The first year NYU acting program is about introducing students to the Method acting process and Lee Strasberg’s work. Students will gain a basic understanding of the exercises, comfortability with the foundations of relaxation and concentration, and an idea of how the work relates to scenes. Students will feel a strengthened imagination through sensory and improvisation and become aware of habits of in-expression and areas of physical tension. In addition, students will develop a neutral and supported voice and a strong understanding of his or her through vocal production, speech, dance and Tai-chi.
The second year NYU acting program is about integrating the basics developed in the freshman year into more advanced scene work. Students will gain an understanding of how a scene functions within the context of a play, how to dissect a scene, how to identify objectives/needs and then how to use that information to fuel the imagination and fulfill those demands using the sensory work. The addition of singing challenges students to apply basic vocal production skills to a more rigorous technical form putting increased demand on maintaining relaxation and technique while performing. Dialects integrate basic vocal production and speech skills into a more specific function testing their command of previous skills. Movement classes emphasize the further understanding of the body and the reduction of habits to free expression and connect to the work.
The Strasberg Advanced Training Program emphasizes the application of the technique to more complex scenes and new forms. Students will develop a greater understanding of how to apply the sensory work to film and television, classical texts (i.e. Shakespeare), as well as the development of characters. Students will also learn to cater their process to audition scenarios and leave with an understanding of those increased demands. Vocal electives include Singing and Dialects II, which continues with the development of integrating foundational techniques to more advanced work, accents, and the development of repertoire. Movement electives are also offered, which increase the demand of the actor with opportunities to further explore application to scene work, more complex choreography, and scene combat.
Students from other studios interested in learning the Lee Strasberg Method Acting Technique, can transfer into the Advanced Training Program and are admitted based on a personal interview. Once admitted, students will be fully integrated into the Strasberg Advanced Training curriculum. Students can choose from Advanced Training electives and will take Sensory Classes.
The Practicum program focuses on the professional demands of the actor and industry. Students will graduate with in-depth knowledge about specific playwrights, genres, and styles while having worked with at least four professional directors, casting directors, managers, and agents. Students will be confronted with different ways of working and coached in how to manipulate and translate The Lee Strasberg Method Acting Technique to fulfill the demands of each individual director as well as the demands of very advanced scene work and plays. Students will gain a strong idea of industry expectations and a framework on how to move forward upon graduation. This semester is about fusing the artistic and technical aspects of the previous years of training and applying the breadth of that training to a full scale production. Students will participate in a production of a new commission developed for the Practicum ensemble through The Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission. Students must have taken one semester of Strasberg Advanced Training to be eligible for Practicum; acceptance is based on audition.
Students are given performance opportunities beginning in their second year. Productions are designed specifically for each level of study and are performed in one of our two performance spaces: The Marilyn Monroe Theatre and The Lee Strasberg Theatre.
StrasbergTALKS is a lecture and workshop series designed to provide students with inspired knowledge of the Lee Strasberg Method, its application in a professional setting, as well as insights into the professional demands of the industry. Guests range from actors and alumni to directors, writers, agents, and casting directors. Past guests included: Karen Allen, Ellen Chenoweth, Claire Danes, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kelli O’Hara, Michael Imperioli, Vanessa Redgrave, John Leguizamo among others.
Scene Night with Anna Strasberg
Students are given the opportunity to present scenes prepared in class for critique by Mrs. Anna Strasberg, the Artistic Director of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Evenings are curated periodically throughout the year and are often the first steps taken in translating class work into performance. These evenings are part of a long-standing tradition of faculty and students collaborating to collectively grow their intellectual and practical understanding of Lee Strasberg’s Method Acting technique.