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Stella Adler Mark Ruffalo Scholarship Essays

Below is a list of Acting Schools in hot spots around the countrysuch as: New York, California, Chicago, Philadelphia, Florida, Atlanta, Texas & Seattle. This is not a complete list, but a good place to start investigating acting schools.

Acting Schools in New York

BFA / BA Programs:

Julliard School
The Julliard School offers a BFA in Drama. The audition is the most important part of the application process. Auditions held in February in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. Facilities include 5 major theaters located at Lincoln Center, black box theaters, music and video libraries, rehearsal spaces, dance and movement studios with sprung floors, shops for costumes, props, wigs, scenes, etc. This program is highly recommended and competitive for undergraduate Drama. Alumni include Kevin Kline, Robin Williams, Christopher Reeves, Patty LuPone, and Kelly McGillis.

New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
NYU offers various specialized programs in undergraduate drama. The graduate acting program provides conservatory actor training leading to the MFA program. The graduate program is highly recommended. Audition required for both undergraduate and graduate admissions. Transcript and standardized testing also required for undergraduate admissions. Both programs highly competitive. Alumni from the MFA program include Billy Crudup.

Suny, Purchase
Sunny Purchase offers a BFA in Acting. Audition is required. SAT 1 and ACT required. Facilities include 8 studios and access to the Performing Arts Center with 4 theaters. This program is highly recommended. 

Barnard College of Columbia University
This program offers a BA in Theatre. Interviews recommended though not required. SAT I and SAT II are also required. This program is highly recommended for undergraduate Drama. It is also a quick subway ride from Lincoln Center and Broadway. Facilities include Minor Latham Theater, a proscenium theater, a black box, and a workshop space. Alumni include Cynthia Hamilton, Linda Yellin, and Ellen Novak.

Columbia College
Columbia College is an affiliate of Columbia University. Located on the upper West side of Manhattan it is recommended for undergraduate drama and offers a BA. Facilities include the MacMillan Theater, a 20 seat performance space, and an additional 110-seat theatre. Standardized tests required for admissions, and an interview is recommended.

Hofstra University
Hofstra University offers both a BA in Theatre and a BFA in Acting. Auditions required for talent scholarships. SAT I and ACT required. Students must be accepted into the university first and will then be placed in either program based on the assessment of “trainability.” Facilities include the West End Theater (seats 150), John Cranford Adams Playhouse (a proscenium which seats 1,134), and the Speigel Theater (seats 110). Alumni include Francis Ford Coppola, Susan Schulman, Joe Morton, Peter Friedman, and Irene Lewis.

Ithaca College
Ithaca offers both a BA in Theatre and a BFA in Acting. Auditions required. Auditions held on campus and regionally in Boston, Tampa, New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Call university or check website for specific dates. SAT or ACT required. Facilities include a 535-seat theater, a 300-seat theater, scene and costume shops, and rehearsal spaces. This program is recommended for undergraduate drama.

Marymount Manhattan College
Marymount Manhattan College offers a BFA in Acting and a BA in Theatre (concentration in Acting). Auditions required for BFA in drama and are held on campus in November – March. Admissions criteria include quality of the audition, grades, standardized test scores, previous training, and consideration of the “total person.” Facilities include The Great Hall (New York City’s largest dance studio, a 249-seat proscenium theatre (located Off-Broadway), and black box and studio spaces. Marymount is recommended for undergraduate drama. Alumni include Kelly Coffield, Moira Kelly, and B. Arthur.

Conservatories / Non-Degree Programs:

T. Schreiber Studio
The acting program at the T. Schreiber Studio combines scene study with exercise work on beginning, intermediate, and advanced professional levels. They are committed to helping each actor develop and strengthen his/her skills to know how to work, to become capable of getting work, and most of all, to excel in his/her work. Alumni include Edward Norton.

The Acting Studio, Inc.
Located in the heart of New York City, the Acting Studio’s classes and programs encompass both traditional and progressive forms of theatre. Programs draw heavily on the standards and traditions established by Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre and continued in the United States by Harold Clurman and the Group Theatre. They also incorporate practices of such noted teachers as Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Michael Chekhov and Uta Hagen, as well as the techniques of more recent progressive theatre artists as Peter Brook, Joseph Chaikin, Viola Spolin and Augusto Boal.

HB Studio
HB Studios offer a rigorous, well-rounded curriculum of study for committed students of all levels where the actor’s unique potential is cultivated and encouraged. Check their website for a complete list of classes ranging in all types of scene study, movement, and voice.

Lucy Moses School
Lucy Moses School offers classes for both adults and children. In the Young People’s Division students explore the dramatic arts through an age-appropriate and sequential theater curriculum. Weekly classes during the school year and during school vacations offer something to fit every child’s schedule. In the Adult Division, students from beginners to professionals improve their skills and expand their dramatic repertoire in both performance-based and lecture format classes.

Michael Howard Studio
Founded in 1953 by actor and director Michael Howard, a protégé of both Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse and Lee Strasberg at the Actor’s Studio, it is the longest running, privately-owned acting Studio in Studio grounded in the dramatic innovations of Constantin Stanislavski. The Studio has evolved to incorporate many schools of thought and techniques from around the world. Its core belief is to help actors develop a technique – a method which is truly individual.

William Esper Studio
Work at the studio derives from William Esper’s close association with Sanford Meisner, with whom he worked as a teacher and director for 17 years. For the past 25 years, Mr. Esper has also been a Full Professor and Head of the Professional Actor Training Programs at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Each acting class meets for three 3 to 3.5 hours twice each week. Students are expected to present work at each class. In addition, the Studio expects students to spend at least 4 to 8 hours in outside rehearsal with their partners. Offers a Two year conservatory program; part time and full time, as well as a 6 week summer intensive. Auditions required. Alumni include Jeff Goldblum and Patricia Heaton.

Penny Templeton Studio
Penny’s style of teaching encourages you to grow beyond your comfort zone, dig deep within yourself and take control of your craft. Her demanding classes will inspire your inner artist while discovering and illuminating your uniqueness. She commits to helping you reach your goal and become a professional working actor. The Penny Templeton Studio offers Intermediate classes, Master Classes, Advanced On-Camera, Script Analysis, Hosting, Commercials & Industrials, Improvisation, and Linklater-based voice classes. They also offer a 6 week intensive which includes all of the above.

The Simon Studio
Roger Hendricks Simon offers professional lab training and showcase opportunities for actors. He has directed and taught actors, writers, and directors in New York. LA, Europe and around the world. His approach includes physical and vocal warm-ups, movement, improvisation, and sensory work, on-camera audition technique, monologues, scene study and cold readings. It integrates classical and contemporary as well as film/TV and theatre. He also offers development programs for writers and directors as well as public speaking seminars. Alumni include John Lithgow, John Travolta, Tovah Feldshuh, James Earl Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Debbie Jo Rupp, James Woods, and Judith Ivy.

The Bob McAndrew Studio
Bob McAndrew is a director, writer, and teacher who started his career at age 25 when he was chosen by Lucille Ball to head her talent program at Paramount Pictures. There, he began his career as a film coach working with stars like Liza Minnelli and Robert Forester. He was then recruited by Twentieth Century Fox where he coached the like of Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot. He offers scene study, improvisation, and technique classes for beginners and professionals. Former students include David Paymer, John Stamos, Christopher Walken, Richard Dreyfuss, Sela Ward, and Chris Cooper.

Ward Acting Studio
Ward Acting Studio offers solid Mesiner training, a robust performance workshop and a rigorous audition/career mentoring program. Classes include Meisner Approach, Working with Text, Audition Technique, Career Mentoring, Vocal Production and Monologue Coaching. The training is geared toward the professional actor. Students work at a professional pace and accomplish significant growth in a short amount of time.

Lynette Sheldon Actors Studio
Lynette Sheldon’s motto is “Teaching truth and courage in acting.” The studio was founded in 1990 and has been training award-winning actors and filmmakers in America and Australia in the Stanislavski/Stella Adler technique. The studio offers advanced technique and scene study master classes for film, television, and theatre as well as Viola Spolin improvisation exercises, and physical and vocal warm-ups. In addition to the master classes the studio offers weekend audition intensives and one-on-one private coaching.

Maggie Flanigan Studio
The Maggie Flanigan Studio teaches the Sanford Meisner Technique in a professional and supportive environment. Please check website for specific information on classes offered.

Atlantic Theatre Company
Founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, the Atlantic has the only conservatory program in the world that offers in-depth training in Mamet and Macy’s unique and influential approach to the acting profession: Practical Aesthetics. The school’s mission is to ensure that each graduate masters the essential analytical and physical disciplines of acting. 

The SITI Company teaches students two techniques; Viewpoints and Suzuki. The Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training are two distinct methods of actor training used in building and staging SITI productions. SITI Company members have been trained by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki and are uniquely qualified to introduce and train other theater artist in these challenging and innovative methods. SITI offers workshops in both disciplines. SITI members are on the faculties of such institutions as The Juilliard School, New York University, and Columbia University.

American Academy of Dramatic Arts
AADA was founded in New York in 1884 and opened a Los Angeles branch in 1974. It is a conservatory for serious actors. Admission requirements include high school diploma, letters of recommendation, and an Audition/Interview. AA in Acting is possible, or a Certificate in Advanced Studies in Actor Training for students who are invited to attend a third year. Alumni include Robert Redford, Anne Bancroft, Grace Kelly, Rosalind Russell, Kirk Douglas, and Annabella Sciorra.

American Musical and Dramatic Academy
AMDA is recommended for non-degree studies in Drama and musical theatre. It offers studio training with a Certificate in Acting. Admission requirements include high school, transcript, recommendations, and an audition. Auditions held in New York monthly between February and April. There is also a national audition tour held in 18 cities including Atlanta, Orlando, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Toronto, and London. Check website for audition dates. Alumni include Paul Sorvino, Victoria Mallory, Tyne Daly, and Greg Standford Brown.

Circle in the Square Theater School
This program is a non-degree drama program. All faculty members are working professionals and students have a connection with the Broadway Equity Theater of the same name. Audition/Interview is required and is usually held between March and June. Although auditions are most important, recommendations are also considered. All applicants must have a high ool diploma or GED equivalent.

National Shakespeare Conservatory
(800) 472-6667
This program offers a Certificate in Acting. Financial aid and scholarships available. Audition and interviews are required and held in February. This Conservatory is recommended for non-degree Drama. The facilities include a 70-seat theater, dance studio, and rehearsal space.

Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting
Growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is a non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of this insight, so elemental to the life, work and spirit of Stella Adler. The Studio’s mission is to create an environment with the purpose of nurturing theatre artists who value humanity, their own and others, as their first and most precious priority while providing art and education to the greater community.

American Globe Theater Conservatory
Founded in 1989, American Globe Theatre is the longest running classical theatre in midtown Manhattan. Now, in its’ 20th year, American Globe (AGT) is dedicated to staging innovative productions of classical plays and to the development of new audiences through educational outreach. American Globe Theatre is committed to reinvigorating performance in contemporary American Theatre through the use of the First Folio technique, which originated with Shakespeare’s own company of players and to passing down this legacy to a new generation of artists and students.

Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute
The following classes are offered on a rotating basis throughout the year and during the summer program: Acting (an introduction to Lee Strasberg’s method acting and basic theatre technique),
Movement, Mime & Mask (students examine the Method from the outside in as they explore the senses and behavior through physical storytelling), Musical Theatre, Stage Production and Filmmaking. Check website for more information on specific dates and class info.

Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre
Located in the heart of New York City, The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre provides a full-time conservatory atmosphere that concentrates on the artistic growth of the actor through a fusion of technical training in acting, movement, speech, voice and singing combined with a deeper understanding of the cultural values underlying a life devoted to the highest and most demanding artistic principles. The school offers a two-year program as well as workshops. See website for details.

Acting Schools in California

BFA / BA Programs:

California State University, Fullerton
This program is recommended for undergraduate degrees in Drama. Theatre students also have the opportunity to work with the Grove Shakespeare Company which is a professional equity company.

University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA is highly recommended for undergraduate drama. Application is due between November 1 – 30. Audition required. Call for exact dates. SAT 1 or ACT required. Financial aid is available. Submit for FAFSA

University of Southern California
This program offers a BA in Drama and a BFA and MFA in Acting. Auditions required for BFA and FA programs. SAT I or ACT required. Facilities include 3 theaters seating 600, 300, and 100, as well as costume shops, welding shops, and rehearsal space. 

California Institute of the Arts
Cal ARTS is located outside Los Angeles and is considered a conservatory offering both a BFA and MFA in Acting. It is also recommended for Music and Dance. Interview/Audition is required.

California State University, Long Beach
The Degrees offered include BA in Performance and General Theater; MA in General Theater, and MFA in Acting. Financial aid and scholarships are available and based on merit. Auditions recommended. Facilities include three theaters seating 100, 120, and 1,200. CSU, Long Beach is recommended for undergraduate drama.

Conservatories / Non-Degree Programs:

American Academy of Dramatic Arts
AADA was founded in New York in 1884 and opened a Los Angeles branch in 1974. It is a conservatory for serious actors. Admission requirements include high school diploma, letters of recommendation, and an Audition/Interview. AA in Acting is possible, or a Certificate in Advanced Studies in Actor Training for students who are invited to attend a third year. Alumni include Robert Redford, Anne Bancroft, Grace Kelly, Rosalind Russell, Kirk Douglas, and Annabella Sciorra.

Los Angeles City College: Theater Academy – city
This program offers an AA in Acting/Academy Certificate of Completion. Auditions required and held in May, June, August, and September. Interview held at the same time. Admissions requirements include quality of the audition, previous drama training, application essay, and grades. Facilities include a 299-seat theater, a 99-seat theater, a 75-seat theater, and full scene and costume shops. This academy is one of the few community colleges to offer conservatory training. It trains a limited number of talented actors in a professional training program. Campus located near television and film studios. Alumni include James Coburn, Mark Hamill, Donna Reed, and Paul Winfield.

Stella Adler Academy of Acting
The Stella Adler Los Angeles Studio for Actors is a world renowned acting school located in the heart of Hollywood, California. Adler-LA offers extensive training for the serious actor in theatre, film, and television (on camera). The Stella Adler Technique grew out of Miss Adler’s personal work with Constantine Stanislavsky, the father of modern acting. This technique (or method of acting) has been studied by many of the world’s most notable actors, directors, and writers including Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Salma Hayek, Benico Del Toro, Holland Taylor, Gary Ross, Eric Stoltz, Mark Ruffalo, just to name a few.

San Francisco State University
This program offers a BA and MA in Drama. Application deadline is February 1st. Audition is required. San Francisco State is highly recommended. Alumni include Annette Bening, Charles Berliner, and Michael McShane.

Private Studios

American Conservatory Theater (ACT)
This is a highly competitive MFA Acting program for actors who want to pursue a graduate degree. The conservatory also offers summer programs and intensives for teens and young adult actors. Check the website for specific information on dates. Alumni from the MFA program include Annette Bening, Amy Irving, Julie Brown, Denzel Washington, Don Johnson, and Elizabeth McGovern.

Andrew Benne Actors Studio
The Andrew Benne Studio offers improvisation classes for film, a 6 week intensive, and private sessions to prepare actors for pilot season. See website for more details.

Alderson Acting Studio
The William Alderson Acting Studio offers classes for beginning and professional actors. The foundation of the program is the Meisner Technique. The classes are taught by Mr. Alderson.

The Ruskin School of Acting
John Ruskin was Sanford Meisner’s apprentice, first studying with the master at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, continuing with him in Bequia, West Indies, then teaching with him at the Neighborhood Playhouse and privately during the 1980’s. The Ruskin School is the West Coast representative of the Neighborhood Playhouse, and many of the teachers were trained directly by Meisner. Ruskin, who opened his school in Santa Monica in 1987, offers a two-year course of study in Meisner Technique, as well as a Master class for those who have completed a two-year program either at the Ruskin School or at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

The Actor’s Center
The Acting Center’s technique is built on a method of training that lets you expand and develop at your own rate and from your own depth of experience. You’ll learn by doing and will work in every class. Check out website for all the specific classes that the Acting Center has to offer.

Scott Sedita Acting Studios
Scott Sedita Acting Studio specializes in on-camera classes, comedy intensives, master classes, and professional audition technique. See website for details.

Seydways Acting Studios
The Richard Seyd Acting Studio is a comprehensive actor lab committed to the art and craft of professional acting. They train actors for the profession who are engaged in developing themselves to their fullest potential. Check website for details.

Howard Fine Acting Studio
The Howard Fine Studio offers classes in technique, scene study, master classes, Alexander technique, screenwriting for actors, the business of acting classes, learning dialects, and singing. 

Eric Morris Actor’s Workshop
Eric Morris, author of 6 best-selling books on acting, has taught over 20,000 students in the last 40 years, including some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Eric’s craft process is clear, specific and compelling. The Eric Morris system allows the actor to bring each role the uniqueness of his or her own individual personality. His books are sold around the country and his classes, workshops and intensives are offered in Hollywood and Lake Arrowhead, CA.

WCI Studios
This is Acting Studio with locations all over Southern California that offers a variety of Acting and Entertainment Industry Works shops for Working Professionals. Check the website for upcoming events.

Gary Spatz
Gary Spatz is one of the most respected acting teachers for children in the United States. He regularly coaches actors for auditions and callbacks for feature films and episodic television. Gary’s been teaching classes for children and teens for over 20 years. Gary Spatz has completed his third season as the acting coach for Dylan and Cole Sprouse, the stars of the hit Disney Channel series “the Suite Life of Zack and Cody”. In the past, Gary has served as the Children’s acting coach for many television productions, including the Emmy award winning CBS sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Rosanne”, “Sister, Sister”, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show”, and “The Smart Guy.”

Bill Howey
Bill Howey offers private lessons. Tony Shaloub calls him “an inspired teacher”, and Jeffrey Tambor says “We actors are lucky to have Bill Howey.” 

The Margolis Method
The Margolis Method is an approach to actor training that draws from the research of Kari Margolis and influenced by the work of Decroux, Grotowski, and Brecht. This is usually a workshop program offered in the summer months. 

Young Actors Camp
Young actors are invited to examine the Hollywood film and television industry first hand. This dynamic acting camp serves its campers in several ways…educate those preparing to enter into the acting business, introduce the young stage actor to the art of acting for the camera, and offer the most FUN and dynamic camp experience for any young actor captivated by the movie screen. 

Shelton Studios
The Shelton Studios is nationally recognized as one of the finest professional film and theatre schools for actors and directors. The studio is recommended by agents, casting offices, directors, and filmmakers as one of the leading schools in the country.

Kids on Camera
Kids on Camera, established in 1981, is a personal development and acting training that serves young people by improving their communication skills, self-esteem and confidence. Through their unique curriculum, kids use video feedback as a tool to discover more about themselves. Video feedback reinforces the student’s self-image and accelerates their learning and growth. 

The Actors Center of San Francisco
The ACSF is a professional acting studio serving actors of all levels. They offer serious training in dramatic acting to beginners, and provide A-List coaching to working actors, writers and film makers looking to strengthen their voice. They also train older teens looking to enter conservatories and universities. 

Acting Schools in PhiladelphiaCarnegie-Mellon University
Carnegie-Melon offers a BFA and MFA in Acting. The drama department is part of the College of Fine Arts and provides great training with working theatre professionals. Audition required. Call or check website for dates. Prominent alumni include Ted Danson, William Atherton, Shari Belafonte Harper, Jennifer Darling, and Barbara Feldon.

Muhlenberg College
This program offers a BA. The Drama Department offers 2 merit scholarships. Auditions required for scholarship consideration. Interview is recommended, and SAT is optional. Facilities include a 392-seat theater, and a black box. This is an exchange program, the Muhlenberg London Theater Studies program, which affords students time to study with British Theater professionals and a Summer Music Theater Festival company. Offices located in Allentown, PA (outside of Philadelphia). Alumni include Kam Chang (Miss Saigon), David Masenheimer (Le Mis), and John Speredakos.

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College offers a BA. Audition not required, but interview is recommended. You must first be admitted into the college before you are considered for admission into the Drama Department. Swarthmore is one of the most highly selective liberal arts colleges in admissions standards. SAT I and 3 SAT IIs required. Swarthmore is renowned for its academic programs but also offers a good theater program. Facilities include a performing arts center, a 350-seat proscenium theater, and a black box.

University of the Arts
This program, located right in Philadelphia, offers a BFA in Theater Arts with acting emphasis, and a BFA in Musical Theater. Auditions are required and held on campus from October – July. They also offer regional locations for auditions (check with the University for specific dates). SAT I or ACT required. Facilities include a 100-seat black box, 200-seat theater, 1,668-seat theater, and 200-seat Hall. The school was founded in 1987 and its Musical Theater Department was started in 1991. 

The Actors Center
People who have studied at The Actors Center have also appeared in such hit movies as A Christmas Story, Austin Powers, Beloved, The Brady Bunch, Eight Days a Week, Girl Interrupted, Philadelphia, The Sixth Sense, Sleepers, and Unbreakable, and in television shows such as ER, Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Cosby Show, Ellen, Friends, and Philly. 

Mike Lemon Casting
This is one of Philadelphia’s premiere casting agencies dealing in casting for film, TV, commercials, and voice overs. They also offer classes and workshops. Check website for details.

George DiCenzo
He has spent the past 40 years as a working actor, director, teacher and coach after graduating with a M.F.A. Degree in Drama from Yale University. George has coached some of Broadway’s and Hollywood’s best actors and entertainers including Nathan Lane, Colin Farrell, Burt Reynolds, Phish’s lead singer Trey Anastasio, and Brad Garret.

Petite Theatre Workshops
This is a program that offers a summer camp for children. Check website for more details.

Acting Schools in Chicago

DePaul University, The Theater School
The University is located in Chicago and the Theater School is highly recommended. SAT and ACT required, interview recommended and audition required. Auditions are held between October and April in Chicago and regionally in New York City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and San Francisco. Contact website for exact dates.

Northwestern University
Northwestern is highly recommended and highly competitive. Auditions are required and held throughout 30 cities in the USA between January and mid-March. Contact the University for exact dates and locations. The facilities include a theater complex that is made up of four different theatres. Alumni include Ann-Margret, Charlton Heston, Peter Strauss, Dermott Mulroney, and many others.

Illinois State University
This program offers a BA and MFA in Acting. Audition only required for graduate program. SAT or ACT required. Facilities include a 450-seat theater, a 135-seat theater, and an additional performance space. Alumni include John Malkovich, Gary Cole, Terry Kinney, and Laurie Metcalf, in addition to many members of the original Steppenwolf Company.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
This program offers only BFA degrees in Acting and Applied Theater/Performance Studies. Auditions required and held in conjunction with the University Resident Theater Association regionally in California, New York, and Illinois. Contact the school for exact dates and locations. SAT I or ACT required. Facilities include a 678-seat proscenium, a 100-seat experimental theater, a 1,200-seat studio theater, a 969-seat Festival Theater, as well as scene, costume, and prop shops. Alumni include Alan Ruck, Fred Rubin, and Joan McMurtrey.

Act One Studios
Act One Studios offers classes for adults in Acting, On-Camera, Voice, Movement, Directing, and How to get started In the Business. Classes may be taken one or more at a time, intensively (4 structured courses for the price of 3), and they now offer a full-time, two- year acting Conservatory program. They also have a series of acting and film classes for high school students. 

Acting Studio Chicago
Acting Studio Chicago offers a wide variety of acting classes and workshops. Our Core Program is a great place for the beginner or student with a couple of classes under their belt. For the intermediate or professional actor, admission is determined by headshot and resume or by a placement audition. 

Sarantos Studio
This studio offers Chicago Acting Classes, Courses, and Seminars for Film-TV, Commercials, Theater, Improv, Auditioning, Monologues, and Business Presenting. Teen to Adult. Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, Professional.

Piven Theater Workshop
Celebrating over 35 years as a nationally recognized and acclaimed theatre arts training center, Piven Theatre Workshop offers a full curriculum of classes for young people and adults. Within the nurturing environment of the Piven class, our students are free to liberate their imaginations, joyfully experiment with theatre games and improvisational techniques, and develop the skills to achieve spontaneity and truthfulness in each moment on stage.

Acting Studio Chicago
Instructors are also available for private coaching. Specializes in working on new monologues, sharpening on-camera skills, or preparing for specific theater or film auditions. 

Janet B. Milstein
Janet works as a private acting coach in Chicago. She trains beginning and professional actors in monologues and cold readings. She is listed in The Book: An Actor’s Guide to Chicago under Acting Coaches. 

Second City
One of the most prestigious theatre companies and founders of the renowned improv troupe offers various programs including scene study and improvisation classes. Based out of Chicago. Visit website for more details.

Camp Rim Rock
This is a summer camp for young pre-college aspiring actress only. An impressive amphitheater stages both drama classes and performances. Classes are held in improvisation, theater games, storytelling, production of skits and musical numbers. The girls make their own costumes, design their sets and learn stage make-up. The session culminates in a final performance before an enthusiastic audience.

Theatre at Belvoir Terrace
This is a youth camp. Girls only. Fourteen professional teachers and directors teach classes in acting techniques, musical theater, improvisation, directing, Shakespeare, and all aspects of technical theater. Belvoir’s theater program is designed for girls with a serious interest in acting and it also works well for those with less prior experience.

Acting Schools in Florida

Florida State University, Tallahassee
Florida State offers a BA in General Theater and a BFA in Acting. Audition and interview required for BFA applicants. SAT or ACT required. Facilities include 3 theaters seating 500, 245, and 200 people. Alumni include Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (first woman Pulitzer Prize winner).

University of Miami
This program offers a BA and BFA in Drama. Financial aid available and based on merit and need. This program is recommended for both undergraduate programs. Auditions required and held in Dallas, Houston, Louisville, Chicago, New York City, Baltimore, Washington DC, New Orleans, and Boston. Contact department for exact dates. Alumni include Jerry Herman, Saundra Santiago and many others.

University of Miami
This program offers a BA and BFA in Drama. Financial aid available and based on merit and need. This program is recommended for both undergraduate programs. Auditions required and held in Dallas, Houston, Louisville, Chicago, New York City, Baltimore, Washington DC, New Orleans, and Boston. Contact department for exact dates. Alumni include Jerry Herman, Saundra Santiago and many others.

University of Southern Florida, Tampa
This program offers a BA and BFA in Performance. Some merit scholarships are available. This program is recommended for undergraduate drama which has an affiliation with the Tampa Players and Playmakers which is an Equity company. Facilities include 3 theater seating 538, 300, 100, scene, costume, and prop shops, as well as rehearsal spaces.

University Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
The University Center has classes in theatre and film. Using the methodology of the Eric Morris System. Along with the acting program…the school offers all dance: Ballet, Jazz, Pointe, Funk Hip Hop, Modern, Middle Eastern Dance, Flamenco, Tap and Yoga. Also, there is a music department: Voice and Instrument. Located in Fort Lauderdale.

The Acting School
Founded by the former Director of Training of The Acting Studio and The Actors’ Conservatory in Hollywood, Florida. The Acting School continues a tradition of providing quality training for the professional actor. Working Professionals Present First Hand Knowledge and Experience. 

Atlantic Arts Academy
Frank Licari, artistic director of the school, has been directing for nine years and produced 5 original works on New York’s Theatre Row. He has also taught ages 3 – adult, from beginners to professionals. Located in Jupiter.

Minimalist Film School of Acting
This school teaches the Eric Morris Method plus the Technical side of Film. Located in South Florida.

L.A. Acting Workshop/East
Specializing in On-Camera training in Television, Film, and Commercials, as well as Soaps. Sitcoms,
Industrials and Voice-Over. Located in Orlando.

Cindy Hogan
Cindy Hogan gears her coaching towards working in front of the camera. Visit her website for more information.

Summer Drama Camp
Summer Drama Day Camp is dedicated to capturing a child’s creativity in a family friendly environment and guiding their gifts into usable life skills. Located in Orlando. For kids and young adults.

Shakespeare Acting Camp
This program offers creates a Shakespeare performance ensemble for teens with and without special needs. Participants will audition and be cast in a Shakespeare play. All students who sign up will be cast, the audition is merely an opportunity for parents and participants to meet the instructors and learn their way around the Shakespeare Center. A final presentation will be held in the Margeson Theater at the Shakespeare Center. This ten-day acting camp is produced in partnership with UCP of Central Florida and sponsored by UCF Exceptional Education Department. 

Acting Schools in Atlanta

University of Georgia, Athens
This program offers a BA in General Drama and a BFA in Performance. Some merit awards are available. Audition only required for graduate programs. SAT or ACT required. Facilities include 4 theater seating 700, 500, 125, and 65.

Dorsey Studios
The faculty members of Dorsey Studios are working actors, directors, and producers. A curriculum designed specifically for your needs – your strengths, your weaknesses, your talent. 

The Company Acting Studio
Their methods and techniques, while based in the teachings of Stanislavski and Stella Adler are a combination of practical work experience and years of training with various instructors and in various styles over the years. The foundation of our system is based in the truth and believability of creating characters. Students learn to approach scripts and scenarios from the most imaginative and creative place possible, while bringing their own individual style to a piece. 

Soulbird Studios
Soulbird Studios is a large non-profit organization. They offer all kinds and all levels of art education from theatre to dance to singing classes.

Nick Conti – Professional Actors’ Studio
This studio offers not only private coaching, but on-going acting classes and workshops taught by acting coaches with over 81 years of combined experience. The school promises to prepare you for auditions, cold readings, monologues, improvisations, and roles in TV, film, commercials, industrials and theatre. 

Acting Schools in Texas

University of Texas, Austin
This program offers a BA in Drama and a BFA in Acting. Rolling admissions to March 1st for undergraduates. BFA auditions required and held in November – January. SAT I or ACT required. Facilities include 3 theaters seating 500, 200, 150 people, plus an additional performance space, and a Pilates studio. Alumni include Rip Torn, Barbara Barrie, Tom Jones, and Harvey Schmist.

Baylor University
This program offers a BA and a BFA. Audition required and usually held between January and March. Call department for exact dates and locations. This is a “Christian education with academic excellence.” This school is owned by Southern Baptists and is recommended for undergraduate drama.

Southern Methodist University
This program offers a BFA in Acting and Theater Studies. Audition is required and held throughout the USA in mid-October – February. SAT I or ACT required. Facilities include 3 theatres including a proscenium, a black box, and a classical thrust stage. Alumni include Kathy Bates, Dylan Baker, Beth Henley, James McClure, and many others.

Creative Arts Theatre & School
Founded in 1977, CATS is one of the oldest operating youth theatres in the nation and the only youth theatre in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex where youth perform for peers and run the lights, sound, and crew. CATS is a theatre…by youth for youth. Perhaps best known for its rich heritage in theatre education, CATS offers classes year round for children 4-18 and adults in all aspects of theatre education. Classes include Creative Drama, Acting, Musical Theatre, Private Voice, Technical Theatre, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and more. The greatest opportunity that CATS offers to its students is the opportunity to perform in professionally produced productions

KD Studio Actors Conservatory
KD Studio has been training professional actors for stage, film, and television for twenty-six years by providing the most intense, hands-on program you can find. They are located in Dallas, TX and are the only accredited, degree-granting Conservatory outside of New York or Los Angeles.

Texas Actor’s Studio
This is a premier Texas acting school serving the Dallas / Ft. Worth who are dedicated to assisting you in gaining the knowledge, training, tools, and opportunities necessary to become a professional actor. For more information check their website.

Margo Manning
Margo Manning Casting & Acting Studio provides Dallas, Texas based theatrical training for performing TV Commercials, Films, Sitcoms, Soap Operas, Business Industrials, and Voice-Overs for all ages and performance levels. Acting classes meet during the day, evening, and/or weekend. Privately coached sessions are also available. Coast to coast seminars and connections can be made through Margo Manning Casting & Acting Studio

Mari Ferguson
Mari Ferguson has been on the stage most of her life. Her acting career has spanned some 20+ years. She has taken advantage of national, regional, and local opportunities in television and film, including appearances in the feature film, Future Tense, the award winning T.V. drama, General Hospital, Black Jaq, a T.V. pilot directed by Forest Whitaker, and the USA Network’s The Big Easy. She offers private lessons tailored to each individual actor’s needs.

Acting Schools in SeattleUniversity of Washington, Seattle
This program offers a BA and an MFA in Acting. For acting, the audition is primary and everything else in secondary. The University gives preference to in-state residents. Jon Jory (a renowned teacher and author heads the graduate program). This program is highly recommended. Facilities include a 213-seat thrust theater, the Penthouse Theater, arena in the round (seats 171), Meany Studio, 2 black boxes (seats 140-370, and 100), and a cabaret space (seats 100). Alumni include Kyle MacLachlan, Jean Smart, Daryl Anderson, Tony Carriero, Patrick Duffy, Ella Raines, Pam Reed, and Dawn Wells.

Seattle Acting School
Passed from master teacher to master teacher, the training at Seattle Acting School succeeds by establishing habits. The same habits shared by great actors throughout history. Seattle Acting School’s approach offers a variety of acting methods. Visit website for more information.

Freehold Theatre Lab Studio
Freehold Theatre is an acting studio located in Seattle that for over 16 years has been providing exceptional acting, directing and playwriting classes taught by extraordinary instructors. They offer training open to all levels of students, rehearsal and performance rental spaces, an Engaged Theatre Program and a Theatre Lab devoted to developing new works.

Unexpected Productions
This is a school that teaches improvisation. Unexpected Productions teach the basics of improv, which is not only useful to improvisers, but to anybody wanting to work with others, as a member of a team, or as an effective communicator. 


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Mark Ruffalo. (Photo by Richard Phibbs)

Actor Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right, Spotlight, The Avengers) hasn’t been onstage since 2006’s Awake and Sing on Broadway, but he got his start in small L.A. theatres and had his breakthrough in 1996 with Kenneth Lonergan’s Off-Broadway classic This Is Our Youth. He’ll return to Broadway in March for a revival of Arthur Miller’s The Price at Roundabout Theatre Company.

I spoke to him by phone on the morning of President Trump’s inauguration. The night before he had appeared in another of his prominent roles, as an activist, at a protest rally in front of Trump Tower.

I somehow missed Awake and Sing, which means the last time I saw you onstage was in Justin Tanner’s Still Life With Vacuum Salesman back in 1994, at the Cast Theatre in Hollywood. Did I miss any other stage work since Awake and Sing?
No, I haven’t really done any. I’ve done some readings and things like that, but not really back onstage. It’s been a long time.

And there wasn’t a lot before Awake and Sing, was there?
I sort of had the surprise of having a film career, which I wasn’t really expecting, you know? But before Awake and Sing, The Moment When was the last thing I’d done—a James Lapine play at Playwrights Horizons.

I think I once heard you tell this story, and I’ve retold it many times, so I want to reconfirm it. When you were in This Is Our Youth in New York, you had L.A. casting directors coming to see you and saying, “You’re amazing, where have you been?” And you’re like, “I’ve been acting down the street from you. I’ve been trying to get you to see my shows!”
That’s exactly what happened. They were like, “Where did you come from?” I was like, “What are you talking about? I’ve been right under your nose for the past 10 years doing exactly the same thing here in L.A.” But no one goes to the theatre in L.A. I realized that if you had a long list of L.A. theatre credits on your résumé, they immediately thought you were a loser. I started taking theatre credits off of my résumé. But I have to say, I’ve seen a lot of New York theatre and I’ve seen a lot of L.A. theatre. And L.A. theatre is just as vibrant and, in a lot of ways, more beautiful because it isn’t so corporatized. It’s more independent and there’s a lot more freedom.

I don’t know if you’ve followed the whole L.A. 99-Seat controversy that’s been going on in the past few years, about whether Equity actors should be allowed to work without a contract under a certain level. I don’t want to get too deep into that controversy with you, but I did see your early work on the old 99-seat plan.
I mean, actors should be paid, but, you know… I mean, I’m doing this play here; I’m taking a major pay cut to do this, you know. So it’s all relative. And there’s probably an argument to be made that, you know, yes, we could do better, but I also want to do this. And maybe theatre is like a civil act—a generous social act.

There was an early version of This Is Our Youth at the Met in Los Angeles, if I remember correctly. Is that how you got involved with that play?
Yeah, there was the one-act version at the Met called Betrayed by Everyone. I wasn’t even cast. I was only doing a reading for it. They were looking for a star, and I was asked to do a reading of it with a casting associate—we were just reading it for him to hear it out loud. They made it very clear that there was no way we would possibly get a part in it, that it was just a reading. But we did it so well that he cast us.

I think Oliver Platt used to be a reader in auditions, and that was how he got his break too.
Oh really? That’s cool. That’s one of the backdoor ways to get a part.

So tell me about the part you’re playing in The Price, Victor.
Victor Franz is a cop who’s turning 50, and he’s made all these decisions about his life and beyond and now, you know, he’s taking a look at whether he’s made the best decisions. And he’s having a reunion with his brother; they’re about to tear their old family home down, and they’ve got all the family furniture in there that they’ve got to get rid of. And they haven’t spoken in 16 years.

The only time I’ve seen the play was at A Noise Within in L.A., a really good production, about a dozen years ago. At the time I think I called it “Chekhovian.” It’s got some of the usual Arthur Miller themes, fathers and sons and all, but it’s a very slow burn.
Yeah. It’s very mature. It’s much more nuanced than some of his other plays. It’s really political, but the politics are buried so deeply in the people. Sometimes, you know, Arthur’s ideas are so big politically that they–you know, wow. This doesn’t do that.

Characters like this bring a lot of backstory into the room. As an actor what do you do to prepare for that?
It’s a lot of imagination work, a lot of daydreaming, really. Stella Adler had a beautiful saying. She said, “Once something passes through your imagination, it’s real.” That can be a really intense, hard thing. There’s some writing that goes on, and I do some other kinds of quirky things. But a lot of it, honestly, is daydreaming about the life of the character based on the play.

It’s not about excavating your own relationship with your father or family, or anything like that?
Well, that’s not the end-all. You know, we understand the nature of certain things because of our experience, and I think you’d be foolish to somehow divorce yourself from yourself. But then also you have to be careful not to pull the play down into your life, but lift yourself up into the greatness of the play. That was another thing Stella taught us. Yeah, you’re reflecting on your own experience; that really informs it. But at the end of the day, that’s small, and won’t sustain you throughout the run. So there’s a fine line to walk there.

I want to just ask you about politics and activism. Is that kind of like doing theatre—do you have to set aside time for that from your film career
You mean my day job?

Or does it kind of grow out of it naturally?
That’s another thing we were taught—to be really socially active and involved, and politically astute. Stella came out of the Yiddish theatre, and that was the Jewish intellectual movement that led to the Group Theatre, and the whole workers movement was kicked off by Waiting for Lefty. That was part of my teaching, so it’s sort of seamless, even if a lot of them did it their work. The activism has been more direct for me, and the work has, sadly, taken a bit of a backseat. But this is a shift for me to get back to it—to get back to my theatre roots, and theatre that has a political aspect to it. This hits all those boxes for me. The political, the social, and the artistic working together is really powerful, but I think is hard to do these days.

So I think people would want me to ask Mark Ruffalo, celebrity protester at Trump Tower, about politics more specifically. Like: What are we going to do? My wife said I should ask you, “Where’s the bunker?”
The bunker’s in the streets. When you’re afraid, hit the streets. It’s not an accident that enshrined in our First Amendment is the right to assembly and to address grievances and freedom of speech—they’re all there. That’s the First Amendment. That might be all that’s left to us at this point, but there’s so much power there.

At the rally last night, there were 25,000 people. That’s how we know we’re not alone. I think the more cynical forces in the world want us to believe we’re alone, want us to believe somehow that our votes didn’t matter, that the progress that we made in this country in the last 50, 60 years, was all for naught—that our decency as Americans and the values that we hold dear to us from the beginning of our Constitution are somehow no longer valid. So the way we fight against that is to come together and remind each other that, yes, we do have values. America isn’t just about money, it isn’t just about businesses—it’s about people. And we’re not a fearful country, we’re actually a courageous country. We don’t give up our principles based on fear or making each other the bogeyman, and we never have. When we have in the past, we’ve always righted it.

You’ve got three kids, right? Are they into the arts or performing? Is that something you encourage or are you like, “No, stay away?”
I’m more neutral. I’m waiting for them to find their own way. They’ve been around it and they’ve been exposed to it; they dabble in it. But I’m also not pushing introducing them to it. But certainly, if they wanted to do it, they have a nice headstart for it.

I know the cliché that even actors who are successful are worried about their kids going into the business. It’s not an easy life, there are no guarantees.
No, but when I look at it, and I look at my friends, it’s been a good life. I’ve learned to really work hard. I’ve learned really beautiful lessons. I’ve been invited in places that no one would ever be invited to with so much openness and love.

I tell you, I have parents come to me, “My son or daughter wants to be an actress. What am I going to do?” You know, they can end up a lot worse. There’s a lot worse places these days they could end up that do harm in ways that you would never imagine. Ours is a much maligned industry, but when you look at it, it’s probably one of the most decent, upright industries in the world. We’re not screwing anybody, harming people, and nepotism doesn’t really play. It is really a meritocracy in the way it works. No one’s doing anyone any favors.

Wait, are you talking about film or theatre here?
I’m talking about both. I mean, even in film there’s only so long you can get away with not being good. You have to bring something to the table. And, you know, we’re not killing people. I’m always amazed by how maligned we are. But if you want to add up our scumbags against the scumbags in other industries, I have a feeling we have a much lower percentage.

Do you worry that you get typecast in angry roles? I’m not just talking about the Hulk. Anger has been a signature of some of your best roles, and Victor in The Price has a big tell-off speech. Is that a slot you fit naturally into?
It’s seasonal. You do something well, and then there’s a slew of those kinds of parts. You’re always sort of trying to stay ahead of the curve a little bit, you know, while at the same time exploring other things. Righteousness and justice—those are things that I’m interested in these days, and so I’m riding that wave a little bit. It will jump to something else when I feel like it.

But, you know, for a long time I did romantic comedy. I did the ne’er-do-well slacker. And then I’d get like 10 offers for, “He’s a brother, he’s kind of like a lumberjack, a slacker.” And now it’s like: “He’s living a double life, and part of him has all this rage and the other part is good.”

Actually, in the first thing I saw you in, Still Life With Vacuum Salesman, you were doing sort of a riff on Stanley Kowalski. I remember there being a lot of “young Brando” talk when you started. Do you still hear that?
Not really, no; somewhere I went off the tracks. The jig is up. They saw through my ruse.

So maybe the anger thing is typecasting. But what do you do to blow off steam in real life? What’s your guilty pleasure?
I started taking the kids to a ceramics class on the weekend. They eventually just stopped going and I’m the only one going now. I sort of beg them to come with me so I don’t feel like I’m in a ceramics class. I tell people, “Oh, you know, I had to take the kids to the ceramic class.” But it’s just me. So I guess I like doing ceramics.

So we’re talking a potter’s wheel and everything?
There’s a potter’s wheel, and then there’s like hand-building stuff and sculpture. It’s just a way to check out in an active way. You have to be really present, especially on the wheel. Just trying to center the goddamn thing is an act of Zen fortitude.

You like to make stuff with your hands, Mark? Is that what you like to do?
I like to make stuff with my hands, bruh. I’ve always been handy, and I have a nice little wood shop; I have a welder. I like to make furniture or fix things. We were on a farm for many years, and there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be repaired on a farm. So I like to garden, and I guess I’m into ceramics a little bit now. And, if I can, I like to surf. I’ve always been a surfer.

Can you think of what your first theatrical memory—the first time you were like, “This is it for me”?
I always wanted to act, from every early on. And it was something that me and my brother and sisters and my cousins would do, put on little shows and do these broad characters. So I secretly wanted to be this actor, but then I was like, that’s foolish, I’m a jock, I’m a surfer—they don’t do that kind of thing. I’m not a musical theatre-type person, but I remember I used to see them; I’d see the school play and I was really envious. Like, “God, I wish I could do that.” I was a wrestler. But in my junior year, I did a drama class. I was saying it was just for an easy A, but I was really just thrilled to be in there. And I loved it so much that I didn’t go out for wrestling, and all the people that I knew, all my team members and my coaches, were like, “What are you doing?”

I did one play, the school play. What happened was the kid broke his arm and they needed somebody, so they put me in the part. And I loved it so much, after the first night, I was like, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Do you remember the play and the part?
I think it was called The Runaways. It was this straight play of all these foster kids living in this home, and I was a cop, a detective. It was my first cop role of what would end up being many cop roles in a career.


Arthur MillerMark RuffaloRoundabout Theatre CompanyShowcaseStella Adler