Acting 102: Character Development From Scripts

From: $93.00 / month for 3 months

Grades: 8th–12th

Live Class: Mon  5:30–7:00 p.m. ET (90 minute class)

Dates: Fall 2: Oct 17–Dec 9

Price: $249

Instructor: Jill Panyard

Acting 101 is not a prerequisite.

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Course Description

This live online acting class is for students in 8th–12th grade. As a mini-course, students will take seven weeks to learn how to create characters from the written word, including open scenes and scripts, and brief monologues by Shakespeare. They will learn how to break down a script, understand its meaning, form a character from the words, and deliver the performance. Games and exercises will be used to reinforce the elements of acting, and a variety of scripts will be provided. Students will be taught through individual and group work. Beginners as well as those familiar with the acting tools are welcome. All will appreciate the written word through the theatre’s lens. The class is aligned with the National Standards of the Theatre Arts.

Acting 102 consists of weekly 90-minute meetings on Zoom with a small class size. Class attendance is required, and participation is necessary. Students will present individually and, at times, with a partner or in small groups. Class time is essential for students to participate in discussion and exercises, leading them to awareness and understanding of the written word for the stage. Each class builds on the next, making it necessary for students to come to class prepared and ready for challenge and fun! Even through a virtual experience, students will still come away with an understanding of what stage performance requires.

Course Structure

No text is required for this class. All forms and handouts are provided.

Who should enroll?

Students in 8th-12th grade are invited to enroll.  Any student who has a curiosity about acting and how to perform with a script is welcome. Enthusiasm and willingness to participate are the only prerequisites.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
  • Digital camera (can be phone with camera), or other means to record individual acting exercises
  • Sufficient internet service with good sound and video quality are necessary to participate in class activities.

Evaluation and Feedback

  • All homework will be submitted and formally critiqued through Canvas.
  • The National Standards for the Theatre Arts will provide a rubric for some exercises.
  • Individual assessment and encouragement will be provided weekly.
  • Students will learn to critique others in positive and helpful ways to help them be good actors and good audience members.

As a teacher, I am very enthusiastic about developing the creativity and talents of young people through theatre. Taking an acting class does not require one to major in musical theatre in college or become a stage actor in community theatre. I believe acting helps to create life-long skills including public speaking, being believable and honest, using the imagination, understanding motivation and tactics, and more. I challenge my students in their work, offer feedback, and generously encourage them.

Required Texts


No text necessary for this class. Course materials supplied by Instructor.


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Instructor Bio

Jill Panyard

Jill Panyard has her hand in leadership, education, convention planning, and theater. She is the current head of the Theatre Academy for the Hershey Area Playhouse in Hershey, PA. Along with the teachers in the Academy, she helps to develop and teach programs for children ages 5 to 18, including themed sessions, summer camps, and junior musicals. She has also been involved with the award-winning Encore! Home School Productions  since 2004 in leadership and directing plays and musicals. She particularly enjoys coaching young actors in learning theater skills and developing their talents on stage. Jill is a native New Englander, making Pennsylvania her home since 1984. She has enjoyed theatre training through many avenues including her alma mater, Syracuse University. She, and her husband Jim, are empty-nesters, having had the privilege of raising and homeschooling two sons in Central PA.

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Instructor email: [email protected]

All classes taught by Jill Panyard

  • Acting 101: Character Development With Games and Exercises

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  • Acting 102: Character Development From Scripts

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