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Primary Acting Method(s) by University / College / School

TwelfthmanTwelfthman 175 replies43 threads Junior Member
I'm new to the Theater / Drama majors forum, but have been on CC, just elsewhere.

I'm trying to learn what primary acting method is taught at each top acting program (looking at top programs, both BFA and BA), and I'm not finding this easy to learn from each university / college / school website. Does this information already exist as a list, and if yes, can someone please point me to it? I did a CC search but to no avail, but I have to believe this has come up before, at least for a couple people. As you will be able to tell, I'm a parent with little exposure to acting.

I know that a few schools, like NYU, offer a multitude of training studios, each with a different acting method emphasized; students specialize in one studio for the first couple of years and then may dabble in one or two other studios for the next couple of years.

Also, some schools claim to offer a "toolbox" approach to training, where the faculty have extensive breadth and depth, and their students are exposed to the elements and techniques of each method over the four years of study, and along the way the students pick and choose aspects that most resonate. I've heard that the ability of a program to deliver on comprehensive "toolbox" exposure can vary considerably, and so not all "toolboxes" are created equal -- some may be fully equipped while others may be missing key elements ... like a hammer, screwdriver and power drill.

I've heard of Stanislavski and its offshoots Meisner, Strasberg and Adler; Practical Aesthetics; Brecht; Chekov; Chubbuck; Hagen; and Spolin -- I'm sure I'm missing other important acting methods (and hopefully not brewing a debate on what constitutes a method).

So my questions are:

1. What is the primary acting method taught at each top acting / drama / theater BA and BFA program?

2. If a program claims to offer a toolbox instead of a primary focus on a method, how is its offering viewed (elite / excellent; above average but not elite / excellent; average but solid across the board; uneven - at least a method or two insufficient; or really wanting)?

3. How does an acting student best assess which acting method (and hence acting program) may be a better fit for herself / himself?

(My D is primarily interested in MT but in cases where the school does not offer a MT degree, she would like to consider its acting / drama / theater degree program.)
21 replies
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Replies to: Primary Acting Method(s) by University / College / School

  • actorparent1actorparent1 843 replies6 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    There's no comprehensive list that has all the info you're seeking for every school. You need to do research by going to each school's website and looking at the curriculum semester by semester. If it just says "Acting 1, Acting 2," etc. with no information about what they LEARN in those classes, then call the school's theater department and ask, or do a search for the program on the Theatre Majors forum here on CC.

    Take notes on each school you research, so you have all the information at your fingertips.

    Also look at the faculty bios to get a sense of how experienced and trained the teachers are.

    If you have questions about any particular schools, you can ask about them here and people can try to answer about the schools we know. Offhand, I know that Rutgers and UNCSA are Meisner programs, and Hartt is a "toolbox" program, for example. But no one has a complete list of what's taught at EVERY program.

    So research each school individually, and feel free to ask here about any particular program you're interested in.
    edited February 2019
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  • actorparent1actorparent1 843 replies6 threads Member
    Great idea! Putting together a list like that will definitely be helpful for future CCers!
    · Reply · Share
  • afterp89afterp89 380 replies2 threads Member
    LIU Post is Suzuki method
    · Reply · Share
  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 175 replies43 threads Junior Member
    Primary Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Rutgers - Meisner
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Meisner
    · Reply · Share
  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 175 replies43 threads Junior Member
    Pace undergrad acting employs a toolbox approach. At the grad level, one or more of their acting programs may specialize in a method.
    _____

    Primary Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
  • muttsandMTmuttsandMT 171 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I believe Juilliard also uses a toolbox approach.

    Great idea for a thread, @Twelfthman ! :)
    · Reply · Share
  • NYDreammomNYDreammom 402 replies0 threads Member
    Adding DePaul:

    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
  • astute12astute12 675 replies9 threads Member
    Adding CalArts:

    Primary Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 175 replies43 threads Junior Member
    Primary Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
  • MomMimiMomMimi 89 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Michigan is toolbox. And you might add NYU As “Studios”. This is a great idea, @twelfthman. Snaps to you!
    · Reply · Share
  • mindatworkmindatwork 166 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Syracuse is also toolbox.
    · Reply · Share
  • CaMom13CaMom13 2240 replies14 threads Senior Member
    [I added the last two comments and made a first stab at NYU - please correct as needed but this kind of list works better if people copy the whole list as instructed when they have additions and don't just comment.]

    Primary Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Michigan - Toolbox
    NYU - BFA Drama. Method varies by studio: Meisner (Meisner Studio) , Classical (Classical Studio), Practical Aesthetics (Atlantic Studio), Stanislavski + (Adler Studio), Method Acting (Lee Strasberg Studio), Toolbox (other studios).
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    Syracuse - BFA Acting
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
  • gatorbridgetgatorbridget 126 replies3 threads Junior Member
    please correct as needed but this kind of list works better if people copy the whole list as instructed when they have additions and don't just comment.]

    Primary Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Michigan - Toolbox
    NYU - BFA Drama. Method varies by studio: Meisner (Meisner Studio) , Classical (Classical Studio), Practical Aesthetics (Atlantic Studio), Stanislavski + (Adler Studio), Method Acting (Lee Strasberg Studio), Toolbox (other studios)
    Otterbein - primarily Stanislavski
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    Syracuse - BFA Acting
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
  • BFAMom2024BFAMom2024 36 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited February 20
    [Added Boston University]

    Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    BU, BFA Theatre Arts & BFA Acting - Alexander
    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Michigan - Toolbox
    NYU - BFA Drama. Method varies by studio: Meisner (Meisner Studio) , Classical (Classical Studio), Practical Aesthetics (Atlantic Studio), Stanislavski + (Adler Studio), Method Acting (Lee Strasberg Studio), Toolbox (other studios)
    Otterbein - primarily Stanislavski
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    Syracuse - BFA Acting
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    edited February 20
    · Reply · Share
  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 312 replies2 threads Member
    [Added Ohio University]

    Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    BU, BFA Theatre Arts & BFA Acting - Alexander
    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Michigan - Toolbox
    NYU - BFA Drama. Method varies by studio: Meisner (Meisner Studio) , Classical (Classical Studio), Practical Aesthetics (Atlantic Studio), Stanislavski + (Adler Studio), Method Acting (Lee Strasberg Studio), Toolbox (other studios)
    Ohio University, BFA Acting - Meisner
    Otterbein - primarily Stanislavski
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    Syracuse - BFA Acting
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox

    · Reply · Share
  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 312 replies2 threads Member
    edited March 14
    [Added Missouri State]

    Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    BU, BFA Theatre Arts & BFA Acting - Alexander
    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Michigan - Toolbox
    Missouri State, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    NYU - BFA Drama. Method varies by studio: Meisner (Meisner Studio) , Classical (Classical Studio), Practical Aesthetics (Atlantic Studio), Stanislavski + (Adler Studio), Method Acting (Lee Strasberg Studio), Toolbox (other studios)
    Ohio University, BFA Acting - primarily Meisner
    Otterbein - primarily Stanislavski
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    Syracuse - BFA Acting
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    edited March 14
    · Reply · Share
  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 312 replies2 threads Member
    [Added Ball State]

    Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    Ball State, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    BU, BFA Theatre Arts & BFA Acting - Alexander
    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Michigan - Toolbox
    Missouri State, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    NYU - BFA Drama. Method varies by studio: Meisner (Meisner Studio) , Classical (Classical Studio), Practical Aesthetics (Atlantic Studio), Stanislavski + (Adler Studio), Method Acting (Lee Strasberg Studio), Toolbox (other studios)
    Ohio University, BFA Acting - primarily Meisner
    Otterbein - primarily Stanislavski
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    Syracuse - BFA Acting
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 312 replies2 threads Member
    [Added Montclair State University]

    Acting Method by University / College / School

    Carefully copy and paste the last list posted AND these instructions, and then please add the school and the primary acting method taught at the institution. Thank you.

    Ball State, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    BU, BFA Theatre Arts & BFA Acting - Alexander
    CalArts, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    DePaul (The Theatre School) - Toolbox
    Hartt - Toolbox
    LIU Post - Suzuki
    Michigan - Toolbox
    Missouri State, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Montclair State University - Toolbox
    NYU - BFA Drama. The method varies by studio: Meisner (Meisner Studio), Classical (Classical Studio), Practical Aesthetics (Atlantic Studio), Stanislavski + (Adler Studio), Method Acting (Lee Strasberg Studio), Toolbox (other studios)
    Ohio University, BFA Acting - primarily Meisner
    Otterbein - primarily Stanislavski
    Pace, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    Rutgers - Meisner
    Shenandoah - Meisner (Even MT majors spend 1st two years in the Meisner acting sequence)
    Syracuse - BFA Acting
    UCLA, BA Theater - Toolbox
    UNCSA, BFA Acting - Toolbox
    · Reply · Share
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