theatre

theatre

The NMSA Theatre Department offers a diversified and rigorous curriculum that fosters independent thinking in a challenging and creative community to prepare emerging artists for higher education and professions in the theater arts for stage, film and television.

The program focuses on developing the art of storytelling through practice and performance. Students learn their role as artists in creating a narrative, understanding the scope and sequence of developing characters and performances, and their personal expression as part of the larger whole.

Students gain the basic physical, vocal, and mental techniques necessary to develop and maintain believable characters in a variety of styles and genres. They explore movement, vocal styles, and systems of character development, textual analysis, playwriting, directing, theater history, monologues, and college audition preparation. The program focuses on developing the complete performer through exploration, exercises, improvisation, scene study, and performances.

The department follows a conservatory style of cohort training and is on a trimester schedule. Programming is sequenced to begin with the fundamentals of voice, body and mind, and moves towards mastery of a number of skills and techniques over a four-year course of study. By the end of their studies, students will have acquired 1,980 hours of classroom instruction, as well as additional production experience.

The NMSA Theatre Department offers a diversified and rigorous curriculum that fosters independent thinking in a challenging and creative community to prepare emerging artists for higher education and professions in the theater arts for stage, film and television.

The program focuses on developing the art of storytelling through practice and performance. Students learn their role as artists in creating a narrative, understanding the scope and sequence of developing characters and performances, and their personal expression as part of the larger whole.

Students gain the basic physical, vocal, and mental techniques necessary to develop and maintain believable characters in a variety of styles and genres. They explore movement, vocal styles, and systems of character development, textual analysis, playwriting, directing, theater history, monologues, and college audition preparation. The program focuses on developing the complete performer through exploration, exercises, improvisation, scene study, and performances.

The department follows a conservatory style of cohort training and is on a trimester schedule. Programming is sequenced to begin with the fundamentals of voice, body and mind, and moves towards mastery of a number of skills and techniques over a four-year course of study. By the end of their studies, students will have acquired 1,980 hours of classroom instruction, as well as additional production experience.

Faculty

Joey Chavez

Theatre Department Chair

Kate Chavez

Theatre Instructor

Charles Gamble

Theatre Instructor

Barbara Hatch

Theatre Instructor

Guest Artist Program

NMSA’s Guest Artist Program is a critical piece of the curricula and central to the mission of the school. It augments students’ technical skills, provides mentorship, and brings the profession to life, allowing students to see how their skills can ultimately be applied in a real world setting. It also offers students and staff alike a fresh perspective that can fuel creativity, encourage experimentation, and expand imagination.

Julian Sands

Performance Santa Fe Audition Masterclass

Deborah Brevoort

Playwriting Masterclass, author of the Woman of Lockerbie

June Ballinger

Actor / Producer

Events
Curriculum
Fundamentals (9)
Singing for Actors: In this course, students practice engaging the voice and breath through song. By singing together chorally and developing their own vocal final projects, students push past mental barriers and are prepared to begin the work of using their voice fully in performance.

Movement for Actors: This course is designed to engage actors in a curious exploration of their physical limits and the connection between their imagination and their bodies. Over the course of ten weeks we will play, sweat, improvise, create, reflect, stretch and sweat some more.

Theater Fundamentals: Students in theater fundamentals will learn basic acting terminology and techniques, including basic theater terms, skills of observation and listening, the rules of play, presence, focus, economy, timing, and instinct. These techniques and skills, applied in the first year of the course, will form the basis upon which additional training is built.

Character Development: Students in this class will explore several different in-depth techniques of developing an original character including, vocal placement, abstract and animal imagery, and center of energy. Students will complete the trimester with a unit of “working in silence and stillness” to understand the phenomenon of allowing a moment to fully manifest.

Styles (10)
Scene Study/Textual Analysis: Students will learn how to analyze a script and characters by breaking them down to the smallest units of action, beats, and scenes and will then work with established texts and complete the unit by performing materials that have been analyzed. All aspects of building a scene, from blocking, to character development to scene breakdown will be covered.

Playwriting: Students will read and analyze a full-length play to gain a better understanding of dramatic structure and develop a common language regarding character, relationships, and the art of storytelling. Students will write a one-act play to be included in a spring production.

Introduction to Shakespeare: This course is an introduction to techniques useful for approaching Shakespeare’s work from the point of view of the actor. Through text analysis, scene study, vocal work, and acting exercises we attempt to find, not only the meaning, but the music and theatrical power of Shakespeare’s words.

Practicals (11)
Monologues I, Audition Technique: This course prepares the young actor for college level and professional auditions.  Students will be trained in cold reading and guided in the selection of appropriate audition material, and will develop two contrasting pieces (one modern, one classic) as is customary.

Acting for Camera: This course prepares students in basic camera acting techniques. Students are trained on how to audition for casting directors and to work professionally on a film or television set. In addition to developing acting techniques geared toward camera work, students also learn about the acting profession in the world of film and television, how to get an agent, and how to best increase their chances of getting onscreen work.

Theater History: This course is designed so that the student has a broad understanding of the history of theater starting with primitive theater, the Greeks and Romans, through Commedia dell’Arte, Medieval Theater, Romanticism and the Restoration – through contemporary times. The student will gain an appreciation of how theatrical styles have evolved over the centuries throughout the world and in the United States.

Explorations (12)
Monologues II, College Audition Prep: Students will be required to find, cut and craft three new monologues: classical, contemporary, and a reach piece. These monologues will be presented to a panel of industry professionals in a mock college audition setting including an interview.

Directing:  This course is an introduction to directing with a focus on discovering the text through: finding the dramatic action, the rehearsal experience, analyzing the script, working with your collaborators, creating a production calendar, and directing a final project.

Senior Projects: As the culminating project for seniors having completed four years of training at NMSA, the Senior Project is designed to showcase the collected knowledge gained by the student during his/her time here at NMSA.  Each senior will be creating an original piece that will reflect the training they have received.  This is a very personal performance and can be a monologue, short play, or other form of expression where the student displays their willingness to take risks and their personal and artistic growth.

Additional Information

Production Wheel: This unique period of every afternoon is where students in a production are in rehearsals and all other students are taking mini-wheel classes anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks in length. Offerings in the past have included: Stage Makeup, Masks, Viewpoints, Theatrical Clown, Alexander Technique, Meisner, Long and Short Form Improvisation, Voice and Diction, Singing and Conditioning, Comedy, and Devised Work.

Productions: Even though the theater department is heavy on process, we also believe in allowing students to demonstrate their craft in performances. There are a number of performance opportunities for all levels, including crew work. The department also completes many trimester classes with projects and performances in front of students and faculty.