COURSES & CREDITS


First Year — New York
First Term
(12 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting I 9 108 5
Voice & Speech I 4 48 2
Movement I 4 48 2
Vocal Production I 2 24 1
Theatre History 2 24 1
Script Analysis 2 24 1
Mask 2 24 1
Second Term
(12 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting II 7 84 4
Voice & Speech II 4 48 2
Movement II 4 48 2
Vocal Production II 2 24 1
Styles I 5 60 3
Theatre Dance 2 24 1
Voice & Speech Practicum 2 24 1
Third Term
(6 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting III 20 120 6
First Year Subtotal Hours & Credits
(30 Weeks)
732 33
Second Year — New York
First Term
(12 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting IV 9 108 5
Styles II (Shakespeare) 5 60 3
Voice & Speech III 4 48 2
Movement III 4 48 2
On-Camera Technique 2 24 1.5
Fencing (5 Weeks) 2 10 0.5
Second Term
(4 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting V 8 32 2
Dialects 4 16 1
On-Camera Technique 4 16 1
Career Preparation 2 8 0.5
Vocal Production/Singing 2 8 0.5
Stage Combat 4 16 0.5
Third Term
(7 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Rehearsal & Performance, including:
Career Preparation Seminars & Industry Panels
20 140 7
Audition Technique (6 Weeks) 2 12 0.5
Fourth Term
(7 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Rehearsal & Performance, including:
Career Preparation Seminars
20 140 7
Audition Technique (6 Weeks) 2 12 0.5
Musical Audition Technique 2 12 0.5
Second Year Subtotal Hours & Credits
(30 Weeks)
710 35
Total Hours & Credits 1,442 68

Courses and hours subject to change at the sole discretion of The Academy

First Year — New York

Acting

The acting sequence is divided into two twelve-week studio courses and six weeks of rehearsal and production.

The first studio course, Acting I, concentrates on the achievement of relaxed, free, truthful use of self in imaginary circumstances. Beginning with exercises for relaxation, concentration, and sensitivity to other actors and to internal and external stimuli, the semester proceeds to improvisation and then to scene study in contemporary drama. Students are taught to analyze dramatic situations in terms of objectives and to develop trust in a sense of truth and spontaneous moment-to-moment reaction.

The second studio course, Acting II, is devoted to the study of comedy. Emphasis is placed on the exploration through scene work of the techniques needed. With the capacity for relaxed, truthful involvement in pursuit of specific objectives as a foundation, more sophisticated aspects are explored. These include emotional preparation, the heightening of energy required for comedy, and the choice of actions as an approach to characterization, as well as a means of illuminating the playwright's intent.

Six weeks in the First Year are devoted to the study, rehearsal and performance of "Examination Plays" chosen from a variety of playwrights. Students are cast to give them every opportunity to display what they have learned, while permitting the faculty and administration to observe the growth and progress of each student.

Theatre History
This is a survey course in the historical background of drama, tracing its growth and development from the dawn of theatre in ancient Greece. Each of the major periods is examined as a context in which dramatic literature is developed. Plays representative of each period are read and discussed, and additional reading and specific research are assigned.
Movement I & II
The purpose of these two courses is to develop the student's awareness of the body in terms of alignment, flexibility, strength and stamina, and as an expressive instrument. Various physical disciplines and basic dance techniques are introduced to build strength and coordination, and to develop imaginative use of the body in both contemporary and stylized forms.
Voice & Speech I & II
These courses develop an open, well-placed, well-supported speaking voice and Standard American articulation as multiple objectives. The physiology of speech and voice production is studied. To facilitate hearing perception and speech production, students learn the International Phonetic Alphabet. In the second term, fundamental principles of breath control, vocal placement, and articulation are reinforced, and the use of the voice as an instrument of interpretation is explored.
Vocal Production
The primary goal of this training is to reinforce and supplement the work in Voice & Speech, focusing on building the actor’s vocal instrument by using singing as a tool.
Script Analysis
This course examines the structure of dramatic text from an actor's perspective, including theme, plot, scene construction, action, and dialogue, while fostering the actor's ability to create rich and full characters. Students also integrate acting techniques with script analysis principles, which produce effective storytelling.
Theatre Dance
This course is intended as an introduction to and instruction in dance/movement styles and social deportment in European societies since the 16th century.
Styles I
Basic acting principles are applied to dramatic material from various periods of theatre history - the Renaissance, Ancient Greece and the Restoration. While maintaining and reinforcing the basic virtues of motivated, truthful behavior, Styles I training develops the student's ability to exist comfortably in dramatic settings that are removed in time and place from the familiar. The focus is on training and encouraging the use of voice, speech and movement beyond what is needed for contemporary material. This exploration of the freedom of movement, language and behavior has a profound effect on the development of the actor's instrument.
Voice & Speech Practicum
This course is devoted to the further development of the actor's voice and speech skills, using materials taught in Voice & Speech. Every actor has a unique instrument and each student is trained in how to integrate a good speaking voice with good speech, while staying true to his or her own identity. Emphasis is placed on deepening the connection between voice, body and mind through drills, exercises, warm-ups and conversational work, as well as contextual work, with heightened language and contemporary text.
Mask
The work of the Mask class is designed to free the student from self-consciousness. Improvisation on themes, including mythology and poetic texts, is used to help students release their imaginations and lead to a more uninhibited physical expression and economy of gesture.

Second Year — New York

Work in the Second Year reinforces and builds upon the learning experiences of the First Year. Advanced acting, voice and movement training are combined with rehearsal and performance of both projects and full-length plays. Admission to the Second Year is by invitation. Selection is made on the basis of progress, potential and readiness to benefit from advanced training, as evidenced by classwork and examination plays from the First Year.

Advanced Acting
In the Second Year, advanced scene study is undertaken using the principles of relaxation, concentration, objectives, actions and moment-to-moment spontaneity as a base. Roles assigned require more imaginative extensions of technique, greater stretch, specificity, personalization and justification, along with more intensive background research. Scenes assigned include the works of Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg and Shaw, as well as contemporary playwrights.
Rehearsal & Performance
Students continue the study and application of basic and advanced acting techniques through rehearsal and performance of roles that may be in projects, one-act or full-length productions.
Career Preparation

A number of industry professionals and guest speakers are scheduled for seminars and workshops during the course of the Second Year to familiarize students with basic procedures of professional employment. Guidance is offered concerning résumés, headshots, auditions, agents, casting directors, unions and other aspects related to the development of a career in film, television and theatre.

A series of audition preparation workshops is also offered on the selection and preparation of audition monologues from both classical and contemporary theatre. These career counseling courses help provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop personal business strategies and to sustain a professional career.

Stage Dialects
This course gives the actor knowledge and practice in researching and preparing dialects for the stage. Students study the International Phonetic Alphabet and a variety of commonly used dialects, including, but not limited to, English (both Received Pronunciation and working class Cockney), Irish and others such as French, German, Russian, Scottish, New York (Brooklyn) and American Southern.
Advanced Vocal Production / Singing
The work of Vocal Production in the First Year is continued with a greater emphasis on the development of the voice for the demands of musical theatre. Students examine repertoire and develop several audition pieces over the course of the semester.
Styles II: Shakespeare
This course is an intense study of performing in Shakespeare's plays, in which students develop a solid foundation for the appreciation and use of heightened, poetic language. Major focus is given to researching the period, learning iambic pentameter and understanding its importance to a character and a play.
Voice & Speech III
Students study Standard Stage speech by applying the fundamentals of speech and voice production as a base and advanced use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. With attention toward performance, variations in pitch, rhythm, resonance and pronunciation are explored, and learning techniques are developed to acquire other dialects and accents.
Stage Combat
The purpose of this course is to train students in the basic skills of stage combat, focusing on unarmed combat and emphasizing safety, dynamics and believability. The exercises and practices are also intended to increase mental and physical strength, flexibility and coordination.
Stage Management
This is a non-credit, optional internship in which students serve as assistants/production coordinators for Academy play directors.
On-Camera Technique
This course is designed to give students complete freedom and confidence when auditioning in front of a camera. It begins with on-camera interviews so students may view their screen images in playback and observe any facial or physical tensions that need correction. Students learn to relax and to project energetic and positive images rooted in truth. It continues with the exploration of different types of audition techniques for film, television, commercials and industrials in which cue cards and actual scripts are used. Students work behind the scenes, as well as on camera, and are trained to operate cameras, sound equipment and the recording computer.
Fencing
Basic fencing movements are taught. Once mastered, a scene from a film or play with a choreographed fight scene is assigned. This class will give grounding and focus and help center the actor.
Movement III
This course is designed to strengthen the actor's physical and emotional connection using ensemble composition and character development using the techniques of Viewpoints and Suzuki.
Professional Internships
The Academy offers a limited number of unpaid internships and volunteer positions for qualified Second Year students and Academy Company members in entertainment-related fields. They provide excellent opportunities to actively participate in the profession while making valuable contacts. The positions, which may last for a semester and may or may not provide academic credit, require a recommendation from the Director of Instruction, a résumé with cover letter and an interview. For-credit positions also require regular reports and meetings with an advisor. Students may also arrange their own intern positions with the approval of the Director of Instruction. For-credit positions offer 1 credit, Pass/Fail only.

In order to best serve its students, The Academy reserves the right to alter course content and offerings at its sole discretion without notice.

First Year — Los Angeles
First Term
(12 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting I 8 96 4
Voice & Speech I 4 48 2
Movement I: Theatre Movement & Dance 4 48 2
Vocal Production I 4 48 2
Physical Acting 2 24 1
On-Camera Technique: Fundamentals 4 48 2
Second Term
(3 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Rehearsal & Performance I (Drama)
Vocal/Movement Coaching (concurrent)
20 60 3
Stage Management* 20 60 1
Third Term
(12 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting II 8 96 4
Voice & Speech II 4 48 2
Movement II: Theatre Movement & Mask 4 48 2
Theatre History 2 24 1
Styles I 4 48 2
Script Analysis & Improvisation 2 24 1
Fourth Term
(3 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Rehearsal & Performance II (Comedy)
Vocal/Movement Coaching (concurrent)
20 60 3
First Year Subtotal Hours & Credits
(30 Weeks)
780 32
Second Year — Los Angeles
First Term
(12 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting III 9 108 5
Voice & Speech III: Dialects 4 48 2
Styles II (including Shakespeare) 4 48 2
Movement III: Fencing/Stage Combat 4 48 2
Period Movement & Dance 2 24 1
Advanced Vocal Production/Singing
or Advanced Vocal Production/Vocal Power
2 24 1
Professional Internship (optional) 1 12 0.5
Second Term
(3 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Rehearsal & Performance III
Vocal/Movement Coaching (concurrent)
20 60 3
Third Term
(8 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting IV: Camera Technique: Scene Study 6 48 2
Intensives: Individual Correction & Development 4 32 2
Make-Up 2 16 1
Audition Technique 4 32 2
Acting Professionally 2 16 1
Workshop Rehearsal & Performance (includes 8 hrs. Professional Development)
  • Musical Theatre
  • Advanced Shakespeare
  • One-Person Show
7 56 3.5
Fourth Term
(7 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Total Credits
Acting V: Career Development/Rehearsal & Performance
Vocal/Movement Coaching (concurrent)
20 120 7
Career Development Workshops (1 Week) 20 20 1
Second Year Subtotal Hours & Credits
(30 Weeks)
712 36
Total Hours & Credits 1,492 68

*May be taken in any semester prior to Final Semester
Semesters may vary
Courses and hours subject to change at the sole discretion of The Academy

First Year — Los Angeles

Acting

The acting sequence is divided into two twelve-week studio courses and six weeks of rehearsal and production.

The first studio course, Acting I, concentrates on the achievement of relaxed, free, truthful use of self in imaginary circumstances. Beginning with exercises for relaxation, concentration, and sensitivity to other actors and to internal and external stimuli, the semester proceeds to improvisation and then to scene study in contemporary drama. Students are taught to analyze dramatic situations in terms of objectives and to develop trust in a sense of truth and spontaneous moment-to-moment reaction.

The second studio course, Acting II, is devoted to the study of comedy. Emphasis is placed on the exploration through scene work of the techniques needed. With the capacity for relaxed, truthful involvement in pursuit of specific objectives as a foundation, more sophisticated aspects are explored. These include emotional preparation, the heightening of energy required for comedy, and the choice of actions as an approach to characterization, as well as a means of illuminating the playwright's intent.

Six weeks in the First Year are devoted to the study, rehearsal and performance of "Examination Plays" chosen from a variety of playwrights. Students are cast to give them every opportunity to display what they have learned, while permitting the faculty and administration to observe the growth and progress of each student.

Theatre History
This is a survey course in the historical background of drama, tracing its growth and development from the dawn of theatre in ancient Greece. Each of the major periods is examined as a context in which dramatic literature is developed. Plays representative of each period are read and discussed, and additional reading and specific research are assigned.
Movement I & II
The purpose of these two courses is to develop the student's awareness of the body in terms of alignment, flexibility, strength and stamina, and as an expressive instrument. Various physical disciplines and basic dance techniques are introduced to build strength and coordination, and to develop imaginative use of the body in both contemporary and stylized forms.
Voice & Speech I & II
These courses develop an open, well-placed, well-supported speaking voice and Standard American articulation as multiple objectives. The physiology of speech and voice production is studied. To facilitate hearing perception and speech production, students learn the International Phonetic Alphabet. In the second term, fundamental principles of breath control, vocal placement, and articulation are reinforced, and the use of the voice as an instrument of interpretation is explored.
Vocal Production
The primary goal of this training is to reinforce and supplement the work in Voice & Speech, focusing on building the actor’s vocal instrument by using singing as a tool.
Script Analysis
This course examines the structure of dramatic text from an actor's perspective, including theme, plot, scene construction, action, and dialogue, while fostering the actor's ability to create rich and full characters. Students also integrate acting techniques with script analysis principles, which produce effective storytelling.
Styles I
The purpose of this course is to develop the student's awareness of the history and traditional techniques of Commedia dell'Arte and the theatre of William Shakespeare. Through practical use, students then relate these techniques to that of the modern actor. Truthful, spontaneous response to internal and external stimuli, breaking down and interpreting unfamiliar language and broad presentational material, use of scansion, and comprehension of the text in terms of historical contexts, themes, conflicts, and character relationships are all aspects of this course.
Improvisation / Physical Acting
In this course students gain an experiential understanding of improvisational acting and develop a strong moment-to-moment perspective, essential to looseness and creativity in scripted work. Through theatre games and improvising scenes, they develop tools to make them more trusting of their own impulses, more generous with their fellow actors and more creative in developing roles. The course covers the importance of saying "yes" in scenes, to go for the most "active choices," to play those "at the top of their intelligence," and how to be at the service of the scene while listening and responding honestly.
On-Camera Techniques: Fundamentals
Students prepare to work on a professional film and television set. Exercises focus on understanding technical adjustments required for working in front of the camera and working in a relaxed and truthful way. Students learn the jargon of the industry and various roles played by everyone on set. Students work behind the scenes, as well as on camera, and each student is trained to run the camera and the sound equipment.
Stage Management
Each student serves as stage manager or co-stage manager for an examination or one-act play, learning blocking notation and coordination of production elements. Serving as the assistant to the play director, students gain an important perspective on the rehearsal process that serves them as actors. Students are required to take 1 credit, but may repeat the course for up to 2 credits.

Second Year — Los Angeles

Work in the Second Year reinforces and builds upon the learning experiences of the First Year. Advanced acting, voice and movement training are combined with rehearsal and performance of both projects and full-length plays. Admission to the Second Year is by invitation. Selection is made on the basis of progress, potential and readiness to benefit from advanced training, as evidenced by classwork and examination plays from the First Year.

Advanced Acting
In the Second Year, advanced scene study is undertaken using the principles of relaxation, concentration, objectives, actions and moment-to-moment spontaneity as a base. Roles assigned require more imaginative extensions of technique, greater stretch, specificity, personalization and justification, along with more intensive background research. Scenes assigned include the works of Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg and Shaw, as well as contemporary playwrights.
Rehearsal & Performance
Students continue the study and application of basic and advanced acting techniques through rehearsal and performance of roles that may be in projects, one-act or full-length productions.
Career Preparation

A number of industry professionals and guest speakers are scheduled for seminars and workshops during the course of the Second Year to familiarize students with basic procedures of professional employment. Guidance is offered concerning résumés, headshots, auditions, agents, casting directors, unions and other aspects related to the development of a career in film, television and theatre.

A series of audition preparation workshops is also offered on the selection and preparation of audition monologues from both classical and contemporary theatre. These career counseling courses help provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop personal business strategies and to sustain a professional career.

Stage Dialects
This course gives the actor knowledge and practice in researching and preparing dialects for the stage. Students study the International Phonetic Alphabet and a variety of commonly used dialects, including, but not limited to, English (both Received Pronunciation and working class Cockney), Irish and others such as French, German, Russian, Scottish, New York (Brooklyn) and American Southern.
Advanced Vocal Production / Singing
The work of Vocal Production in the First Year is continued with a greater emphasis on the development of the voice for the demands of musical theatre. Students examine repertoire and develop several audition pieces over the course of the semester.
Advanced Vocal Production / Vocal Power
This course focuses on advanced development of the speaking voice. Students enhance core support, flexibility, range, resonance, stamina, variety and vocal power. Students apply advanced vocalization to individual and group pieces in preparation for the vocal demands of the professional theatre.
Make-up
Basic materials of stage make-up are introduced and students are trained to use them effectively. Individual facial structure is studied, as well as the principles of characterization, creating realistic scars and wounds, the effect of lighting and specific practices of historic periods.
Movement III: Stage Combat & Fencing
Students develop the skills needed for unarmed and single sword theatrical combat and apply each to theatrical and cinematic use. While gaining strength, stamina, coordination, balance and flexibility, students develop and integrate imaginative characters into choreographed stage fights, learning strategies, technique and safety.
Styles II (including Shakespeare)
This course begins with a review of Shakespeare and moves forward with scene study of 17th and 18th century French and English playwrights, concluding with 19th century comic and romantic European drama. Particular attention is paid to the linguistic and physical complexity each era presents.
Workshop Rehearsal & Performance
In the second semester of the Second Year, students are placed in Advanced Shakespeare, Musical Theatre or One-Person Show to further explore heightened styles of acting. These workshops lead to evening performances for the public on The Academy's main stage.
Period Movement & Dance
This course is intended as an introduction to and instruction in dance/movement styles and social deportment in European societies since the 16th century.
Acting IV: On-Camera Technique / Scene Study
Building on the work of Camera Technique: Fundamentals, students work on television and film scenes on camera, honing their text analysis and acting skills for media performance. Through rehearsal, taping scene work and viewing final edited scenes, students develop crucial skills for working in front of the camera.
Stage Management
Each student serves as a stage manager or co-stage manager for one-acts, workshop performances or Academy Company productions. Serving as assistants to the director, students notate blocking and coordinate production elements, which help them gain an important perspective on the rehearsal process. Students may not receive more than 2 credits combined for First and Second Year in the area of Stage Management.
Voice & Speech III: Dialects
Students apply advanced principles of voice and speech production to the acquisition and performance of the major dialects of English. Using the International Phonetic Alphabet, students study British Received Pronunciation, Cockney, Southern Irish, New York and two types of American Southern. Students apply these to performed monologues in preparation for theatrical auditions. In addition, students research and present other dialects and various foreign accents, which may include Australian, French, German, Italian, Russian, Scottish, South African, Spanish and others.
Professional Internships
Students may work off campus for a minimum of 12 hours in a professional setting. Internships may be arranged through The Academy, or may be designed by the student and approved by the Director of Instruction. Internships available include working as actors at professional film training schools for classes and projects, volunteering for community arts outreach programs, and working in a professional setting in an agent or casting director's office or a professional theatre. Internships may be repeated for a total of 1 credit, Pass/Fail only.

LA Casting Collaborations

The Academy and local Los Angeles film schools

The Academy collaborates with film schools in the Los Angeles area to provide acting talent to classroom projects under the supervision of the film school faculty. These opportunities provide additional experience and learning opportunities for Academy students in fully equipped film studios. Participation is optional and subject to student availability. Past and current collaborations include Los Angeles Film School, USC School of Cinematic Arts and Columbia College Hollywood.

In order to best serve its students, The Academy reserves the right to alter course content and offerings at its sole discretion without notice.