Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University

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The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University is a three-year graduate program for the theater arts. It was established at Pace University in 2006 and grants Masters of Fine Arts degrees in Acting, Directing and Playwriting. James Lipton serves as Dean Emeritus. The program is sanctioned by the Actors Studio, though admission into the school does not guarantee membership into the Actors Studio.


The Actors Studio Drama School was started in 1994, first housed at The New School and then at Pace University. The Actors Studio collaborated with The New School from 1994 to 2005, when the contract was not renewed. The Actors Studio Drama School soon after signed a 10-year contract with Pace University. Andreas Manolikakis, the director of the MFA program at Pace, said at the time that he had “no regrets about the departure from The New School” and saw it as a “necessary step for the protection of the philosophy of the original curriculum that was designed by the leaders of the Actors Studio.”[1]

The curriculum of the Actors Studio Drama School is highly collaborative, with students from all three concentrations working closely together. All students study acting, based heavily on the work of Constantin Stanislavski. Filming of Inside the Actors Studio serves as a master class for the students between three and six times a semester. Students also sit in on closed-door sessions at the Actors Studio in New York.

All graduating students hold the status of Working Finalist at the Actors Studio itself, during which they may attend weekly sessions and take a Final Audition for Studio Membership, bypassing the usual Preliminary Audition. All directing and playwriting graduates are invited, for at least one year, to be part of the Playwrights and Directors Workshop of the Actors Studio, a unit created for the continuation of the training of directing and playwriting graduates.

Faculty: Acting[edit]

  • Susan Aston
  • Elizabeth Kemp (Chair)
  • Jacqueline Knapp
  • Michael Billingsley (Movement)
  • David Frank (Movement)
  • Louis Colaianni (Shakespeare)
  • Corinna May (Voice and Speech)
  • Craig Bacon (Voice and Speech)
  • Eric Loscheider (Neutral American Speech)

Faculty: Directing[edit]

  • Ed Setrakian
  • Brian Rhinehart
  • Andreas Manolikakis (Chair)
  • Shawn Lewis
  • Tony Walton

Faculty: Playwriting[edit]

  • Edward Allan Baker (Chair)
  • Clay McLeod Chapman


  1. ^ Sager, Scott (2006-04-07). "Actors Studio brings star power to Pace". Downtown Express. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°42′41″N 74°00′18″W / 40.71136°N 74.00513°W / 40.71136; -74.00513