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Summer Drama Intensives and Courses

The Tisch Department of Drama offers two five-week intensives in professional actor training, as well as courses in theatre and performance studies. Summer courses and intensives are open to current and visiting students, working professionals, and adult learners. There are training opportunities for actors of all levels. Please visit Albert for a full list of Drama offerings.


Meisner Technique: An Introduction

THEA-UT 341 | 4 units - Advanced Professional Training | Instructor: Check Albert

This five-week intensive is an excellent introduction to The Meisner acting technique for beginning acting students as well as students who have received acting training elsewhere. The fundamentals of this technique are introduced and engaged through exercises and scenes designed to directly connect the actor’s imagination with his or her feelings, a technique based on the principle of “The Reality of Doing.” It is our belief that it is necessary for the actor to develop a skilled and truthful relationship to oneself as an instrument distinct from one’s everyday reality before transforming to serve character. The intensive includes training in acting, movement, voice & speech, singing, and “play” or clowning.

View Course Schedule in Albert

Audition Guidelines

Interview required. Please contact Jeffrey Withers, Meisner Studio Administrator, to schedule an interview.

New Studio On Broadway 2017 Music Theatre Summer Intensive

THEA-UT 330 | 8 units - Advanced Professional Training | Instructor: Check Albert

The New Studio on Broadway offers a rigorous, five-week (6 days per week), professional training program, providing the instruction needed to develop requisite skills for the music theatre actor. This intensive offers domestic and international college students the opportunity to be immersed in the core essentials of the New Studio on Broadway’s music theatre curriculum which includes: Acting (Acting Technique, Shakespeare, Contemporary Monologue Study, Voice & Speech and Mask Work), Singing (Vocal technique & performance, Vocal Book Preparation, and Sight-Singing), and Dance (Yoga, Ballet, Jazz, and Tap). Master classes are also provided by award-winning actors, directors, choreographers, and music directors. This is an outstanding opportunity to further develop and refine your music theatre skills with some of the most highly respected professionals in the field.

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About the New Studio on Broadway Intensive

Who Should Apply to the New Studio on Broadway?

How to Apply to the New Studio on Broadway

Audition Guidelines

Acting Audition

  • Two contrasting monologues
  • One contemporary and one classical verse
  • Each monologue must be under two minutes in length
  • All monologues must be from published plays (no films or TV scripts and no original material)
  • Please choose material that is within your age range (roles you would be cast in now)
  • Please do not use an accent in your monologues
  • Both monologues should total no more than 4 minutes in length

Singing Audition

  • Please present two contrasting songs from the American Music Theater canon
  • One song should be traditional (pre-1960’s) i.e. George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, Lerner and Lowe, Rodgers and Hammerstein
  • One song should be from Contemporary Music Theatre, 1960s to Present
  • Please choose material that is in your age range (roles you would be cast in today)
  • One song should be 32-bars and one song 16-bar cut

Dance Audition

  • Please submit a video of 1 to 2 minutes of prepared dance solo to musical accompaniment. Choose your music (Broadway, hip-hop, classical or pop music), and your choreography (ballet, jazz, folkdance, or tap). If you can think of it, you can use it. Include anything that showcases your use of the body as a creative instrument, demonstrating full body expressiveness and love of movement.
  • The video must be created specifically for the audition of New Studio on Broadway Summer Course Study. A clip from a previous performance is not recommended.

Helpful Hints for a Summer Intensive Digital Audition:

  • Make sure that your background is unencumbered and does not distract from the focus being on you.
  • When slating or introducing yourself and the pieces you are going to perform please shoot a 3/4 shot (from the waist up)
  • When performing your songs, monologues and dance, please shoot as a full body shot.
  • When performing song selections, live accompaniment is preferred, or pre-recorded track. But in all cases make sure the microphone is closer to the actor than the accompanist or pre-recorded track so that we hear the voice over the accompaniment. A cappella is permitted if need be.
  • Props and costumes are not necessary or encouraged
  • During Singing Audition do not accompany yourself.
  • Please wear clothing and shoes that allow you to move comfortably in your audition.
  • You do not need fancy equipment to shoot your audition. An iPhone is perfectly acceptable. It’s about you rather than production values. Here’s a link to a sample video to show you just how easy it is. The link has the singing and dancing elements – you simply need to remember to also include your monologues.

Please submit your digital audition to Lisa Joseph at: lisajoseph@nyu.edu

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Theatre Studies Courses

American Burlesque

THEA-UT 650 | 4 units | Instructor: Kalle Westerling

Coined in the 16th century as a literary or theatrical form that inverts form and content, burlesque is a subset of parody that either elevates the mundane or vulgarizes the lofty. When Lydia Thompson and the British Blondes brought their unique brand of burlesque to New York City in 1868, the public understanding of burlesque transformed from a literary form to a performance style, and the worlds of “leg shows” and burlesque became largely synonymous in the public imagination. These early burlesque shows were evening-length parodies of classical texts or myths and focused on women “putting on” the other gender (rather than its later association with “taking off” via striptease).

This course will cover some of the major historical shifts in American burlesque traditions including Thompsonian burlesque (and those that followed), female minstrel shows, hootchy cootchie dance, burlesque wheels, the emergence of striptease, queens of burlesque, exotic dancing, and the neo-burlesque movement. Rather than codify the defining characteristics and time periods of these historical moments, we will seek to understand and trace how the definitions, conceptual preoccupations, and performance techniques of burlesque have adapted and changed over time. Special consideration will be given to understanding burlesque in relationship to other entertainment genres such as vaudeville, minstrelsy, early film, melodrama, musical theatre, world’s fairs, and to the larger social, cultural, and historical contexts in which burlesque has taken place. We will watch films that document burlesque; read biographies of major figures and scholarly work about burlesque, theatre, and popular culture; attend neo-burlesque performances, and discuss the neo-burlesque and performance art movements with guest artists.

Video: Kalle Westerling on American Burlesque

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Chekov and Radical Realism

THEA-UT 719 | 4 units | Instructor: Helen Shaw

Anton Chekhov is the undisputed titan of Russian realist drama, fusing a delicate comic sensibility and a surpassing humanism. Yet in reading him we also find a formal bridge between novelistic naturalism and the startling modernism to come. We will explore Chekhov's great works: The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters, as well as those who immediately preceded him (including Turgenev and Ostrovsky), his contemporaries (Gorky and Gogol) and those who continued his great work by moving farther into nonrealistic experiment (Mayakovsky and Blok). We will also read liberally from the rest of Chekhov's oeuvre, including his short stories, his letters, and the lesser-known plays like Platonov and Ivanov. We rarely think of Chekhov as a radical writer, yet he completely changed what we expect of the theater, the performer and even each other.

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Comedy and Performance

THEA-UT 632 | 4 units | Instructor: Fritz Ertl

What is comedy? WHY do we laugh at all? WHAT makes us laugh? How is comedy today different from yesterday; how is it the same? Combining theory with practice, this class explores comedy both critically and in performance, embodying the comic even as we theorize about it. The theoretical part of the class will ground itself in Henri Bergson’s seminal essay ON LAUGHTER, and will also include comedic plays by a variety of writers, including Moliere and Wilde. Of particular interest to us will be the distinction between comedy that affirms cultural norms versus comedy that subverts these norms, and we will apply this interest to our practical work as comedians in the classroom. Toward that aim, each student will work on and develop an ever-expanding stand-up routine, all the while exploring their unique comedic voice as it reacts to the historical moment we find ourselves living in.

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Directing Practicum

THEA-UT 677 | 4 units | Instructor: Fritz Ertl

An intensive introduction to the art and skill of directing plays for the theatre, with equal time given to 1.) the basic skills involved, and 2.) the complex artistry that underlies all great theatre.   The aim of the course is not to model a particular aesthetic for students to interact with, but to give students the tools with which to develop their own, personal aesthetic as theatre makers. As such, the course will demand that students work personally and impulsively, articulating what INTERESTS them in the world, as well as articulating what kinds of stories they are interested in telling. The first half of the course will focus on basic skills, including: 1.) how to think about theatrical space as different from cinematic space; 2.) how to work compositionally within theatrical space; and 3) how to use both spectacle and emotional journey of characters to create affect.
In the second half, students will co-direct 15 minute scenes, and class time will be devoted to both showings and in-class rehearsals, where the entire class observes each other working. During this period, students will act and design for each other, spend significant time on the language a director uses to collaborate with designers and actors, and learn how to “attend” to every detail of production.

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Medieval Theatre

THEA-UT 712 | 4 units | Instructor: Robert Davis

A rich and exciting examination of drama and performance in the Middle Ages in Europe.  Beginning with the late Roman Empire, we will study theatrical production and dramatic theory into the sixteenth century. We will also explore the role of theatre in feasts, tournaments, and devotional practices. Students will engage historical questions, practical aspects of medieval stagecraft, and how the middle ages can still be found in our contemporary world.  

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Museums, Fairs, Sideshows

THEA-UT 750 | 4 units | Instructor: Robert Davis

A fascinating look at the history and design of museums and other shows: from medieval fairs to contemporary institutions. In particular, we’ll focus on how museums and shows have presented displays using theatrical contentions as well as a how objects “perform” for an audience.  Course work will cover the histories of museums, world’s fairs, circuses, zoos, and freak shows, and include field trips throughout New York City.

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Realism and Naturalism

THEA-UT 705 | 4 units | Instructor: Joe Jeffreys

An introduction and exploration of major European playwrights and theatre history from the industrial revolution to today focused on the emergence and establishment of Realism and Naturalism as theatrical genres. Plays and critical writings by dramatists including Zola, Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg and Shaw will be considered along with movements from Romanticism to so-called Avant-Garde genres including Symbolism , Futurism and Dada. The birth of the director, the development of the craft of acting and the impact of new technologies on the stage and playwriting will also be explored. By the course’s end students will be able to delineate Naturalism and Realism’s primary principals and structures and possess a deep understanding of how these foundational 19th century movements have greatly influenced theatrical practices to the present day.

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Studies in Shakespeare

THEA-UT 700 | 4 units | Instructor: Daniel Venning

Focused each time by genre (comedies, tragedies, romances, histories), or by theme or topic (theatricality, gender, race, politics, religion, etc.), this course explores the works of Shakespeare as text and performance - on stage or on film. Various critical methodologies, including biographical and cultural analysis, are used to reveal the continuing vitality of these plays and their relevance to the theatre of our time.

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Theatre & Therapy

THEA-UT 673 | 4 units | Instructor: Stephanie Omens

An exploration into the healing and therapeutic aspects of theatre and drama through the use of drama therapy. Beginning with a study of play in child development, you will explore the three types of play - practice play, symbolic play, and games with rules - and examine their purposes in child development. You will also examine the four major techniques in drama therapy and their relationships to play and performance and study the Five Phase Model (Emunah), Developmental Transformations (Johnson), Rose Method (Landy), and Psychodrama (Moreno). Students will have the opportunity to participate in each method of drama therapy, as well as lead drama therapy training sessions.

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21st Century Musicals

THEA-UT 661 | 4 units | Instructor: Laurence Maslon

History has its eyes on the musical theatre of the current century. The Broadway musical, in particular, has transformed the models and traditions of the previous century into something at once familiar and innovative. During this session, we’ll look at some of the models and how they were changed up: musical comedy (The Producers, The Book of Mormon), family musicals (Shrek, Aladdin), songbook revues (Mamma Mia!, Motown) as well as new viewpoints and perspectives: Wicked, Fun Home, and Hamilton. We’ll also look at how cultural, social, and economic events (9/11, LGBT rights, hip-hop music, the Obama administration) influenced changes in form and content. Contrasts and comparisons will be an effective way of analyzing and monitoring change, with a focus on contextualizing the past in order to understand the present and make educated guesses about the future.

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Drama Electives

Audition Technique in Practice

THEA-UT 170 | 2 units | Instructor: Darci Picoult

This course is devoted to the practical presentation of auditions. Students will present auditions of rehearsed monologues and assigned scenes for the theatre, as well as perform auditions for film, television and commercials using script sides They will develop and hone audition skills to begin to prepare to market themselves to industry professionals. The class will cover both on-camera auditions and stage auditions. The course is also designed to help the performer understand the technique of auditioning by discussing the business of acting and will cover pictures/resumes and an introduction to the world of those that work in casting, ie. casting directors, agents, and managers. The goal is for the performer to learn to present his/herself in a professional manner showing individual strengths and abilities in a very short presentation. The class will provide a technique for performers to hone and use to meet the demands of any audition situation; the beginning of a process that will continue with every future audition.

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Spoken Word: Voiceover Techniques

THEA-UT 149 | 2 units | Instructor: Andy Roth

Taught by one of the busiest casting directors in New York, this class will give you the skills you need and the industry insight to start your journey into the voice over world. Everyone works in every class as we explore the many forms of voice over; from Commercials and Promos, to Animation, Video Games and Audiobooks. This class is designed to give you the tools you need to quickly and easily assess and execute any voice over script in any situation. Students get to keep all of their class recordings.

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