The first year focuses on establishing a foundation in acting, voice, movement and text analysis. The training emphasizes an action-based method, supplying the student with a system of acting that they may be able to utilize throughout their training. During the year, students are not cast in productions to assure full concentration on these fundamental processes. First-year students also begin their relationship with the Asolo Repertory Theatre by serving as understudies for the professional season.
Acting: Principles of acting technique, intensive work on the actor’s instrument, beginning scene study in contemporary realism, characterization.
Voice: Fundamentals of voice production, phonetics, articulation, speech, singing.
Movement: Sensory awareness, movement fundamentals, circus skills, impulse and action, combat and dance.
Dramatic Analysis: Techniques of textual analysis of dramatic literature, with a focus on methods useful to the actor.
Rehearsal and Performance: Understudy roles with Asolo Rep.
The second year is devoted to the application of the foundational methodology learned in the first year to plays outside of contemporary realism and to the application of these techniques in production. The curriculum emphasizes classical dramatic literature – including Shakespeare and Greek and Restoration plays – as well as modern masterpieces, including those by Ibsen, Chekhov and Shaw. Students in their second year perform roles in the four-play Cook Theatre season, each production of which is chosen to provide the opportunity for students to explore the acting techniques being covered in class in front of a live and appreciative audience. This performance series is presented in the 161-seat Jane B. Cook Theatre as part of the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Each play is chosen specifically for the casting possibilities in the second year class.
Acting: The classical repertory, including the plays of ancient Greece, Shakespeare and Shaw.
Voice: Verse forms, scansion, language structure analysis, dialects, advanced work on vocal instrument, continued work in singing.
Movement: Object work, physical research and characterization, period style, self staging, advanced work in movement fundamentals, circus skills, impulse and rhythm, dance and combat.
Rehearsal and Performance: Roles in the Cook Theatre season.
During May and June of the second year, FSU/Asolo Conservatory students take part in an intensive training session in the London Study Program, one of the most exciting aspects of the Conservatory curriculum. While living at the Florida State University London Study Center, located in the historic Bloomsbury area of central London, the students work with master teachers and internationally known artists including Mark Wheatley, Patsy Rodenburg and Charmian Hoare. The training in London continues the second-year concentration on the classic repertoire with special focus on Shakespeare. In addition, students work on developing original material and exploring the dramaturgy of new work. The experience not only provides the students with concentrated acting and voice classes taught by master British teachers, but also allows the students to immerse themselves in the theatrical and cultural life of London.
In their final year of the program, students become associate members of the professional resident acting company of Asolo Rep. Because Asolo Rep produces in rotating repertory, each student is guaranteed the opportunity to perform in several productions alongside seasoned, professional artists. Students also prepare for entering the profession by creating and rehearsing material for presentation in a showcase mounted for theatrical professionals in New York. Guest artists and industry professionals instruct the students in the business of acting as well as commercial techniques, film/television workshops and audition skills. Through the Actors’ Equity Membership Candidate program, all students are eligible to join Actor’s Equity Association upon completion of their three years at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory.