Curricula

Film & TV Program: Platform Year

Right out of the gate, the platform year curriculum helps each acting student to develop his or her craft, fully embrace movement and improvisation, and discover himself or herself as an artist. The platform year also introduces acting students to the technical aspects of working in front of a camera and the professional protocols of being on a set.

It’s all about learning to understand the details and circumstances of a scene and how to interpret them in a way that is true to the text while also being uniquely authentic to the actor.

  • THE122 Voice and Speech 1

    Explore basic vocal technique for the actor, including breath work, relaxation techniques, resonance, pitch, tempo and volume, with the goal of increasing the ability to fully express the truth of the text and the emotional integrity of the character and situation, while striving for vocal variety and expressiveness.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

  • THE123 Improvisation

    Perform with spontaneity and freedom through improvisational technique using body, gestures, and emotions. Use improvisation as an art form, as well as for auditioning and executing other performance disciplines. Make use of the tools of listening; being in the moment; committing to choices in working with fellow actors; use of status; and making active choices with emotional and physical connections.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

  • THE125 Film Genres and History

    A detailed survey of film acting styles across different film genres. Students will analyze the interplay between character qualities, script content, and the choices that actors make as they synthesize the two.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

  • THE126 Introduction to the Camera for Actors I

    An exploration of the different techniques required for working on a single camera versus a multi-camera set—everything from hitting marks to adjusting to different camera angles to professionalism and set protocol.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

  • THE127 Meisner Technique I

    A deep dive into Sanford Meisner’s techniques for achieving authentic reactions and behaviors. The course covers listening skills, repetition exercises, relationship-focused scene work, emotional preparation, imaginary circumstances, and point of view.

    4.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

  • THE129 Movement for Actors I

    This course is centered around exercises for physical awareness that complement the work of the voice and acting classes. Students will practice scene work that explores the relationship between behavior and relationships while learning popular dance styles.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

  • THE132 Voice and Speech II

    A continuation of the vocal flexibility work from Voice and Speech I, beginning with microphone technique and cold reading skills. Students use Shakespearean texts to develop heightened language skills, full breath support, and dynamic energy.

    3.0 Credit / Prerequisites: THE122

  • THE137 Meisner Technique II

    This course shows students how to apply, through heightened awareness, the principles of emotional preparation to specific text work. It also covers preparation techniques, personal invention, believable behavior, spontaneity, textual integrity, memorization, and textual interpretation.

    4.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE127

  • THE139 Movement for Actors II

    Building on Movement for Actors I, this course explores the body’s relationship to space and how it responds to physical, vocal, and emotional stimuli with particular emphasis on relaxation, physical stillness, energy, focus, dance, and body-mind integration.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE129

  • THE141 Actors Lab I

    Through exercises based on the work of Stanislavski and Hagen, Actors Lab I teaches students how to fully immerse themselves in the script so that they can take ownership of it in a meaningful way. Students will explore emotional memory, sense memory, object work, and A/B scene work.

    3.0 Credits  / Prerequisites: None

  • THE142 Actors Lab II

    Building on Actor’s Lab I, this course examines how to use acting techniques, as well as the circumstances created by the playwright to bring the characters to life in a truthful manner. Coursework includes preceding circumstances, obstacles, intentions and actions.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE141

  • IL100 Information Literacy

    In a seminar with the librarian, learn to locate and identify high quality research materials. Work with the online tutorials on the NYCDA and New York Public Libraries. The class covers copyright, evaluating print and online sources and advanced internet searching, as well as in-depth instructions on Boolean searching techniques and controlled vocabularies used to search NYCDA and NYPL catalogs.

    0 Credits  / Prerequisites: None

Film & TV Program: Film & TV Year

Advancement into the Film and Television year is by invitation only and is based on teacher evaluations, academic standing, and final performances reviewed by the Academic Leadership Team.

The Film and Television year gives students the opportunity to integrate technique with understanding in order to deliver honest performances that still meet the unique requirements of the camera. Scene work and a deeper exploration of acting process are crucial throughout this rigorous year.

Actors in the final semester will have unique opportunities to meet people in the industry. Each student will take a business workshop in addition to being invited to do monologues for a jury of professional casting directors and agents. The film and television year work culminates with a unit devoted to shooting a final project.

  • THE241 Professional Internship

    The internship program gives students the chance to network with industry leaders while gaining real-world experience as a complement to their studio training. Possible placements include opportunities with casting directors, agents, producers, or theater companies.

    1.0-3.0 Credits

    Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE245 Actors Lab III

    Actors Lab III challenges the student to use his or her analytical skills to build characters in organic and truthful ways. This is a natural progression from previous Actors Lab work, with the addition of more specific skills required for filmmaking.

    2.0 Credits

    Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent,

    THE141 and THE142.

  • THE253 Actors Comedy Workshop

    A foundational study in comedy styles, from broad to realistic. The workshop explores character development, timing, and point of view. Students will develop skills for both situation comedy and sketch comedy, and gain insight into the audition process for comedic roles.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE255 Process for the Camera

    A comprehensive survey of the essential skills for acting on camera; hitting marks, making entrances and exits, dealing with props, adjusting between shots, and shooting out of sequence with both physical and emotional continuity.

    2.0 Credits

    Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent, THE126.

  • THE259 Scene Study for Film & Television I

    A study of the craft required, both artistically and technically, for acting on camera. Students will analyze scenes, practice continuity, learn how to deal with on-set challenges, and learn how to arrive on set fully prepared without any rehearsal.

    5.0 Credits

    Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE264 Research, Rehearsal, and Performance

    An examination of the film acting experience from start to finish, including auditioning, casting, costume calls, and rehearsals. The course culminates with students shooting their work on set or location with a professional film crew.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites and requirements: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent; included in course description. A minimum 3.0 GPA for the fall term of the Film and Television Year; no final grades of F or Incomplete, including spring term of the Film and Television Year.

  • THE266 Acting as a Personal Business

    A crucial examination of the business side of acting. Topics include self-promotion, personal branding, résumés, headshots, mailings, industry structure, approaching agents and casting directors, and managing finances.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE270 Audition Technique I

    An exploration of the different types of auditions actors encounter over the course of their careers. Students will practice these forms, on- and off-camera, using scenes from plays, screenplays, and television scripts.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE272 Scene Study for Film & Television II

    A detailed look at unique challenges faced by screen actors, including the speed of shooting a one-hour episodic; directors who block immediately; directors who improvise; conflicts between directors and actors’ instincts; and prolonged shoot days.

    5.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE259

  • THE273 Physical and Vocal Dynamics

    Building on Voice and Speech I and II, this course is a deeper investigation of the vocal-physical connection. Students will refine their vocal and physical techniques through advanced exercises and apply these skills on camera.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE274 Audition Technique II

    A continued exploration of the different types of auditions actors face. Students will practice on- and off-camera, using scenes from plays, screenplays, commercial copy and television scripts. Discussion will also cover callbacks, interviews, and evolving media such as Skype and video conferencing.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent, THE270.

  • THE277 Acting in Commercials and Voice-Overs

    In this vital course, students will learn how to develop their acting skills specifically for radio and television commercials, as well as animation, narration, and industrials. Students will leave understanding the clear distinction between “commercial acting” and “acting in commercials.”

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE278 Web Video for Actors

    Creating and distributing original web video is a great way for actors to grow their audiences. This course employs practical exercises, including the creation of original video content. Special guest speakers will explain how they have used the medium to accelerate their careers.

    3.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

  • THE400 Sketch Comedy for Performance (Elective)

    Building on the skills introduced in Actors Comedy Workshop, this course includes the creation and rehearsal of original sketch material and a public performance at an outside cabaret.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE401 Performance Improv (Elective)

    In this course, students refine their ability to stay in the moment and make spontaneous creative choices. The course will culminate in a public performance.

    Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE402 Stand-Up Comedy for Actors (Elective)

    An overview of comedic structure and timing, persona development, and other crucial elements of stand-up. Each student will write and perform a five-minute set, culminating in a live performance at a night club.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE403 Michael Chekhov Technique for Actors (Elective)

    An exploration of Michael Chekhov’s “psycho/physical” approach to acting as outlined in his book, To the Actor. The course includes psycho/physical exercises, character work, and ensemble improvisations.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE405 Advanced Voice-Over (Elective)

    An exploration of the nuances of acting for commercials and voice-overs. The focus is on delivering copy with believability, conviction, and confidence. Students will analyze scripts, take direction, and record various types of voice-overs.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE406 The Physically Expressive Actor (Elective)

    A more detailed course on all the ways actors can use physicality. Students refine their body awareness and control and learn to identify and eliminate bad habits that can limit choices during monologue and scene work.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE408 Combat for the Camera (Elective)

    A foundational course in the basics of on-camera fighting, including hand-to-hand, firearms, and found weapons, as well as the basic terminology and safety rules of the set. Students will also learn the differences in combat for stage versus combat for screen.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE409 The Intuitive Actor (Elective)

    An exploration of the actor’s instinct, improvisational skills, and sensory awareness. The course includes discussion, as well as exercises designed by Viola Spolin.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE412 Dialects (Elective)

    This course covers the basics of the International Phonetic Alphabet and how to eliminate accents and regionalisms in order to deliver Standard American Speech. The instructor chooses additional accents to explore based on the class population.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE413 Suzuki (Elective)

    Created by Tadashi Suzuki, the movement discipline known as Suzuki Training restores the wholeness of the body as the primary tool of expression.  Students will learn to use energy, breath, concentration, stamina, flexibility, and presence to become more grounded, maintain useful alignment, create a more profound stillness, and connect to their center of gravity.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

  • THE414 Hosting (Elective)

    An introduction to the exciting career opportunity of television hosting. Students acquire the skills necessary for a successful audition so they can confidently compete in this growing niche.

    1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

Theater Performance Program

Graduates of the 2-year AOS Film and Television Performance program are eligible to apply to the Theater Performance Program to earn a Certificate in theater. It’s the perfect next step for those who love stage as much as screen.

The Theater Performance Program is designed to expand each actor’s repertoire of vocal and physical skills so that they are ready to impress directors and move audiences. Coursework includes theater history and an overview of theatrical styles in lively, non-traditional class structures. The year includes numerous performance opportunities, including both devised work and traditional plays.

  • THE300 Acting I

    A deeper exploration of Meisner and Stanislavski techniques applied to exercises designed by Bobby Lewis and Uta Hagen. Students will progress through a series of traditional exercises while also performing monologues and scene work.

    6.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Film and Television Year or equivalent.

  • THE301 Voice and Speech III

    A continued exploration of the vocal work begun in Voice and Speech I and II, designed to improve vocal clarity and expressiveness. The class includes articulation drills and breath support exercises, as well as performances that rely heavily on the voice as a tool for characterization.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Film and Television Year or equivalent.

  • THE302 Movement for Actors III

    Building on the foundation from Movement for Actors I and II, this course is a deeper exploration of physical awareness, expressiveness, flexibility, and instinct. Students also learn period movement, theatrical dance styles, and exercises for toning and alignment.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Film and Television Year or equivalent.

  • THE304 Theatre History/Literary Analysis I

    A survey of classic plays and their relationships to other art forms and historical events of their time. Students will learn the basics of dramaturgical research while working on the technical aspects necessary for the performance of texts from the 19th and 20th centuries.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Film and Television Year or equivalent.

  • THE305 Acting II

    Acting II helps students develop a deeper understanding of scene structure and how to interpret a character’s intentions and motivations in order to fulfill the demands of the script. Students will also engage in exercises to increase focus and comfort
    on stage.

    6.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE300

  • THE306 Voice and Speech IV

    This advanced voice class guides students in the use of the voice as an acting tool. Students will develop the vocal skills necessary for all areas of theater history and learn dialects commonly used in contemporary theater.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE301

  • THE307 Movement for Actors IV

    Building on Movement for Actors III, this course uses experiential exercises to help students gain heightened awareness of the body as an acting instrument, with additional emphasis on period movement, basic theatrical dance styles, and alignment exercises.

    3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE302

  • THE308 One-Act Project

    In this intensive workshop, students work in ensembles to perform one-act plays to gain a better understanding of character arcs, through lines of action, multiple conflicts, climax, and denouement of a script. Exercises also reinforce the fundamentals of stage direction such as composition, imagery, tempo, and movement.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Film and Television Year or equivalent.

  • THE309 Theater History/Literary Analysis II

    A continuation of Theater History/Literary Analysis I. Students will read plays and gather dramaturgical research on theatrical texts beginning with the Greek and Roman theater and continuing through the early 19th century.

    2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE304