* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
A M E R I C A N C O N S E R VA T O R Y T H E A T E R MASTER of FINE ARTS PROGRAM Top-ranked professional actor training in the heart of San Francisco 20 16 –17 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 2 MISSION STATEMENT A M E R I C A N C O N S E R V A T O R Y T H E A T E R nurtures the art of live theater through dynamic productions, intensive actor training in its conservatory, and an ongoing engagement with its community. A.C.T. embraces its responsibility to conserve, renew, and reinvent the rich theatrical traditions and literatures that are our collective legacy, while exploring new artistic forms and new communities. A commitment to the highest standards informs every aspect of A.C.T.’s creative work. CONTENTS 04 From the Directors 12 The Curriculum 06 The City, The Theater 14 Performance Opportunities 24 Admissions and Applications 08 The Training Experience 16 Faculty 22 A.C.T.’s Shining Stars 26 Summer Training Congress AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER MASTER OF FINE ARTS PROGR AM The closing date for materials in this bulletin was September 5, 2015. A.C.T. reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction and faculty members at any time. For complete program information—including application forms and policies and procedures— please visit act-sf.org/mfa. M.F.A. graduate Ryan Williams French (left), class of ‘15, and the cast of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play on the A.C.T. mainstage A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 3 VISION S TAT EMEN T The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program is for individuals who, after serious consideration and self-evaluation, have chosen performance as a profession. This highly competitive graduate program offers a rigorous three-year course of training designed to educate and stimulate the most promising young actors, who are selected through nationwide auditions. FRONT COVER (L TO R) Caitlan Taylor, class of ‘16, in The Cherry Orchard; Arthur Wise, class of ‘16, in Kalos Kai Agathos; Ryan Williams French, class of ‘15, in Hamlet. PREVIOUS PAGE (FROM TOP) The class of 2016 in Side by Side by Sondheim; the cast of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (photo by Kevin Berne). THIS PAGE Alexa Erbach, Michael McIntyre (center), and Matthew Capbarat, class of ‘16, during the annual Sky Festival (photo by Jay Yamada). All photos by Alessandra Mello, unless otherwise noted. The M.F.A. curriculum includes comprehensive actor training, the production of classical and contemporary plays, and opportunities for actors to teach and to produce work of their choosing. The course of study emphasizes dedication to craft, prizes curiosity and initiative, and recognizes the potential of live performance to effect social change. The opportunity to teach deepens humanity and enhances actors’ understanding of themselves and the acting process. A.C.T. believes actors who generate as well as interpret material are uniquely prepared to collaborate on and support the development of new dramatic forms. They are the individuals who will go on to energize and advance the art of performance and who will ensure the future of theater in America. Our place at the center of a renowned professional theater company, as well as our urban location in San Francisco, enriches every aspect of the program, bringing students of various backgrounds into close contact with writers, directors, designers, and actors of many different theatrical traditions. Through exposure to professional artists, and through engagement with diverse audiences in and outside A.C.T., M.F.A. actors discover how theater reflects the life of a community and how the life of a community inspires its theater. A.C.T. is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senor Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Education and the U.S. Department of Education. A.C.T. is sponsored in part by the Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, and California Arts Council, a state agency. Special support for the M.F.A. Program is provided by William Randolph Hearst Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and The Bernard Osher Foundation. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M FROM THE DIRECTORS It is our profound pleasure to welcome you to an institution where making art is viewed as a lifelong commitment that begins in childhood and lasts as long as we have an ounce of energy left to play. In addition to housing a top-ranked master of fine arts program in acting, A.C.T. is a Tony Award–winning regional theater, a crucible for new play development, and one of the most popular cultural destinations in San Francisco. Our training pushes actors towards an expression of human experience that is passionate, dangerous, amused, and expansive—all within the context of a thriving professional theater company. 4 A C T - S F. O R G / M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M By choosing to train at A.C.T., you are participating in a program designed to cultivate the entrepreneurial actor—an artist possessing not only the skills and experience to succeed in just about any professional performance arena, but one equipped with the insights and imagination to generate his or her own work. At A.C.T., our focus is to empower student actors to thrive not only as performers and interpreters but also as creators and collaborators of vital new dramatic material. We aim to develop “citizen artists,” community-minded and socially aware individuals with the potential to become leaders of any artistic enterprise. At A.C.T., you will stretch your creative muscles in ways you may never have imagined, and will do so with the support, resources, and applause of A.C.T.’s entire artistic community behind you. Here, you are joining a company where young and old, master and novice, are constantly engaged in the creation of important, magical, meaningful art. The professionals here are your peers as well as your teachers: during your training you will find yourself taking classes from a resident artist one month and rehearsing with them the next. In turn, that synergy extends to your own mentoring of young actors in our Young Conservatory, from teaching opportunities during the summer to performing alongside them in conservatory and mainstage productions or new commissioned work. You’ll also share your passion for theater with the Bay Area community through engagement with our Education & Community Programs Department. There is no formula for creating a great actor, or great acting. The journey is unique to each artist. At A.C.T., we are committed to giving you accurate maps, excellent tools, ample nourishment, and the occasional beautiful outfit. We are your traveling companions, and we hope to inspire in you the imagination and courage to explore—to risk everything when nothing is guaranteed. Great dramatic literature invites you to jump into the fray; good training is the net that lets you do so without endangering every bone in your body. Since we are all always in training at A.C.T., free fall is frequent. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Carey Perloff Artistic Director Caitlan Taylor (right), class of ‘16, and Annemaria Rajala (left) in A Little Night Music on the A.C.T. mainstage Melissa Smith Conservatory Director PREVIOUS PAGE (clockwise from top left) Artistic Director Carey Perloff; Conservatory Director Melissa Smith; the cast of Stories from the ‘Loin during the annual Sky Festival (photo by Jay Yamada). THIS PAGE Annemaria Rajala (left) and Caitlan Taylor in A Little Night Music (photo by Kevin Berne). 5 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M Thomas Stagnitta, class of ‘16, in Hamlet at A.C.T.’s Costume Shop 6 THE CIT Y, T HE T HE AT ER Established in 1965, American Conservatory Theater is a Tony Award–winning theater and conservatory whose work is energized and informed by a profound commitment to developing the next generation of theater artists. A.C.T. is the largest theater company in the San Francisco Bay Area and employs more than 800 people each season, from teachers and artists to technicians and administrative staff. During the past four decades, more than 330 A.C.T. productions have been seen by close to seven million theatergoers in the company’s magnificent Beaux Arts–style mainstage theater located in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square theater district. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M T H E V I S I O N A.C.T. continues to nurture its legacy as one of America’s most respected regional theaters and to expand its reach to include new areas of dramatic literature, new communities, and new international collaborations—as well as innovative interpretations of classical work. Central to A.C.T.’s vision is the philosophy of lifelong education. A.C.T. is committed to nurturing artists from diverse backgrounds, and to embracing the challenging dynamics of training and performance that lie at the heart of the institution. T H E S C E N E Famed for its energetic individual- ism, its sophisticated cultural landscape, and its breathtaking beauty, San Francisco is home to more than 300 resident theater companies, from new-play repertories to acclaimed Shakespeare festivals to Broadway touring houses. An ideal location for actors beginning their careers, the Bay Area theater scene is both large enough to be noticed nationally and intimate enough to ensure that you’ll soon be a familiar face. Actors in the Bay Area are involved in all levels of the entertainment industry, from developing contacts to attending auditions and industry gatherings, and frequently make the successful transition to thriving theater and film careers. T H E L O C A T I O N Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling Union Square, the A.C.T. Conservatory features seven studios and shares its rehearsal spaces with A.C.T.’s mainstage productions. Classrooms, studios, and administrative offices are fully integrated— student life is an essential part of A.C.T.’s culture—and students have the opportunity to interact daily with associate artists and staff. A few blocks away is A.C.T.’s historic and dazzling mainstage, The Geary Theater—one of San Francisco’s famed cultural landmarks, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010. Tucked into the fifth floor of The Geary, The Garret provides a warm, intimate space for student cabarets and other performances. In addition, The Costume Shop, a versatile black box performance venue located down the street in San Francisco’s bustling Central Market arts neighborhood, opened in 2011 as A.C.T.’s dedicated home for innovative M.F.A. Program works and community partnerships. Next door to The Costume Shop is A.C.T.’s dynamic new 283-seat theater, The Strand, which is not only the company’s long-awaited second stage—but also an important education complex that will 7 offer unprecedented learning and performance opportunities to our students, as well as the chance to connect with a new community of theater lovers. Nearby (and easily accessible via public transportation), students can explore the theater district, museums, parks, Chinatown, North Beach, and the Embarcadero waterfront. On a day off, the City by the Bay offers students an extraordinary range of activities. Take a hike in Muir Woods, go sail ing on the Bay, catch a baseball game, hit a jazz club, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, check out a pop-up restaurant, or soak up paintings in local artists’ open studios. Tucked into the beautiful landscape of Northern California, the Bay Area also offers easy access to other unforgettable adventures. Spend a day exploring wine country in nearby Napa and Sonoma valleys, head down Highway 1 to view the dramatic coastal landscape near Big Sur, or check out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an oceanfront amusement park that has operated continuously since 1907. PREVIOUS PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (Gene X Hwang/Orange Photography); the San Francisco skyline (photo by Philip H. Coblentz); a cable car; Thomas Stagnitta, class of ‘16, in Hamlet (photo by Alessandra Mello). THIS PAGE (FROM TOP) The Bay Bridge at night; the lights at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (photo by Ashley Forrette). A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M THE TRAINING E X PER IENCE At A.C.T., you’re not an “acting student”—you’re a “student actor.” THIS PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT, L TO R) The class of 2016 in their Created Movement Project (photo by Alessandra Mello); the cast of Little D during the annual Sky Festival (photo by Jay Yamada); York Walker (right) and Dillon Heape (center), class of ‘14, with Ryan Williams French, class of ’15 (photo by Jay Yamada). NEXT PAGE The Strand Theater (photo by Denys Baker). 8 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 9 “The Citizen Artist component within the M.F.A. Program is an incredible opportunity to share our training with San Francisco’s various communities and witness how theater can unite and inspire. My experience of creating theater and working as a teaching artist with various communities has profoundly impacted my growth as an actor and human being.” D I A N A G O N Z A L E Z- M O R E T T, class of ’17 Every day, a few doors down from the studio classrooms, A.C.T. is conducting the business of making professional theater. During their training at A.C.T., M.F.A. Program students come to think of themselves as apprentices rather than acting students. Indeed, the A.C.T. community doesn’t recognize a group of “acting students,” but rather student actors; the difference is small, but crucial. Outside of training, students are encouraged to sit in on professional rehearsals, listen to directors present production concepts, and see a show at the theater more than once just because they love an actor’s performance. in that it employs associate and resident artists—from actors who regularly appear on our stages, to directors, designers, and playwrights who continually return to create new work at A.C.T.—and these artists are the M.F.A. Program actors’ living link to the professional theater world. In turn, M.F.A. Program actors serve as mentors to younger artists in A.C.T.’s renowned Young Conservatory through teaching opportunities or performing onstage together in various productions, including new works commissioned specifically for them or A.C.T.’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. 360° THE AT ER : THE M .F. A . AC TOR T H E C I T I Z E N A R T I S T Our exciting Citizen Artist training aids students’ understanding of the artist’s role in society as one that has the power to engage the larger community. The Citizen Artist is an actor who is dedicated to craft and committed to social change through the practice of their art. Through a variety of programs, A.C.T. is able to train socially aware transformative theater artists with the tools to unleash their art as a force for positive change wherever they may find themselves. A.C.T.’s Education & Community Programs Department provides theater-based E X P E R I E N C E The essence of A.C.T.’s actor training lies in the interplay between our professional company and our conservatory. Within the A.C.T. artistic community, professionals and students are constantly learning from each other—M.F.A. Program actors audition for and perform in A.C.T. productions and establish valuable mentor relationships with the artists, producers, literary staff, and other professionals who make theater happen. A.C.T. is unique among large professional theater companies arts education and engagement opportunities for more than 10,000 school students and community members each year through four central programs: Student Matinee performances, with related pre- and postshow workshops; the Will on Wheels tour presented by second-year M.F.A. Program students each spring at schools and community centers across the Bay Area; the ACTsmart Intensive Residency Program, which provides in-depth instruction in writing and performance to socioeconomically disadvantaged youth in San Francisco continuation high schools and community-based organizations; and Stage Coach, a mobile initiative designed to bring participatory theater experiences to underrepresented neighborhoods in San Francisco. The Education & Community Programs Department provides M.F.A. Program students with opportunities to acquire teaching artist training and apprenticeships in all of these programs; some of these experiences are a formal (i.e., required) part of the M.F.A. Program curriculum, while others are voluntary and arranged on an individual basis, subject to the approval of the Conservatory and Education & Community Programs Directors. PER FOR MING ON THE STAGE—A ND B E Y O N D Student actors at A.C.T. perform frequently within the program, working with professional directors and designers in a variety of performance venues. In the first two years of training, M.F.A. Program actors participate in productions at The Costume Shop and The Rueff, as well as Will on Wheels, a Shakespeare play that tours to schools and venues around the Bay Area. In the third year, student actors begin their transition to the professional world by stepping into productions on the Geary and Strand stages, and earning their Actors’ Equity Association membership. Throughout their training at A.C.T., A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M TRAINING CONTINUED 10 “In my time at A.C.T., I have developed a stronger, more creative sense of self, I have continued to explore and refine my craft, and I have joyously investigated what it means to be a professional actor working at the highest level.” M AT T H E W C A P B A R AT, class of ’17 student actors participate in the process of creating new work for the theater by performing in A.C.T.’s staged readings, festivals, and other presentations of new and upcoming plays. A . C . T . C O R N E R S T O N E S At A.C.T., training requires immense physical energy, intellectual curiosity, emotional honesty, a vivid imagination, and a willingness to take risks. Central to the program’s mission is its focus on an actor’s “readiness” to perform at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, our demanding, 1,024-seat historic home. Success on a stage of this caliber requires enormous depth and agility and is vital in developing the total actor—a performing artist possessing the skills and experience to succeed in any professional arena, from Broadway and regional theater to film and television. To extend these powerful skills into the world, actor training at A.C.T. also cultivates citizen artists—socially conscious and community-minded theater professionals with the passion and heart to unleash theater as a force for sociocultural change wherever they go. To prepare actors for these challenges, our curriculum focuses on four cornerstones of A.C.T. readiness: instrumental flexibility—tuning the actor’s instrument (voice, body, and mind) to unleash the talent within; professionalism— understanding and embracing the responsibilities of the professional actor, from expectations when hired to caring for a costume; transformation—synthesizing all aspects of the craft, fusing technique and imagination, to create a character within the world of a play; and collaboration—working with artists to make a piece of theater, a process requiring the courage to make bold choices and the passion to inspire creativity in others. C A R E E R T R A N S I T I O N At the end of the third year of training, M.F.A. Program actors launch their careers with a showcase presented to industry professionals (agents, casting directors, and artistic directors) in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. With A.C.T. alumni working in theater, film, television, and arts education across the nation, recent graduates continue to experience a community of support upon leaving the program. C O N S E R V A T O R Y H O U R S During their training, students have the opportunity to attend Conservatory Hours—exclusive Q&A sessions with successful actors, directors, producers, writers, and alumni. Previous speakers have included Jason Alexander, Elizabeth Banks, Annette Bening, Benjamin Bratt, James Cromwell, Olympia Dukakis, Eve Ensler, Joseph Fiennes, Harvey Fierstein, Brendan Fraser, Jason Butler Harner, Woody Harrelson, Bill Irwin, Judith Ivey, Cherry Jones, John Lahr, Baz Luhrmann, Carl Lumbly, David Mamet, Francesco Manetti, Frances McDormand, Suzan-Lori Parks, Estelle Parsons, Jeff Perry, Tonya Pinkins, Mark Ruffalo, Michele Shay, Anna Deavere Smith, Tom Stoppard, David Strathairn, Robin Williams, and Charles Randolph Wright. FROM TOP (L TO R) Matthew Capbarat (right), class of ‘16, talking to students from Wallenberg High School after a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Ryan Williams French, class of ‘15, in Hamlet; Ben Quinn and Dominique Salerno, class of ‘15, during a performance of M.F.A. Variety (photo by Ryan Montgomery). All photos by Alessandra Mello, unless otherwise indicated. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M Christina Liang, class of ‘16, with Dan Hiatt in Love and Information on the A.C.T. mainstage THIS PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) Stefanée Martin, class of ‘15, performing Little D during the annual Sky Festival (photo by Jay Yamada); the class of ‘15 in Side by Side by Sondheim; Dan Hiatt and Christina Liang, class of ‘16, in Love and Information (photo by Kevin Berne); Joel Bernard and Josie Alvarez, class of ‘15, in The Glass Menagerie. NEXT PAGE (FROM TOP) Joel Bernard, class of ‘15, in The Cherry Orchard; Michael McIntyre (left) and Matthew Capbarat performing The Lady and Two Tramps (photo by Jay Yamada) during the annual Sky Festival. All photos by Alessandra Mello, unless otherwise noted. 11 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 12 THE CURRICULUM All curriculum classes are compulsory, with no elective subjects. Classes in speech, voice, movement, acting, and text analysis are taught by core faculty members, who guide each student toward achieving his or her fullest potential. Distinguished guest artists, A.C.T. staff members, and other industry professionals enhance the program with master classes, seminars, and lectures on such subjects as dance, stage combat, on-camera acting, the business of acting, and what it means to be a citizen artist. Associate artists perform in A.C.T. productions throughout the season while also teaching and directing in the M.F.A. Program. Performances frequently combine students with actors from all around A.C.T. Throughout their three years in the program, M.F.A. Program students may find themselves onstage alongside faculty, young actors from our Young Conservatory program, professional actors, as well as fellow students from all years of the program. Student actors also have opportunities to generate their own work—as actor, writer, director, adaptor, and more—in the annual Sky Festival. Other performance opportunities include musical cabarets, as well as opportunities to work with professional actors, directors, and playwrights on public readings of new plays under consideration for development by A.C.T. In addition, student actors are also invited to serve as teaching artist apprentices as part of A.C.T.’s growing education and community programs. This integral part of the curriculum connects M.F.A. Program actors with enthusiastic students and community members from across the Bay Area—some of whom will experience theater for the very first time through their contact with A.C.T. FIRST YEAR In the first year, students focus on acting as storytelling, learning to cultivate authenticity, flexibility, imagination, and daring in all aspects of the craft. C O U R S E S Acting, voice, speech, movement (Alexander Technique, physical theater, dance), singing, text analysis, theater history, studies in the San Francisco cultural landscape, as well as special workshops in stage combat, new play development, and citizen artist training. P R O G R E S S First-year actors train individually in the context of their development as an ensemble. During extensive course work, student actors focus on both the interpretation and generation of material. They engage with a range of literature, exploring the dynamics of classic and modern texts. Particular attention is paid to identifying A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M and playing the given circumstances in a range of realistic plays (e.g., O’Neill, Williams, Chekhov). Shakespeare is also introduced. By the end of the first year, student actors possess a strong, flexible foundation for their artistic journey, and are equipped with skills to interpret—and tools to devise—a variety of work. expression (primarily classical and verse plays). C O U R S E S Acting (scene study in Shakespeare, Shaw, Wilde), voice, speech (including dialects), singing, text analysis, and movement (Alexander Technique, mask, and dance), as well as special workshops in stage combat, new play development, and citizen artist training. in our popular Will on Wheels production, a Shakespeare play that tours to Bay Area schools and community centers in March. They also join actors from all years of the program in the performance of modern plays or classics in the spring at The Costume Shop or The Rueff at The Strand Theater. P E R F O R M A N C E S First-semester work includes P R O G R E S S With an increased emphasis on the performance of a created movement project under the direction of a choreographer and the performance of a one-act play. At the end of the second semester, first-year actors perform alongside second- and third-year actors in modern plays or classics—allowing them to apply the first year’s practical studies. collaboration in rehearsal and performance, student actors expand their technical skills and their capacity to transform and collaborate as they work with a variety of directors in the production of classical plays by such writers as Shakespeare, Molière, Goldoni, and others. Through their engagement with poetic texts, nonrealistic theater, and their own devised work, they gain confidence in a range of performance styles and rehearsal processes. Students perform for public audiences in a wide variety of spaces, putting their flexibility, collaboration, and professionalism to the test. C R E D I T S 703 A&B Acting II 5.0 credits; 713 A&B Physical Theater II 5.0 credits; 723 A&B Voice & Dialects II 7.0 credits; 743 A&B Theatrical Imagination II 1.5 credits; 753 A&B Rehearsal & Performance II 23 credits; 773 B Citizen Artist .05 credit; 42 credits total C R E D I T S 603 A&B Acting 5.5 credits; 613 A&B Physical Theater I 6.5 credits; 623 A&B Voice & Dialects I 9 credits; 643 A&B Theatrical Imagination I 3.5 credits; 653 A&B Rehearsal & Performance I 20 credits; 673 B Citizen Artist .05 credit; 45 credits total SECOND Y EA R The second year focuses primarily on truth and size in acting, with particular emphasis on the demands of dramatic texts with elevated language and heightened emotional and physical P E R F O R M A N C E S Second-year performances include classical plays that demand sustained and explosive emotion; plays or projects that demand physically based characterization; verse dramas that demand mental agility, rhetorical dexterity, and imagination; and a musical cabaret. Second-year actors perform THIRD YEAR During the final year, students transition toward the professional realm as they synthesize skills, performing on A.C.T.’s Geary and Strand stages and in school productions while continuing to stretch themselves through intensive classroom work. C O U R S E S Master classes in acting, clown, and on-camera work; tutorials in voice, speech, and movement, and special workshops on such topics as audition techniques and the business of acting augment the cycle of rehearsal and performance. Interested students may participate in additional citizen artist opportunities. 13 P R O G R E S S From the performance of devised pieces to the mastery of the A.C.T. mainstage in A Christmas Carol, student actors complete their third year having gained professional experience on an A.C.T. stage and possessing a wealth of resources that will help launch their careers, including their Actors’ Equity Association membership. They are transparent, versatile performers—at home with a wide range of contemporary and classical material, in theatrical spaces vast and intimate, and with audiences large and small. Toward the end of the third year, the entire class is presented in a showcase for professional theater and film directors, agents, and casting directors in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. P E R F O R M A N C E S Student actors perform on the A.C.T. mainstage in A Christmas Carol—and may be cast in a role or as an understudy in another professional production. In addition, third-year actors perform in The Garret at The Geary Theater and join fellow M.F.A. Program actors in productions at The Costume Shop or The Rueff at The Strand Theater. C R E D I T S 8803 A&B Acting III 4.5 credits; 813 A&B Physical Theater III 1.5 credits; 823 A&B Voice & Dialects III 0.5 credits; 890 A&B Rehearsal & Performance III 33 credits; 873 B (Optional) Citizen Artist flexible credit; minimum 38 credits PERFORMANCE OPPORT UNI T IES N E W W O R K M.F.A. Program actors are frequently cast in readings and workshops of new plays, giving student actors a chance to become involved in the play development process at every level and to work with acclaimed actors, directors, and playwrights in an intimate workshop environment. Recent projects have included new works by Ping Chong, David Greenspan, Christina Anderson, Itamar Moses, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Steve Yockey, Katie Pearl, Lisa D’Amour, and Philip Kan Gotanda, with the participation of such guest artists as Anne Kaufman, Eric Ting, Steven Anthony Jones, and Brian Kulick. O N T H E M A I N S T A G E Every year the third-year class auditions for leading and ensemble roles in A.C.T.’s mainstage productions. In addition to the Bay Area favorite A Christmas Carol, M.F.A. Program actors have appeared in recent A.C.T. productions of Indian Ink, directed by Carey Perloff; Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, directed by Mark Rucker; A Little Night Music, directed by Mark Lamos; Love and Information, directed by Casey Stangl; The Orphan of Zhao, directed by Carey Perloff; Napoli!, directed by Mark Rucker; 1776, directed by Frank Galati; Arcadia, directed by Carey Perloff; the world premiere comedy Dead Josie Alvarez (second from left) and Ryan Williams French (third from left), class of ‘15, with the cast of A Christmas Carol on the A.C.T. mainstage Metaphor, directed by Irene Lewis; Sophocles’ Elektra, directed by Carey Perloff; Once in a Lifetime, directed by Mark Rucker; the world premiere musical Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, directed by Jason Moore; Scapin, directed by Bill Irwin; Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, directed by Mark Rucker; The Tosca Project, cocreated by Carey Perloff and Val Caniparoli; The Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by John Doyle; and Rock ’n’ Roll, ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, and The Government Inspector, directed by Carey Perloff. THIS PAGE (L TO R) Thomas Stagnitta (left) and Matthew Baldiga, class of ‘16, in Crazy for the Country; the cast of A Christmas Carol (photo by Kevin Berne). NEXT PAGE Kemiyondo Coutinho and Rafael Jordan, class of ‘15, in The Glass Menagerie. All photos by Alessandra Mello, unless otherwise noted. T H E S K Y F E S T I V A L This dynamic event brings together the A.C.T. community in the creation, rehearsal, and performance of a vibrant and eclectic range of work. Each year students, faculty, and artistic staff submit proposals for projects they are personally passionate about, offering participants an opportunity to approach work from multiple angles, from directing to devising to performing. Ranging from self-written work to movement-based interpretations of printed texts and conventional explorations of “straight plays,” the chosen projects (11 in 2014) are developed over three weeks of intense rehearsal and exploration, culminating in a festival of in-house presentations. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 2 0 14 –1 5 M . F. A . P R O G R A M P R O D U C T I O N S September 11–13 | Third-year M.F.A. Cabaret D I S ·T I L · L A ·T I O N : A M U S I C A L R E V U E Songs of personal history and discovery drawn from various musical genres Directed by Cindy Goldfield Music direction by Robert Rutt Performed in The Garret October 16 –November 1 | Second- and third-year actors FALL REPS HAMLET by William Shakespeare Directed by Nancy Benjamin Performed at The Costume Shop THE CHERRY ORCHARD by Anton Chekhov Directed by Mark Rucker Performed at The Costume Shop November 6–8 | First-year actors CR E AT ED MOV EMEN T PROJEC T Directed by Lisa Townsend Performed at The Costume Shop December 6–28 | Third-year actors, associate artists, Young Conservatory A CHRISTMAS CAROL By Charles Dickens Directed by Domenique Lozano Performed on the A.C.T. mainstage December 10–13 | Second-year actors A MUSICAL REVUE SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM Directed by Nick Gabriel Music direction by Robert Rutt Performed in The Garret January 2014 M .F. A . MON TH AT THE GE A RY M . F. A . VA R I E T Y Performed in The Garret February 25–28 | Third-year actors W IN T ER PL AY THE GLASS MENAGERIE Directed by Ryan Purcell Performed at The Costume Shop May 7–16 | First- , second-, and third-year actors SPRING REPS CR AZY FOR THE COUNTRY An adaptation of the Villeggiatura comedies by Carlo Goldoni Directed by Stephen Buescher Performed at The Costume Shop THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder Directed by Domenique Lozano Performed at The Costume Shop I N-HOUSE PR E SE N TAT IONS (By Invitation Only) Tour weeks of March 2, March 9, March 16 | Second-year actors WILL ON WHEELS TOUR A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare Directed by Giles Havergal December 11–13 | First-year actors SM ALL CR AF T WAR NINGS by Tennessee Williams Directed by Jeff Crockett In-house performances in the 30 Grant Studios March 20 in The Costume Shop | March 23 in Los Angeles March 30 in New York City | Third-year actors GR A DUAT E SHOWC A SE Directed by Domenique Lozano Week of January 19 | First- , second-, and third-year actors, associate artists, M.F.A. faculty S K Y F E S T I VA L A festival of work proposed and generated by M.F.A. faculty, M.F.A. actors, and A.C.T. artists In-house performances in the 30 Grant Studios Week of March 16 | First-year actors SHAKESPEARE WORKSHOP Directed by Lisa Porter In-house performances in the 30 Grant Studios March–April | Third-year actors SOLO R ECITAL S In-house performances in the 30 Grant Studios 15 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M THE FACULT Y CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT (L TO R) Stephen Buescher with Alex Crowther, class of ’12, in clown class; Aaron Moreland, class of ‘14, with Jeffrey Crockett; Conservatory Director Melissa Smith in class; Carey Perloff during The Strand Theater opening week events (photo by Karen Goldman/Orange Photography). All photos by Kevin Berne, unless otherwise noted. 16 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 17 DIR EC TOR S These faculty members provide the essential instruction for the M.F.A. Program in Acting during the school year. In addition, adjunct faculty members teach courses within their areas of specialty. Guest artists, A.C.T. artistic staff, and other theater professionals are often engaged on a short-term basis for master classes, seminars, and workshops. Core faculty members are on staff throughout the school year to provide ongoing instruction in their disciplines; A.C.T.’s associate artists divide their time between A.C.T.’s mainstage productions and teaching in the M.F.A. Program. “By helping me recognize my old habits and offering practical tools to transcend them, the training at A.C.T. has guided me toward becoming an autonomous, multidimensional, unique artist who is confident in her own creative voice.” E M I LY B R O W N , class of ’17 THIS PAGE Carey Perloff (photo by Kevin Berne). NEXT PAGE (L TO R) Nancy Benjamin; Ryan Williams French, class of ’15, with Michael Paller (photo by Brenden Mendoza). M E L I S S A S M I T H (Conservatory Director, Head of Acting) has served as conservatory director and head of acting in the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program since 1995. During that time, she has overseen the expansion of the M.F.A. Program from a two- to a three-year course of study and the further integration of the M.F.A. Program faculty and student body with A.C.T.’s artistic wing. A primary acting teacher in the M.F.A. Program, she has also taught for the A.C.T. Summer Training Congress (STC) and Studio A.C.T. Prior to assuming leadership of the A.C.T. Conservatory, Smith was the director of the Program in Theater and Dance at Princeton University, where she taught introductory, intermediate, and advanced acting. She has taught acting classes to students of all ages in various colleges, high schools, and studios around the continental United States, at the Mid Pacific Institute in Hawaii, NYU’s La Pietra campus in Florence, and the Teatro di Pisa in San Miniato, Italy. She is featured in Acting Teachers of America: A Vital Tradition. Also a professional actor, she has performed regionally at the Hangar Theatre, A.C.T., California Shakespeare Theater, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre; in New York at Primary Stages and Soho Rep; and in England at the Barbican Theatre in London and Birmingham Rep in Birmingham. Smith holds a B.A. from Yale College and an M.F.A. in acting from Yale School of Drama. C A R E Y P E R L O F F (A.C.T. Artistic Director) recently celebrated her 23rd year as artistic director of A.C.T., where she most recently directed Monstress, Testament, Indian Ink (in association with Roundabout Theatre Company), Underneath the Lintel, Arcadia, Elektra (co-produced by the Getty Villa in Malibu), Endgame and Play, Scorched, The Homecoming, and Tosca Café (co-created with choreographer Val Caniparoli; toured Canada), and Racine’s Phèdre in a coproduction with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Known for directing innovative productions of classics and championing new writing for the theater, Perloff has also directed for A.C.T. the American premieres of Stoppard’s The Invention of Love and Indian Ink and Harold Pinter’s Celebration; world premieres of A.C.T.– commissioned translations/adaptations of Phèdre, Hecuba, The Misanthrope, Enrico IV, Mary Stuart, Uncle Vanya, A Mother, and The Voysey Inheritance; major revivals of numerous classic plays; and premieres of several new works, including her own play The Colossus of Rhodes. Perloff is also the author of Kinship, Luminescence Dating, Waiting for the Flood, and Higher, which won the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award and received its world premiere in February 2012 in San Francisco. Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was artistic director of Classic Stage Company, which won a 1988 OBIE Award for artistic excellence under her leadership. A recipient of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2007 Artistic Achievement Award, Perloff graduated from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford. She was on the faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University for seven years. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 18 THE FACULTY CONTINUED H E A D FA C U LT Y NANCY BENJAMIN (Co-Head of Voice and Dialects) divides her time between A.C.T. and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, where she has been a voice, text, and dialect coach since 2000. She was a resident voice, text, and dialect director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland for seven seasons. Benjamin has taught and coached productions for numerous theaters and training programs throughout the United States and Canada, and at the National Theatre School and Theatre ZaKeum in Zagreb, Croatia. She was head of voice for the actor training program at Illinois State University (1992–95). Benjamin holds an M.F.A. in directing from Illinois State University and an advanced diploma in voice studies from Central School of Speech and Drama (London). S T E P H E N B U E S C H E R (Head of Movement and Physical Theater) is an actor, director, and teacher who has taught physical theater in various master’s programs, including Brown University/Trinity Rep Consortium, Yale School of Drama, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has choreographed and coached movement for various theaters, including A.C.T., Trinity Rep, Long Wharf Theatre, and The Providence Black Repertory Company. Buescher has performed nationally and internationally with the Dell’Arte Company and is a cofounder of Workhorse, an ensemblebased company. He is a recipient of TCG’s New Generations Program grant and has served on the board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and Trash Mash-Up. He is a graduate of The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and California Institute of the Arts. J E F F R E Y C R O C K E T T (Head of Voice) has been the primary voice teacher in the M.F.A. Program since 1995. Other teaching includes: Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica “Silvio D’Amico” (Rome); Prima del Teatro, San Miniato, Italy; Chautauqua Theater Company; Classic Stage Company; DePaul University; California State University, Fullerton; Stanford University; and the Esalen Institute. He was resident voice coach at the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis (1990–92) and has also coached at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Mixed Blood, Theatre Manoeuvres (London), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Word for Word, and Shotgun Players. He earned an advanced diploma in voice studies with distinction from Central School of Speech and Drama (London) and is a certified Alexander Technique teacher and practitioner of Middendorf Breathwork. He has a private practice in San Francisco and Rome. M I C H A E L P A L L E R (Dramaturg) joined A.C.T. as resident dramaturg and director of humanities in August 2005. He began his professional career as literary manager at Center Repertory Theatre (Cleveland), then worked as a play reader and script consultant for Manhattan Theatre Club, and has since been a dramaturg for George Street Playhouse, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, and others. He dramaturged the Russian premiere of Tennessee Williams’s Small Craft Warnings at the Sovremennik Theater in Moscow. Paller is the author of Gentlemen Callers: Tennessee Williams, Homosexuality, and Mid-Twentieth-Century Drama (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and Williams in an Hour (Smith & Kraus 2010); he has also written theater and book reviews for the Washington Post, Village Voice, Newsday, and Mirabella magazine. He recently adapted the text for the San Francisco Symphony’s multimedia presentation of Peer Gynt. Before his arrival at A.C.T., he taught at Columbia University and the State University of New York at Purchase. Since then, he’s dramaturged over 50 productions and workshops. L I S A A N N E P O R T E R (Co-Head of Voice and Dialects) has served on the faculties of UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Shakespeare & Company, The Tepper Center (New York City), Naropa University, A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 19 THE FACULTY CONTINUED California Shakespeare Theater, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She was associate professor of voice/acting/text in the B.F.A. program at Syracuse University (2001–06), where in her first year teaching, she was awarded the Most Inspirational Faculty Award. She has coached voice and dialect in more than 60 productions nationwide. As a professional actor, she has performed with numerous repertory companies and Shakespeare festivals throughout the country. Porter has an M.F.A. in acting from A.C.T., a B.A. in theater and American studies from Wesleyan University, and is certified in Linklater voice training. R ESIDENT A RTISTS DOMENIQUE LOZANO is a resident artist with A.C.T., where she directs the main stage production of A Christmas Carol, as well as being a core faculty member in the M.F.A. Program, and a teacher in the Young Conservatory and Studio A.C.T. Programs. Projects with the M.F.A. include Sueño, Happy to Stand, Saved, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Richard III; the Will on Wheels touring productions of Twelfth Night, Othello, and The Comedy of Errors; and nine graduate showcases. Recent YC projects include Jodie Marshall’s A Stone’s Throw, with the Aberdeen International Youth Festival and the world premieres of Staying Wild, Homefront, and Korczak’s Children. She also wrote a new translation of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which premiered at A.C.T. in 2010. Acting credits include work with California Shakespeare Theater (artistic associate), A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. C R A I G S L A I G H T (Young Conservatory Director) joined A.C.T. in 1988 and has since taught in all of the conservatory programs and served as a resident director on the A.C.T. mainstage and as a member of the artistic team. Slaight began the Young Conservatory’s New Plays Program in 1989 with the mission to develop plays by outstanding professional playwrights who view the world through the eyes of the young. This program was expanded in 2008 to include the development of new work featuring both young actors and M.F.A. Program actors in coproductions. To date, more than 35 new plays by leading American and British playwrights have been developed and produced. Before coming to A.C.T., Slaight was an awardwinning professional director in Los Angeles. N I C K G A B R I E L (Studio A.C.T. Director) is a Sadler Award–winning graduate of the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program. He is Resident Artist at A.C.T., where he has appeared in Scorched, Endgame (opposite Bill Irwin), Arcadia, Good Breeding, Napoli!, The Orphan of Zhao, and Once in a Lifetime. He has also played principal roles in major productions at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Capital Repertory Theatre, Brooklyn Lyceum, California Shakespeare Theater, New York’s Town Hall, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), South Coast Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, La Jolla Playhouse, and elsewhere. Gabriel is the Director of Studio A.C.T. and serves on the faculties of the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts program, San Francisco Semester, Summer Training Congress, Young Conservatory, and ACTsmart education and outreach program. He received his undergraduate degree in musical theater from the University of Michigan and is a Ten Chimneys Foundation Lunt-Fontanne Fellow. A N T H O N Y F U S C O has appeared at A.C.T. in Dead Metaphor, Elektra, Play, Race, The Homecoming, Clybourne Park, Round and Round the Garden, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, November, Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo, War Music, Rock ‘n’ Roll, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Government Inspector, The Rainmaker, The Imaginary Invalid, Hedda Gabler, Travesties, The Rivals, The Voysey Inheritance, The Gamester, A Mother, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Three Sisters, Night and Day, The Room and Celebration, Enrico IV, The Misanthrope, Edward II, and A Christmas Carol. Other Bay Area credits include leading roles in Blithe Spirit, Candida, King Lear, The Tempest, The Importance of Being Earnest, Arms and the Man, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Skin of Our Teeth for California Shakespeare Theater; My Old Lady at Marin Theatre Company; and Traveling Jewish Theatre’s production of The Chosen. On Broadway, he was in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing (with Caroline Lagerfelt) and The Real Inspector Hound. Fusco’s many off-Broadway credits include The Holy Terror, Cantorial, Danton’s Death, and A Life in the Theatre. He trained at Juilliard and The Barrow Group School. THE FACULTY CONTINUED A S S O C I AT E FA C U LT Y K A R I P R I N D L (Alexander Technique) grew up around the world before graduating from Oberlin College with a degree in English with a concentration in theater. At Oberlin, she also took cello lessons at the conservatory and was extensively involved with the dance department. After college, she moved to San Francisco and trained with Frank Ottiwell at the Alexander Training Institute of San Francisco. Since her certification in 1992, Prindl has maintained a private practice in San Francisco and has taught at various institutions across the country, including San Francisco State University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Community Music Center, and Henderson State University in Arkansas, as well as in A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory, Summer Training Congress, and M.F.A. Program. E L Y S E S H A F A R M A N (Alexander Technique) holds a B.A. in Dance, an M.A. in Physiological Psychology, and Alexander Technique teacher certification from Frank Ottiwell. She is also on the faculty of the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and maintains a private Alexander Technique practice in San Francisco and Berkeley. Her approach to teaching is influenced by her keen interest in the mind-body connection for both artistic expression and health. Ms. Shafarman is currently completing a 200-hour level certification to teach Vinyasa Yoga and blogs frequently about Alexander Technique, Argentine Tango, and psychophysiology. JACK F. SHARRAR (Director of Academic Affairs/ Theater History/Accreditation Liaison Officer) received A.C.T.’s Managing Director’s Award. He has served as a theater panelist for the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts and is a member of Actors’ Equity and the Screen Actors Guild. His credits include roles at Michigan Repertory Theater, Mountainside Theater, the BoarsHead Theatre, Theatre 40, Pioneer Theatre Company, A.C.T. (studio), numerous media roles, and direction of more than 50 plays and musicals. He is author of Avery Hopwood: His Life and Plays (UMI); editor of Avery Hopwood’s unpublished novel, The Great Bordello: A Story of the Theatre (Mondial); contributor to the American National Biography (Oxford) and The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Heritage (UMI); coeditor (with Craig Slaight) of numerous scene and monologue books for young actors (Smith & Kraus); adapter of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Debutante, Hopwood’s Fair and Warmer (Playscripts); and author of an original play, Up in Avery’s Room (Theatre Rhinoceros). His Better Angels, from the Civil War writings of Louisa May Alcott and Walt Whitman, was performed in A.C.T.’s Sky Festival. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a Ph.D. in theater history and dramatic literature from the University of Utah. THIS PAGE FROM TOP Anthony Fusco in the studio (photo by Kevin Berne); Associate Artist Nick Gabriel, class of ’10, in class with students from San Francisco’s Downtown High School; Domenique Lozano working with students (photo by Kevin Berne). All photos by Alessandra Mello, unless otherwise indicated. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 21 A . C .T.’ S Elizabeth Banks, class of ’96 Denzel Washington and Anika Noni Rose SHINING STARS PR O M I N E N T A .C .T. A L U M N I Celebrated alumni of A.C.T.’s training programs include Elizabeth Banks, Annette Bening, Carlos Bernard, Benjamin Bratt, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Fitzgerald, Danny Glover, Harry Hamlin, Teri Hatcher, Amy Irving, Delroy Lindo, Camryn Manheim, Omar Metwally, Anika Noni Rose, Winona Ryder, Anna Deavere Smith, Milo Ventimiglia, Denzel Washington, and Sharr White. A.C.T. has also trained such rising talents as Heidi Armbruster (Time Stands Still on Broadway), Steven W. Bailey (Grey’s Anatomy), Daniel Beaty (Emergence-SEE! at The Public Theater), Anna Belknap (CSI: NY), Neil Hopkins (Lost, Big Love), Darren Criss (Glee and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway), Christopher Fitzgerald (Wicked and Young Frankenstein on Broadway), and Morgan Spector (A View from the Bridge on Broadway and the national tour of The Lion King). A.C.T. is a vital talent resource for professional theaters, theatrical agents, and film and television casting directors—and A.C.T. graduates grace stages and screens all over the world. Current M.F.A. Program actors also connect with and learn from alumni through A.C.T.’s annual alumni events in New York and Los Angeles. Recent acting, writing, and directing credits of A.C.T. alumni include work on these productions and with these companies: T H E A T E R The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (national tour) • The 39 Steps (Broadway and national tour) • Actors Theatre of Louisville • The Ahmanson Theatre • American Conservatory Theater • Antaeus Theatre • Arena Stage • Arizona Theatre Company • Artists Repertory Theatre • Asian American Theater Asolo Repertory Theater • Atlantic Theatre Company • Aurora Theatre Company • B Street Theatre • Barrington Stage Company • Bay Street Theatre • Berkeley Repertory Theatre • Berkshire Theater Festival • California Shakespeare Theater • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Broadway) • Center REPetory Company • Chautauqua Theater Company • Chicago Muse Theater • Chinglish (Broadway) • City Theater • The Classical Theatre of Harlem • Cyrano de Bergerac (Broadway) Dallas Theater Center • Delaware Theatre Company • Denver Center for the Performing Arts Disney’s The Lion King (national tour) • East West Players • Emergence-SEE! (tour and off-Broadway) Ensemble Studio Theater • Eugene O’Neill Theater Center • The Farnsworth Invention (Broadway) Fences (Broadway) • Finian’s Rainbow (Broadway) Frost/Nixon (Broadway and national tour) • Geffen Playhouse • Godspell (Broadway) • Goodman Theatre • The Guthrie Theater • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway) Humana Festival of New American Plays Huntington Theatre Company • Indiana Repertory Theatre • Jersey Boys (Broadway) • Killing My Lobster • La Jolla Playhouse • Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Broadway) • Lincoln Center • The Little Dog Laughed (Broadway) • Magic Theater Malibu Stage Company • Mamma Mia! (Broadway) Manhattan Theatre Club • Marin Theatre Company The Merchant of Venice (Broadway) • Mint Theater Company • MUSE Theater Company • New York City Center • Encores! • A Noise Within North Coast Repertory Theater • The Old Globe Oregon Shakespeare Festival • The Other Place (Broadway) • Pacific Repertory Theatre • Paper Mill Playhouse • Passing Strange (Broadway) Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival • PS 122 • The Public Theater • Roundabout Theatre Company The Royal Family (Broadway) • Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon) • Russian Transport (Off Broadway) • Sacramento Theatre Company • San Francisco Shakespeare Festival San Jose Repertory Theatre • Seattle Repertory Theatre • Shakespeare Santa Cruz • Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.) • Shotgun Players • Shrek the Musical (Broadway) • The Snow Geese (Broadway) • SOUL PROductions (New York/ student-founded) • South Coast Repertory Theatre A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M Stratford Shakespeare Festival • Sundance Director’s Lab • Target Marin Theater • Theatre for a New Audience • A View from the Bridge (Broadway) • War Horse (Broadway and national tour) • West Side Story (Broadway) • Williamstown Theatre Festival • Wilma Theatre Yale Repertory Theatre • Young Frankenstein (Broadway) F I L M 14 Women • Across the Universe American Gangster • Avatar • The City of Your Final Destination Dirty Tricks • Drag Me to Hell Dreamgirls • Fred Claus • The Hunger Games Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull • In the Electric Mist Inception • Invincible • The Kids Are All Right • La Mission • The Last Airbender • Love in the Time of Cholera • Man on a Ledge • Michael Clayton Munich • Neal Cassady • The Next Three Days • Our Idiot Brother Padre Nuestro (2007 Sundance Grand Jury Prize) People Like Us • Poor Things • The Princess and the Frog • Rendition • Righteous Kill Running with Scissors • SALT • Spider-Man 3 • Star Trek • The Tempest (directed by Julie Taymor) • Twilight: Breaking Dawn • The Uninvited • Viva Los Bastarditos! (New York International Film Festival) W • What to Expect When You’re Expecting • Zack and Miri Make a Porno PREVIOUS PAGE (FROM TOP) Elizabeth Banks, class of ’96, The Hunger Games (photo courtesy Lionsgate); Denzel Washington and Anika Noni Rose, class of ‘98, in A Raisin in the Sun (photo by Bridgette Lacombe). THIS PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) Annette Bening, class of ’82,in King Lear (photo by Joan Marcus); Christina Elmore, class of ‘12, with a shipmate in The Last Ship (photo courtesy TNT); Lateefah Holder, class of ‘14, in Getting On (photo courtesy HBO); Jacob Ming-Trent, class of ‘03, in Father Comes Home from the Wars (photo by Evgenia Eliseeva/A.R.T.); Morgan Spector, class of ‘06, in Russian Transport (photo by Monique Carboni). NEXT PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) Rebekah Brockman (left), class of ’13, with Michael Patrick Thornton in Our Town at Actors Theater of Louisville (photo by Bill Brymer); Heidi Armbruster, class of ’02, with Aasif Mandvi in Disgraced (photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times); Alex Morf (left), class of ‘08, with Ron Cephas Jones in Broadway’s Of Mice and Men (photo by Bruce Glikas/Broadway.com ); Darby Stanchfield, class of ’98, in Scandal (photo by Danny Feld/ABC); Christopher Fitzgerald (left), class of ‘97, with Jim Parsons in An Act of God (photo by Jeremy Daniel/Polk & Company via AP). Annette Bening, class of ’82 22 Christina Elmore, class of ’12 Lateefah Holder, class of ’14 Morgan Spector, class of ’06 Jacob Ming-Trent (center), class of ’03 T E L E V I S I O N 2 Broke Girls • 12 Miles of Bad Road • 24 • 30 Rock • American Dad! • As the World Turns • The Big C • Breakout Kings • Brothers & Sisters • The Cleaner • Close to Home • Cash Criminal Minds CSI: Crime Scene Investigation • CSI: Miami • CSI: NY • Desperate Housewives • Dexter Dirty Sexy Money • Family Guy • Fringe • Getting On Ghost Whisperer • The Good Wife • Gossip Girl Grey’s Anatomy • Grimm Guiding Light • Hannah Montana • Hawaii Five-O • Heroes • Jericho Kidnapped • The King of Queens • Law & Order Law & Order: Criminal Intent • Law & Order: SVU Lie to Me • Lost • Mad Men • Medium • The Mentalist • Modern Family • My Name is Earl • Nip/ Tuck • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency • Nurse Jackie • Person of Interest • Private Practice • Rescue Me • Scrubs • Shark • The Starter Wife • Three Rivers Trauma • True Blood • The Unit • Veronica Mars Heidi Armbruster (left), class of ’02 Rebekah Brockman (left), class of ’13 Alex Morf (left), class of ’08 Christopher Fitzgerald (left), class of ’97 Darby Stanchfield, class of ’98 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M PROGR A M 24 ADMISSION APPL IC AT ION DE ADLINE JA N UA R Y 8, 2 016 F INANCI AL A ID DE ADLINE F E BRUA R Y 11 , 2 016 E NROL L ME N T I N T H E M . F. A . P R O G R A M is by audition and interview only. Applicants must be high school graduates or equivalent. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university are eligible to receive a master of fine arts degree in acting upon successful completion of the three years of training. Applicants who do not hold an accredited bachelor’s degree receive a certificate in acting upon successful completion of the three years of training. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP (L TO R) The class of ‘17 performing during M.F.A. Variety (photo by Ryan Montgomery); Blair Busbee, class of ‘14, with Matthew Baldiga, class of ‘16, in Teach for America; Dominique Salerno, class of ‘15, in dis• til• la• tion. All photos by Alessandra Mello, unless otherwise noted. For the class of 2018, approximately 12 students will be selected. Approximately 90% of admitted first-year students receive some form of financial aid. A U D I T I O N S A.C.T. holds auditions for the M.F.A. Program each year during January and February. Auditions are held in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Final callback auditions for qualified applicants are subsequently held in San Francisco, with transportation and accommodation for callbacks provided by A.C.T. AU DI T ION DAT E S New York City Jan 29–31, 2016 San Francisco Feb 6, 2016 (Bay Area residents) Chicago Feb 9–10, 2016 San Francisco Feb 13–14, 2016 (non–Bay Area residents) Callbacks in San Francisco Feb 26–29, 2016 Applicants must prepare two audition selections that provide a contrast in mood and tone (one from a classical verse play and one from a contemporary play). Sonnets, poems, songs, and other nondramatic materials are not acceptable. Please limit selections to a total of four minutes to allow time for an interview. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M MASTER OF FINE ARTS DEGREE R E Q U I R E M E N T S The master of fine arts in acting degree may be conferred upon a student who holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and who successfully completes the three consecutive years of training. C ER T I F IC AT E OF AC T I NG R E Q U I R E M E N T S The certificate in acting is awarded to students who do not hold a degree from an accredited college, but who successfully complete the three-year M.F.A. Program. Applicants for the certificate in acting must have graduated from high school prior to September 1, 2012. The admission requirements and training for the certificate are identical to those for the M.F.A. degree. A student who receives a bachelor’s degree after being awarded the certificate in acting may have the certificate converted into an M.F.A. degree upon submission of a certified transcript from the accredited institution awarding the baccalaureate. For gainful employment details about the certificate program, please visit the M.F.A. Program’s “General Information” and “Student Right to Know”pages at act-sf.org/conservatory. A PPL IC AT ION PROC EDU R E S All applicants must submit: A completed application form (download the application forms online at act-sf.org/mfa A nonrefundable, nonwaivable application fee in the form of a cashier’s check or money order payable to American Conservatory Theater in the amount of $90 A current résumé listing previous theater training and experience One head-and-shoulder, full-face photograph (8" x 10" is best, but a 5" x 7" snapshot is acceptable) Two current confidential letters of recommendation, which may either accompany the application or be submitted separately Official transcripts of all college work if the applicant has attended college, or proof of high school graduation or equivalent if the applicant has not attended college An essay (no longer than one typewritten page) describing why the applicant is pursuing a career in theater Upon receipt of the above materials, the applicant will be mailed an acknowledgment from the office of academic affairs. The applicant will be notified at the first opportunity of his or her audition date, time, and place. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all application materials in one packet, if possible. R E A PPL IC AT ION PROC EDU R E S Students who applied to A.C.T. last year but were not offered admission or who declined an offer of admission must submit a new application form with the application fee, an updated résumé, and one current letter of recommendation. Admission files are maintained for one year, and materials originally submitted will be reactivated upon reapplication. Another audition and interview will be required. Students who applied more than one year ago must submit all new materials. A student who withdraws or is dismissed must audition again for readmission. Readmission may occur only at the beginning of the school year. T U I T I O N A N D F E E S * Tuition for the 2015–16 school year is $26,750. Each Master of Fine Arts Program student who matriculates during or after fall 2015 will be cast in one (1) A.C.T. professional production in his or her third year of the program, either onstage or as an understudy, for which he or she will receive compensation in accordance with the theneffective contract between A.C.T. and Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). Such compensation does not include AEA initiation fees or dues, for which the student will be solely and individually responsible. In addition, students may also be cast under A.C.T.’s concession agreement with AEA, for which there is no monetary compensation. Students are responsible for full tuition for each of their three years. Tuition 25 and fees are due and payable at the beginning of each semester. A $40 fee will be assessed for late payment. Deferred payment plans may be arranged at A.C.T.’s discretion. Students are required to return a deposit of $500, applicable to tuition, with the letter of acceptance. Fees are as follows: first year: a Cultural Landscape course fee of $300 is collected for tickets to Bay Area arts programs, and a Stage Makeup course fee of $155 is collected for materials. A $25 library fee is collected from all students each semester of each school year. *T he costs of tuition and fees are established annually and are subject to change. A F I N A L W O R D The work undertaken in the M.F.A. Program is intense. It is designed to stretch students emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Students who are thinking about applying for the program should consider their preparedness before making a commitment. The curriculum includes a wide range of physical activity, and students are expected to enroll in the program in good health. Each entering student is required to have had a complete medical checkup prior to admission and must submit a recent certificate of good health from his or her physician when returning the enrollment agreement. VISIT ACT-SF.ORG/MFA FO R A L L A PPL I C AT I O N M AT E R I A L S A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 26 SUMMER TRAINING CONGR ESS “The STC is an opportunity for actors who want to deepen their knowledge and technique at one of the best acting schools in the country, and also for those who want to experience a taste of what a graduate program in acting might be like.” O M A R M E T W A L LY, STC and M.F.A. Program alumnus and Tony Award–nominated actor (Sixteen Wounded, Rendition, Munich, Amsterdam, and Twilight: Breaking Dawn) THIS PAGE (FROM LEFT) Students in class; Omar Metwally, class of ’97 (photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters). NEXT PAGE (FROM TOP) STC Director Chris Herold teaching a class; student in class. All photos by Ryan Montgomery, unless otherwise indicated. Omar Metwally, class of ’97 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M 27 T H E A .C .T. S U M M E R T R A I N I N G C O N G R E S S (STC) This competitive program offers intensive professional actor training to students age 19 and older with some prior theater training or experience. Every year the STC attracts hundreds of applicants from throughout the United States and various foreign countries. The STC offers both intermediate actors and moreseasoned performers an opportunity to take their training to the next level; many STC students later pursue graduate degree programs in acting or begin their professional careers. play for the five-week session or from a classical piece for the two-week intensive. Sonnets, poems, and other nondramatic materials are not acceptable. Please limit selection to no more than two minutes. Each summer the STC curriculum includes a five-week session, focusing on contemporary acting, and a two-week Shakespeare intensive. The two sessions may be attended together or separately. STC sessions generally take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and culminate in class presentations for fellow students, faculty, and staff. The STC teaching staff consists of members of our regular conservatory faculty and core acting company, as well as distinguished guests. All instructors are theater professionals. C R E D I T S 5-Week Curriculum: 303 Acting Technique 3.0 credits; 313 Movement 1.0 credit; 323 Voice and Speech Dynamics 1.0 credit; 5.0 credits total. 2-Week Curriculum: 373 Classical Acting 2.0 credits; 2.0 credits total. P L A C E M E N T I N T E R V I E W S Interviews are held during registration week in order to place each student in an appropriate “company” of classmates. Applicants who are accepted must prepare one monologue from a contemporary C U R R I C U L U M Upon satisfactory completion of the STC, students receive undergraduate credit. To receive full credit, students must complete the entire curriculum of their chosen session, including the final presentation. Go to act-sf.org/stc for complete course listings. F E E S $2,750 for the 5-week session; $1,150 for the two-week Shakespeare intensive; and both sessions for $3,250. H O W T O A P P L Y Applications for the Summer 2015 session are due May 20, 2016. Students who are applying for scholarships must complete their admission and scholarship applications by April 15, 2016. Please visit www.act-sf.org/0 stc for complete application information and deadlines. A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M THE SAN FRANCISCO SEMESTER A PROFE SSIONA L T HE AT ER E X P E R I E N C E A T A . C .T. Are you ready for an artistic, intellectual, and personal transformation? Embark on a study away program at one of the country’s most acclaimed professional theater companies—in the heart of one of the world’s most culturally vibrant and diverse cities. 28 A C T - S F. O R G /M F A | M A S T E R O F F I N E A R T S P R O G R A M THE SAN FR ANCISCO SEMESTER Grounded in a rich academic curriculum, this dynamic program brings young theater artists into an active, ongoing engagement with the eclectic and energetic arts community of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Surrounded by some of the most creative and ambitious theater students in the country, you’ll expand your understanding of performance as you define yourself as an artist. In the classroom and at venues across the Bay Area, you’ll explore theater from a multitude of angles— from the page to the stage, as viewer and performer, across a variety of artistic genres. Through inspiring, experiential courses and wide-ranging artistic encounters, the San Francisco Semester will pull you into thrilling conversations about theater as an ever-evolving art form. Study in a professional setting while coming face to face with some of the boldest productions anywhere. From theater, opera, dance, and symphony performances, to museum and music club outings, you’ll view and discuss a broad spectrum of cultural experiences. By the end of the semester, you’ll know San Francisco like a local insider—not a tourist. As you immerse yourself in one of the country’s most thrilling cultural centers, you’ll expand your understanding of what theater can be. Students will also have opportunities to interact with Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program actors while watching performances at A.C.T. and across San Francisco, observing rehearsals and performances, and attending workshops and readings. C U R R I C U L U M The 15-week program features a 17-credit core curriculum, which includes coursework in acting styles, physical theater, voice/dialects, cultural landscapes, and creating original work. The curriculum will be enhanced by numerous master classes 29 with visiting artists, as well as meetings with professional directors, playwrights, designers, stage managers, and producers. E L I G I B I L I T Y Theater majors in their junior or senior year of college; theater minors and second-term sophomores with special recommendations from theater faculty; recent college graduates (after September 1, 2012) with a theater major or minor. F E E S $15,000 for tuition; $325 for course fees; $50 application fee. H O W T O A P P L Y Applications for the Spring 2016 session are due November 1, 2015. Applications for the Fall 2016 session are due May 1, 2016. Financial aid is available. VISIT ACT-SF.ORG/SFSEMESTER FOR COURSE INFORMATION, DEADLINES, AND APPLICATION MATERIALS. PREVIOUS PAGE (FROM TOP) A student in class (photo by Jay Yamada); San Francisco’s Painted Ladies. THIS PAGE (FROM TOP) A.C.T. students in class (photo by Jay Yamada); a student performs in class (photo by Jay Yamada); the Golden Gate Bridge.