Emerson is providing this information based on its current plans and in accordance with health and safety information currently available. Emerson may, in its discretion, or under direction of government or health authorities, change plans regarding modalities of courses or activities, and physical access to any facilities.
Acting Studio classes meet on the following schedule:
- Mondays through Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (theater lab, other activities as scheduled) with a break period provided from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for dinner
- Saturdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for additional classes
Typical Core Courses
- Typical Day: Morning rotation of voice, movement, improvisation, and Shakespeare classes; Afternoon rotation of scene study, auditioning / monologues class or an advanced topics class (topics in previous years' have included on-camera acting, Meisner technique, or ensemble theatre-making); Evening events or rehearsals scheduled 2–3 times per week.
- Field Trips: Artistic field trips that help students discover Boston's theater scene and incredible cultural offerings. Faculty and teaching assistants accompany students to performances at venues such as ArtsEmerson, Broadway in Boston, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and others.
Sample Course Descriptions
Acting Technique: Scene Study
This intensive acting class will introduce students to the foundational skills of how to be truthful, honest, and observant actors, who are able to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” Through work on scenes, dramatic improvs, and character explorations, students will learn to work fully from their impulses and instincts, will begin to learn the art of LISTENING (and reacting), and will learn to stay out of their heads and get into their gut. As its basis, this class will focus on emotional realism, with a significant emphasis on truthfulness in performance. Students will be asked to apply that core truthfulness to a variety of contexts that the contemporary working actor contends with.
Improv for Actors
This class is designed to explore the essential pillars of acting through dramatic improvised play. At the heart of the course are the same principles of all good acting—behaving truthfully in imagined given circumstances, being fully alive in the breath, physicality, and being emotionally available, vulnerable and responsive to the present moment. Special attention will be paid to character and storytelling, exploring how improv techniques can be used in scene study with written text. Students will also apply these skills to cold reads and creating original content.
Monologues and Audition Technique
This class will teach young actors how to approach monologues in an imaginative, specific, and impulse driven way. The course will focus on skills for how to select material that speaks to you in a visceral place, and on how to bring that material to life through a deep and embodied connection to what is compelling you to say these words, in this exact moment, to whoever you are speaking to. Topics covered will also include pre-beats, textual analysis, various monologue structures, and how to listen and react to an imaginary partner. The course will also cover audition techniques, helping young actors gain both the skill set and confidence to begin auditioning successfully.
Voice and Text
This class will teach actors the fundamental pillars of connecting to and freeing their body and voice as is requisite for today’s creative performing artist. Using the Linklater Voice Method, this course roots the actor’s work in the experience of breath, voice, body, and language, with the eventual goal of establishing truthful expression through an unrestricted body and free voice that is open to impulse and imagination. Students will be introduced to the Linklater Voice Progression and will learn ways to vocally warm up. Students will also engage with sound and movement exercises and generate material using journaling and self-scripting in order to begin communicating fully and opening up all the channels for listening and responding.
Shakespeare’s plays have urgency and connection to our contemporary lives. This course is an immersive acting class exploring emotion, action, and physicality through Shakespeare’s language. Through monologues and scene work, as well as writing exercises, games, and supplementary video and reading, we will discover acting clues in meter, phrasing, onomatopoeia, antithesis, status, verse v. prose and more—all practical tools to arm the actor in approaching this sometimes, intimidating material. Students will have the opportunity to bring themselves to and find themselves in these wonderfully human and complex characters, and experience the power, beauty, and nowness of these 400-year-old texts.
Emerson College reserves the right to change any provision of this program at any time. The College specifically reserves the right to change its tuition rates and any other financial charges. The College also reserves the right to rearrange its courses and class hours, to drop courses for which registration falls below the minimum enrollment, and to change instructor assignments.
Note: Pre-college programs are not eligible for Emerson College's employee tuition benefits