Faculty Lead: Vincent Sagona, Director of Performing Arts at Professional Children's School, New York City, NY.
The drama program gives students the opportunity to develop the skills central to the actor’s craft (Body, Breath/Voice and Imagination) while exploring their unique point of view as a creative artist. It is the philosophy of this program that actors are more than mere interpreters of text, but are creative, generative artists themselves whose personal stories inform their expression. Students will work to connect their imaginations and personal histories with their bodies and voices through physical training, improvisation and composition work.
Vincent’s work at Professional Children’s School, an independent school in New York City, has afforded him the opportunity to teach students who have worked on Broadway and who bring a unique perspective to the rehearsal room. In his classwork with students, Vincent relies heavily on Uta Hagen’s exercises and the tenets of Sanford Meisner. His approach emphasizes the importance of relaxation, emotional investment and the building of an ensemble spirit. Vincent employs the use of journaling for personal reflection and critical analysis with an eye toward translating one’s life experiences into an acting score which serves the story. In an effort to establish safety, respect and spontaneity during class and rehearsals, he utilizes specific theatre games outlined by Viola Spolin. Vincent believes that the best acting springs from a marrying of the student’s instinctive sense of play with the discipline inherent in a serious study of the craft.
The acting class introduces the techniques and skills needed for dynamic and engaged stage performance. Daily exercises explore the importance of relaxation, text interpretation and emotional investment. Performance assignments challenge students to capture the expressive potential and vigor of language and physicality in the context of a dramatic exchange between characters pursuing objectives and actions.
Each student will finish the program with a polished audition piece for entry-level college auditions, an understanding of the technical underpinnings of the acting craft, and the mandate to create their dramatic works in their own communities.
Finished work includes a polished audition monologue and a 2-3 person scene for advanced students.