OB 333: Acting with Power
The ability to function effectively within a hierarchy is a crucial determinant of managerial success, yet many people struggle with “authority issues” that make certain hierarchical roles and positions difficult for them. This course draws on the craft of acting and the science of psychology to help students learn to use themselves to develop the characters that can play these roles effectively. This class is designed specifically for students who have trouble “playing” authoritative roles: those who find it difficult to act with power, status, and authority. It will also be useful for students who find it difficult to share power and authority, which involves accepting and deferring to the power and authority of others. Participants will be asked to read, think deeply about, and share some of their own feelings about power and authority, and the origins of those feelings. They will also be asked to prepare for and present a series of in-class performances that involve playing characters with and without power, in scenes that highlight the interactions and relationships between high and low power characters. These performances will take up much of our time during class. Out-of-class assignments will include reading important works on psychology, and on the theory and practice of acting, as well as writing short essays analyzing their own and others’ performances.