NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES COURSES
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 General 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.
NEW YORK COURSES
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. This course is taught in Los Angeles during the Second Year in Period Movement and Dance.
STYLES I Basic acting principles are applied to dramatic material from various periods of theatre history�the Renaissance, Ancient Greece and 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 I. 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 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. Mask work is incorporated into Movement II in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES COURSES
STYLES I The purpose of this course is to develop the student's awareness of the history and traditional techniques of the Commedia del 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 exciting 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 importance of saying 'yes' in scenes, to go for the most "active choices," to play those "at the top of their intelligence," and at the service of the scene while listening and responding honestly, are areas covered.CAMERA TECHNIQUE: 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.
SCRIPT ANALYSIS This course examines the way authors construct their material and the means by which actors can convey these thoughts and emotions to the audience. Using specific exercises, students discover their own ranges of speech as well as techniques, which produce effective storytelling.