ETW was founded in 1975 by prominent theatre artists who wanted to develop an actor training program based on the innovative approaches to physically based acting and performance that were having an enormous influence on the profession. As ETW began to gain national and international attention, it expanded its curriculum to include more traditional approaches to actor training.
ETW has a curricular progression that integrates Stanislavski-based script analysis, rigorous realistic scene study, Meisner technique, physically based actor training (Grotowski influenced, as well as other approaches), modern dance, postmodern dance, viewpoints, choreography, voice and speech, extended voice, singing, and creating original work. Its professionally directed productions span all aesthetics and performance disciplines from realism to postdramatic theatre, from musicals to music theater and contemporary dance.
ETW’s training seeks to prepare students to create their own work and successfully meet the far-ranging demands of contemporary theatre and film directors, choreographers, and composers. ETW alumni work across the spectrum from Broadway to Off-Off Broadway to feature films, television, and new media. Rather than relying on a single aesthetic frame, ETW’s curriculum provides students with fundamental acting and performance skills, while helping them discover and shape their own unique artistic visions. The goal is to facilitate the development of young artists who have the skill, vision, will, and courage—as well as the personal and social consciousness—to forge successful careers and create vital new theatre art.