fbpx

Slide WHO WE ARE EQUITY, DIVERSITY,
AND INCLUSION
GW CAMPUS CONTACT US
THE ONE-YEAR-PROGRAM CURRICULUM FACULTY TIMELINE AUDITIONS APPLY FINANCIAL AID CURRENT PRODUCTIONS PHOTOS AND MEDIA ABOUT TRAINING ADMISSIONS EVENTS APPLY ADMISSIONS EVENTS APPLY TRAINING ABOUT US ACA

at STC in residence at The George Washington University THE
ACADEMY

No.1 No. 1 We are committed to post-colonial, anti-racist reimaginings of Shakespeare and other classical texts, and a profound exploration of the variety and breadth of the human spirit in all of its myriad incarnations. SEE STC'S ANTI-RACIST STATEMENT No.2 No. 2 We believe in rigor and practice as the path to develop craft. SEE OUR ONE-YEAR COURSE OF STUDY No.3 No. 3 We believe that exhilarant language can change space and time. SEE OUR ONE-YEAR COURSE OF STUDY No.4 No. 4 We believe in the power of the human body to manifest mythic stories in the theatre. SEE OUR ONE-YEAR COURSE OF STUDY No.5 No. 5 We believe that reimagining the classics requires craft, scholarship, flexibility, and audacity. SEE OUR ONE-YEAR COURSE OF STUDY 01 02 03 04 PRINCIPLES 05

ABOUT
US

Who We Are OUR PRINCIPLES We are committed to post-colonial, anti-racist reimaginings of Shakespeare and other classical texts, and a profound exploration of the variety and breadth of the human spirit in all of its myriad incarnations.

We believe in rigor and practice as the path to develop craft.

We believe that exhilarant language can change space and time.

We believe in the power of the human body to manifest mythic stories in the theatre.

We believe that reimagining the classics requires craft, scholarship, flexibility, and audacity.
Our intensive, classical MFA program is a joint venture between Shakespeare Theatre Company and the George Washington University. Classes in Acting, Text & Rhetoric, Voice, Speech, Mask, Movement, and Stage Combat make up the core of the curriculum. Faculty members for the program are award-winning actors and artists associated with Shakespeare Theatre Company.
EDI We at the ACA are committed to challenging and changing the notion of "classical" work to speak to the promise of a post-colonial theatre community. We acknowledge the harm that traditional, white-centric programs and theatres like ours have done, and we seek to repair the relationships that have been deeply impacted by the structural racism inherent in our past policies and practices.

Among the actions we've taken are:

• Providing required anti-racist training for our Faculty, Staff, and Students.
• Applying all guest-teaching funds to BIPOC guest instructors.
• De-colonializing our audition process by allowing online interviews and asking actors to share any materials they feel best support them.
• ACA Faculty are matching all student donations to social justice organizations.

As we reach out to underrepresented communities and work to create a safe and inclusive space at the ACA, we ask our alumni, supporters, friends, and the greater theatre community to embrace and support these goals, and to hold us accountable to them.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
STC Shakespeare Theatre Company produces and presents the highest-quality classic theatre productions across genres, bringing them to vibrant life in a provocative, imaginative and accessible style. We create theatre to ignite a dialogue that connects the universality of classic works to our shared human experience in the modern world.

With Shakespeare at our core, we explore plays of national and international relevancy—those with profound themes, complex characters and heightened language—through a contemporary 21st century lens.

We expand the classic theatre repertoire in America by reviving and commissioning adaptations and translations of important forgotten works.

We create impactful and responsive arts education and community engagement programs to connect audiences to the significance of classic works and themes.

We provide a home for leading classical artists and a training ground for the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators.
GW When the international Covid-19 pandemic struck, the ACA was in performances for its Spring devised production based on tales from Ovid's METAMORPHOSES. After canceling the run, we moved immediately to continuing our rigorous training in an online enviroment, and we finished the 2019-20 school year with an extraordinary series of Radio Plays: HAMLET, ROMEO AND JULIET, and George Bernard Shaw's MAN AND SUPERMAN.

Listen to the ACA Radio Reps here, or search "ACA Radio Reps" in your favorite podcast app.

This August, our faculty and full cohort of MFA candidates started their training online with the same level of commitment, rigor, and energy our program demands. George Washington University began an extensive testing program, which enabled us to continue many of our core classes - Acting, Mask, and Combat - in person, with every student and faculty member being tested once per week, and practicing physical distancing and strict mask-wearing protocols at all times. At the same time, we made every class available live online to any student who did not wish to attend in-person.

We anticipate being fully back in the Fall for our 2021/22 classes. However, should the need arise, the faculty and staff are eminently prepared to continue online instruction as necessary. Additionally, any student who has any medical or family reasons that keep them from feeling comfortable attending in person can attend synchronously online if they wish.
THE ACA DURING THE PANDEMIC When the international Covid-19 pandemic struck, the ACA moved immediately to continuing our rigorous training in an online enviroment, and we finished the 2019-20 school year with an extraordinary series of Radio Plays.

Listen to the ACA Radio Reps here, or search "ACA Radio Reps" in your favorite podcast app.

This August, our faculty and full cohort of MFA candidates started their training online with the same level of commitment, rigor, and energy our program demands. George Washington University began an extensive testing program, which enabled us to continue many of our core classes in person, with every student and faculty member being tested once per week, and practicing physical distancing and strict mask-wearing protocols at all times. At the same time, we made every class available live online to any student who did not wish to attend in-person.

We anticipate being fully back in the Fall for our 2021/22 classes. However, should the need arise, the faculty and staff are eminently prepared to continue online instruction. Additionally, any student who has any concerns about attending in person can attend synchronously online if they wish.
Contact Our Address:

The Academy for Classical Acting
at The George Washington University
2129 G Street NW, Building L, Rear
Washington, D.C. 20052

Phone: 202.994.2819
Email: kwhite@shakespearetheatre.org

At Shakespeare Theatre Company

Academy for Classical Acting
Shakespeare Theatre Company
516 8th St. SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

Mail your application materials to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences–Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington, D.C. 20052
EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION WHO WE ARE WHO WE ARE WHO WE ARE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY COVID-19 CONTACT US SWIPE FOR MORE

OUR
TRAINING

One-Year Program At the ACA, our twelve-month graduate program offers both artistic and practical advantages that set it apart from other MFA acting programs. Many actors desire additional classical training but cannot devote three years to a conventional MFA program. Such programs take them out of the field for a very long time and, most significantly, only focus marginally on classical acting.

The ACA’s highly physical, rigorous training is part of a true immersion program, with an exceptional number of contact hours between students and a professional faculty. Our curriculum consists of six full days of classes and rehearsals for twelve consecutive months, including performances of fully-staged ACA repertory productions. Beginning in late August and finishing in mid-July, the training involves roughly 44 weeks of instruction, with classes usually beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10am-3:00pm on Saturdays. This 59-credit degree is divided into three terms: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

In the Fall and Spring semesters, Academy actors will rehearse and perform one-hour devised Shakespeare productions, directed and staged by artists from the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the D.C. area. Rehearsals take place in the evenings after classes, and on Saturdays. During the Summer term, actors are cast in two full-length classical plays, which rehearse on an Equity schedule Monday through Saturday.
WHY ONE YEAR?
Curriculum: Acting The goal of the acting curriculum at the ACA is to join the emotional, physical and imaginative life of a role with the technical skills needed to express that character to its fullest. This is achieved through rigorous foundation work and applying the basic tenets of acting to the acting of plays in verse; making strong choices that are grounded in the text, establishing a connection to the scene partner, listening and responding to what is happening in the scene.

A thorough and detailed process is established in order to bring the language to life through thoughtful text analysis, attention to the intricacies of meter and punctuation, clarity of changes in action (shifts or beat changes) and freeing up the imagination to create a wider variety of available choices. Using scenes and monologues, the students work closely with the instructors to bring their physical and vocal instruments to meet the demands of the material, and integrate the work done in other classes. In the fall term, the scenes focus on the tragedies and history plays; in the spring, comedies are introduced. Throughout the year work continues on monologues from all of the plays.

The ACA faculty in Voice, Alexander Technique, Text, and Mask attend acting classes regularly in order to gain a greater awareness of progress and address aspects of the work in an integrated manner.
ACTING
Curriculum: Text and Rhetoric Work with Shakespeare’s text is central to classes at the ACA across the curriculum, whether it is a voice, acting, mask or academic seminar. Additional focused text classes provide the foundation and tools for that work. Scansion begins as a technical skill supporting clarity and ease with the verse, but becomes a resource for character and situation as well. In preparation for the spring, we return to scansion and meter, exploring both the evolution of Shakespeare’s verse in the late plays and the verse tactics of the major Jacobean playwrights.

Rhetoric is another fundamental, one far more central to Elizabethan and Jacobean speech than it is to our daily language. In Shakespeare, rhetoric is a mode of thought, not simply decorative language. Therefore mastering the rhetoric enables us both to articulate complex thoughts with clarity and to experience the way Shakespeare’s characters think.

Shakespeare’s prose, though it lacks meter, has its own rhythm, in part defined by its rhetorical shape. Finding that rhythm of thought is essential to the clarity and life of the prose. With prose, as with meter, rhetoric, and imagery, we approach the work through both brain and body: balancing analytical and physical techniques for understanding and harnessing the dynamics of Shakespeare’s language. The resulting agility with text provides a firm foundation for confident performance of classical roles.
TEXT AND RHETORIC
Curriculum: Voice and Speech Voice training at the ACA aims at developing actors capable of speaking Shakespeare’s language with clarity, ease, and nuance, with the breath support and capacity to fill large and complex thoughts, and with the richness and agility to unleash the power of the poetry.

Because no one vocal technique provides all answers for all people, ACA vocal work entails a variety of approaches to developing the actor’s voice. Breath work is primary, as freedom of  breath helps deepen the actor’s access to emotion. We work with the actor to develop vocal support, resonance, capacity, range, spontaneity and flexibility.

ACA’s speech work is integrated thoroughly into the acting process. The speech professor attends classes to give notes, identifying ways in which the student might communicate more meaningfully and effectively, and works with directors when the students are doing their table work for the repertory plays in the last term. As with all other classes at the ACA, speech classes are fully participatory and interactive.

Students learn to be highly proficient in the International Phonetic Alphabet, scansion dynamics and various other forms of text analysis, so there is a significant amount of material handed in and returned with comments. This way, students are always aware of their level of work and the advancements they are making.
VOICE AND SPEECH
Curriculum: Mask For the classical actor, mask work is about generating energy, size and presence. The mask has a very practical use and a profound purpose: to make the body the primary instrument of expression rather than the face, and to develop the physical presence needed to inhabit a role. Mask work guides us to eliminate inhibiting habitual patterns, encourages clarity of movement and fosters a greater command of stillness. In distilling action down to essential rhythms, we comprehend the space and force of gesture. The actor discovers greater depths of expressiveness, how to move with power and presence and deeper understandings of spatial dynamics. MASK Curriculum: Stage Combat Stage Combat at the ACA explores the art of violence in classical acting. During the program, the participant will explore in-depth the principles of Hand-to-Hand Combat, Broadsword, Rapier, and Rapier and Dagger.

ACA actors will develop the skills to master the safe use of these weapons on stage. The class explores training methods of footwork, hip relationship, blade actions and grappling.  Special emphasis is given to acting the fight, bringing meaning and intent to the physical actions and how to develop a fight to serve the play. The actor will develop a personal understanding of how the body moves and listens, and freely expresses itself safely in the dynamics of stage violence.

The class will develop fight scenes and perform them in class. Each actor will have the opportunity to earn their Actor Combatant Certifications in the Society of American Fight Direc­tors.
STAGE COMBAT
Curriculum: Alexander Technique With Alexander Technique, actors can learn to free their breath at will, release into strong emotion, support themselves with effortless poise, speak with unforced power, move with grace and ease, choose from a far larger palette of acting choices and match the clarity of their acting intentions with a clarity of execution.

During the fall trimester, actors receive three hours of group instruction each week. The principles of the technique are introduced and explored through guided group, partner and individual kinesthetic exercises. As the trimester advances, the Alexander Technique instructor and the voice instructor teach occasional combined classes, to consolidate the mutual benefits of their disciplines. In the second half of the trimester, actors also engage in scene work with hands-on guidance from the instructor, which allows them to detect over-effort and other errors in the way they are using themselves as they are happening.

The winter trimester builds on this foundation, with actors receiving weekly half-hour private instruction. These hands-on sessions help the actors to grow in their mastery of the technique, so that by the spring trimester, they can consistently use it in their scene work and are ready to apply it in actual productions. The instructor attends rehearsals during the spring and provides support and assistance to the actors as they approach performance with far greater awareness and skill.
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
Curriculum: Movement Core strength is critical for an actor’s craft. The movement course focuses intensely on centering, breathing and precision in the core through Pilates exercises on the mat and standing. The focus and discipline that Pilates requires becomes an integral part of the actor’s life.

Students will learn to clarify their body lines, coordination and rhythm through the dance and movement segments of the class by using a broad spectrum of disciplines including: lyric jazz, modern, contemporary ballet, ballroom, period dance and improvisation. The instructional and creative aspects of movement will assist students in preparation for the physical demands of their craft.

The movement class also explores aspects of choreography, learning routines and dance combinations and creating their own movement and general choreographic learning that is frequently required from actors at many auditions.

Movement class meets three times per week for 90 minutes in the fall and two times per week in the winter/spring and as often as scheduling permits in the summer. Since frequent physical conditioning is a valued tool for daily enhancement of the actor’s body, students are encouraged to continue with Pilates work on the alternate days.
MOVEMENT
Curriculum: Topics in Theatre This academic cornerstone of the ACA covers the theories and topics of theatre history, dramatic literature and criticism. Using primary sources — plays and writings from the Elizabethan, Restoration, and Jacobean eras — students will examine the historical world in which the plays were written as well as the imaginary worlds created in the plays themselves. With partners, students also do research to create class presentations. Students will be asked to prepare short writing assignments that will serve as a basis for the final written component of the program, in which the student focuses on a particular character or play.

In the second trimester, students will examine the history of black actors in American Shakespeare, along with the history of racism and theatre in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
TOPICS IN THEATRE
SWIPE FOR MORE CURRICULUM! TRAINING THE ONE-YEAR PROGRAM CURRICULUM FACULTY ACTING TEXT VOICE MASK TOPICS ALEXANDER MOVEMENT COMBAT

Faculty LISA BELEY head of voice and text CHRIS CHERRY alexander technique ACACIA DANIELSON rhetoric for the actor DODY DISANTO mask ED GERO acting ROBB HUNTER stage combat LISAE JORDAN movement: stretch BESS KAYE combat assistant LEEANET NOBLE ROBERTA STIEHM shakespeare and black actors movement: conditioning FLOYD KING acting: comedy ALEC WILD director of aca, acting MATT WILSON history and theory GREGORY WOODELL professionalism
LEEANET NOBLE shakespeare, black actors, and the progression of theatre in the 19th and 20th centuries ACACIA DANIELSON rhetoric DODY DISANTO mask ED GERO acting ROBB HUNTER stage combat LISAE JORDAN movement: stretch LISA BELEY head of voice and text BESS KAYE combat assistant CHRISTOPHER CHERRY alexander technique FLOYD KING acting: comedy ROBERTA STIEHM movement: conditioning ALEC WILD director of aca, acting, text MATT WILSON director of graduate studies, history & theory GREGORY WOODELL professionalism FACULTY (tap or swipe for bios)
Lisa Beley Lisa Ann Beley is head of Voice and Text at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. She obtained a BFA from the University of British Columbia and as an actor worked in theatre, film and television as well as established herself as one of Vancouver’s top voice-over talents. She can be heard in numerous animation series, commercials, and corporate videos. She received her MFA and Voice Teachers Diploma from York University. She has taught voice, speech and text at Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Film School, Tooba Physical Theatre, as well as many workshops for private and corporate clients. Lisa has spent over 15 years on faculty with Canada’s National Voice Intensive where the focus of the text work is on Shakespeare. She is a member of Vasta and of the Guild of Embodied Practice. Much in demand as a dialect coach in feature films and television she has worked with notable actors such as Paul Bettany, Freddie Highmore, Sam Neill, Daniel Radcliffe and Christina Hendricks. Lisa is passionate about the process of the actor, valuing the integration of the physical, vocal and mental rigour demanded in the actor craft and training. LISA BELEY head of voice and text FACULTY Chris Cherry Christopher Cherry is the director of Studio 2C, a studio for the performing arts and the Alexander Technique, where he focuses his Alexander practice exclusively on helping performing artists attain greater freedom, grace, clarity, and skill. He has given lessons backstage at Lincoln Center, taught workshops at theatres and universities across the U.S., and consulted on many productions in Washington, D.C., and New York City. A charter member of the ACA faculty, he previously taught at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Summer Acting Conservatory, and is himself a graduate of that program.As a playwright and composer, Cherry has created several musicals for family audiences, including Buried Treasure, Homeward Bound, The Joy Gods Return, Perseus and the Gorgon and a musical version of As You Like It. He regularly directs theatre productions in the Washington, D.C., area in collaboration with his partner, pianist and musical director Stefan Brodd, with whom he also coaches singing actors. Before becoming a certified teaching member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, and his master’s and law degrees from the University of Virginia. CHRISTOPHER CHERRY alexander technique FACULTY Acacia Danielson Acacia Danielson: Hailing from the great Pacific Northwest, Acacia harnesses her verve for language and performance into acting, producing, and voice and speech coaching. She makes theatre characterized by Mythic Language and Poetic Movement. Mythic Language evokes the spiritual, the fantastical, and the epic through heightened language plays. These include works of both verse and prose, by both classical and contemporary authors. Poetic Movement infuses naturalistic movement with physical theatre traditions (e.g. dance, mime, clown, puppetry, and stage combat) to maximize the potential of non-verbal communication. Acacia has been teaching public speaking, voice, and rhetoric for over 12 years and is a former national competitor with the NCFCA. She has assisted Lisa Beley in voice and speech classes at the ACA since 2017, and works as a voice, text, and dialect coach around the Washington, DC area (incl. Synetic Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Pointless Theatre). She holds a BA in Rhetoric and Media Studies from Willamette University and an MFA in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. Phi Beta Kappa. acacianandanielson.com ACACIA DANIELSON rhetoric for the actor FACULTY Dody DiSanto Dody DiSanto trained in Paris and is an esteemed teaching protégé of the late Jacques Lecoq, whose teachings she carries forward. She is also on the faculties of The Catholic University of America and the Center for Movement Theatre, and has recently been a Guest Artist for Cirque du Soleil and The Yale School of Drama. She is the founder and artistic director of the Membrane Ensemble Theatre, and was a founding member of Phoenix Dance Theatre. She has been a member of several ensembles, including Chantier Theatre, Present Company and Barking Rooster Theatre. Her thirty years of performing include Off-Broadway at LaMaMa E.T.C., Lincoln Center Serious Fun Festival, Theatre for the New City, the Avignon Festival, and television and film work. DiSanto’s teaching credits include Fundamentals of Lecoq at the Center for Movement Theatre, Dynamic Studies in Space, Gesture and Structure at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Graduate Acting: Performance Ensemble and Neutral Mask at Towson State University, a Lecoq Colloquium at Tufts University, Mask at University of Toledo, Neutral Mask at M.I.T., and various workshops and courses for Ringling Clown College, Penn State University, Amherst College Department of Theatre and Dance, The George Washington University, the Mid-Atlantic Movement Theatre Festival, MotionFest and the ATA National Convention at Tulane. She holds a diploma and teaching certification from Ecole Jacques Lecoq, where she received a private pedagogic apprenticeship and also completed the Laboratoire Etude de Movement course of study. She studied corporal mime with Etienne Decroux, wire, juggling, acrobatics and tap under the direction of Annie Fratellini at the Ecole Nationale du Cirque, and was the assistant to Jacques Lecoq at the Theatre of Creation Festival. She is nationally certified for Massage Therapy and Bodywork and also created, owned and managed the internationally acclaimed music venue Nightclub 9:30 in Washington, D.C. from 1980-1987 DODY DISANTO mask FACULTY Ed Gero In 31 seasons with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, he most recently appeared as King Henry in Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2. 70 other roles for STC include Hotspur in Henry IV (Helen Hayes Award), Bolingbroke in Richard II (Helen Hayes Award) and Macduff in Macbeth (Helen Hayes Award). A 32-season veteran of the Washington Theatre community, he is a fifteen-time nominee of the Helen Hayes Award and four-time recipient. In 2015, he created the role of Justice Antonin Scalia in the world premiere of John Strand’s acclaimed play The Originalist directed by Molly Smith at Arena Stage. He appeared as Mark Rothko in Robert Falls’ production of RED at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Other DC credits include Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre; Salieri in Amadeus at Roundhouse Theatre; Donny in American Buffalo at The Studio Theatre and Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd at Signature Theatre. He has played Richard Nixon in Nixon’s Nixon at Roundhouse Theatre in 1999 and 2008 and received a Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor both times. Other favorite performances include John in Shining City, Ivan in The Seafarer, Tom Sargeant in Skylight (Helen Hayes Award), Vershinin in Three Sisters, and Philip Gelberg in Broken Glass. Other regional credits include Horace Vandergelder in The Matchmaker at Center Stage in Baltimore. Film and television credits include House of Cards, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Die Hard II, Striking Distance, and narrations for The Discovery Channel and PBS. He is an Associate Professor of Theater at George Mason University. He earned a BA in Speech and Theater at Montclair State University. Mr. Gero was also honored to receive the 2015 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship. ED GERO acting FACULTY Robb Hunter Robb Hunter is a member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and is a Certified Fight Director and Teacher of Stage Combat for the Society of American Fight Directors. As a professional fight director he has choreographed violence/movement for many DC theatres including The Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, Center Stage, Washington National Opera, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, The Studio Theatre (where he has received multiple Helen Hayes Award nominations for his choreography), Olney Theatre, The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Rep Stage, and Washington Shakespeare Company. Robb holds an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy from the Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently Artist in Residence at American University where he choreographs, directs and teaches movement, mime, stage combat, acting and various sections of theatre history. He also teaches stage combat for McDaniel College and for the MFA program at Catholic University. ROBB HUNTER stage combat FACULTY Lisae Jordan Lisae Jordan is originally from upstate New York, where many small towns have ballet schools as a result of the Ford Foundation’s support for George Balanchine and his efforts to establishing regional professional ballet companies and training for American dancers. She studied and performed classical ballet since age 5, training at Ramsey School of Ballet and the School of the Hartford Ballet, and performing with Ballet North, WomenWerks (a company of actors and dancers), and other regional companies. Her roles include classical and contemporary works and, of course, all female roles in the Nutcracker (as well as several of the male variations). Since moving to Washington, DC, she danced with the Washington National Opera, Baltimore Opera, and as a guested with various local companies. Repertoire includes Samson et Deliah, Aida, Luisa Fernanda, Hamlet, MacBeth, La Traviata, Le Boheme, Maid of Orleans, and Lakmé. She is a proud member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and services on the area committee for the region.

A teacher respected for her focus on responding to the needs of actors and dancers, Lisae teaches ballet, conditioning and body mechanics, and stretch. Her work incorporates aspects of dance, feldenkrais, gyro, pilates, and floor barre, but is grounded in the desire to provide performers with the strength and flexibility they need to be artists. She teaches at the Maryland Youth Ballet and the School of the Washington Ballet, and was part of the original faculty at the American Dance Institute founded by Pam and Michael Bjerknes.

LISAE JORDAN stretch FACULTY
Bess Kaye Bess Kaye, ACA Class of 2018, has a BA in Theatre from the College of William & Mary. Bess is an Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and has trained in Unarmed Combat, Rapier and Dagger, Broadsword, Knife, Sword and Shield, Quarterstaff, and is certified in Firearms Safety for Stage. She is a local actor and has worked with 1st Stage, Faction of Fools, Prince George's County Shakespeare in the Parks, Flying V and is a resident combat choreographer for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. BESS KAYE combat assistant FACULTY Floyd King The Shakespeare Theatre: Sir Lucius O’Trigger in The Rivals, Second Murderer in Richard III, Sir Amourous La Foole in The Silent Woman, Osric/Gravedigger in Hamlet, Launce in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Peter in Romeo & Juliet, Mr. Sparkish in The Country Wife, Bottom in A Midsimmer Night’s Dream, Fool in King Lear, Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Lavatch in All’s Well That Ends Well, Trinculo in The Tempest, Jaques in As You Like It, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Pandarus in Troilus and Cressida, Touchstone in As You Like It, Parolles in All’s Well That Ends Well (Helen Hayes Award), many others. Regional: Folger Elizabethan Theatre: The Dresser, Mad About the Bard; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Quills (Helen Hayes Award); Studio Theatre: The Lisbon Traviata (Helen Hayes Award), A Tale of Two Cities (Helen Hayes Award), The Mystery of Irma Vep; Olney Theatre Center; Alley Theatre; Pittsburgh Public Theatre; Alliance Theatre Company. Honors: Fulbright Fellowship 1995-19996. Teaching: The Juilliard School; Shakespeare Theatre Acting Classes; University of South Carolina; British American Drama Academy, Oxford, England. FLOYD KING acting: comedy FACULTY LeeAnet Noble LeeAnet Noble graduated Magna Cum Laude from Howard University and is certified in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion from Purdue University. As an actor, director, choreographer, musician, and writer her career has spanned over twenty years working with STOMP, Drumstruck, The Irish Repertory Theatre,  Disney’s The Lion King Experience, Disney on Broadway, Bono, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, Wynton Marsalis, Charles S. Dutton, Danny Glover, Sosh France, Kenny Ortega, Adidas, Tumblr, Yahoo, Woolrich, Refinery29, and more. Her original one-woman shows have premiered Off-Broadway at The Zipper Theatre and at 54Below in New York City. She is the director of the upcoming touring production and digital film 10 Seconds, a play based on police relations with youth in Washington, DC produced by Imagination Stages. Alongside her mother Lauretta Noble, she is the co-director of the Internationally critically acclaimed dance troupe Team Vicious, (Rick Owens, Lauryn Hill, Carrie Mae Weems, Gabourey Sidibe, Jennifer Lawrence, Flaunt.) Her original productions have been produced at Madison Square Garden, The Stade de Bercy in Paris, and The Kennedy Center. Her work diversifying fashion and creating inclusive spaces in the arts has been inducted into museums around the world including The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum at FIT, The Brooklyn Museum amongst others and featured in major magazines worldwide including Vogue, Elle, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Guardian, Dazed, Ms, Ebony, and many more. As an educator she has worked at Montgomery College and Howard University and has conducted workshops, master classes, and lectures at Spelman College, Morgan State University, Hunter College, Coppin State University, Clark Atlanta University, Bowie State University, Morehouse College, and The Fashion Institute of Technology. She is currently on Senior Staff at Shakespeare Theatre Company as the Director of Equity and Enrichment where she most recently curated Amen Baldwin: A Living Celebration and Co-Directed and produced the star-studded digital gala, Shakespeare Everywhere.  She is passionate about creating change and celebrating inclusivity through the arts. For more information, please visit leeanet.com. LEEANET NOBLE shakespeare, black actors, and the progression of theatre in the 19th and 20th centuries FACULTY Roberta Steihm Roberta Stiehm has been dancing since the age of 8. At 12, she began professional training in ballet and modern dance with Loyce Houlton at the Minnesota Dance Theater and School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At 16, she began dancing with that company and went on to dance leading roles in such ballets as Sir Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs and Facade, Herbert Ross’ Capprichios, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Concerto Borocco, and Allegro Brilliante, Glen Tetley’s Mythical Hunters, and over fifty world premieres by resident choreographer Loyce Houlton. She later joined the Bat Dor Company of Israel, where her favorite role was the Lamentoso solo in Alvin Ailey’s Streams. In South Africa, she danced with several small dance groups and with the American tour of Disney on Parade. In the early 80’s, she played the roles of Bebe and Diana in the National and International companies of A Chorus Line and was honored to have worked directly with Michael Bennett. In Washington, D.C., she acted in the Studio Theater’s acclaimed production of Fifth of July, emceed the Folger Theater’s Annual High School Shakespeare Festival, and performed and choreographed for D.C. Cabaret Theater. Ms. Stiehm spent more than one year on Broadway in Cats, playing the role of Cassandra. She also performed various other roles from the musical in the National company. Ms. Stiehm was Rehearsal Director of the D.C. Contemporary Dance Theater under the Artistic Direction of Miiya Hisaka, and she has been on the teaching staff of many companies and schools, including The Shakespeare Theatre, George Mason University, Feet First, Joy of Motion, The Ballet Center, The Jewish Community Center, and Model Secondary School for the Deaf at Gallaudet University (where she also choreographed numerous production and concert modern dance pieces). She is on the permanent senior teaching staff of the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet, where she has choreographed numerous concert and demonstration pieces for senior-level students of the Academy. Ms. Stiehm studied Pilates under the tutelage of Romana Kryzanowska, a former student of Joseph Pilates, and has been a certified instructor since 1999. ROBERTA STIEHM movement: conditioning FACULTY Alec Wild Alec Wild was Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning Folio Theatre in Chicago, and Founder/Producing Director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Minnesota. As the recipient of a 1997 Fox Fellowship, Mr. Wild traveled to Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he studied Directing and Biomechanics at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Theater. Among more than 50 productions of Shakespeare’s plays, he has directed The Taming of the Shrew at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, Titus Andronicus and Richard II for Milwaukee Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Chautauqua Theater Company, The Winter's Tale and Macbeth for the UMN/Guthrie Training Program, The Winter’s Tale, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Othello, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Great River Shakespeare Festival, and The Maid’s Tragedy at the ACA. His last film, Whisper, won prizes for Best Film, Best Actress, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Musical Score, and Best Screenplay at the 2015 St. Louis 48 Hour Film Project, and was an official selection for the St. Louis Filmmakers’ Showcase and the St. Louis International Film Festival. Mr. Wild has taught and directed at American Conservatory’s Advanced Training Program in San Francisco, University of Minnesota/Guthrie Conservatory, Fordham University, and Manhattanville College in New York. He was a guest lecturer on Shakespeare at New York University, and was an Adjunct Professor in the Theater Department at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Webster University. He holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the Yale School of Drama, and a B.F.A. in Acting from Chicago’s Goodman School of Drama. ALEC WILD director of program, acting, text FACULTY Matt Wilson Matthew R. Wilson is a two-time Helen Hayes Award recipient and seven-time nominee as an actor (AEA, SAG-AFTRA), director (SDC), fight director (SAFD CT), and playwright. He is also a published scholar of early modern theatre whose work on applied theatre history includes the forthcoming book Commedia dell’Arte in History & Performance from Routledge Press.

Dr. Wilson has performed across Europe and North America including in NYC at 45 Bleecker, Tribeca Playhouse, Cherry Lane, La MaMa ETC, and others and regionally at the Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, Mosaic Theatre, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, and more. He amuses internationally with his The Great One-Man Commedia Epic, and his dramatic work in 1st Stage’s Swimming with Whales won a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor.

As founder of DC’s critically-acclaimed Faction of Fools, Wilson directed classics from Machiavelli’s The Mandrake to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and earned Helen Hayes Award nominations for adaptations of Don Juan and A Commedia Christmas Carol (Playscripts, Inc.) Recent directing includes Second City’s Twist Your Dickens (Aurora Fox); One Man, Two Guvnors (1st Stage); and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Constellation Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination as fight director). He has directed Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Troilus & Cressida, Pericles, Titus Andronicus, Much Ado about Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Comedy of Errors and has played Hamlet, Malvolio, Romeo, Benedick, Sir Andrew Aguecheeck, Autolycus, and Touchstone. He is Resident Director with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.

A proud ACA alumnus (MFA ’08), Wilson also holds a BA from Columbia University and PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies from the University of Maryland. He serves on faculty at The George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts & Design where his work unites theatre scholarship with theatre practice.
director of graduate studies, history & theory FACULTY MATT WILSON
Gregory Woodell Gregory Wooddell has performed on Broadway in Cymbeline and Nicky Silver’s The Lyons, as well as many off-Broadway productions in New York City. He is an Affiliated Artist with Shakespeare Theatre Company: Comedy of Errors (2018); Hamlet; Othello (2017); The School for Lies (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play); Romeo and Juliet; As You Like It; The Importance of Being Earnest; An Ideal Husband; Twelfth Night; Comedy of Errors (2005); Othello (2004); Lady Windermere’s Fan; Cyrano; Two Gentlemen of Verona; Don Carlos; Richard II; Merchant of Venice; Country Wife and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatrical productions include the World Premiere of Terrence McNally’s Some Men (Philadelphia Theatre Company); the title role in the World Premiere of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Arena Stage and McCarter Theatre); the American Premiere of Peter Whelan’s School of Night (Mark Taper Forum); the World Premiere of David Grimm’s Miracle at Naples (Huntington Theatre Company); the title role in Henry VIII (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Cabaret (Signature Theatre); Oslo; Stage Kiss; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Round House Theatre); Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (Alley Theatre); Dissonance (Bay Street Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Kevin Kline nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor); Richard III (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis); Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare On the Sound). His Television credits include: 30 Rock; Person of Interest; The Good Wife; Third Watch; Guiding Light; One Life to Live; Days of Our Lives. Gregory is an Affiliated Teaching Artist with Shakespeare Theatre Company. He has also taught acting for schools, theaters and private organizations, as well as coached privately, for more than twenty years in New York, California, Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. Gregory is a graduate of The Juilliard School. GREGORY WOODELL professionalism FACULTY
BACK TO FULL FACULTY

APPLY
TO THE ACA

timeline TIMELINE
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER DECEMBER/JANUARY
START APPLICATION Begin your online application here. You'll need to upload your official undergraduate transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and other supporting materials. Be sure to get all of your materials in by our due date! Let us know if you're still waiting on materials from other people, like transcripts or letters or recommendation, so that we can keep your application open. APPLICATION MATERIALS DUE FEBRUARY 15
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are seeing all virtual auditions. We'd love to see two contrasting, heightened-language monologues, or anything that you feel best represents you. Email
Kat White
, our Program Coordinator, to send your self-tape and to schedule an interview with our faculty.
TAPE AN AUDITION AND SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW Initial admissions decisions are made in March/April; every effort is made to let candidates know their admission status as early as possible. However, waitlisted students are occasionally offered admission as late as June 1. ADMISSION DECISIONS RELEASED MARCH/APRIL
auditions AUDITIONS SELF-TAPE GUIDELINES Any camera you have that records video will be fine - most people use their smartphone. Stand back from the camera so we can see as much of your body as possible, and make sure you're in a well-lit space. Don't look directly into the camera - rather, imagine your scene partner just off camera, and speak to that person. In the audition, we're looking for actors with a facility for language, a solid vocal instrument, a connection to physicality, and instincts toward action and objective. In the interview, we hope to get a sense of your commitment to the acting profession, your work ethic, and your desire for growth. AUDITION PROCEDURE WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR? For the 2021-2022 school year, we ask that you submit self-taped video audtions. You can upload your audition to almost any service you prefer (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), and send us a private link (send your link to Kat White, our Program Coordinator). We'd love to see two contrasting monologues, either from Shakespeare, or any other playwright who uses heightened, poetic language that you feel connected to. After you send your audition, our Program Coordinator will reach out to schedule a Zoom interview with Alec Wild, head of the program, and Lisa Beley, head of Voice and Text for the ACA. 2021 APPLICATION DEADLINE FEBRUARY 15 apply BEGIN
APPLICATION
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
THE
GEORGE WASHINGTON
UNIVERSITY
After you click on "Apply Now," you'll be taken to the GWU Application page. In the upper right corner, click on "Sign Up." You will be asked to create an account to work on your application. You can start your application, and come back to work on it any time you like.

Be sure to send official or certified copies of academic records/transcripts to be sent to The George Washington University.

If you prefer to mail your application, or you wish to correspond with the University, please send materials to:,

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences–Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington, D.C. 20052
Apply now QUESTION? 202.994.2819 kwhite@shakes
pearetheatre.org
finaid TUITION AND FINANCIAL AID
GWU STANDARD TUITION $74,638 ACA TUITION $43,290 (42% TUITTION REDUCTION) There are several partial scholarships available through the ACA. These funds will be awarded based on both need and merit. The development departments of both GW and STC raise funds annually. These funds depend on the timing and generosity of individual donors, so the amount varies from year to year, and sometimes the amount of the gift is not known until close to the beginning of the school year. To apply for Federal Financial Aid go to the FAFSA homepage at www.fafsa.ed.gov. There you will be able to apply online, track the status of your application and receive answers to any Federal Aid-related questions you may have. COST SAVINGS FINANCIAL AID Grad school is inherently expensive, and MFA candidates in traditional programs can accrue more than $80,000.00 in debt by the time they graduate. By intensifying the training, our program allows candidates to experience the same hours of instruction one finds in a typical three-year program - but at 1/3 the overall cost. Furthermore, actors in our program don't have to leave the job market for three full years, and can be back working in theatre, film, and television after only one year. 2020/2021 TUITION $43,290
TIMELINE APPLY TUITION/
FINANCIAL AID
AUDITIONS

ACA
EVENTS

Events Our ACA Radio Reps Podcast has been updated with new episodes: Radio Tales inspired by the Brothers Grimm, The Decameron, Tales of Borikén (Puerto Rican stories), and the Welsh epic, The Mabinogion. These stories were adapted and devised by the class of 2021, and directed by Kate Bryer, Jasmine Rush, Nadia Guevara, and Lisa Beley. Listen to them here:

ACA Radio Reps Podcast (or you can search for them in your favorite podcast app!)

And don't forget: you can still use that link to listen to Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Man and Superman, performed by the class of 2020.
AT THE ACA NOW
Upcoming The Class of 2021 will soon go into rehearsals for Julius Caesar, directed by Craig Wallace, and The Cherry Orchard directed by Aaron Posner. The shows open on July 6, 2021, and will run in repertory for two weeks in an open-air space with a socially distanced audience. Check back at this site for more details in mid-June! UPCOMING AT THE ACA
EVENTS CURRENT EVENTS & PERFORMANCES ACA RADIO REPS PODCAST
(external link)
UPCOMING