The goal of the acting training at The New School for Drama is to help the student access the soul, the mind, and the body.
The techniques of Stanislavski’s “System,” as it originated in Russia—and developed in the United States through practitioners such as Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler—form the basis of the “interior work” that we teach in the First Year and that echoes through all our training. Through sensory and memory exercises rooted in these traditions, students learn to search deeply into themselves, to find their personal truth, and to share that truth with an audience.
In the scene study classes of the Second and Third Years, as well as the team-taught CoLabs, students are introduced to a wide variety of theatrical periods and styles, which demand close reading of the text and clear understanding of the world of the play. In combination with theater history and script analysis courses, these acting classes demand that Actors make intelligent, informed choices in order to clearly tell the playwright’s story.
Physical modes of performance, including masque work and Michael Chekhov Technique, are combined with vocal work and other movement training to remind students that actors must act—that the body is the conduit through which desires, intentions, and emotions are conveyed. Energetic, versatile actors are able to follow impulse, pursue objective, and meet the demanding physical requirements of the stage without sacrificing performance.
Actors emerge from our program stronger, smarter, more emotionally available - well-rounded actors who are ready to face the challenges of this industry.
Photos by Scott Wynn