Skip to Content

Course Descriptions

Freshman

1364 Beginning Acting

Actor training that welcomes students in a safe conservatory environment to test a reliable process, preparing them for the art of inhabiting story. A course steeped in exploring memory, imagination, sensory awareness and instinctively Doing.  Purpose-driven play engaging full body and voice supports focused energy, cultivating raw talents into discipline, skill sets and foundational tools of the craft. 

1364 Beginning Voice

Focuses on technique of healthy vocal support, vocal care, vocal embodiment, vocal use, and variety in performance that serves the text. This class is an introduction to the vocal instrument and is grounded in anatomical awareness and effective use.

1365 Intermediate Acting

Through scene work and exercises, students begin to forge a technique of their own, using the fundamentals covered in Beginning Acting as the foundation, then experimenting with different (and sometimes contradictory) approaches/methods of acting in order to discover what works for them.

1354 Movement I

Designed to support students’ embracing their individual body’s biography, on their way to embracing movement practices that engender commanding an actor’s versatile instrument.   Alignment awareness, breath, mind, body and ease via Alexander Technique; Strength and flexibility via Yoga.  Explore imaginative Use of Context/Text/ Use of Self in space and time via Viewpoints.

Sophmore

3364 Acting Realism

A studio course emphasizing the theories and methods of the Stanislavsky System for creating characters in realistic drama.  The focus is on integrating practical analysis with a systematic, organic approach to acting; includes Meisner exercises, in-depth script analysis, and the presentation of individual acting projects from the plays of Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg, Shaw, O’Neill, Odets, Miller, Williams, Shepard, Mamet, among others.

2354 Experiencing Speech

A somatic approach to gaining awareness of the vocal tract and the ability to use it as desired. Includes an experiential and practical study of International Phonetics Alphabet as a useful tool for the actor, stage combat sounds, how sounds (phonemes) convey intention, and the beginning of accent study. 

2354 Characterization

Creative impulse is developed using ‘The Style’; a technique developed by Theatre du Soleil and The Actors Gang. The class explores methods of ensemble and storytelling through extremely physical work and non-linear and music-based storytelling.

1355 Movement II

Further explores practices and principles supporting alignment of spine, ease and versatility in expressive instrument.  Dynamics of breath and stillness, physical articulation, nuanced psychophysical gesture work explored via creating characters.  Greater specificity and practical integration of Alexander and Viewpoints training shared via progressive in-class performance work.

4330C Improvisation for the Actor

This vigorous, intensive laboratory class ignites the student’s ability to make bold choices “in the moment,” developing a facility for abandoning intellectual control of their performances, responding to impulses, and surprising themselves. Students learn to approach improvisation as both a performance art and as a rehearsal technique, engaging in short-form and long-form “comedy” improv, as well as character-developing, world-building “workshop” improv.

Junior

3390 BFA I Physical Acting

This course is a physical approach to acting that focuses on integrating the actor’s body and mind.  It uses the actor’s body, and physicalization, to access life experiences, emotional, and psychological states, intuitive knowledge, and creativity.  Physical Acting frees the actor from self-conscious constraints, encouraging the actor to embody the text and find freedom of individual expression.

3310 Intermediate Voice

A continuing development of the fundamentals of voice, speech, and movement and how they interrelate. Exercises focus on vocal presence, an available and resonant instrument, spontaneous, responsive choice, and more. There is a deep look at language, thought, and how to develop a personalized approach to building character through the lens of vocal work. 

4330 Actor Artist Aesthetic

Use of Text/Use of Self.   Course designed to expand the actor’s imagination and artistry by developing writing skills, and exploring source material as wellspring for improvisation techniques and devising original performance work.  Integrating the writer’s crafting process with actor’s instrument in space, students investigate innovative storytelling, movement and theatrical conventions.  Supports individual and ensemble-based sensibilities. Culminates in performance.  (BFA course trajectory prerequisites)

4390 BFA II

Comedy / Clown, Mask, and Devising Comic Material Building on the skill, technique, and physical articulation developed in BFA I, the actor will learn to apply physical acting to comedy and creating comic characters.  Through this process, the actor will examine the nature and essential elements of comedy and learn to create their own comic material.  The training culminates in a public performance of this original material devised by the actors

3342 TV/Film Performance

In this advanced studio course, the students develop skills in auditioning for and acting in TV, film, and commercials.  In the process, the student actors explore the differences between stage and screen performance, developing techniques and skills specific to screen acting.  Through various on camera experiences, the actors learn the terminology, procedures, and protocol for working on TV and film sets and the special requirements for navigating a career in the industry.

3360 Stage Combat

An introductory course in stage combat. A hands-on approach with emphasis placed upon actor safety, dramatic requirements of the script, and historical accuracy.

Senior

4392 BFA IV

This studio acting class is an intense exploration of acting Shakespeare using monologues as the primary basis. Weekly labs will be held with third year MFA directors who will direct students in scene work.

4393 BFA V (Fall)

This class marks the bridge between senior year and the professional world. Professional materials will be generated: website, headshot, resume, branding exploration and extensive discussion regarding all aspects of moving forward as an entrepreneur and artist. 

3365 Acting Styles

Studio acting course that explores two of the following periods: Greek, Restoration/Georgian, Moliere, High Comedy and/or Chekhov. Weekly labs will be held in conjunction with third year MFA directors who will direct students in scene work.

4393 BFA V (Spring)

This class comprises continued development of students professional and artistic point-of-view through scene study, preparation of personal audition materials, scenes and monologues. The class culminates with the New York Showcase.

4361 Dialects for Actors

An in depth study and application of the elements of accent and accent acquisition as it pertains to practical use. Focus is on all elements that make up dialect including, but not limited to, oral posture, prosody, and the International Phonetic Alphabet. Using the principles laid out in Knight Thompson Speech work, we learn how to identify patterns of speech contributing to accent and how to replicate those patterns.