USC School of Theatre
Of all the acting schools in LA, USC School of Theatre is thought to offer one of the best undergraduate theatre programs in the country. Forest Whitaker, Kyra Sedgwick and Eric Stoltz studied here, to name just a few.
During four years, actors study acting, voice and movement, as well as theatre history and theory, directing or screenwriting and general education courses.
This LA acting school also offers a 3-year intensive masters program that combines a traditional acting training (acting, movement and voice classes) with a new approach based on the work of Grotowski, Peter Brook and Jacques LeCoq.
MFA students also take directing classes and work on Alexander technique, Shakespeare and other classics, camera acting, diction and dialects, mask, clown, stage combat, commedia dell’arte and voice-overs. MFA actors work as an ensemble and learn from a faculty of working professionals.
Performance opportunities: Juniors and seniors in the undergraduate program are required to audition for school productions, which represent over 20 shows annually staged at one of four theatre facilities available, including a 550-seat proscenium theater. MFA students appear in at least 6 plays, including a 3 play repertory season presented over the course of 2 weeks.
Career preparation: A wide range of internships at prestigious Los Angeles theaters are available. Students can attend lectures given by famous guest speakers. Graduating students appear in an industry showcase. MFA students attend seminars with agents, casting directors and directors on auditioning and the business of acting.
Degree: BFA in Acting for undergraduates, MFA in Acting for the graduate program.
Financial Aid: In addition to need-based grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs available through the Financial Aid Office of USC university, the School of Theatre offers special awards for students who have completed at least a year as a theatre major.
What you’ll need to apply: Transcripts and test scores, a headshot and resume, a bio and a letter of recommendation for the undergraduate program. MFA applicants must submit transcripts, a headshot and resume, a personal statement and 3 letters of recommendation. All applicants need to audition (auditions are held in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco and callbacks are held at the acting college in Los Angeles). International students fluent in English are welcome.
Acceptance rate: Approximately 30 students are accepted into the undergraduate program out of 600 who audition.