When US News & World Report published their last ever rankings for M.F.A. acting programs (circa 1997), UMKC ranked #21. A few years prior to that, UMKC was not on the list making them one of the fastest rising institution, EVER!
~ Gary Armagnac (Prof actor/director, Head of Actor Training at the University of the Pacific and former actor on the TV series STAR TREK.)“I first met Michael when I had the good fortune to cast him as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at the Livermore Shakespeare Festival, an AEA company located in Livermore, CA. I found him to be a brilliant actor, one who never stops working and who truly believes that the process is what matters.”
~Tahiya Marome (Instructional Designer and Artist)“The greatest gift a teacher can impart is the desire, and the capacity, in the student to invent what the teacher has not yet seen. Mr. Rice embodies a spirit capable of just that. I have seen him do it, so my comments are far from theoretical. He’s relentless and brings the full power of his intellect and intuition to bear on anything he takes on, which explains why his performances and his work as a teacher came in with stellar results.”
~Lisa Tromovitch (Chair of Theatre Dept at UOP and Producing Artistic Director at Livermore Shakespeare)“It is my pleasure to recommend Michael Wayne Rice as a professional actor and teacher of acting, and budding director. I’ve particularly appreciated that as a teacher, he is demanding while being encouraging, and the results of his work are very strong.Our new Dean was particularly thrilled with his student production and I’ve heard appreciative comments from our senior majors about their experience.”
~Chad Jones, Inside Bay Area“Rice is a completely original voice, and his conversations with theatre people often take surprising turns and result in refreshingly candid interviews and abundant humor.”
Data can be fun and interesting to look at. Here are a few highlights covering part of Michael’s career. Just think of it as a little game of peek-a-boo 🙂
Celebrity Attendance on multiple different shows.
Highest grossing opening weekend box office record set.
Invited to speak at various community professional organizations, thereby increasing company visibility and respectability within the local community.
Complete sellout of the entire run of the show (before the closing of the first week of performances).
First time company tried selling Season Subscriptions to audience members. Total sold: 23.
Annual fundraiser that grossed 3 times the yearly average of the 5 previous fundraisers.
The number 1 and number 2 highest rated shows for a single company in back to back shows.
Rare appearances by $1,000,000+ donors for 2 separate shows.
Michael doesn’t claim sole proprietorship over the successes of a show, but rather recognizes he was a contributing member of the team that created the production.
The first year of training is a highly disciplined, process-oriented period of study: intensive in Linklater voice production; speech and basic dialect work; text analysis; reading aloud; improvisation; character; extreme and neutral mask; ballroom dance; ballet or jazz dance; effort-shape movement; Alexander technique; and actor’s process based on Stanislavskian principles and Meisner repetition exercises. Performance work includes the First Year Cabaret and a Shakespeare play, a social issues creative project and a contemporary one act play. Formal evaluation will occur at mid-semester, the end of the first semester and again at the end of the first year with the recommendation of the performance faculty to continue, discontinue, or to place on probation.
In the second year of training, the student actor continues daily voice and speech work; advanced dialect work including learning dialects from primary sources; singing; commedia mask work; red nose and personal clown; ballet or jazz dance; stage violence (hand-to-hand and weapon); period style movement, mannerisms and dance; subtle energy work; acting process on Shakespeare and other heightened language text (Molière, Shaw, etc.); basic acting techniques are revisited with contemporary text (Shepard, Mamet, etc.); and audition techniques. In addition to creating a performance piece in the ‘style’ of Molière, second year actors begin public performance work with a guest and faculty directors on contemporary and period pieces chosen specifically for the training needs of the second year class. Occasionally roles at The Rep are available for second year actors.
The third year is a performance year beginning with a two-play repertory showcasing the class in contrasting pieces of dramatic literature. The two-play repertory is produced in association with The Rep and allows the actors to put to use their intensive process and production work in a professional context. The repertory plays are directed by guest and faculty directors. Next the class participates in The Rep’s production of A Christmas Carol. Process and practical work continues throughout the year on voice-over, radio drama, and a minimum of 14 weeks of acting for the camera. In the second semester the actors work at The Rep in understudy assignments, or roles when appropriate. Actors are cast in a production at one of the other professional Equity theatres in town. The performance year ends with a production chosen for the class with a guest director of national prominence. In May, the third year class is showcased in New York as part of the ‘New League’ Showcase sponsored by the Alliance for the Development of Theatre Artists, Inc.