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

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 (24 credits)
THR 501Basic Technique 1

6 credits

THR 503Theater History 1

3 credits

THR 505Workshop 1

3 credits

THR 507The Craft Seminar I

0 credits

THR 509The Observer Program

0 credits

THR 502Basic Technique 2

6 credits

THR 504Theater History 2

3 credits

THR 506Workshop 2

3 credits

THR 508The Craft Seminar II

0 credits

THR 510The Observer Program

0 credits

Total Credit Hours:24
REQUIRED INDIVIDUAL GROUP COURSES
Actors (12-18 credits)
THR 521Voice and Speech 1.1

3 credits

THR 531Movement 1 - Improvisational Movement

3 credits

THR 522Voice and Speech 1.2

3 credits

THR 532Movement 2 - Improvisational Movement

3 credits

And for Selected Actors Only

THR 523Neutral American Speech

3 credits

THR 524Neutral American Speech 2

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:12-18
Directors (18 credits)
THR 541Preparing to Direct 1

4 credits

THR 543History of Directing 1

3 credits

THR 545Story Telling and the Use of Space 1

2 credits

THR 542Preparing to Direct 2

4 credits

THR 544History of Directing 2

3 credits

THR 546Storytelling and the Use of Space 2

2 credits

Total Credit Hours:18
Playwrights (8 credits)
THR 551Playwriting 1

4 credits

THR 552Playwriting 2

4 credits

Total Credit Hours:8
OPTIONAL ELECTIVE COURSES BY GROUP
Actors (0-6 credits)
THR 533Movement 1 - West African Dance

3 credits

THR 534Movement 2 - West African Dance

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-6
Directors (0-18 credits)
THR 521Voice and Speech 1.1

3 credits

THR 522Voice and Speech 1.2

3 credits

THR 531Movement 1 - Improvisational Movement

3 credits

THR 532Movement 2 - Improvisational Movement

3 credits

THR 533Movement 1 - West African Dance

3 credits

THR 534Movement 2 - West African Dance

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-18
Playwrights (0-18 credits)
THR 521Voice and Speech 1.1

3 credits

THR 522Voice and Speech 1.2

3 credits

THR 531Movement 1 - Improvisational Movement

3 credits

THR 532Movement 2 - Improvisational Movement

3 credits

THR 533Movement 1 - West African Dance

3 credits

THR 534Movement 2 - West African Dance

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-18

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 (15 credits)
THR 601Scene Work 1

6 credits

THR 603Theater History 3

3 credits

THR 607Craft Seminar 3

0 credits

THR 609Observer Program 3

0 credits

THR 602Scene Work 2

6 credits

THR 608The Craft Seminar 4

0 credits

THR 610The Observer Program

0 credits

Total Credit Hours:15
REQUIRED INDIVIDUAL GROUP COURSES
Actors (12-18 credits)
THR 621Voice and Speech 2.1

3 credits

THR 622Voice and Speech 2.2

3 credits

THR 635Improvisational Movement 3

3 credits

THR 636Improvisational Movement 4

3 credits

And for Selected Actors Only

THR 623Neutral American Speech 3

3 credits

THR 624Neutral American Speech 4

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:12-18
Directors (28 credits)
THR 661Playwrights and Directors Unit 1

4 credits

THR 662Playwrights and Directors Unit 2

4 credits

THR 641Directing 1

8 credits

THR 642Directing 2

8 credits

THR 681Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 1

3 credits

THR 682Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 2

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:28
Playwrights (20 credits)
THR 661Playwrights and Directors Unit 1

4 credits

THR 662Playwrights and Directors Unit 2

4 credits

THR 651Playwriting 3

6 credits

THR 652Playwriting 4

6 credits

Total Credit Hours:20
OPTIONAL ELECTIVE COURSES BY GROUP
Actors (0-12 credits)
THR 633Movement 3 Horton Technique

3 credits

THR 634Movement 4 Horton Technique

3 credits

THR 681Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 1

3 credits

THR 682Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 2

3 credits

THR 605Continuing Sensory Lab

0 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-12
Directors (0-18 credits)
THR 621Voice and Speech 2.1

3 credits

THR 622Voice and Speech 2.2

3 credits

THR 633Movement 3 Horton Technique

3 credits

THR 634Movement 4 Horton Technique

3 credits

THR 635Improvisational Movement 3

3 credits

THR 636Improvisational Movement 4

3 credits

THR 605Continuing Sensory Lab

0 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-18
Playwrights (0-24 credits)
THR 621Voice and Speech 2.1

3 credits

THR 622Voice and Speech 2.2

3 credits

THR 633Movement 3 Horton Technique

3 credits

THR 634Movement 4 Horton Technique

3 credits

THR 635Improvisational Movement 3

3 credits

THR 636Improvisational Movement 4

3 credits

THR 681Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 1

3 credits

THR 682Principles of Design - Creative Collaboration 2

3 credits

THR 605Continuing Sensory Lab

0 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-24

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 (8 credits)
THR 701Process Lab I

4 credits

THR 702Process Lab 2

4 credits

Total Credit Hours:8
REQUIRED INDIVIDUAL GROUP COURSES
Actors (28 credits)
THR 703Scene Work 3

4 credits

THR 721Voice and Speech 3.1

3 credits

THR 711Classics, Period and Style I

4 credits

THR 735Improvisational Movement 5

3 credits

THR 704Scene Work 4

4 credits

THR 722Voice and Speech 3.2

3 credits

THR 712Classics, Period and Style II

4 credits

THR 736Improvisational Movement 6

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:28
Directors (14 credits)
THR 741Directing 3

4 credits

THR 783Applied Stage Design 1

3 credits

THR 742Directing 4

4 credits

THR 784Applied Stage Design 2

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:14
Playwrights (16 credits)
THR 751Playwriting 5

4 credits

THR 752Playwriting 6

4 credits

THR 761Film and TV Writing Workshop I

4 credits

THR 762Film and TV Writing Workshop II

4 credits

Total Credit Hours:16
OPTIONAL ELECTIVE COURSES BY GROUP
Actors (0-3 credits)
THR 733Movement 5 Ballroom Dancing I

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-3
Directors (0-23 credits)
THR 721Voice and Speech 3.1

3 credits

THR 711Classics, Period and Style I

4 credits

THR 733Movement 5 Ballroom Dancing I

3 credits

THR 735Improvisational Movement 5

3 credits

THR 722Voice and Speech 3.2

3 credits

THR 712Classics, Period and Style II

4 credits

THR 736Improvisational Movement 6

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-23
Playwrights (0-23 credits)
THR 721Voice and Speech 3.1

3 credits

THR 711Classics, Period and Style I

4 credits

THR 733Movement 5 Ballroom Dancing I

3 credits

THR 735Improvisational Movement 5

3 credits

THR 722Voice and Speech 3.2

3 credits

THR 712Classics, Period and Style II

4 credits

THR 736Improvisational Movement 6

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-23

TOTAL REQUIRED CREDITS

Actors: 99-111
Directors: 107
Playwrights: 91


Optional Elective Credits
Actors: 0-21
Directors: 0-59
Playwrights: 0-65

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