Beverly Hills Playhouse

acting classes los angeles

The Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School

The Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School has been teaching acting classes in Los Angeles for over forty years.  For both professional and beginning actors, the BHP offers intensive scene study workshops.   The approach hits three areas, “Acting, Attitude, and Administration.” says Allen Barton CEO. “Acting – The BHP has been active in Los Angeles for 40 years. They offer intensive ongoing scene study workshops for both professional actors and beginners. “Our approach hits three areas – Acting, Attitude and Administration,” says Allen Barton, the current owner/CEO. “Acting – obviously, the development of the craft itself – but that’s never been enough. We cover attitude: how actors present themselves, how they behave in a group environment – are they someone you want on your set for 18 hours a day? Many actors are hired not because they’re geniuses, but because they’re competent, professional, and don’t make problems. A BHP student should obliterate the cliché of the narcissistic, flakey, insecure actor. And then administration – what an actor does each day to advance their career. You can’t sit around thinking that if only you had a better agent all would be swell.”

As for the acting technique, Barton says, “It’s unique from all the big names and techniques. You can’t package acting technique in a nice box. But we come at it from a non-intellectual, non-analysis, non-exercisey way. Just trying to look at the scene and what’s going on? Then behaving as a real person would based on that situation. Milton Katselas, who started BHP, was a director and the approach comes from his experience. We don’t try to cram a single technical approach down the throat of each actor in the same way. That would be nuts.”

The BHP has “a pretty impressive list of alumni,” as Barton describes them – they include George Clooney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jim Carrey, Kyle Chandler, Jorge Garcia, Jenna Elfman, Anne Archer, John Glover, and many more. “The celebrities are always fun to name, but the fact is I don’t wake up each day thinking about who studied here or who we can brag about. Each teacher here wakes up with the current students in mind. How are we going to help that guy in that scene last night? How are we going to help that actress with a sense of casting – what roles she should go up for? That’s what makes teaching fun, and challenging.”
the development of the craft itself – but that’s never been enough. We cover attitude: how actors present themselves, how they behave in a group environment – are they someone you want on your set for 18 hours a day? Many actors are hired not because they’re geniuses, but because they’re competent, professional, and don’t make problems. A BHP student should obliterate the cliché of the narcissistic, flakey, insecure actor. And then administration – what an actor does each day to advance their career. You can’t sit around thinking that if only you had a better agent all would be swell.”

As for the acting technique, Barton says, “It’s unique from all the big names and techniques. You can’t package acting technique in a nice box. But we come at it from a non-intellectual, non-analysis, non-exercisey way. Just trying to look at the scene and what’s going on? Then behaving as a real person would based on that situation. Milton Katselas, who started BHP, was a director and the approach comes from his experience. We don’t try to cram a single technical approach down the throat of each actor in the same way. That would be nuts.”

The BHP’s acting classes Los Angeles has “a pretty impressive list of alumni,” as Barton describes them – they include George Clooney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jim Carrey, Kyle Chandler, Jorge Garcia, Jenna Elfman, Anne Archer, John Glover, and many more. “The celebrities are always fun to name, but the fact is I don’t wake up each day thinking about who studied here or who we can brag about. Each teacher here wakes up with the current students in mind. How are we going to help that guy in that scene last night? How are we going to help that actress with a sense of casting – what roles she should go up for? That’s what makes teaching fun, and challenging.”

Juilliard School

The Julliard School is considered to be one of the top drama schools in the United States. The school only accepts a limited number of students each year. It is located in New York, New York. Famous celebrities who graduated from this school include Kevin Spacey, Christopher Reeve, Frances Conroy, and Kevin Klein.

Brief History of Juilliard School

The school was founded in 1905 by Dr. Frank Damrosch. It used to be known as the Institute of Musical Art. During that time, Americans have had to go to Europe to study in musical academies for their advanced studies. Damrosch was convinced that this should not be the case and that Americans shouldn’t need to leave their country in order to receive the education they want. When the enrollment first began, the number of people who flocked to the school was five times that of what was initially expected. The Institute had to part with its old quarters since it could no longer house the population of students and moved to the new quarter situated near Colombia University in 1910. After nine years, a man by the name of Augustus Juilliard (textile merchant) died and left a gift that promoted the advancement of music during that period. In 1924, the trustees of the donation established Juilliard Graduate School in honor of Mr. Juilliard, to help praiseworthy students finish their education. By 1926, the Graduate School and the Institute of Musical Art merged to give birth to the new Juilliard School of Music. Since then, the program courses grew to include drama and much more.

Programs Offered

You can get your two-year certificate bachelor’s degree, post baccalaureate certificate, postmaster certificate, master’s degree or doctoral degree at Juilliard Acting School. The school offers a semester-based system curriculum calendar system that will grant the students a chance to choose from ten different majors. Here are the majors offered in this school including the diplomas and certificates that are available for each major:

Dance and Ballet Majors

  • General Dance

English and Literature Majors

  • Playwriting and Screenwriting (postmaster certificate)

Film and Acting Majors

  • Playwriting and Screenwriting (postmaster certificate)
  • Acting ( two-year certificate, bachelor’s degree)

Music Majors

  • General Music Performance ( bachelor’s degree, post baccalaureate certificate, master’s degree, postmaster certificate)
  • Conducting ( post baccalaureate certificate, master’s degree)
  • Piano and Organ ( bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, post baccalaureate certificate, postmaster certificate, doctoral degree)
  • Music Theory and Composition (bachelor’s degree, master’s degree)
  • Jazz studies (master’s degree, bachelor’s degree)
  • Voice and Opera (bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, postmaster certificate, post baccalaureate certificate, doctoral degree)
  • Violin, Viola Guitar and String Instruments (bachelor’s degree, post baccalaureate certificate, master’s degree, postmaster certificate, doctoral degree)

Theater and Drama Majors

  • Playwriting and Screenwriting (post master certificate)
  • Acting (two-year certificate, bachelor’s degree)

Overview

Juilliard School has a high retention and graduation rate. Student retention is at 91%. This is very high especially in New York. Graduation rate is at 84% with only 4% percent transferring to other colleges. Tuition fee amounts to about $30,500 each year and this can be considered high but you have the option to pay using loan programs. The school also gives opportunity to student to work on campus to cover for tuition fees.

New York Film Academy

The New York Film Academy is a renowned school and is said to be one of the best choices for a student who wants to pursue a career in film. This school has campuses found in the United States, Europe and Asia. If you want to pursue your studies in the United States, you can either go to New York, Florida or California. Students of the New York Film Academy claim that every penny is worth the education that they receive from this prestigous school. If you have your doubts, just look at the success of the celebrities who went to this school to finish their education: Al Pacino, Steven Spielberg, Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Klein, Susan Sarandon, Pierce Brosnan, Tim Robbins, Bono of U2, Jodie Foster and directors Peter Bogdonavich, Roger Donalson, James L. Brooks and Stephen Frears.

The School Philosophy

While other schools are focused on educating their students with the philosophies of theater arts, the New York Film Academy seems to think otherwise and instead puts emphasis on “learning by doing.” This basically means that the curriculum of the school highlights the importance of application, instead of merely focusing on studying theories. This arrangement has allowed its students to accomplish more compared to other acting schools. Students are able to learn more from classroom instructions, workshops and if possible, through applied experience.

Programs Offered

Film School Programs

1.     Filmmaking

2.     Production For Film and TV

3.     Screenwriting

4.     Cinematography

5.     Broadcast Journalism

6.     Documentary Filmmaking

7.     Game Design

8.     3D Animation

9.     Digital Filmmaking

10.   Digital Film Editing

 

Acting School Programs

1.     Acting For Film

  • MFA in Acting
  • Associate of Fine Arts In Acting
  • 1-year Conservatory Acting Program
    • 2-year Acting Program
    • 1-year Evening Acting Program
    • 1-year Advance Evening Acting Program
    • 8 week Acting Workshop
    • Acting (Discount Tuition) Workshop
    • 4-week Acting Workshop
    • 1-week Acting Workshop
    • 12-week Evening Acting Workshop
    • 12-week Evening Comedy Workshop

2.     Musical Theater

  • 1-year Musical Theater Program
  • 2-year Musical Theater and Film Conservatory
  • 4-week Musical Theater Workshop

The school claims that students will be able to work with eight films under the undergraduate studies. This is good news for students who are eager to learn though application. Aside from this benefit, students are given state-of-the-art equipment to work with. In fact, it was New York State Film Academy who first made it available for their students to use RED high-definition video camera. The school’s master level studies, on the other hand, will take two years to complete. This is designed to make students gain experience before they decide to enter the film industry. Both programs will cost around $17,000 each. If you do not have prior extensive knowledge in your craft, then this is the school for you because their curriculum is more meticulous. Students also claim that they enjoy the fact that they have access to equipment, facilities and the faculty. However, New York Film Academy is not regionally accredited, which could spell trouble if your employers would refuse to recognize your degree. You also may also not be able to transfer your classes to another school if you had a change of heart.

NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts

According to critics, New York University’s Tisch School is one of the best schools in the country that is offering MFA programs. It is quite difficult to get into this school since applicants are required to perform in front of some of the administrators of the school. This is an important step in the process of admission. A student is required to complete a three-year program. Each year is divided into two semesters. What makes this school stand out from other universities is that they will teach you how to use the Alexander Technique. This is a special method that was designed to calm an actor. This is commonly used in all of the courses offered.

Brief History of New York University – Tisch School

In 1965, the School of the Arts was established in New York University. It provided rigid training for courses in theater and film as the framework for the great research university. Since the beginning, it was able to get the attention of many people and it became known as one of the foremost schools in the country. It then expanded to include other courses such as theater design and lighting, dance, and cinema studies within a short period of time since it was first established. In 1974, the school began to offer people the option to enroll in the undergraduate Department of Drama. The expansion did not stop there.

The school founded the Interactive Telecommunications Program in 1979, the Department of Dramatic Writing in 1980, the Department of Performance Studies in 1980, the Musical Theatre Writing Program in 1981 and the Department of Photography and Imaging in 1982. This brought about the growth of the population of students within the school. In 1982, the school was able to acquire and renovate the 721 Broadway. This was made possible by the kindness of Laurence A. and Preston Robert. The school was later renamed to Tisch School of the Arts.

Today, it is about to conquer the globe as it has branched in Asia particularly in Singapore. The New York Campus is currently accepting 3200 students enrolled in different programs.

 

Programs Offered

Institute of Performing Arts

  • Graduate Acting
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Performance studies
  • Graduate Musical Theatre Writing
  • Performance Studies

Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television

  • Undergraduate Film and Television
  • Graduate Film
  • Photography and Imaging
  • Interactive Telecommunications
  • Rita and Burin Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing

Skirball Center for New Media

  • Cinema Studies
  • Moving Image Archiving and Preservation

Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music

Arts and Public Policy/ Arts Politics

 

Overview

Of all the programs offered, the Theatre and Dance Programs are known to be the most difficult programs to get into. If you want to be admitted in this department, you must prepare for the audition since out of all the programs, these two usually have the largest pool of applicants. While it may be very difficult to get into this school, it can be worth it since it is known to be the very school that has produced the most Academy Award winners compared to other institutions in the country. If you do plan to enroll in this prestigious school, you should at least be able to pay for the tuition fee that increases by 2.8 to 3.8 every year (this also includes dorm fees, meal plans, and health insurance). But if you really want to be on top like Academy Award winners Angelina Jolie, Woody Allen, Anne Hathaway, Ethan Hawke and so much more, this is the university that you should seriously consider.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA has always been known to be one of the top acting schools in the United States. The school is very proud to say that they help their students have the rigorous training they need and that they are also given assistance in choosing the best program that will bring out their talents. Students are given the choice to choose from one of the school’s offer four-year educational programs. Undergraduate applicants are expected to complete the theater program for a Bachelor of Arts degree and will have to audition first in order to secure a place in the program.

UCLA is located in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. The campus covers 419 acres of land. The number of faculty members is about 4,000. This school is known to have the highest number of applications in the Unites States. It has earned its place on the US World Report’s list, landing in the 25th place in 2009. Its reputation is untarnished since it is always able to secure a place on the top 50 of the best schools in the US.

Major and Degree Programs Offered

• College of Letters and Science
• School of the Arts and Architecture
• School of Engineering and Applied Science
• School of Nursing
• School of Theater, Film, and Television

Theater, Film and Television Department in Focus

Undergraduate in Theater

1. Undergraduate in Theater Program(BA)

The Bachelor of Arts in Theater is designed to give students the opportunity to train under a comprehensive program that covers humanities, study of the arts and sciences in conjunction with the practical use of the principles of theater. This is a combination of the critical study of theater with applied practice. Students are trained to create the basics of the foundation for their future career. This four-year degree program will consist of five sets of curricular requirements. These are:

  • Theater Major requirements
  • General Education requirements
  • School of Theater, Film and Television requirements
  • University requirements
  • Theater Specialization requirements(includes Acting, Design/production, Musical Theater, General Theater Studies, Teaching Artist Program)

2. Theater (Minor)

This course is available to students who want to supplement their corresponding major program.

Graduate in Theater

1. Acting(MFA)

2. Design for Theater and Entertainment Media (MFA)

3. Playwriting (MFA)

4. Directing (MFA)

5. Theater (MA)

6. Theater Performance  Studies (PhD)

Undergraduate in Film, Television and Digital Media

1. Undergraduate in Film, Television and Digital Media(BA)

This is available to students who have successfully completed two years of general college studies. This program is a two-year, upper division program that seeks to provide education in the field of history and theory of these art forms with basic learning programs in production under liberal arts education.

2. Film (Minor)

This is available to students who wish to pursue their studies further in film, television and digital media.

Graduate in Film, Television and Digital Media

1. Animation (MFA)

2. Cinema and Media Studies (MA)

3. Cinema and Media Studies (PhD)

4. Cinematography (MFA)

5. Moving Image Archive Studies (MA)

6. Producer’s Program (MFA)

7. Production/ Directing (MFA)

8. Professional Programs: Screenwriting and Producing

9. Screenwriting (MFA)

Since UCLA is a public school, tuition fee is not a big problem for the students. Heather Graham, Judy Kaye, Ben Stiller and Merrin Dungey are some of the celebrities who come from UCLA. The faculty to student ratio is 1:20. This could be a problem especially if you expect your instructor to have extra time to talk with you over your worries regarding your subjects.

Yale School of Drama

Yale School of Drama is popular for being one of the best drama schools not only within the country, but all over the globe as well. It was even made more popular by celebrity actresses such as Merryl Streep, Jennifer Connely, Sigourney Weaver, Jodie Foster and Rutina Wesley. Aspiring actors and actresses want to be in the Yale School University because this school is widely known to have meticulous standards with only a meager ten percent of admissions rate. If you are in Yale School of Drama, it simply means that you have been selected as one of the best in your field.

 

Short History Of Yale School of Drama

In 1924, Yale University established the Department of Drama under the School of Fine Arts. This was made possible by the persistence of Edward S. Harkness. The school accepted its first batch of students in 1925 while the University Theater was still under construction. One of the leading teachers in the field of playwriting in the United States joined the faculty and became the first ever chairman of this department. He was George Pierce Baker and while he was at his position, the first Master of Fine Arts was made official in 1931. By 1955, it was agreed upon that it was time for the said department to be made into a separate school. Since then, the Yale school of drama has been known for degree courses such as Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Fine Arts and Certificate in Drama.

 

Degree Programs Offered

  • Master of Fine Arts

This is available to students who came from an accredited college and who have successfully completed the programs of study listed and furthermore, are considered superb in their professional practice. You must at least have residence for three years. The MFA is granted in the field of Acting, Design, Sound Design, Directing, Stage Management, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Theater Management, Stage Management and in Technical Design and Production

  • Doctor of Fine Arts

This is granted to students who have an MFA degree in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. The candidate must also have successfully passed the MFA qualifying comprehensive examinations and must be able to present a written dissertation of distinction (the subject of which should have been agreed upon by the DFA committee).

  • Certificate in Drama

This is available to students who cannot present an undergraduate degree from an accredited college but should have been able to complete the three year program in Acting, Sound Design, Design, Technical Design and Production or Stage Management with distinction. The student is expected to undergo the same training similar to that of the MFA degree.

  • Technical Internship Certificate

This is given to students who have completed the Technical Design and Production with distinction

 

Overview

All in all, the Yale School of Drama should be on top of your list if you really want to be in a good acting school. It is tied up with Yale Repertory Theater, known for having gained a Tony Award. This school is reputable for producing graduates who excel in the field of stage, films and television industry. Since the school adheres to strict standards, you need to be excellent in order to be admitted. You should also prepare yourself for the high tuition fee rates. However, financial assistance is granted to qualified students who are unable to afford the tuition rates.