Welcome to the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, the only MFA Program created and sanctioned by the Actors Studio. Our school offers the authenticity, continuity, and authority of the Stanislavski System and the Method.
A fundamental principle of the Stanislavski System and the work of the Actors Studio is to help the artist to discover, liberate, and disclose his or her individual expression. This requires special conditions that will allow the student-artist to feel safe, to trust, to take risks, and to grow, which the Actors Studio Drama School provides with its unique curriculum, superb faculty, and excellent facilities.
Our students and faculty share many intensive classes together and the spirit of collaboration is present in every course and in every project. We all feel that we are part of an ongoing repertory company--which the general public also experiences when they attend our Third-Year Repertory Season.
From their very first day of training, our student actors, directors, and playwrights begin to develop their unique artistic voices--voices that arise from their talent, soul, sensitivity, imagination, and the courage to express themselves in the most personal and profound way, no matter how diverse the style of production. And as we all know, when the expression of the artist is personal and profound, it becomes universal and affects the entire world.
Chair, Actors Studio Drama School
A Letter from the Presidents of the Actors Studio: Ellen Burstyn, Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino
Dear Theater Student,
All of us at the Actors Studio welcome you to the only officially sanctioned master’s degree program of the Actors Studio, now joined with and located at Pace University.
We would like to share with you all that we have learned over the years about acting, directing, and playwriting. We have studied with the great teachers of the past—Elia Kazan, Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman, Bobby Lewis, Sandy Meisner, Stella Adler, and many others—who teach the techniques that have been developed not only at the Actors Studio, but before that, at the Group Theater, and all the way back to the Russian masters Michael Chekhov, Vakhtangov, and Stanislavski.
This study is at the very heart of our work, and it has enriched our lives as well as our careers. Our teachers in this program are of the highest quality and continue in the tradition that we have been so fortunate to receive.
We invite you to join us to learn techniques that will help you explore and bring forth your own unique talent.
Ellen Burstyn, Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino
Late Dean Emeritus, James Lipton, on the Actors Studio Drama School
In 1994, the leadership of the Actors Studio set out on a revolutionary path, proposing for the first time in 47 years to translate the world-famous Method it had honed in its private precinct to an academic, degree-granting program.
The resultant three-year master’s degree program succeeded beyond our greatest expectations, unique in training its acting, writing and directing students side-by side for three years, with a guiding central methodology, under the instruction of a faculty composed, by definition and mandate, of experienced, distinguished life-members of the Actors Studio in every core course, leading to a third-year Repertory Season designed to present our graduating students to the professional world and the public in fully-realized productions of the work they have created during their three years with us.
Alone among America’s drama programs, the Actors Studio Drama School offers its students the privilege of observing the Studio’s private sessions, and confers on its graduates the status of Working Finalist at the Actors Studio, a privilege that has led to admission to Studio life-membership of many of our alumni.
All of our students participate in the Craft Seminars, known to the world as Inside the Actors Studio, that have brought more than 250 of the world’s greatest artists to our stage for intense, in-depth, face-to-face encounters that no other academic institution can offer its students.
If you’re reading these words, you know that this entire body of experience, knowledge and craft has been brought to our new home at Pace University and that the Actors Studio Drama School is waiting here to welcome you to an exciting and challenging world.
James Lipton (1926-2020)
Dean Emeritus and Founder
The Actors Studio Drama School