and Juliet (New Folger Library)

  • Author: William Shakespeare
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
  • Edition: 2004
  • ISBN: ISBN 9780671722852
  • Availability: Campus bookstore &

This book is required. New and used versions of this text are widely available online, often at reduced prices.

Midsummer Night's Dream (Folger Shakespeare Library

  • Author: William Shakespere
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Edition: 2004
  • ISBN: 9780743477543
  • Availability: Campus bookstore &

This book is required. New and used versions of this text are widely available online, often at bargain prices.

Other Materials/Resources

  • Handouts as provided by the instructor.
  • Availability: D2L

The films and videos will have links on D2L.

Tools, Equipment or Apparel (Required of the Student)

  • Pen, pencils, highlighter, notebook.
  • Comfortable, neutral, easy to move in clothing,   Because of temperature variations in the room, dress in layers.
  • Comfortable flat heeled shoes, such as jazz, karate or ballet shoes, running shoes or bare feet. Unless it is a “costume” for a monologue or scene presentation, NO HEELS, FLIP-FLOPS, Work boots, ETC.!


Student Electronic Access to Grades

Desire2Learn (D2L) is the College’s Course Management System which includes a gradebook function allowing students access to their grades in order to receive timely and meaningful feedback on their progress in the course at any time. These grades will align with the Evaluation Criteria listed in this syllabus. D2L is accessed through the MyLCC page.

This class utilizes the D2L system. Course materials, homework assignments, links to videos and other online resources, and scene and monologue assignments will be found there. All grades will be posted there as well

Whenever practicable, results for graded items should be posted electronically within 48 hours after the instructor has completed the grading process for the items, and final grades for the course should be entered no later than the specified grading day. 




This class uses a point system to determine grades. 

Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Class Participation/ Preparedness 15 pts


  • Preparedness for the day's work (ie, actively present,  work memorized, homework completed.)
  • Willingness to work constructively and cooperatively with fellow students
Presentations 50 points (12 for 1st 3, 14 for Studio show grade)

Verse Monologues and Scene work. Students will be expected to complete four presentations: a sonnet a verse monologue and/or a scene from Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night's Dream and either a scene or monologue from our Studio Play. 

Homework Assignments 20 pts
  • scan, score and analyzing assigned monologue and scene work,
  • Written assignments and worksheets designed to strengthen familiarity with poetic devices, the plays and/ or acting principles for classical theatre. 
Quizzes 15 pts.

There will be 2 quizzes in Acting Shakespeare. The first will be a short quiz on Shakespeare’s Theatre and the plays we will be using for in-class work. The second will assess your ability to recognize and use common poetic devices and other aspects of his language, including versification and scansion.  Both quizzes will be administered online. 


Acting Shakespeare



4.0  --- Excellent

      288 - 310 points

4.0     ---     93 – 100%

3.5  --- ---------

      269 - 287 points

3.5     ---     87 – 92%

3.0  --- Good

      248 - 268 points

3.0     ---      80– 86%

2.5  --- ---------

      230 - 247 points

2.5     ---     74 – 79%

2.0  --- Satisfactory

      211 - 229 points

2.0     ---     68 – 73%

1.5  --- ---------

       193 - 210 points

1.5     ---     62 – 67%

1.0  --- Poor

       174-192 points

1.0     ---     56 – 61%

0.0  --- --------

      below 174 points

0.0     ---       0 – 55%

Course Policies

Class Participation and Preparedness

We need to be present and engaged.  I'm here to give you honest feedback: please accept it gracefully.  Not being present hurts doubly - it hurts you and the whole class.  During this awful time, this time in class may become a welcome escape.  Some of my classes last semester were the best I ever had: let's make this a great semester.

Presentations & Performances

PERFORMANCES/ PRESENTATIONS:  Students will be expected score, memorize, rehearse and perform 1 monologue and 2 scenes (or a second monologue in lieu of a second scene)  from selected Shakespeare Plays.  What we did in THEA 120 for "Hello, Hello ..." Keep doing it!  The givens, objectives, character preparation - they make Shakespeare a lot easier.  They are essential.  Then, it's a matter of bringing the words to life.

  • All scenes or monologues must be memorized as early as possible.
  • Students will be expected to submit a final copy of their scored sonnet, monologue or scene at the time of their final presentation. A scored script will generally consist of marking the verse rhythm, (scansion) and identifying acting objectives and tactics.  Failure to hand in all written work in a timely fashion will result in a reduction of your grade
  • Specific elements for grading a monologue or scene will vary depending on the focus of that unit. Generally, as you progress the elements become more numerous and complex.  

A performance based class is necessarily dependent on the subjective judgment of the instructor.  I will do my best to be consistent and fair.  Presentations are usually evaluated with a detailed written appraisal outlining the performer’s strengths and areas of improvement with an overall numerical grade. In evaluating presentations and performances, here are the standards I generally use:

A D performance is one that is weak, below average and includes:

  • lack of memorization, little of no meaning to the words,
  • No clear indication of character and situation
  • Minimal motivation
  • Minimal listening or reacting skills displayed

An Average or Acceptable (C) performance means that the actor exhibits the following qualities:

  • Is memorized; content is understood in a general sense.
  • Has an overall understanding of the words, poetry and verse.
  • Demonstrates a general understanding of character and situation.
  • Exhibits an general awareness of time and place
  • Moments, beat changes, and high stakes are missed.

A Strong (B) performance means that the actor exhibits the qualities of an average performance, plus:

  • Uses the rhetorical and poetical devices.
  • Takes time with the words to give character & situation specific life and depth
  • Makes clear acting choices & pursues them; listens & reacts to partner
  • Is relaxed and comfortable in the scene, uses body to show character, situation and relationships.

An Exceptional (A) performance means that the actor exhibits the qualities of a strong performance, plus:

  • Owns the words –speaks them as if they were his/her own
  • Finds levels of the character emotionally, and expresses them vocally and physically
  • Makes strong acting choices:
    • Character motivation and objectives drive the scene or monologue,
    • Actor builds on what partner gives them.
  • Organic and interesting stage business & body language completely in tune with character and situation.

Enrollment in THEA 224

You should be enrolled in THEA 224, Building a Character as part of this Shakespeare Studio. This class is where we will be working on your monologues and scenes. THEA 240 focuses on the language aspects of speaking Shakespeare's verse as an actor; THEA 224 is where we take those tools and use them to build a fully realized character.  Please see the THEA 224 syllabus for more details.  I know Carl isn't enrolled in 224.

Production Hours

None are planned at this time.

Other Rules

  1. No gum or food in class.
  2. You must participate in all exercises
  3. The use of cell phones in class is prohibited. You can use them during break.
  4. Wifi issues will need to get resolved: much of the time will be you working with your scene partners.

Extra Credit

Extra credit is generally NOT available in this course. 

Institutional Policies

Academic Success Coaches

At Lansing Community College, student success is our top priority.  Our Academic Success Coaches mentor students to help them meet their educational, personal and career goals.  LCC faculty or staff may refer you to an Academic Success Coach if they recognize that mentoring or assistance may be helpful to you. Please monitor your LCC email for referral notifications.  Your participation in academic success coaching is voluntary.

In addition, we encourage you to contact an Academic Success Coach on your own if you need help, guidance or assistance to reach your goals.  To contact an Academic Success Coach, call (517) 483-1422, email [email protected], or visit the Academic Success Coaching Team website for more information.

Disability Statement

Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Center for Student Access, Gannon Building, Star Zone - Center for Student Support, via the Center for Student Access website, or by calling (517) 483-5323 as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Enrollment Verification

Class attendance and participation are essential to student success. Instructors will update class rosters by the 8th day after the start date of sections less than 8 weeks long, and by the 15th day after the start date of sections 8 weeks or longer to accurately reflect student enrollment in each course. Students who have not attended by these dates may be administratively dropped and responsible for any required tuition and fee charges.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Lansing Community College is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and equal education for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, creed, ancestry, height, weight, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, familial status, marital status, military status, veteran’s status, or other status as protected by law, or genetic information that is unrelated to the person’s ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position or that is unrelated to the person’s ability to participate in educational programs, courses services or activities offered by the college.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Equal Opportunity Officer, Washington Court Place, 309 N. Washington Square Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1730; Employee Coordinator 504/ADA, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1875; Student Coordinator 504/ADA, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1885; Sarah Velez, Human Resource Manager/Title IX Coordinator, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1874; Christine Thompson, Student Title IX Coordinator, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1261.

Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines

LCC supports a positive learning environment that provides opportunities for student success. The College recognizes the value and importance of a safe and orderly learning environment that encourages honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct. The Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines ensure the protection of student rights and the health and safety of the College community, as well as aid in the efficient operation of College programs. In addition, the College has established procedures for addressing reports of alleged violations.                 

It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with, and abide by, the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the General Rules and Guidelines. Furthermore, the instructor may establish reasonable guidelines within the classroom environment. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines may be reported to the Office of Student Compliance.

Transfer Potential

For transfer information, please consult the LCC Transfer webpage.  In addition, the Michigan Transfer Network website allows students the ability to search courses and discover how those courses transfer to colleges and universities statewide.

The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) simplifies the transfer of students from one Michigan institution to another. For the most current information, see the LCC General Education webpage.

For additional transfer information contact the Academic Advising Center in the Gannon Building - Star Zone, (517) 483-1904.

Compliance with COVID-19 Safety Precautions

All students, employees and visitors have a part to play in keeping the LCC community safe.  Everyone entering campus is required to adhere to the safety measures as outlined on the Spring Refresh 2021 webpage. Reports of noncompliance will be submitted to the Student Compliance Office for appropriate action.  Students with questions or concerns should email [email protected].

Media Release Statement

Photographs, pictures, slides, movies, video, or other media coverage of students may be taken for College-related business, in connection with their enrollment or participation in LCC activities without compensation from LCC, its Trustees, officers, directors, employees, students and agents of each of them, and photographs, pictures, slides, movies, video, or other media coverage of students may be used for any legal purposes.

Additional Items


The Studio Play will be this summer in June.  We will begin scenework on it in April.