Actors Studio Drama School - Acting, Directing, and Playwriting, MFA

Campus: NYC


Graduate Program Information

New York City Campus

The curriculum of this MFA program is designed and supervised in cooperation with the leadership of the Actors Studio. A three-year program with three track options, it provides common and specialized courses to meet the needs of actors, directors, and playwrights individually and in collaboration as a repertory group. In the first year, students are immersed in learning acting methodology and language, as well as training in their individual craft. In the second year, students are introduced to unique collaborative training that encompasses the three disciplines. In the third year, the three groups apply their knowledge and work together as an ensemble to create and perform in a professionally produced Repertory Season that is presented to the industry and the public. This program, moreover, offers workshops on auditioning, creating a strong resume, taking a great headshot, effective self-promotion, building industrial networks, and finding job opportunities.

Graduate Program Curriculum (Credits Vary per Track)

Year 1: Fall & Spring - An Actor Prepares

The program begins with Orientation Week, during which students are introduced to the communal world of the theater in an informal introduction by teachers to the program’s philosophy, process and intentions.  In these first classes, the students encounter another unique feature of the program: setting out on a side-by-side journey—as actors, directors and playwrights together—learning the common language that will enable them to collaborate productively, harmoniously, and seamlessly.

It is during this first week that the ensemble nature of the Actors Studio process will emerge.

Required Combined Courses: Actors, Directors, & Playwrights Together
THR 501Basic Technique 16
THR 503Theater History 13
THR 505Workshop 13
THR 507The Craft Seminar0
THR 509The Observer Program0
THR 502Basic Technique 26
THR 504Theater History 23
THR 506Workshop 23
THR 508The Craft Seminar0
THR 510The Observer Program0
Required Individul Group Courses
Select one of the following groups:8-18
Actors
Voice and Speech 1.1
Movement 1 - Improvisational Movement
Voice and Speech 1.2
Movement 2 - Improvisational Movement 1
Neutral American Speech
Neutral American Speech 2
Directors
Preparing to Direct 1
History of Directing 1
Storytelling and the Use of Space 1
Preparing to Direct 2
History of Directing 2
Storytelling and the Use of Space 2
Playwrights
Playwriting 1
Playwriting 2
Optional Elective Courses by Group
Select one of the following groups:0-24
Actors
Movement 1 - West African Dance
Movement 2 - West African Dance
Directors
Voice and Speech 1.1
Voice and Speech 1.2
Movement 1 - Improvisational Movement
Movement 2 - Improvisational Movement
Movement 1 - West African Dance
Movement 2 - West African Dance
Neutral American Speech 2
Movement 2 - West African Dance 2
Playwrights
Voice and Speech 1.1
Voice and Speech 1.2
Movement 1 - Improvisational Movement
Movement 2 - Improvisational Movement
Movement 1 - West African Dance
Movement 2 - West African Dance
Neutral American Speech 3
Neutral American Speech 2 3
Total Credits32-66

Year 2: Fall & Spring - Building A Character

Armed with the technical fundamentals to be used for the rest of their educational and professional careers, students move from preparation of their instrument (themselves) to preparation of the role.

Required Combined Courses: Actors, Directors, & Playwrights Together
THR 601Scene Work 16
THR 603Theater History 33
THR 607Craft Seminar 30
THR 609Observer Program 30
THR 602Scene Work 26
THR 608Craft Seminar 40
THR 610Observer Program 40
Required Individual Group Courses
Select one of the following groups:12-26
Actors
Voice and Speech 2.1
Voice and Speech 2.2
Improvisational Movement 3
Improvisational Movement 4
Neutral American Speech 3 1
Neutral American Speech 4 1
Directors
Playwrights and Directors Unit 1
Playwrights and Directors Unit 2
Directing 1
Directing 2
Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 1
Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 2
Playwrights
Playwrights and Directors Unit 1
Playwrights and Directors Unit 2
Playwriting 3
Playwriting 4
Optional Elective Courses by Group
Select one of the following groups:0-24
Actors
Movement 3 Ballroom Dance
Movement 4 Ballroom Dance
Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 1
Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 2
Continuing Sensory Lab
Directors
Voice and Speech 2.1
Voice and Speech 2.2
Movement 3 Ballroom Dance
Movement 4 Ballroom Dance
Improvisational Movement 3
Improvisational Movement 4
Continuing Sensory Lab
Neutral American Speech 3 2
Neutral American Speech 4 2
Playwrights
Voice and Speech 2.1
Voice and Speech 2.2
Movement 3 Ballroom Dance
Movement 4 Ballroom Dance
Improvisational Movement 3
Improvisational Movement 4
Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 1
Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 2
Continuing Sensory Lab
Neutral American Speech 3 3
Neutral American Speech 4 3
Total Credits27-65

Year 3: Fall & Spring - Creating A Role

This year’s focus is the formation of all the students into a repertory group. While continuing with their common and specialized courses, students will develop and collaborate on the dramatic material that will be presented: a weekly series of scenes, one-act plays, and if possible full-length plays, some written by program playwrights and all of them directed by program directors and acted by program actors.

Required Combined Courses: Actors, Directors, & Playwrights Together
THR 701Process Lab I4
THR 702Process Lab 24
Required Individual Group Courses
Select one of the following groups:14-32
Actors
Scene Work 3
Voice and Speech 3.1
Classics, Period and Style I
Improvisational Movement 5
Scene Work 4
Voice and Speech 3.2
Classics, Period and Style II
Improvisational Movement 6
Audition Techniques I
Audition Techniques II
Directors
Directing 3
Applied Stage Design 1
Directing 4
Applied Stage Design 2
Playwrights
Playwriting 5
Playwriting 6
Film and TV Writing Workshop I
Film and TV Writing Workshop II
Optional Elective Courses by Group
Select one of the following groups:0-24
Actors
Directors
Voice and Speech 3.1
Classics, Period and Style I
Improvisational Movement 5
Voice and Speech 3.2
Classics, Period and Style II
Improvisational Movement 6
Audition Techniques I
Audition Techniques II
Playwrights
Voice and Speech 3.1
Classics, Period and Style I
Voice and Speech 3.2
Classics, Period and Style II
Improvisational Movement 6
Audition Techniques I
Audition Techniques II
Total Credits22-64

Total Required Credits

Actors: 102-115
Directors: 107
Playwrights: 91

Optional Elective Credits

Actors: 0-16
Directors: 0-72
Playwrights: 0-76