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Year Two Curriculum

Year two of the program is about performance. We put theory into practice through Professional Labs (partnering with professional theatre companies throughout Portland) and Conservatory produced plays. Studies will expand to include Advanced Scene Study, Styles, Dialect Intensive, Theatre Management, Monologue Development, Audition Technique, Acting for Film, and Professional Orientation workshops. Your second year of study concludes with a graduation showcase for professional stage and film directors, agents and casting directors from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Core Classes


TA310 Advanced Acting / Rehearsal 1 (Professional Lab) / Credits earned:  4
Building on skills explored in the first year curriculum, students will work with professional companies, to explore the professional work environment. Students will work side by side with professional playwrights, dramaturgs, directors and some of the most respected professional actors in the Pacific Northwest. The class will culminate in a professional staged reading.

  • Instructor: Samantha Van Der Merwe


TA311 Advanced Acting / Performance 1 (Professional Lab) / Credits earned:  4
Students will focus on maintaining the integrity of the play while keeping it fresh and playing it as if it is the very first time in a sustained run of the show.

  • Instructor: Michael Mendelson


TA312 Advanced Scene Study / Credits earned:  2
This acting class emphasizes scene-study that centers on dramatic literature written by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) playwrights. It builds on previously established foundations of acting and text analysis by layering “applied dramaturgy” into students’ developing skill sets. Continuing work on such concepts as accessing impulses, use of self, active listening, imagination, given circumstances, objectives, actions, obstacles, and beats, this course will also infuse learning about specific socio-historical and sociopolitical commentaries explored by each piece/playwright studied, and then apply what the play calls upon the actor to do with that information through action and relationship in performance.

  • Instructor: William Earl Ray

TA410 Advanced Acting / Rehearsal 2 / Credits earned: 4
Students will put theory into practice by incorporating all the training gained in the first year of training in a fully realized play. Through in-depth exploration of the play, their characters and their choices and actions, the students will begin to empower themselves as artists and attempt to discover authentic behavior under the imaginary circumstances. Emphasis will be on a naturalistic text with a heightened theatricality.

  • Instructor: Michael Mendelson


TA411 Advanced Acting / Performance 2 / Credits earned: 2
Students will focus on maintaining the integrity of the play while keeping it fresh and playing it as if it is the very first time in a sustained run of the show.

  • Instructor: Michael Mendelson


TA314 Styles / Credits earned: 3
Exploring key acting styles of our western theatrical tradition including: realism, comedy of manners, wit, absurdism (post realistic) and greek theatre through discussions and presentations, students will gain an in-depth familiarity with social/historical periods and the acting techniques related to individual styles from the Greeks through the Present. Students will learn and apply techniques specific to each style related to character mask, movement, given circumstances, and text.

  • Instructor: Michael Mendelson


TA323 Acting for Film / Credits earned: 2
How to develop the inner emotional life of a character, how to react – not perform – how to feel relaxed, comfortable, and focused when the director says “Action” is the key to a creative and natural on-camera performance.

  • Instructor: Shelly Lipkin


TA413 Graduation Thesis Project / Credits earned: 4
The two-year program will culminate in an evening of theatre and/or film that students will devise, produce, and create as an audition for the professional acting community.

  • Instructor: Chris Harder & Shelly Lipkin


Skills and Method


TA320 Audition Technique / Credits earned: 1
Students will learn professional audition techniques, including self-taping, callbacks, general auditions, cold reads and the psychology of auditioning.

  • Instructor: Phillip Ray Guevara


TA420 Monologue Development / Credits earned: 2
Students will synthesize the skills explored in the first and second-year program; emphasis will be placed on professional monologue audition skills. Students will develop and create audition pieces for professional auditions, learning how to choose and execute appropriate material.

  • Instructor: TBA


TA322/TA422 Professional Orientation 1 & 2 / Credits earned: 1/1
This class prepares the actor for the professional world. Students will learn how to produce a showcase that will introduce their talents to the professional world, utilizing professional headshots, resume and marketing tools. They will meet with professionals in the field (directors, artistic directors, agents, casting directors, etc.). And finally, students will apply the combined skills gained in design lab, theatre management and labs, along with the tools built through this workshop, to produce their own showcase, introducing their talents to the professional world.

  • Instructor: Phillip Ray Guevara


TA313 Graduation Thesis Research / Credits earned: 2
Drawing from the work the students have created throughout the year, and new material gathered, the students will craft and curate a Graduation showcase for professional purposes, that includes live stage scenes and filmed monologues. This class meets in both the first and second semester.

  • Instructor: Chris Harder & Shelly Lipkin



TA331 Dialect Intensive / Credits earned: 2
Students will continue to build upon their voice work of breath support, projection, articulation, and resonance placement. Students will continue to learn the anatomy of their unique voice and will be introduced to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as a tool for learning English Language dialects.

  • Instructor: Luisa Sermol


TA332 Alexander Technique / Credits earned: 1
Students will learn and apply the basic principles of the Alexander Technique – awareness, inhibition and direction. They will develop an awareness of ‘the how’ of doing thereby learning the appropriate amount of tension for whatever activity they are engaged in. They will develop an awareness of particular habits of use that may interfere with breath, emotional connection, thought and ultimately, performance. They will apply basic principles to movement such as walking, sitting and standing, etc. and finally they will learn to apply the technique to performance.

  • Instructor: Jacklyn Maddux




TA442 Theatre Management Practicum / Credits earned: 2
Students will build upon their design lab and theatre management classes and put Theory Into Practice by applying their skills within the context of a professional production.

  • Instructor: Michael Mendelson