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The Second Year Program

Over the second year, the work moves into more advanced improvisational work, character work, and script analysis of increasingly complex and emotional modern texts. Students continue to deepen their work in voice & speech, music, dance, and physical theatre, as well as adding courses in acting for camera, the business of acting, industry showcase, Shakespeare, and more.

The second year culminates in the application of performance techniques in a public presentation. Programs range from scene nights to three-act plays. Each production is costumed and set by students under the guidance of professional designers.

Admission to the second year is granted from the first year program by approval of the faculty and administration.

Second Year Courses

Curriculum: Second Year
Total Length: 32 Weeks | Full-Time (average 40hrs/week) | 1300 clock hours 

Meisner Acting Techniques II (12hrs/week | 324 hours)

Students continue to build upon the first year of Meisner Acting Technique I using advanced improvisational technique and interpretation. Students master advanced character work and apply their training to dramatic text from both classic and modern scripts with the goal of becoming specific, skilled, and authentic actors capable of performing in theatre, film, television, and all forms of media.

Acting Shakespeare (5hrs/week | 140 hours)

Students learn the skills needed to master the technical demands of Shakespeare’s text and the particulars and challenges of classical technique. Attention is paid to active engagement with breath, vocal technique, verse, prose, rhetoric, style and the marriage of classical form with imaginative, truthful, honest acting.

Acting for Film & Television (5 hrs/week | 136 hours)

Prepares students to translate their acting through the lens of the camera and meet the professional demands of the industry. Students will work on monologues, scenes, and audition materials. The work will be filmed, reviewed and critiqued so that students learn to spontaneously internalize direction. Topics covered include voiceovers, auditioning, technical vocabulary, and performance techniques.

  • Voiceover - A practical overview of work available in the voice-over acting field and the tools and techniques to pursue that work. Primary focus will be on radio and television commercials, though students will also be exposed to promos, recorded books, animation, narration, PSAs, industrials, and video games.
  • Auditioning for Film & Television - Students are taught a hand-son approach to auditioning for all work in film, television, and other media. The particular unit in the Acting for Film & Television course will include camera technique and the art of the sell from both a corporate and personal point of view.

Alexander Technique (4.5hrs/week | 121.5 hours)

Group and individual training in the specialized field of Alexander Technique, with special attention to problems of posture, relaxation, and preparation as it relates to the actor. Special combined classes with the Voice/Speech Department are also undertaken.

Jazz Dance (1.5hrs/week | 40.5 hours)

Training in movement and techniques applicable to contemporary musical theatre. Emphasis on learning the basic vocabulary and choreography of giants in this American movement style including Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, and Agnes de Mille.

Library II / Theatre History: Contemporary Playwrights (1.5hrs/week | 24 hours)

Students continue their study of dramatic literature with an emphasis on contemporary playwrights. Through both reading scripts and attending productions of plays, they depend their understanding of the theatrical landscape. The class includes a professionally guided tour of The Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, which is an important resource for theatre artists. Each student is required to write a research paper and present their work to the class.

Make-up (5 weeks |1.5hrs/week | 7.5 hours)

This class includes a professional make-up kit personalized for each student to aid and prepare the actor for all performance situations. The class is designed to assist actors to appear their best on stage or in front of the camera and to meet all characterization and dramatic demands they will encounter. Topics covered include color theory, enhancement make-up, corrective techniques, and basic effects (eyebrow obliteration, aging techniques, bruises, scars, and laying on hair) as well as sanitation procedures and use and care of tools.

Modern Dance II (3 hrs/week | 90 hours)

Building upon the principles of Martha Graham’s technique learned in the first year, Modern Dance II has been designed specifically for the second year of the actor's training here at The Neighborhood Playhouse. Students begin incorporating improvisation with text to build individual movement studies. Attention is placed on honing the actor’s ability to move and express in a more sophisticated manner. The course culminates in a demonstration of work for faculty and students.

Music II / Singing Technique II (4.5hrs/week | 129 hours)

Building upon the skills and principles learned in Music I, this course exposes students to a wide variety of musical theater literature and material carefully selected in conjunction with his/her vocal abilities. Emphasis is placed on performing traditional and contemporary Broadway repertoire with some exposure to pop/rock songs. Skills developed include: vocal strengthening through a series of musical warm-ups; selecting and properly marking sheet music of a “16 or 32 bar cut” to best showcase the voice; exploring song and character analysis and the “given circumstances” in which the performer finds him or herself. Each student completes the course with a personal repertoire book, to use in future auditions, and a performance in the winter musical demonstration, a fully produced show open to the public.

Physical Theatre II (3.0 hrs/week | 90 hours)

This course explores the practice and practical application of Jacques Lecoq’s performance theory and techniques. Beginning with a systematic introduction to Lecoq’s movement training, students are taken through practical exercises and improvisations designed to investigate Lecoq’s collaborative and physical approaches to the chorus (developing ensemble and presence onstage), “Le Jeu” (the in-the-moment interplay between actors that keeps performance alive and compelling), Mimodynamics (observing and understanding dynamic movement structures in the world in order to create truthful characters and dynamics onstage).

Professional Development (approx. 2 hrs/wk | 20 hours)

  • Guest Artists/Business of Acting Seminar Students meet with various working professionals (casting directors, directors, writers, screenwriters, actors, producers, etc.) to learn the ins-and-outs of presenting themselves to the professional world.

Rehearsal and Performance (6-10 weeks | 30hrs/week | 200+ hours)

There are three, curricular performances for all second year students: the Musical Demonstration, the Industry Showcase, and the Final Plays. In each production students receive performance training under the guidance of a professional director.

  • MUSICAL DEMONSTRATION: In the mid-winter, students participate as an ensemble in a musical review comprised of solos, duets, and ensemble vignettes. This full produced professional event is a longtime Neighborhood Playhouse tradition open to the public and staged in our Rita Morganthau Theatre at The Neighborhood Playhouse.
  • SHOWCASE: In the early spring, all second year students perform in the industry showcase with an invited audience of industry professionals.  Students work with a director to apply their training to contemporary scenes, monologues and/ songs specifically chosen to showcase each individual actor. The administration and faculty are dedicated to helping graduates begin their acting careers. To facilitate reaching this goal the school produces the Industy Showcase. There are extensive rehearsals hours which culminate in a professionally produced event exclusively for industry professionals including casting directors, agents, managers, etc. 
  • FINAL PLAYS: At the end of the second year all students are cast in a final production where they apply their Meisner training and technical skills in performance. The play(s) are professionally directed and fully produced in the Rita Morganthau Theatre at the school. These performances are open to the public and run in repertory.

Voice and Speech II (3hrs/week | 96 hours)

Continued and advanced training to develop a professional vocal instrument that has a wide range of expression and can meet the demands of all performance mediums. Advanced vocal training in classical drama and poetry with special attention to the use of metaphor, rhyme, rhythm, and meter.

Prices, curriculum, and faculty subject to change.