The art of teaching involves helping each student take ownership of their possibilities as an artist. The standards that teacher holds to is key to the lasting affect.

In 2018, our flagship Teacher Development Program returns for its 21st year and expands to two sessions: May 21-June 1, 2018 in Los Angeles, presented in collaboration with the USC School of Dramatic Arts; and June 4-15, 2018 in New York, presented in collaboration with NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Join us on either coast for an inspiring and revitalizing 12 days devoted to the craft of teaching acting. Additional program details and 2018 faculty to be announced.

2018 Teacher Development Program

LOS ANGELES: May 21-June 1, 2018, USC School of Dramatic Arts
NEW YORK: June 4-15, 2018, New York University

Program Details & 2018 Faculty To Be Announced

Program Details

Our Teacher Development Program provides a rare opportunity for both established acting teachers and professional actors interested in teaching to return to the classroom under the guidance of true masters of the field. In the two-week intensive, participants study again as acting students, but with an eye toward the craft of teaching. While encouraging the exploration of approaches and pedagogical practices, the program helps to reconnect teachers with their passion for the craft and deep sense of purpose in the pursuit of artistic excellence.

In the 20 years since its inception the program has graduated more than 240 alumni, many of whom are now teaching at premier institutions across the country. Its faculty over the years have included an extraordinary group of teachers and guest artists including its four founding faculty: Earle Gister, Michael Kahn, Lloyd Richards, Ron Van Lieu; who have been joined in the ensuing years by Maria Aitken, Christopher Bayes, Alexandra Billings, Per Brahe, Sharon Marie Carnicke, Robert Cohen, Slava Dolgachev, Olympia Dukakis, Richard Feldman, Joanna Merlin, Jane Nichols, Peter Jay Fernandez, Fay Simpson, among others.

Presented in collaboration with

Participants in this workshop will be introduced to some of the most respected teachers from the United States and abroad. The goal is to reinforce the tenets of the craft the participants would impart to their students. While the workshop is offered as a seminar for the benefit of established teachers or established actors who are starting to teach, it will be conducted essentially as an acting class. Everyone will work on their feet every day. Questions will be answered in “the doing.” Issues of teaching methodology will be examined first through experiencing them, then through specific hours set aside to discuss their particular merits.

The workshop is an intensive two-week immersion. Classes run Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 10:00pm with additional acting classes on Saturday morning.

Applications are now being accepted and are evaluated on a rolling basis.
For full consideration, please submit all materials by March 1, 2018.

Enrollment is limited. We encourage you to apply early to avoid disappointment. Admission is made on a rolling basis to give applicants time to secure funding. Some education institutions have funds available to support faculty in professional development.

Admission is based on your stated personal approach to the actor’s process, your background, and your demonstrated interest in personal and professional development. To apply, please prepare the following items and attach on the application form at the bottom of this page.

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Teaching CV

Acting Resume

Statement of Interest

1-2 pages about your own teaching and/or approach to the craft.

Tuition for the 2018 Teacher Development Program is $3,800.

Some education institutions and foundations have funds available to support faculty in professional development. We encourage all participants to explore these avenues for financial support. Discounts are also made available to existing members of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers and alumni of the program.

Participants are responsible for their own housing accommodations.

In 2017, we launched three new professional development fellowships for acting teachers providing full scholarship to the program. Applications for these fellowships will open shortly for the 2018 cycle.

In addition, we offer a limited number of partial scholarships for adjunct faculty, instructors, and coaches without access to professional development funding. We also offer need-based and merit-based scholarships to individuals who would otherwise not be able to attend. In order to be eligible for scholarships, individuals should first submit their application to the Teacher Development Program. Subsequently, please write to Managing Director, Alex Birnie at to inquire about scholarship availability.

The Teacher Development Program originated at The Actors Center in 1996. When the Alliance for the Development of Theatre Artists started The Actors Center that year, we brought together leading teachers from America, England, Russia and other countries. Our initial intent was to provide established actors with access to master teachers throughout their careers, but we soon realized that these same master teachers, assembled under one roof, could and should also be made available to established teachers seeking further growth and renewal.

Since that time, TDP faculty and guest speakers have included:

Maria Aitken
Christopher Bayes
Alexandra Billings
Per Brahe
David Bridel
Sharon Marie Carnicke
Robert Cohen
Slava Dolgachev
Olympia Dukakis
William Esper

Peter Jay Fernandez
Catherine Fitzmaurice
Richard Feldman
Earle Gister
Michael Kahn
Joanna Merlin
Jane Nichols
Hugh O’Gorman
Lloyd Richards
Fay Simpson
Ron Van Lieu

From Past Participants

“What the Teacher Development Program has done is to remind, inspire, and transform those of us who have the daunting responsibility to teach actors of today and tomorrow what it all truly means … And in doing so passing down a humanity that they have instilled in hundreds beyond count.”

— R. Scott Lank

University of Evansville

“This was one of the richest experiences of my creative life. What struck me most, was how satisfying it was to study with a group of mature artists who all share a passion for the work that extends beyond self to the ‘how’ and legacy of the craft. I truly felt, perhaps for the first time, that we are part of a lineage. I would recommend the TDP to anyone who wishes to deepen their connection to the heart of what it is to be an actor. ”

— Laura Woodward


“All the classes were tremendously stimulating, and I know my work will benefit and be informed by those experiences for years to come. I hope that when I get back to teaching this season, I’ll be able to pass on at least some of those traditions that Ron, Chris and Slava embody. Thank you for an experience I will always cherish.”

— William McNulty

Actor/Teacher, Actors Theatre of Louisville

“My experience in the Teacher Development Program was exactly what I wanted. I was constantly being challenged and motivated. Learning from Master Teachers, and alongside exceptional artists, pushed me to evaluate my work and process both as an actor and educator. I completed the program inspired to continue the work with my own students. ”

— Courtneay Sanders

Oral Roberts University

“I cannot express in words how inspiring, thought-provoking, stimulating and fulfilling the program was last June. You cannot put a price on or name to what I learned in the classroom.”

— Anna Steers

California State University, Long Beach

“You have given me a renewed commitment and perspective. You have given me a deeper understanding of my place and of my work. A vigorous assertion back toward my ideals and what I truly love and find rewarding. It has been a redefining of my artistic self. It is, in essence, a truly valuable second chance.”

— Ramsey Faragallah


“To people who have asked, I say that walking into a master’s class is like walking onto a tennis court, thinking you can play a little tennis, and then Roger Federer walks in on the other side. Often what I learned was not about what was taught, but how it was taught. Master teachers don’t earn that designation simply because they have been teaching for a long time, but because they are that much better at what they do.”

— Bill Gelber

Texas Tech University

“Simply put, the five summers I spent in The Actors Center Teacher Development Program rank among the most important acting experiences I’ve had. For any acting teacher, nascent or seasoned, serious about improving their approach toward, eye for, and understanding of the actor’s work this program is de rigueur.”

— Hugh O’Gorman

California State University, Long Beach

“Easily the best training I’ve encountered anywhere. The two weeks of exceptional teaching, vital discussion, and intensive hands-on work continue to inspire me on a daily basis, and the connections I made with the talented and dedicated theatre artists who were my classmates have been strong and surprisingly lasting. I was challenged, encouraged, and renewed.”

— Amy Herzberg

University of Arkansas

Apply Now

Before you start your application, please check that you have the materials listed above.

  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, pages.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, pages.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, pages.