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Year 3

In the final year of training, we work to tie together all the strands of your training to prepare you to enter the professional world. To this end, there's an increased emphasis on individual tutorial work, specialized dialect work, and coaching in connection with productions. Important classes include working with some of the best teachers in New York to help you begin taking charge of business affairs and learning how to audition, as well as your many options in the world of theatre, film and television. There are additional workshops to broaden your sense of collaboration, including a unique and essential class at the Public Theater, taught in tandem by Oskar Eustis and Suzan-Lori Parks. You also have the opportunity to work on-camera with experienced professionals as well as students from the NYU Graduate Film Department. In addition, there is on-going selection and preparation for your final scenes for your showcase presentations in Los Angeles and New York.



Steve White

Beginning the first semester of the third year we revive the scenes and rehearse them for realism safety and to blend the acting with the physical. At the end of the first semester third year we present the scenes to the entire school at a demonstration of weapon-based scenes.


Annie Piper

The third year continues your physical practice, but adds emphasis on seated meditation and grounding. Trusting silence. Trusting stillness. Finding your center. Preparation for “real life”. What is your internal "home base" as a trained actor? Breath work leans toward triggering 'relaxation' effect.

Alexander Technique

Vincent Agustinovich, Mona Stiles, Kim Jessor

YR 3 includes continued production support by the Alexander faculty. There is a deepening emphasis on using the process to find fresh creative non habitual choices for characterization.

Movement 3

Fay Simpson

Lucid Body Advanced; Tools for Character Development - This class applies the Lucid Body  tools for each character the students are working on in school, promoting the individuation of process; each student will be encouraged to find a private process that is practical and reliable for them to embody a character.  This course also covers in depth work with partnering by lifting, throwing and falling as a way of building trust and learning the suspense of risk. The goal of these exercises is to develop the active space of physical listening between two people, and promote impulse based on physical sensitivity, instead of mental control. Finally, the class will  encourage the students to create a practical process of coming out of character, to help sustain physical and emotional stability.

Voice and Speech

Voice 3

Scott Miller

The first semester third year is focused on the art of full integration and application. We increase the load the brain must deal with, both physically and mentally while attempting to stay as tension free and expansive as possible in the breath and voice. We begin working on bigger sound in bigger spaces and theaters - the focus here is to keep the integrity of intention in the voice while fulfilling the demands of bigger spaces. We meet for private tutorials in order to tweak any adjustments that need be made and emerge with a few daily exercises to focus on for the individual's unique needs.

During this semester, there is also a concentration with on-camera film and TV work. While students have an acting on-camera class, the vocal version of this concentration explores how breath and voice are used differently in film work vs. live theatre.  We work very specifically in this area so the student is left with an understanding of what are the nuances that tend to hold an audience’s attention from a vocal standpoint.

During this final semester we meet less frequently and more in the realm of coaching. By this time, you have created your way of working and little attention is given to altering the choices you've made. The focus is more on pure coaching, a more sterile approach you might receive out in the professional world. Simple adjustments, specific direction - often given for the sole purpose of seeing if you are supple enough to adjust accordingly; we work exclusively in a large theater space and concentrate on deeper (more physically challenging) and more athletic warm-ups.  All this work morphs nicely into coaching on the showcase scenes, by this time we’ve built a shorthand which requires very little effort and comes with great ease.

Techniques of Voice and Text

Shane-Ann Younts

In the Techniques of Voice and Text classes, my goal is to develop the actors' voices so that they are flexible, versatile and strong. The techniques that are taught include exercises to clarify ideas, to sustain thoughts, to build speeches, to express contrasting or parenthetical ideas, and to convey a point of view. In Year Three, all of the technical exercises are connected to their acting training when each student works on monologues from Shakespeare's plays. We work to combine acting with the voice work and with the techniques they have learned. This work is definitely advanced and the students are ready for this step and eager to embrace it. Although these exercises use Shakespeare, everything they learn can be applied to anything from a voice over, to a TV sitcom script, to a monologue from, August Wilson or Chekov, to a film script.

Musical Comedy

Larry Maslon, Associate Chair & Deborah Lapidus, Head of Voice

This is a unique class, which combines skills learned during Years One and Two (singing, phrasing, character, style) and brings them together by exploring the fearless, presentational, often outrageous world of musical comedy. Deb Lapidus and Larry Maslon collaborate, drawing on their respective backgrounds (singing and history of musical theater). Students are given solos and duets taken from the best material in musical comedy (from songwriters such as Cole Porter to Mel Brooks; shows such as On The Town to Spamalot) and learn the technical skills of characterization, timing, risk-taking and listening to a partner. Even students who aren’t gearing toward a career in the musical theater field learn about filling an outsize role and committing to large idea in a presentational style. Frequently, the students present their work informally to the rest of the school at the end of the semester.


Toolbox 3

Mark Wing-Davey, Chair of Graduate Acting

This is a class I teach occasionally. It is a development of the work I did with Anna Deavere Smith on the technique of Verbatim Theatre. The actors are asked to go get short (two to three minute) interviews, which they record and then speak along to while listening to the interview via headphones. This is further developed into recordings of conversations where two or more actors share the playback device and others can watch the interaction as it takes place and translate the qualities and nature of those conversations to interactions/dialogue in their other work. I also include speeches of ideas where the actor has to pick some kind of political or instructional speech to make sure they can deliver meaning without being over-reliant on character quirks. I also occasionally add in Audition Hit Squad where an actor is given a couple of sides to prepare, regardless of their day to day schedule, with only two or three days notice has a ten minute audition with a theater or TV casting director and then receives feedback.

Scene Study

Janet Zarish, Head of Acting)

Scenes in the first slot of this semester are tailored to each actor’s individual needs at this point in the training. Scene assignment is specific and diagnostic, chosen to stretch the actor in those areas where attention is most required; some of these might include language, transformation, size, or an open expressiveness through heart, mind or body.

After being stretched in every way imaginable, we bring you back to yourselves. The final scenes you are assigned are chosen from the current New York Broadway, Off-Broadway, Downtown seasons, and you are cast to type, playing the kinds of roles in contemporary plays you will be stepping into once you graduate. You have come full circle.

Public Theater Collaboration

Oskar Eustis, Suzan-Lori Parks, Scott Illingworth

This class, unique to students of the Graduate Acting Program, involves the basic vocabulary of collaboration among actors, writers, directors, and designers on new material. Students attend a weekly session under the guidance of Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, which folds in students of the Dramatic Writing Program of NYU, supervised by Suzan-Lori Parks. New works are created, changed, evolved, and critiqued in a workshop environment and working relationships are forged.

Acting for the Camera

Joanna Merlin

In the fall semester of the third year, we work exclusively on auditioning for the camera, using film and television material. The auditioning technique is based on my book, "Auditioning: An Actor-Friendly Guide".


Rosemarie Tichler

The primary goal of the Audition Technique Class, given in the 3rd year of training, is to demystify the audition process. We begin work with a "mock" casting session where the students are the auditors: the directors, producers or casting directors who make the decisions. The students experience first hand what "they" are looking for and it serves as a context for the work which follows. Each student is given a new side (scene or monologue) to prepare for each class. They garner experience with a wide variety of playwriting styles and develop skills on how to prepare for and approach cold readings and auditions. They learn to bring the formidable acting skills and techniques they have acquired and re-think and re-focus them for the audition process. Work is also done in helping students choose and develop classical and contemporary monologues for an audition process.

In the second semester, the class prepares the graduating actor for the Actor Presentations, the showcase event that is held each spring in New York City and Los Angeles. This event officially introduces them to the profession as it is attended by Casting Directors, Agents and Managers who work in theater, film, television, and commercials. Work is also done in this semester to help students choose and develop classical and contemporary monologues for general auditions.


Joanna Merlin

In the spring semester of the third year, I facilitate the Career Class designed to prepare student for entering the profession. Our guests include panels of agents and casting directors; an audition workshop in theater and TV with professional casting directors; and a commercial auditioning workshop. In addition, we hold six workshop sessions with professional film and television directors and casting directors. Previous guests include Bob Balaban, Michael Mayer, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Swee (Lincoln Center Casting Director), and Meg Simon (VP Casting Time Warner TV).