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.