Two Year Associate Degree in Acting
Our next start dates are early May and the middle of September.
The TOA Associates degree in acting has been developed over decades of professional experience and successful teaching methods. We provide an exciting and stimulating training for a successful career on film, television and stage.We guide the student in fulfilling their potential as a professional actor in this highly competitive industry.
AC101. Acting I (4 credits)
Beginning with the assumption that there are as many different methods of acting as there are actors, our classes will start with a basic exploration of the best-known acting methods, all the while incorporating exercises to demonstrate each method. We will delve into Stanislavski, Strasberg, Adler, Meisner, Uta Hagen and Michael Chekhov, in hopes that an overview will inspire each student to begin to find their own ways into their own discipline. We will then move into exercises directly incorporating observation & imagination, where the student’s perception of objects studied leads to a recreation of them for the class.
VX101. Voice I (2 credits)
Voice I addresses the fundamentals needed to enable this vital component of the actor’s instrument. Several aspects of vocal technique will be explored in this class including diction, articulation, voice color, tone and projection. In support of these areas of focus; physical and vocal relaxation exercises will be practiced in addition to essential diaphragmatic breathing techniques. Inspired by the Cicely Berry technique, this course will form the basis of all future voice classes in the curriculum.
MF101. Movement For Actors (1 credits)
This course introduces the student to body awareness, physical intention, and the development of character movement, using Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Pilates and yoga to further explore the connection between character and physical expression. Students discuss the time periods of social acceptance of movement, dance, gestures and manners. Games are introduced to facilitate freedom of movement and assignments include “silent monologues” and “musical monologues”. At the end of the course, students will have mastered and be able to present a series of warm ups, movement combinations and a cool down.
SB101. Script Breakdown (2 credits)
We will begin by exploring a monologue together, and then each bring in favorite texts of our own to analyze. Outside of class, we will read a new script every week, beginning with stage plays and then moving into screenplays & television scripts. In each class, we will break down several scenes from these scripts, as we dissect their texts for keys to theme and characterization. By the end of the class, we will work on sides – when one must find important clues in partial scripts. And finally, cold text analysis; Getting to the heart of a scene with limited time.
IP101. Improvisation (1.5 credits)
In this class, students will learn the fundamentals of performing short form improvisational exercises and scenes. In short form improvisation, the objective is to create imaginatively in the moment, using the tools of agreement, playfulness, and storytelling. The course is designed to allow the actor the freedom to explore character, environment, and situations freely without a script. Scene analysis and dramatic structure are two elements introduced through a series of playful improvisational exercises. The idea of “Yes-And” is explored throughout the course, encouraging the beginning actor to always except and agree with an acting partner’s offer or contribution to the scene. Later in the course, more advanced exercises such as the “Switch” exercises and the long form “Harold” are introduced, allowing actors to work towards a longer form improvisational technique.
TH101. Theatre History (1.5 Credits)
This is a course on the history of world drama from its inception through the classic periods of dramatic literature to the present day. Students will read a selection of plays from each period and discuss the historical and political context, achieve a perspective of dramatic and comedic styles and examine the job of an actor in interpreting the text while developing a sense of period style. Comparing and contrasting these plays will give the student a wide range of intellectual psychological and emotional understanding of how the playwright and actor can truly contribute to one another in the realization of the creative process of designing work for the stage.
AC110. Acting II (4 credits)
Acting II explores various acting theories and starts applying them to performance. The acting disciplines discussed in Acting I are utilized to achieve the goal of exposing students to various forms of acting practice. Many contrasting styles of theatre are explored while using different techniques which are then applied in scene study through the work of Anton Chekhov, Neil LaBute, Neil Simon and other language driven playwrights. Prerequisite *AC101.Acting I
VX110. Voice II (2 credits)
This course focuses on improving clarity and articulation in practical text work. Emphasis will be placed on learning to recognize problem areas in consonant and vowel placement, in addition to maintaining the shape of the mouth in creating the spoken word. Breathing techniques, warm-ups and vocal exercises are then applied to a wide variety of dramatic texts, including individual, pair, and group work. Prerequisite *VX101.Voice I
OC101. On Camera Fundamentals (1 credit)
In this course, students will master the basic technical requirements of acting on camera. The emphasis is on the on camera acting ‘process’ and to prepare the students for the requirements necessary to work on a professional film and television set. Through video record and playback of acting exercises, students will master the concepts of “hitting marks,” “establishing eye lines,” and “working a frame.” Other concepts explored in class are “master shots,” “coverage,” and “continuity.” The workshop will be conducted in a “hands-on” experiential fashion where students will also be assigned to crew positions for their peers during taping.
MK110. Mask (1 credit)
In this class, students will explore character and physicality through the wearing of different masks. Student will improvise on characters and situations to release inhibition and stimulate imagination. Text and methods are drawn from a wide variety of sources including Greek Theatre, Commedia/Clowning traditions, James Lecog, and Michael Chekhov. The goal of this class is to broaden and deepen the actor’s interpretation of the emotional and physical life of the characters within a dramatic story. An emphasis will be placed on warming up, creating a black slate, and the creative expression of the actor. Prerequisite * IP101.Improvisation
SM110. Scene Study – Contemporary (2 credits)
In this course, the actor will further explore contemporary texts, with particular emphasis on behavioral and character choices. The actor will rehearse scenes focusing on the rhythm, relationships and the playwright’s intentions with regard to the structure of the piece as a whole. The intention of this class is to encourage the student to make strong and intelligent choices based on character and environmental research and gain greater insight into the dramatic potential within scripts specifically written for television and film.
MF110. Movement-Contemporary/Classical Dance (1 credit)
This course is designed to increase the actors’ strength, flexibility, and versatility. The principles of contemporary and classical movement are based on centering, alignment, gravity, breathing, contraction, release, fall and recovery, suspension, balance and off-balance, tension and relaxation, opposition and emotion as it relates to the human body and its connection to the mind. Prerequisite * MF101.Movement Fundamentals
CF110. Combat (1 credit)
Students learn how to stage fight scenes for theatre and film. Physical techniques used to achieve this result include basic martial arts demonstration, and gymnastic exercises. Self-defense is also explored. The exercises are designed to increase coordination and gain a more insightful intellectual approach to a physical situation.
AC120. Acting III (4 credits)
This course is designed to further develop the student’s understanding of the essentials of acting in relationship to the practical challenges of the profession today. The objective is to create a consistent understanding of the skills and craft of an actor, how to develop audition techniques, and through advanced scene study, extend the actor’s practical abilities in script and character analysis and background research. Prerequisite * AC110.Acting II
VX120. Voice III (2 credits)
This course continues the exploration of the student’s application of breath, tone, and articulation exercises. Through a series of specifically chosen scenes for each student, the rhythm and vocal color and tone of the text is developed to inform individual character development. Vocal rhythm, pitch and pronunciation are key elements in this class. Prerequisite * VX110.Voice II
RP120. Performance Prep (2 credits)
The techniques and resources of an actor’s skills and craft that have been explored so far in the curriculum are put into practice. Monologues, dialogues and group scenes, both contemporary and classical, are rehearsed and produced, culminating in a performance at the end of the trimester for faculty and students.
Prerequisite * SM110.Scene Study
CT210. On Camera – Scene Study (2 credit)
Following the on camera fundamentals of practical technique, the student starts to apply these principles to incorporate character and dramatic situation. Contemporary film and television scripts are read and particular scenes chosen for production in front of the camera in a studio environment. The goal is to provide the student with enough knowledge, understanding and technique to create truthful characters in imaginary circumstances in the highly technical environment of a film or television location or studio.
Prerequisite * OC101.On Camera– Fundamentals
SC120. Scene Study – Classical (2 credits)
In this class, students examine different scenes from classical dramatic literature each week. The class begins with an introductory lecture on a particular period of history, which is then followed by scene study assignments from different texts of that period. Students will explore the ancient Greeks, the Jacobean period, Shakespeare, Restoration comedy, the fathers of modern naturalism, Strindberg, Ibsen and Chekhov, and English and French classics of the last century.
AC201. Acting IV-Advanced Scene Study (3 credits)
Combining the practical application of learned technique with the advanced analysis of more complex and layered texts, the student will learn to expand their emotional and intellectual understanding in order to fulfill the entire potential inherent within the written character. Both classic and contemporary scripts will be studied and scenes selected for particular challenges of interpretation and performance. From American contemporary drama classics to comedy to plays that are running on Broadway right now, the students will explore a wide range of varying styles. Through this work, the student will be encouraged to gain confidence and strength in order to make bold choices in their exploration of character. Students will also learn audition technique for both stage and screen. Prerequisite * AC120.Acting III
VS201. Voice IV (2 credits)
The encapsulation of all the vocal and breathing techniques studied up to this point will be applied to practical performance. Monologues and scenes which have particular vocal demands will be assigned, rehearsed and presented at the end of the trimester. Prerequisite * VX120.Voice III
CC201. On Camera – Comedy (1.5 credits)
This course is a performance-based class where students will explore various aspects of comedy acting on camera. The objective of the course is to make each student comfortable in auditioning for and performing comedic characters and situations on camera. Techniques used in the course include character development, script analysis, improvisation, story-telling, type casting, unscripted versus scripted projects; in addition to observing live sitcom tapings off campus to enhance the classroom experience. Prerequisite * OC101.On Camera Fundamentals
CM201. On Camera – Commercial (1.5 credits)
This course explores all aspects of commercial acting from audition to performance in front of the camera. Current commercial copy is used as students learn how to slate, cold read, present a prepared audition, follow direction and perform commercials in our television studio. Students audition for commercials that are either currently on television or being cast, watch the result on our professional monitors, and are given feedback and critique from the instructor. Prerequisite * OC101.On Camera Fundamentals
OP201. One Person Show (2 credits)
The course is designed to give the student an opportunity to create an autobiographical performance piece, either real or imaginary. In writing and creating a short one person show, the student will learn how to be objective about their past experiences and use them constructively in their work as an actor. Designed to release inhibition and develop the creative process as a whole, each student will present their work for faculty and students at the end of the trimester.
IC201. Influential Cinema (1 credit)
Each week a different film will be assigned for the class to view for discussion in the following class. Amidst class discussion, individual segments or scenes from the assigned film will be viewed again and analyzed, either for relevance of performance or to illustrate the importance of the films’ overall contribution to the history of film. The sources for the selection of films include but are not limited to; AFI’s “Best” lists, the Academy Awards “Best Picture” list, etc.
CF120. Fencing (1 credit)
Students learn how to stage fight scenes for theatre and film. Physical techniques used to achieve this result include simulated weapons use. Self-defense and fencing with use of foil, epee and saber is also explored. The exercises are designed to increase coordination with a sword.
RP210. One Act Play (4 credits)
One act plays or single acts of two or three act plays are chosen for the specific students in the class at that particular time. The goal is to integrate all aspects of the skills and craft of an actor in a presentation for faculty and students at the end of the trimester. The rehearsal process is deliberately structured to give the student a lengthy period to discover all aspects of preparation for a public performance. The production will be presented in our theatre with basic lighting set and costume components. Prerequisite * RP120.Performance Prep
VO210. Voice Over (2 credits)
This course will introduce the student to the microphone and vocal techniques used in film and television, radio and recording studios in the industry today. Voiceovers for commercials, video games, looping for films, cartoon character creation and documentary narration are all aspects of this highly specialized and technically demanding component of the modern actor’s work.
Prerequisite * VX201.Voice IV
MT210. Musical Audition Technique (2 credits)
This course uses the synthesis of three elements of theatre: music/singing, dialogue/acting, and choreography/dance to create a series of vignettes of musical cabaret. The course is designed to reinforce rehearsal preparedness and character development as students will be expected to memorize both music and dance pieces within the character.
AT210. Audition Technique/Monologues (1.5 credits)
This is a practical performance course where students will learn auditioning skills for theatre, television and film. Through the choice and preparation of monologues, instruction on how to develop a cold reading technique and exercises in pre-read auditions, producer call backs and screen tests, the instructor will illustrate the steps involved in ensuring the best result. Original scripts from film and televisions projects currently being cast will be used in class as learning tools in the simulated audition exercises. Monologues will be prepared for theatre auditions. Prerequisite * RP120.Performance Prep
CS400. On Camera – Advanced Scene Study (1.5 credits)
Building on the previous on camera classes, the student will now read and rehearse contemporary scenes in preparation for the production of an individual demonstration reel or DVD. Each student will learn how to prepare a short list of film scenes or monologues suitable for this purpose and examine various examples in use by successful actors in the industry. Prerequisite *CT210.On Camera – Scene Study
TN210. Makeup (1 credit)
The student will learn the basics of theatrical make up, both straight and character, and study how makeup is applied for film and television production. Throughout the course, students will discover how special effects through makeup techniques are achieved, including the ageing process, the fashions of specific historic periods and the creation of wounds and scars.
CD410. On Camera – Demo Reel (2 credits)
The material for the demonstration reel will have been chosen and part rehearsed in the class room. This class will move the student into a professional television studio environment with lights, cameras, sound and monitors. Through further rehearsal and filming both scenes and monologues, the student will learn the basic techniques used in editing a show reel and will finish the course with a hard copy of the work for professional use at a later date.
Prerequisite *CT.210.On Camera –Scene Study
IP220. Industry Preparation (1 credit)
This is a comprehensive review of how an actor deals with the business side of the profession. From how to prepare a resume, how to get the best headshots, how to use the social networks to build industry contacts, how to find out about upcoming casting and how obtain the various union memberships; all these subjects are explored. Financial planning, tax preparation and agent/manager relationships are also part of this course. Website design, internet submissions, acting workshops, networking, related performing arts classes and alternative sources of income are all reviewed to prepare the student for a proactive and fulfilling career. Seminars are given by guest speakers from various branches of the industry. Casting directors, film and television directors, theatre producers, union representatives from Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Equity are all invited to discuss the practical challenges facing the actor and his career. Students will discuss how to best present themselves in a meeting or audition situation. Particular emphasis is placed on professional self discipline, attitude and positive energy.
RP220. Full Length Play (4 credits)
This rehearsal period leads to a public performance of a full length play to which industry professionals are invited to attend. The purpose of this production is for the student actor to gain experience in public performance and attract industry attention. Prerequisite * RP120.Performance Prep
IS220. Industry Showcase (3 credits)
Various scenes and monologues are rehearsed to demonstrate the students learnt skills and craft, culminating in a performance for industry professionals including agents, managers, casting directors and producers. Prerequisite * RP210.One Act Play