Program Overview

program overview

FIRST YEAR: Exploration, Improvisation, Discipline

The first year is spent exploring and mastering fundamental concepts, developing a background in theater, and establishing the work ethic of the profession.
  • The actor begins intensive training in the Meisner Techniquedeveloping a truthful instrument and identifying personal meaning through exercise work and two scene opportunities. The student is encouraged to take risks, create spontaneous life, and shape a performance based on careful reading of the text.
  •  Voice, Speech and Movement support the student’s effort to develop an open and technically sound instrument.
  • "Theater History" and "Clothing and Culture" expand the student’s theater vocabulary.
  •  The year culminates in Performance Ensemble, an actor-generated performance piece.
SECOND YEAR: Form, Expansiveness, Text

The second year of the Meisner Technique focuses on textthe introduction and application of Script Analyses: beats, objectives, actions, quality of playing and the process of building a character.
  • The student is challenged to make choices that adjust his or her “natural” behavior thus propelling them out of their comfort zone.
  • The scene work begins with contemporary American Realism and progresses into more complex language based material. Voice, Speech, Movement and the Michael Chekhov Technique underscore the concept of expansiveness and assist the actor in entering “the world of the play.”
  • Global Theater places the actor’s study in a wide context.
  • Casting in departmental productions is integral to the second year of study.
THIRD YEAR: Language, Language, Language

The Third Year places the student in London, studying at Shakespeare's Globe
  • Intensive work in classical Acting training with input from leading UK teachers, practitioners and professionals.
  • The curriculum focuses on vital fundamentals including: mastering verse, rhyme and prose, comprehending and appreciating the form of the text, contextualizing the written word, and owning Shakespeare's language.
  • Conservatory classes in Acting, Voice, Speech, Text, Movement, Feldenkrais, Stage Combat, Singing, Accents, Western European Historical Dance, Texts and Context, and British Arts and Cultureincluding weekly hours spent at museums, landmarks and theaters to enhance the educational experience.
  • The course of study in London is a solid foundation in classical training. Students ultimately achieve clarity, expressiveness and spontaneity in acting Shakespeare, performed on the world famous Globe Stage with a public audience.
YEAR 3.5: Integration, Transition, Professional Placement

The final semester is a rich and important period that allows you to synthesize your experiences and begin your transition into the profession.

  • For actors, much of the day will be spent in an extended rehearsal process while the mornings will be devoted to voice-over and camera techniques. Classes are offered in Film, Television, Singing and Voice-overs; connections to the Industry are made.
  • The Company of actors participates in rehearsals and performances of productions staged by professional directors on campus.
  • Productions for the company will have greater scope than in previous years often, collaborating with Music and Dance departments.
Throughout the 3.5 term, students engage in comprehensive study of 20th Century Theater and Who’s Who and What’s What in Contemporary Theater, Film, and Television.

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