ACTING TECHNIQUE: Kinetic and sensory exercises to develop concentration, flexibility, range and vividness in expression in the actor's instrument. Relaxation is stressed as the key to organizing energies for the tasks involved in creating a role and for bringing that role to life through the author's given circumstances.
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE: A basic approach to the actor's awareness of the body as an "instrument," as prescribed by the specific training method set down by the Alexander Institute.
CLASSICAL TEXT/MODERN TEXT ANALYSIS: Examination of non-dramatic and dramatic text, including a study of poetry and verse plays, with the purpose of helping the actor to make a direct connection of voice and body with the written/spoken text, while freely expressing individual thoughts and feelings in the text.
DANCE FOR ACTORS: A study of basic jazz movment patterns, including combinations from Broadway shows, as well as period movement. Through this work actors acquire physical flexibility and a sense of rhythm to meet the demands of stage characterization.
EUROPEAN SCENE STUDY: An advanced course developing an approach to the work of modern European playwrights, including Chekhov, Beckett, Coward, Brecht, Wilde and Ionesco. Work involves performing verse and developing the ability to work in both abstract and realistic modes.
MASK: Utilizing neutral and character mask exercises and improvisation as a mechanism for freeing the actor's instrument and enhancing acting skill.
MUSIC THEORY: Offers basic instruction in note values, rhythm, chords, scales, keys and intervals. Teaches actors how to organize and scan a vocal line in relation to the accompaniment.
MUSICAL SCENE STUDY: Work on musical scenes to develop and integrate acting and singing skills, as well as gaining knowledge of the musical theatre repertoire.
PHYSICAL ACTING: This course uses mime and specific relaxation exercises, developing an ability to adapt physical movement to any character requirement. Goals are to achieve an understanding of underlying relationships of carriage, gesture and spatial relationships, and to develop strength, endurance, limberness and articulation of the spine.
PROFESSIONAL ORIENTATION: The development of a through-line from classroom training to the professional business of performing arts. Students are encouraged to discover a sense of professional responsibility in all aspects of their entry into the theatrical community.
SCENE STUDY: Approaching a scene, introducing intentions, given circumstances, places and sensory tasks. Advanced study includes work on classic American theatre scenes and works with heightened or poetic texts.
SHAKESPEAREAN SCENE STUDY: Work on a wide range of Shakespearean texts, incorporating basic scene study skills and text analysis to develop a strong understanding of an approach to classic plays, while further expanding the student's knowledge of the Shakespearean canon.
SINGING TECHNIQUE: Singers will develop a healthy approach to the Broadway Belt and Mixed Voice styles of singing. Exercises promote vocal flexibility, and a strong singing technique.
SINGING INTERPRETATION: Approaching a song as an acting scene or monologue. Particular attention is paid to the structure of a song, how to release inhibitions and use of varied exercises to free the body, emotions and voice.
SPEECH AND VOICE: Vocal training to remove physical and emotional blocks which inhibit the free and natural voice. This work teaches actors to express the full spectrum of emotion, complexity of mood, and subtlety of thought needed to fully portray a character. Work in articulation and diction is intended to remove pronounced regionalisms and equip the actor with clear, articulate speech. In the Second Year, speech expands to include the study of dialects.
STAGE COMBAT: Practical stage combat techniques with emphasis on developing and projecting confidence and on improving the actor's physical self-image.
SEMINARS: In addition to classes, a series of informal guest seminars is scheduled with playwrights, directors and actors, as well as other members of the theatre profession and its related fields, who are contributing to the vitality of today's theatre and its creative process. This is to introduce the students to members of the professional world of entertainment and thus to the practical application of their craft. During the hour-long seminars, guests relate their theatrical experiences and the students have the opportunity to ask questions.
Series guests have included: Alan Alda, Kevin Bacon, Barbara Barrie, Gary Beach, Philip Bosco, Matthew Broderick, Blair Brown, Betty Buckley, Kevin Cahoon, Zoe Caldwell, Michael Cerveris, Kathleen Chalfant, Deborah S. Craig, Hume Cronyn, Robert Cuccioli, Tyne Daly, Shae D'Lyn, Scott Ellis, Raul Esparza, Sutton Foster, Elizabeth Franz, John Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Randy Graff, David Marshall Grant, David Alan Grier, John Guare, Uta Hagen, Rosemary Harris, Katherine Helmond, Marilu Henner, Tom Hewitt, Neal Huff, Jeremy Irons, Bill Irwin, Dana Ivey, Judith Ivey, Glenda Jackson, Derek Jacobi, Trisha Jeffrey, Daniel Jenkins, Cherry Jones, Raul Julia, Harvey Keitel, Richard Kind, Kevin Kline, Marc Kudisch, Swoosie Kurtz, Frank Langella, Matthew Lillard, Larry Linville, Laura Linney, Emily Loesser, Craig Lucas, Patti LuPone, John Malkovich, Theodore Mann, Marin Mazzie, Andrew McCarthy, Leonard Melfi, Alfred Molina, Debra Monk, Crista Moore, Brían O'Byrne, Denis O'Hare, Brian O'Neil, Brad Oscar, Al Pacino, Sarah Jessica Parker, Austin Pendeleton, Faith Prince, Jose Quintero, Phylicia Rashad, Lynn Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Roger Rees, Christopher Reeve, Alan Rickman, Alan Ruck, Sarah Saltzberg, Douglas Sills, Don Stephenson, Frances Sternhagen, Richard Thomas, John Turturro, Eli Wallach, Sam Waterston, Steven Weber, Kate Wetherhead, Michael Weller, Dianne Wiest, John Lloyd Young and Jerry Zaks.