Sands College of Performing Arts MFA students working in a recording studio.

Graduate Opportunities

From their very first day of training, our Actors Studio Drama School MFA 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 ways, 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.

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Deep Connections with The Actors Studio

All core teachers are Lifetime Members of the Actors Studio. The curriculum has been designed and developed by the leadership of The Actors Studio, including the co-presidents of the organization, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Burstyn, and Al Pacino. Upon graduation, students receive the title of Working Finalist at The Actors Studio and are invited to attend sessions there for one year and audition for membership. They are also invited to the exclusive Playwrights and Directors Workshop.

The Curriculum

A fundamental principle of Stanislavski’s 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 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.

  • Based on the Stanislavski/Actors Studio Method, MFA in Acting students experience an intense training consisting of acting, movement, and voice programs. Students have the opportunity to develop their craft not only in their classes but also in a variety of public performing events.
  • MFA in Directing students are trained according to the principles of Stanislavski, Vakhtangov, and The Method, which address all elements of stage directing, from the first reading to opening night. Through theory and practice, directing students study the relationships of the director to the play, the playwright, the actor, the designers, and the audience in order to create a fully realized production, no matter how diverse the style. Directing students study acting throughout their three years to support their directing skills and their work with actors.
  • MFA in Playwriting students learn to collaborate with directors, actors, and designers in a creative professional environment deeply committed to the Stanislavski/Actors Studio philosophy, process, and tradition. Playwriting students learn to create meaningful personal stories and transform them into dramatic events and characters with deeply human and intense experiences. Playwriting students study acting throughout their three years to support their playwriting skills and personal expression.

Industry Showcase

Graduating MFA actors present their work to theater, film, and television industry professionals in a showcase at The Actors Studio, itself, in midtown Manhattan.

The Repertory Season

The Repertory Season is five to eight weeks of exciting and challenging theater designed to introduce our graduating MFA students to the public and industry through a wide variety of plays, under conditions that prepare them for their professional career.

Staged Reading Series

The work of graduating MFA playwrights is brought to life by graduating MFA directors and actors in this Staged Reading Series.