Summer Drama Studio Intensives and Courses

The Tisch Department of Drama offers two six-week intensives in professional actor training on campus, as well as courses in theatre and performance studies. Additionally, the Department of Drama partners with several external training studios during the summer sessions.

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, as well as dates and meeting times for these classes.

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SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS

Tisch Drama Studios

New Studio On Broadway 2019 Music Theatre Summer Intensive

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

The New Studio on Broadway offers a rigorous, 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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Videos
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
A digital audition is required for this course. Please email lisajoseph@nyu.edu for instructions on how to submit your audition.

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. 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.

Off-Campus Tisch Drama Partner Intensives

Atlantic Summer I - Half Day

THEA-UT 210, Class #3162 | 4 units | Instructor: Mary McCann

Founded by playwright David Mamet and actor William H. Macy in 1983, the Atlantic Acting School is dedicated to training in the Practical Aesthetics Technique. Outlined in the book A Practical Handbook for the Actor, Practical Aesthetics is both a philosophy of theatre and a technique of acting. The simple objective of the technique is to provide the student-actor with a set of clearly defined and repeatable acting principles and skills. We seek to demystify the process of acting with an approach that aims at objectivity, clarity, and practical habits. This intensive program offers an introduction to Practical Aesthetics through three main elements of the technique: Script Analysis, Performance Technique, and Moment Lab. In addition to these technique classes, students will receive training in Vocal Production.

Atlantic Summer I is a half-day program worth 4 units. No audition/interview required. After registering at NYU, please call the Atlantic Acting School for orientation at (212) 691-5919, ext.1171. All students are required to read the book A Practical Handbook for the Actor before starting classes.

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Atlantic Summer II - Full Day

THEA-UT 210, Class #3163 | 8 units | Instructor: Mary McCann

Founded by playwright David Mamet and actor William H. Macy in 1983, the Atlantic Acting School is dedicated to training in the Practical Aesthetics Technique. Outlined in the book A Practical Handbook for the Actor, Practical Aesthetics is both a philosophy of theatre and a technique of acting. The simple objective of the technique is to provide the student-actor with a set of clearly defined and repeatable acting principles and skills. We seek to demystify the process of acting with an approach that aims at objectivity, clarity, and practical habits. During this intensive six-week workshop students acquire a foundation in the Practical Aesthetics technique, as well as professional habits created by the challenging work environment. Classes meet six days per week and include Script Analysis, Performance Technique, Moment Lab, Movement or Improvisation, and Voice and Speech, as well as lectures by working professionals. 

Atlantic Summer II is a full-time, 8-unit program. No audition or interview required. After registering at NYU, please call the Atlantic Acting School for orientation at (212) 691-5919, ext.1171. All students are required to read the book, A Practical Handbook for the Actor before starting classes. 

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Atlantic Summer in Vermont

THEA-UT 210, Class #3164 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

The Atlantic Acting School's Summer program in Vermont is three weeks of intensive, advanced acting training designed for the actor with well-developed professional habits who seeks a rigorous and rewarding experience working with a master teacher of Practical Aesthetics. Students who have completed at least one year of studio training at Atlantic are eligible to audition for this intimate ensemble. While in Burlington, students dorm on the scenic University of Vermont campus and train in their studio facilities. For more information, contact Brandi-Lea Harris (bharris@atlantictheater.org).

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Stella Adler Chekhov Intensive

THEA-UT 200, Class #3161 | 6 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Stella Adler once said, “He who masters Chekhov masters all of modern realism.” In accordance with her words, the Stella Adler Studio has created an advanced-level intensive which endeavors to illuminate modern realism through the lens of its greatest practitioner, Anton Chekhov. Stella Adler loved and valued actors versed in modern realism, who could deliver rich text often in opposition to that was intended. The course is centered on Chekhov Scene Study, supplemented by daily physical and vocal work. This is a five-week, 30-hour per week intensive designed for the advanced actor with classes in Scene Study, Voice & Speech, Physical Styles, and Physical Acting.

Notes: Audition Required. Chekhov Intensive is designed for actors with prior training. Please call the Stella Adler Studio of Acting at 212-689-0087 for an audition appointment before submitting the registration materials. Classes held at 31 West 27th St.

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Stella Adler Physical Theatre Intensive

THEA-UT 200, Class #4347 | 6 units | Instructors: Adler Faculty

The Physical Theatre Intensive is part of the Harold Clurman Center for New Works in Movement and Dance Theatre, designed especially for the physically creative actor. Taught by a world-class movement faculty, the program offers seven different courses plus private tutorials that give actors the tools to create their own physical theatre. The five-week, 30+ hour-per-week program culminates in a performance of original, ensemble, physical theatre projects. Classes include Modern Dance, Image Work, Impulse and Structure, Voice and Speech, Mime, Tutorial, Autonomy, and Sourcework.

Note: Interview Required. Physical Theatre Intensive is designed for actors with prior training. Please call the Stella Adler Studio of Acting at (212) 689-0087 for an interview appointment before submitting the registration materials.

 

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Stella Adler Shakespeare Intensive

THEA-UT 200, Class #4346 | 6 units | Instructor: James Tripp

The Adler Shakespeare Intensive is led by James Tripp, our Head of Acting, whom Stella Adler personally selected to teach Shakespeare. Teaching alongside Mr. Tripp is J. Steven White, one of the country’s leading stage combat instructors and Andrew Wade, former head of voice at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Verse is taught by Angela Vitale, veteran actress of over 30 Off-Broadway classical productions. This is a five-week, 30-hour per week intensive designed for the advanced actor to further develop his/her sense of the epic size of theatre with classes in Scene Study, Voice & Speech, Movement Technique, and Stage Combat.

Note: Audition Required. The Shakespeare Intensive is designed for actors with prior training. Please call the Stella Adler Studio of Acting at (212) 689-0087 for an audition appointment before submitting the registration materials. 

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Stella Adler Summer Conservatory

THEA-UT 200, Class #4345 | 8 units | Instructor: Thomas Oppenheim

The Summer Conservatory is a foundation-building course which approximates a full term of our NYU Tisch School of the Arts program. It is officially approved by the National Association of Schools of Theatre as a summer training program. Classes include Acting Technique, Improvisation, Scene Study, Shakespeare, Movement, and Voice & Speech. Master Classes in Character and Acting for Film & Television are given to supplement the training.

The program begins with an orientation and ends with a presentation of contemporary and classical scene work. We find the growth demonstrated by the end of the ten weeks palpable, deeply encouraging and an affirmation of our mission. 

Interview Required. Please call the Stella Adler Studio of Acting at (212) 689-0087 for an interview appointment before submitting the registration materials. 

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Stonestreet Film & TV Intensive I

THEA-UT 421 | 8 units | Instructor: Check Albert

The Stonestreet Screen Acting Workshop offers a professional environment in which to continue and broaden training, adapt theater skills and embrace the art of film acting and directing, and experience the film and television mediums, from the audition phase through to the production and post-production phases, completing their first or early professional work before they graduate. Students experience the unique challenges of acting on sets for all size screens, from three camera set-ups and the big screen arena to the iPod, by continuing to build on and surmount their previous training by playing challenging and varied roles in original films, sit-coms, dramatic series, and PSAs. Students learn to embrace both naturalism and character work that is both believable and interesting on camera and work on a variety of material from original unproduced film & TV material to film classics as well as adaptations of modern classic and classical material. Stonestreet's multi-tiered audition class allows students to become practiced, professional auditioners while making industry contacts with agents and casting directors on a weekly basis for the entire semester. All student work is recorded, editors help students compile actor reels after Stonestreet I or during Stonestreet II and final projects are showcased on Stonestreet's movie website.

Note: This advanced studio is open to all Drama Majors. Call (212) 229-0020 for Stonestreet orientation.

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Stonestreet Film & TV Intensive II

THEA-UT 422 | 8 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisite: THEA-UT 421 Stonestreet I

Stonestreet II includes a special collaboration with the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Goldberg Dept. of Dramatic Writing in our Annual Film Festival that creates feature & short screenplays, TV pilots and series, specifically for our advanced returning Stonestreet students along with advanced coursework. Many of our shorts and features continue to be presented in film festivals and win awards, opening new doors for actors to the industry, directors, producers and writers.

Students shoot professionally lit, directed and edited films of original material which can include classical adaptations as well. Participating in Stonestreet's new web series allows students to work on detailed characters that are specifically designed for them, participate in full-blown production from the start of the semester, and have an accessible, professional way to showcase their work. Student involvement is from preproduction to production as well as from the editing process where a good deal more about acting is learned.

Notes: Specialized programs for directing, producing, and writing are set up on an individual basis with students each semester. An interview with the program director and/or managing director is necessary. 

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Strasberg Summer Intensive

THEA-UT 260 | 8 units | Instructor: Anne Strasberg

The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute offers students an introductory course to Lee Strasberg’s Method, an acting technique in which personal experiences are used to create truth in imaginary circumstances. Students are required to take two four-hour Method Acting classes with two different teachers in order to gain varying perspectives on their work. The first half of each Acting class is devoted to a sequence of sensory exercises; the second half of class consists of scene and monologue work, during which time students apply what they have learned in their exercises to the roles on which they are working.

Improvisation is used to help create the habit of living through real experience. This approach gives the acting student a conscious craft, while helping to prevent the inconsistencies that can plague the untrained actor. In addition to the two four-hour acting classes, students choose from electives, which include Acting for Film and TV, Acting on Camera, Audition, Singing, Speech, Dialects, Vocal Production, Movement, Tai Chi, Physical Technique, Basic Dance, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Script Analysis, Shakespeare at the Globe, Theatre History and others. Studio classes encompass the full range of today’s acting medium, including on-camera work in a state-of-the-art digital film studio, and electives are consistently updated, as well as added, in order to stay cutting edge and relevant in the evolving professional landscape of theatrical arts.

Notes: No Audition Required. Once you have registered, please call Strasberg at (212) 533-5500 to arrange your schedule. Please be sure to mention you are coming for the NYU Summer session to the receptionist. 

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Theatre Studies

Directing Practicum

THEA-UT 676 | 4 units | Instructor: Frederick Ertl

This class introduces students to fundamental directing tools: principles of stage composition and visual story telling, action based script analysis, basic directing theory, applied Viewpoints and theatrical conceptualization. Through weekly composition and scene exercises students learn to create communicative stage imagery, physicalize dramatic action and articulate sub-textual behavior. Class work includes written analysis and production concept papers. Readings include writings of Brecht, Erving Goffman, Stanislavski, Grotowski, Bogart and Francis Hodges.

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Realism & Naturalism: European Origins

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

This course will examine the primarily 19th century European movement toward Realism and Naturalism that remains a major influence in today's theater, shaping both dramatic practice and audience expectation. The question of how to define these sometimes synonymous and often divergent terms will be tackled head-on, leading to a recognition that neither can be separated from each other or from the larger historical and theoretical context from which they arose. We will look at the relationship of Realism and Naturalism to the philosophical climate of the 1800s (Hegel, Darwin, Marx, Freud), to other theatrical movements (Romanticism, Symbolism, Expressionism and Aestheticism), to contemporaneous dramatic and literary forms (melodrama, the well-made play, the novel, photography), and to concrete historical trends (the rise of nation states, changing sex roles and family structures). The course focuses on the plays of the major European dramatists who defined the movement (Zola, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw), and tentatively traces its transformation in early to middle 20th century American drama. The inevitable question as to whether "the real" and "the natural" can ever be truly represented will be faced, but not at the expense of failing to ask what may or may not be gained from the attempt. 

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Studies in Shakespeare: On Film

THEA-UT 700, Class #3301 | 4 units | Instructor: John Osburn

The study of Shakespeare on film offers an opportunity for observing actual historical performances (the films) in relation to the texts on which they were based (the plays). By engaging directly with realized versions of the scripts, it is possible to more fully consider how changing social, cultural, political, and technological mores affect the reception of texts that are often the object of cultural reverence and a purist devotion to the “original.” Looking at both English and non-English speaking filmmakers from the silent era to the present confronts the fluidity of the scripts and the contingency of taste and value as they relate to styles of acting, textual fidelity, technological polish, and identity issues such as race, gender, class, and colonialism.

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Studies in Shakespeare: Shakespeare & Company

THEA-UT 700, Class #4623 | 4 units | Instructor: Christina Squitieri

Shakespeare & Company" From the construction of the first public playhouse in 1576 to the death of King James in 1625, the city of London experienced an unparalleled popularity of theater, immortalizing the names of playwrights such as Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare. “Shakespeare & Company” aims to analyze Shakespeare’s plays within the larger context of early modern drama and the culture of the public playhouse. We will begin with a brief analysis of the physical aspects of the public stage and theater design—sets, lights, costumes, sound—and will then move through a selection of comedies, histories, and tragedies from both Shakespeare and his contemporaries in an effort to better understand Shakespeare not as an exemplar of early modern drama, but as one of many skilled playwrights working in a vast field of diverse tastes, cultural opinions, and interests. In doing so, we will consider the early modern stage as a place of collaboration, from playwrights intentionally working with one another (as in Beaumont and Fletcher) to playwrights taking ideas from others and expanding them. This class will end with the opportunity to write your own collaboration of an early modern play, to be performed by your peers on the last day of class.

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Theatre and Therapy

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

This course explores the healing and therapeutic aspects of theatre and drama using drama therapy. Beginning with a study of play in child development, we will explore the three types of play - practice play, symbolic play, and games with rules - and examine their purposes in child development. We will then examine the four major techniques in drama therapy and their relationships to play and performance. We will study the Five Phase Model (Emunah), Developmental Transformations (Johnson), Rose Method (Landy), and Psychodrama (Moreno). The course will be theoretical, experiential, and technical. 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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Theatre Genres: Comedy & Performance

THEA-UT 632 | 4 units | Instructor: Frederick 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 endeavors to explore comedy both critically and in performance, embodying the comic even as we theorize about it. The primary focus of this class will be stand-up, and we will screen a variety of performers, cataloguing the various topics that each bases their comedy on. We will consider the importance of cultural taboos, ethnic and racial humor, politics, and the body in all humor; and attempt to draw a distinction between comedy that challenges cultural norms and comedy that affirms it. A third of our classes will be practical, focusing on comedic timing, spontaneity, and surprise, and working towards a stand up routine that captures each student’s own comic voice.

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Topics in Musical Theatre: Performance in Context

THEA-UT 661 | 4 units | Instuctor: Phoebe Rumsey

In The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity, Raymond Knapp finds “Defining America,” to be “arguably the central theme in American musicals.” With this theory in mind how does the dramaturgical structure and socio-political context of an original musical connect to national identity and, importantly, how does that framework shift when a musical is revived in a different time and place? How can shifting contexts of a musical’s production problematize past and current cultural and social politics? Further, for contemporary musicals, not yet revived, what social and cultural markers are key moving forward? We will probe these questions throughout the course paying particular attention to a comparison of the social and cultural politics of prominent musicals and their subsequent revival(s). Beginning with the original 1921 Shuffle Along and the recent 2016 revisioning, Shuffle Along or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed by George C. Wolfe, we will examine how the Broadway musical participates in identity formation both nationally and personally and how that meaning transforms through the decades. Through course readings, creative group projects, and independent research, students will develop a deeper understanding of specific musical theatre conventions, transforming performance practices, and critical debates in the field today.

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Topics in Performance Studies: American Burlesque

THEA-UT 650 | 4 units | Instructor: Lynn Sally

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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Topics in Performance Studies: Decolonizing Performance

THEA-UT 750, Class #4371 | 4 units | Instructor: Joshua Williams

What makes something postcolonial? Anticolonial? Decolonial? Is decolonization specific to certain so-called “Third World” geographies or is it a global form of contestation? Is it confined to certain supposedly “post-colonial” historical periods or is it an always unfinished, always ongoing process? And what does all of this have to do with theater? In this course, we will delve into the histories, theories and practices of postcolonial, anticolonial and decolonial performance. We will read classics of postcolonial drama and literary theory alongside more recent attempts to radically re-envision the role of theater in cultural and political life. Moving fluidly across national borders, historical epochs and the artificial divide between theory and practice, this course will encourage students to rethink and re-evaluate prevailing ideas of power, authority, originality, beauty and value in response to the ever-shifting contours of coloniality and its afterlives.

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Topics in Performance Studies: Museums, Fairs, Sideshows

THEA-UT 750, Class #3361 | 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, a 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, as well as include field trips throughout New York City.

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