Theater demands inspired and technically trained players to tell its stories. Using as its organic center the principles of Konstantin Stanislavski, The New School for Drama's acting track offers intensive training in all aspects of internal and external disciplines, as well as in the individual and collaborative application of classical and modern texts. The goals are:
- To insure your understanding of the intellectual, emotional, physical, vocal, and psychological demands of individual performance in the current professional world.
- To build your individual voice as a performer and as a co-worker with others in the program and in the profession.
- To prepare you with the skills you need for the acting profession.
Year One: Discovery
Integral to the acting track is a step-by-step understanding and development of basic skills in acting and text discovery. The classroom is treated as a laboratory—you explore your imaginary process via games, story-telling, and sensory and word exercises. In the second semester, you probe accessible texts in scene work. You also plumb your vocal and physical self. Vocally, you open your instrument using non-text exercises, poems, classical verse, and music. In movement classes, you learn a basic awareness of your physical self.
Year Two: Structure
- Acting - The demands of monologue and scene work are introduced by exploring character in a performance context. Since the program's emphasis is on structure, the goal of the acting training is to help the student synthesize the soul, the mind, and the body by utilizing a wide range of material including Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, O'Neill, Miller, and recent American playwrights.
- Voice - Shakespearean sonnets, speeches, and other classical materials are used to develop a further understanding of the connection between vocal work and acting power. Work on dialects/accents is begun, and musical theater is introduced.
- Movement - You work with period style and dance, masks, stage combat, and more exotic forms.
Year Three: Production
The final year focuses on productions and professional preparation. In the first half of the year, personal and collaborative skills developed in the first two years culminate in an explosion of full theatrical productions, including experimental pieces, cabarets, exotic musicals, classics with an edge, and original full-length plays. The second half of the year is devoted mainly to the practical aspects of entering the acting profession; you attend sessions with producers, directors, writers, actors, casting directors, and agents. In addition, you rehearse the industrial showcase—a realization of your three years of work and a presentation of your skills to the professional world.
Photos by Scott Wynn