COURSES & CREDITS

2017-2018 Academic Year


First Year — New York
First Term
(12 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting I 9 4
Voice & Speech I 4 2
Movement I 4 2
Vocal Production I 2 1
Theatre History 2 1.5
Script Analysis 2 1.5
Alexander Technique I 2 0.5
Second Term
(12 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting II 9 4
Voice & Speech II 6 3
Movement II 4 2
Vocal Production II 2 1
On-Camera Technique: Fundamentals 4 3
Alexander Technique II 2 0.5
Third Term
(6 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Rehearsal & Performance I 20 4
Theatre Dance 4 1
First Year Subtotal Credits (30 Weeks) 31
Second Year — New York
First Term
(12 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting III 9 4
Shakespeare 5 2
Voice & Speech III: Dialects 4 3
Movement III 4 2
On-Camera Technique: Scene Study 4 2
Career Preparation 2 1.5
Second Term
(4 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting IV: Modern Scenes 8 1
On-Camera Technique: Auditions 6 0.5
Stage Combat 4 0.5
Styles 6 0.5
Third Term
(7 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Rehearsal & Performance, including:
Career Preparation Seminars &
Industry Panels
20 4.5
Audition Technique (6 Weeks) 4 1
Vocal & Physical Practicum 5 0.5
Fourth Term
(7 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Rehearsal & Performance, including:
Career Preparation Seminars
20 4.5
Audition Technique (6 Weeks) 4 1
Musical Theatre Audition Technique (optional) 2 (0.5)
Vocal & Physical Practicum 5 0.5
Second Year Subtotal Credits (30 Weeks) 29
Total Credits   60

Courses and hours are 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. Applying objectives, activities, and place to their work, students develop trust in a sense of truth and spontaneous moment-to-moment reaction.

The second studio course, Acting II, strengthens the actor’s foundation through more sophisticated aspects of technique, including emotional preparation, moment before, heightened stakes and fourth wall. Scene work progresses to include contemporary comedy, paying special attention to heightened energy and the timing required for this comedic segment of training.

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 dynamic alignment, flexibility, strength and stamina, and as an expressive instrument. Various physical disciplines and basic dance techniques may be 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 I & II

The voice is an important outlet through which actors are able to express the full range of human emotions on stage. These courses are designed to open, strengthen and release the actor’s vocal instrument, utilizing both speaking and singing techniques to meet a broad range of challenges in musical repertoire (songs) and in spoken text. The first part of this training focuses on the efficient and effective physical mechanics of Voice and how to apply technique expressively and communicatively through the practical application of songs or monologues. The second part of this training is designed to allow the actor to further explore “storytelling through song” through various musical styles – traditional musical theatre, contemporary musical theatre, and the rock/folk/pop genres.

On-Camera Technique: Fundamentals

Students prepare to work on a professional film and television set. 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. Exercises focus on working in a relaxed and truthful way and understanding technical adjustments required for working in front of the camera.

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.

Alexander Technique I & II

These courses introduce students to Alexander Technique, a method that refines body awareness in order to optimize postural support and to reduce physical tensions. First Year students study in small group settings and learn to execute fundamental Alexander practices.

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.

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

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.

On-Camera Technique: Scene Study

Building on the work of On-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.

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 from across the globe.

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

Students learn the business of acting, including résumés, headshots, auditions, agents, casting directors, unions and other aspects related to the development of a professional actor’s career in film, television and theatre. 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 the basic procedures of professional employment.

Audition Technique

This course prepares students for professional auditions for stage, television and film. A series of audition preparation workshops is also offered on the selection and preparation of audition monologues from both classical and contemporary theatre.

Movement III

Students learn to use their imagination, body and voice to create, transform and inhabit characters based on truth. Students will be able to sustain full body use with breath and sound, grounding, full sensory engagement, physical impulsiveness and emotional availability.

Stage Combat

This course trains 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.

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.

Styles

This advanced course examines specific performance styles, ranging from advanced Shakespeare and Commedia dell’arte to musical theater and commercials/voice-overs. Topics will vary by section and term.

On-Camera Technique: Auditions

Students develop the necessary skills for auditioning for film and television, including analyzing sides, adapting to direction and feedback, and maintaining professional discipline.

Vocal & Physical Practicum

This supervised course in vocal and physical practice is aligned with Rehearsal & Performance courses. Pass/Fail only.

Musical Theatre Audition Technique

The goal of this elective course is to prepare those students who are interested in auditioning for the professional musical theatre upon graduation. Taught by professionals with a working understanding of what is expected in today’s business of casting, students learn how to find auditions, read a breakdown, prepare material (traditional and contemporary musical theatre repertoire and rock/folk/pop music), select appropriate cuts, and what to expect in the audition room. Emphasis is placed on guiding the actor to select the very best material to market their unique self, culminating in building a professional audition book.

Stage Management

This is a non-credit, optional internship in which students serve as assistants/production coordinators for Academy play directors.

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, can require a recommendation from the Director of Instruction, a résumé with cover letter, a headshot and an interview. For-credit positions may 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 Credits
Acting I 8 4
Voice & Speech I 4 2
Movement I:
Theatre Movement & Dance
4 2
Vocal Production I 4 2
Physical Acting 2 1
On-Camera Technique: Fundamentals 4 3
Second Term
(3 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Rehearsal & Performance I (Drama) 20 2
Vocal / Movement Coaching (concurrent)    
Stage Management* (optional) 20 (1)
Third Term
(12 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting II 8 4
Voice & Speech II 4 2
Movement II:
Theatre Movement & Mask
4 2
Theatre History 2 1.5
Styles I 4 2
Script Analysis & Improvisation 2 1.5
Fourth Term
(3 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Rehearsal & Performance II (Comedy) 20 2
Vocal / Movement Coaching (concurrent)    
First Year Subtotal Credits (30 Weeks) 31
Second Year — Los Angeles
First Term
(12 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting III 9 4.5
Voice & Speech III: Dialects 4 3
Styles II (including Shakespeare) 4 2
Movement III: Fencing / Stage Combat 4 2
Period Movement & Dance 2 1
Advanced Vocal Production / Singing
or Advanced Vocal Production / Vocal Power
2 1
Professional Internship (optional) 1 (0.5)
Second Term
(3 Weeks / First Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Rehearsal & Performance III 20 2
Vocal / Movement Coaching (concurrent)    
Stage Management*   1
Third Term
(8 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting IV: Camera Technique: Scene Study 6 2
Intensives: Individual Correction & Development 4 1
Make-Up 2 0.5
Audition Technique 4 1
Acting Professionally 2 1
Workshop Rehearsal & Performance
(includes 8 hrs. Professional Development)
7 2.5
Musical Theatre    
Advanced Shakespeare    
One-Person Show    
Fourth Term
(7 Weeks / Second Semester)
Hrs/Wk Credits
Acting V: Career Development / Rehearsal & Performance 20 4.5
Vocal / Movement Coaching (concurrent)    
Career Development Workshops    
Second Year Subtotal Credits (30 Weeks) 29
Total Credits   60

*May be taken in any semester prior to Final Semester
Semesters may vary
Courses and hours are 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. Applying objectives, activities, and place to their work, students develop trust in a sense of truth and spontaneous moment-to-moment reaction.

The second studio course, Acting II, strengthens the actor’s foundation through more sophisticated aspects of technique, including emotional preparation, moment before, heightened stakes and fourth wall. Scene work progresses to include contemporary comedy, paying special attention to heightened energy and the timing required for this comedic segment of training.

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 dynamic alignment, flexibility, strength and stamina, and as an expressive instrument. Various physical disciplines and basic dance techniques may be 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 I & II

The voice is an important outlet through which actors are able to express the full range of human emotions on stage. These courses are designed to open, strengthen and release the actor’s vocal instrument, utilizing both speaking and singing techniques to meet a broad range of challenges in musical repertoire (songs) and in spoken text. The first part of this training focuses on the efficient and effective physical mechanics of Voice and how to apply technique expressively and communicatively through the practical application of songs or monologues. The second part of this training is designed to allow the actor to further explore “storytelling through song” through various musical styles – traditional musical theatre, contemporary musical theatre, and the rock/folk/pop genres.

On-Camera Technique: Fundamentals

Students prepare to work on a professional film and television set. 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. Exercises focus on working in a relaxed and truthful way and understanding technical adjustments required for working in front of the camera.

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.

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

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.

On-Camera Technique: Scene Study

Building on the work of On-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.

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 from across the globe.

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

Students learn the business of acting, including résumés, headshots, auditions, agents, casting directors, unions and other aspects related to the development of a professional actor’s career in film, television and theatre. 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 the basic procedures of professional employment.

Audition Technique

This course prepares students for professional auditions for stage, television and film. A series of audition preparation workshops is also offered on the selection and preparation of audition monologues from both classical and contemporary theatre.

Advanced Vocal Production

This course is designed to continue the exploration of human expression, strengthen the actor’s vocal instrument, sharpen the students’ musical skills, and increase their repertoire. All receive instruction in style, phrasing and interpretation, how to select appropriate cuttings, and are introduced to complex harmonies and more advanced literature in addition to duets with accompanying scene work. Participation in a mock audition is required and is adjudicated by professionals with a working understanding of what is expected to make the student competitive in the industry.

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 creativity and increase the capacity to fulfill the demands of our multi-faceted industry. These workshops lead to evening performances 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.

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.

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.