Unit of competency details

CUAPRF302A - Develop basic acting skills (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAACT301 - Develop basic acting techniquesCode changed in line with updated IBSA unit categories. 20/Nov/2013

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 06/Oct/2011

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History




This version first released with CUA11 Live Performance Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop basic acting skills, such as characterisation, memorising dialogue, voice projection and creative use of the voice and body.

Application of the Unit

Singers, dancers, actors, comedians and other performers who use basic acting skills in their performances apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. Acting skills can be applied in commercial, community or open space settings and actors or performers may be performing solo or as members of an ensemble.

At this level, work is normally supervised, though some autonomy and judgement can be expected in live performance situations.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Prepare for acting practice and performances

1.1. Take fatigue, personal limitations and boundaries into account when undertaking acting practice and performances

1.2. Always perform warm-up and cool-down procedures  in conjunction with practice or performance activities

1.3. Develop understanding of stage geography and terminology 

1.4. Apply appropriate make-up or hairstyle to portray character or role as required

1.5. Discuss with relevant personnel  the creative and technical parameters of the role or performance 

2. Explore and practise basic acting skills

2.1. Perform dialogue with clarity, accuracy and control using a range of basic vocal techniques 

2.2. Apply and practise memory retention skills for retaining lines of dialogue

2.3. Develop the creative use of voice and body in a dramatic context to convey role and character

2.4. Evolve a sense of truth and integrity when acting with others

2.5. Apply flexibility, creativity and inventiveness in improvised performance 

2.6. Demonstrate the use of instinct and theatrical intuition when rehearsing  and performing short scenes and monologues from a range of texts 

2.7. Explore connections between one actor and another

2.8. Practise observation and sensory recall of daily life to enrich own performance of character roles

2.9. Use imagination to recall own stories and tell a character’s story to improve own acting skills

3. Explore characterisation techniques

3.1. Develop an understanding of character  to be performed

3.2. Build a character by using basic acting skills 

3.3. Imaginatively explore the given circumstances  and how this affects a character’s choices

4. Demonstrate a collaborative approach to dramatic practice and performance

4.1. Cooperate with group members during practice or performance

4.2. Take and interpret direction to further improve own acting practice and performance

4.3. Contribute creatively to group work

4.4. Identify different functions and roles of theatre personnel  and how they interrelate

5. Evaluate own basic acting skills

5.1. Develop critical skills  to inform own technique

5.2. Use feedback  from teachers and mentors to identify and develop ways to improve own basic acting skills

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • discuss a range of basic acting skills with relevant personnel
  • respond appropriately to feedback and advice regarding own skill development
  • initiative and enterprise skills to:
  • apply imagination, flexibility and creativity in improvisations
  • develop own critical analysis skills
  • learning skills to:
  • improve own basic acting skills through practice and creative use of body and voice
  • reproduce dialogue clearly
  • interpret texts to create believable character roles
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • plan practice and performance time
  • research historical and cultural aspects of character and text to be performed
  • problem-solving skills to recognise problems as they arise and seek advice in solving them
  • self-management skills to:
  • dress appropriately for practice and performance
  • follow direction as required
  • apply safe performance practices
  • teamwork skills to work collaboratively with others involved in practice and performances.

Required knowledge 

  • basic knowledge of:
  • historical, social and cultural significance of drama and theatre
  • historical and contemporary playwrights and their texts
  • OHS standards and requirements associated with performance
  • well-developed knowledge of:
  • group dynamics
  • basic acting techniques
  • key components of voice, its effect on the audience and vocal process
  • theatre conventions
  • functions and roles of theatre personnel
  • stagecraft as it relates to performers, such as:
  • lighting design
  • props
  • set design.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • demonstrate basic acting skills
  • demonstrate basic vocal techniques when performing dialogue
  • explore and develop characterisation techniques
  • work collaboratively with others.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • appropriate practice and performance space
  • relevant resources and equipment used to develop basic acting skills.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence
  • third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of practice or live or recorded performances
  • verbal or written questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of issues and challenges that arise in the context of developing basic acting skills
  • direct observation of candidate practising basic acting skills.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUAMUP301A Prepare personal appearance for performances
  • CUAPRF301A Create and tell stories.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Warm-up and cool-down procedures  may include:

  • aerobic activities
  • anaerobic exercises
  • coordinated breathing activities
  • flexibility exercises
  • floor work
  • joint-mobility exercises
  • stretching
  • vocal exercises.

Stage geography and terminology  may include:

  • upstage
  • downstage
  • on and offstage
  • stage right or left
  • scenery dock
  • prompt side (PS)
  • opposite prompt (OP)
  • camera left and camera right (for film and TV).

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • agents
  • coaches
  • colleagues
  • directors
  • family members
  • medical practitioners
  • mentors
  • nutrition experts
  • performers
  • teachers.

Creative parameters of the role or performance  may include:

  • overall atmosphere and mood
  • plot development and flow of action
  • cultural context
  • characterisation
  • symbolism
  • style
  • relationship between form and content in dramatic performance.

Technical parameters of the role or performance  may include:

  • audio
  • costume
  • general staging
  • lighting
  • props
  • scripting codes for stage, television or film
  • sets and scenic art.

Basic vocal techniques  may refer to:

  • awareness of breath
  • diction
  • tone
  • timbre
  • speed of speech
  • accent
  • timing
  • phrasing.

Improvised performance  must include:

  • breakdown of the actor's inhibitions
  • ensemble awareness
  • exercises in spontaneity
  • expression of thought and emotion
  • physical communication
  • sensory awareness.

Rehearsing  must include:

  • communication and consultation with relevant personnel
  • observation and interpretation of text
  • display of a consistent level of commitment to developing performance quality and artistry in the given style
  • ongoing receptivity to learning.

Texts  may include:

  • plays, such as:
  • contemporary
  • historical
  • comedies
  • tragedies
  • poetry
  • prose
  • speeches
  • mythological stories.

Ways to develop an understanding of character  may involve:

  • researching the historical and cultural context of the character
  • researching the history of the text’s author
  • interpreting the stage directions related to character
  • identifying the climactic moments in a character’s story arc.

Basic acting skills  must include:

  • empathy
  • observation and sensory awareness
  • personalisation
  • given circumstances
  • endowment
  • transaction: actions and objectives.

Given circumstances  may include:

  • who
  • what
  • where
  • when
  • how
  • obstacles in a character’s path.

Function and roles of theatre personnel  may include:

  • directors
  • stage managers
  • set designers and dressers
  • lighting and sound technicians
  • costume designers
  • make-up artists
  • front of house (FOH) managers.

Critical skills  may refer to:

  • analytic
  • discussion and evaluation
  • investigative
  • journal recording
  • questioning.

Feedback  may include:

  • feedback from tutors, mentors and coaches
  • feedback from peers
  • self-evaluation
  • video documentary.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - performance

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.