Class Descriptions

Acting Technique I (First Year)

1st Year
32 Weeks
6 Hours/Week
The first year utilizes improvisational exercises and written texts to guide the actor to a full realization of self and the building of a truthful acting instrument. The class instills basic principles of good acting, stresses the actor’s connection to his spontaneous impulses and fosters a sensitized connection to his fellow actors.
TEACHERS: William Esper, Suzanne Esper, Deb Jackel, Barbara Marchant, David Newer, Bruce McCarty, Jennifer Monaco

Acting Technique II (Second Year)

2nd Year
32 Weeks
6 Hours/Week
Extends the work of Acting I into the area of advanced character work and interpretation. Students work with texts by major writers such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, Sean O’Casey and Henrik Ibsen among others. Actors explore their interpretive powers without losing their authentic sense of self.
TEACHERS: William Esper, Suzanne Esper, Barbara Marchant, David Newer, Bruce McCarty

Movement

16 Weeks (1 Semester)
4 Hours/Week
Williamson Technique: Physical training for the organic actor. There are three levels, each lasting 16 weeks. Level 1 stresses physical freedom, emotional openness, and release. This work pinpoints and dissolves physical blocks in the body, which inhibit the actor’s ability to freely process his ongoing experience. Level 2 stresses alignment and physical characterization, and extends the work into the realm of period physicality. In level 3, students do extensive research of historical periods, in particular the unique physical behaviors of the Elizabethan, Victorian and Restoration periods.
TEACHERS: Ted Morin, Jules Helm

Voice & Speech Level I

32 Weeks
3 Hours/Week
This class focuses on the basics of good speech and voice production. Students learn to free their voices into vibrant, flexible instruments. They learn the phonetic alphabet in order to aid them in their mastery of American Standard speech, and the elimination of any regional or foreign accents.
TEACHERS: Nancy Mayans, Pat Fletcher, Eric Loscheider

Voice & Speech Level II

32 Weeks
4.5 Hours/Week
Continues the work dealt with in Voice and Speech I and extends the work into a concentration on classical texts including Shaw, Moliere and Shakespeare.
TEACHERS: Nancy Mayans, Eric Loscheider

Alexander 1

32 Weeks
3 Hours/Week
Students learn to recognize and release mental and physical habits that interfere with presence and performance. Technique is taught through language, movement and a unique, guiding touch. Students receive individual, private instruction from the teacher throughout the semester, along with weekly group class. Students become aware of their individual movement tendencies in daily life as well as performance situations.
TEACHERS: Judith Grodowitz, Anne Waxman

Alexander 2

32 Weeks
3 Hours/Week
Alexander skills are developed and refined, with an increased application to acting challenges.
TEACHERS: Judith Grodowitz, Anne Waxman

Mask Workshop

8 Weeks (Fall)
3 Hours/Week
This workshop utilizes Balinese masks and Michael Chekhov’s physical imagery work to connect the actor to his/her deepest non-intellectual, instinctive responses. There are two sessions per year, one in each semester.
TEACHER: Akil Davis

Stage Combat I (Hand-to-Hand Combat)

8 Weeks
3 Hours/Week
Stage Combat is the art of violence where aggressive intent and safe technique become one. Performers learn the basic skill set of hand-to-hand stage combat, the responsibilities of partnership and the challenge of choreography all while bringing a fight to life. The basics learned in class will be applicable to both stage and screen.
TEACHER: Joe Pisapia

Mime & Physical Theatre

2nd Year
6 Weeks
2 Hours/Week
This course provides an introduction to Mime and Pantomime, and will include physical warm-up, corporeal style work, and movement improvisation. Students will learn basic illusory skills, and gain an awareness of how mime can augment their actor training.
TEACHER: Bill Bowers

Acting On Camera for Film & TV

2nd Year
9 Weeks
3 Hours/Week
This comprehensive program has been designed to give each student specific tools to meet the demands of working on camera for television and film. The class will explore the differences between acting on stage and acting for the camera; covering such issues as scale of performance, hitting marks, close-ups, behavioral continuity, subtext and screenplay/teleplay analysis, adding elements one at a time. All students will work on camera in each class and evaluate their work on the monitor. Incorporating a cumulative, step by step approach, this class will give students the confidence and freedom to have a full and artistic experience within the framework of television and film.
TEACHERS: David and Linda Laundra

The Audition Experience

2nd Year
8 Weeks
3 Hours/Week
The most passionate, vulnerable, and unique actors can turn to stone when thrown into an audition setting. Anxiety and ignorance can destroy any skills students may have mastered in acting class. Through practice, advice, and conversation, this class will help demystify the audition process. Students will learn how to think, feel, and behave in order to be successful in auditions, how to conquer fear, empower themselves, and embrace their uniqueness. Industry guests will include casting directors for commercials, primetime television and theater, and an agent or manager. TEACHERS: Deb Jackel and Industry Guests

Cold Reading

2nd Year
2 Weeks
6 Hours/Week
This course deals with the problem facing the actor when he must audition with material he is given on the spot. The actor is guided in making quick and decisive choices.
TEACHERS: Deb Jackel

Monologue

2nd Year
6 Weeks
3 Hours/Weeks
This class is designed to help you make a monologue your own. Elements such as: where to find a monologue, what makes it good textually, how to approach it from an “active” perspective and the materials and tools you need to build it (including actions, personal meanings, objective, connection with whom you are speaking) will all be covered. Actors will have the opportunity to work on two to three monologues every class. The goal is to find and develop a monologue (or two!) that will get you an acting job.
TEACHERS: David Newer

Script Analysis

2nd Year
8 Weeks (Fall)
3 Hours/Week
Taught by a working director, this class teaches actors how to read scripts and understand the author’s intentions. Students gain a clear understanding of play and film script construction, as well as the ability to discern different genres and styles. There are two sessions during the 2nd year, one in each semester.
TEACHERS: David Kaplan

Improvisation
6 Weeks
3 Hours/Week

Actors ARE improvisers. Working from moment to unanticipated moment demands that we are heightened listeners and observers, acutely tuned in to our scene partners and our environment. Prepared and open and ready. Improvisation requires that we understand story and character so well that we are able to compress our choices into ‘spontaneous’ actions. Meisner-trained actors are particularly well prepared to incorporate the skills of improvisation into their work. Improvisation gets at the core of the actor’s imagination, as truthful characters and scenes and stories are created from nothing, in the moment.
TEACHERS: Robert Z Grant

Dialects

2nd Year
6-8 Weeks
3 Hours/Week
Study of accents and dialects from the following list: Standard British (RP), Estuary, Cockney, Irish (Northern and Southern), Scottish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Boston, New York, Southern (with and without ‘r’ coloring), Jamaican, Mexican, Puerto Rican.
Prerequisite: Voice & Speech I (or) instructor permission.
TEACHERS: Pat Fletcher

Shakespeare

Graduates Only
6 Weeks
6 Hours/Week
TEACHERS: (co-taught) William Esper and Nancy Mayans