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 2019, our flagship Teacher Development Program returns for its 22nd year and continues with two sessions: May 20-31, 2019 in Los Angeles, presented in collaboration with the USC School of Dramatic Arts; and June 3-14, 2019 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 2019 faculty to be announced.

2019 Teacher Development Program

Los Angeles

May 20-31, 2019

USC School
of Dramatic Arts

New York

June 3-14, 2019

NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Department of Drama

Application deadline for both programs is March 22, 2019. Admission is made on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply early. Complete faculty and program information will be announced shortly.

Program Details

Our Teacher Development Program provides a rare opportunity for established acting teachers and professional actors interested in teaching to return to the classroom under the guidance of masters of the field.

In the two-week intensive, participants study as acting students, but with an eye toward the craft of teaching. Through the exploration of multiple methodologies and pedagogical practices, the program provides teaching artists a fertile and rigorous environment to broaden their landscape of technique, develop their diagnostic eye, and hone their ability to teach to the individual, while learning to cultivate an instructional atmosphere tailored to imaginative and creative risk-taking.

Everyone works on their feet, every day. Questions are answered in “the doing.” Issues of teaching practice are examined first through experience, then through discussion. The result is a one-of-a-kind program that nurtures the highest artistic standards and offers participants the opportunity to refine their voice as a teaching artist, elevate their practice, and reconnect with their passion for the craft of acting.

In the 21 years since its inception the program has graduated more than 250 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, David Bridel Sharon Marie Carnicke, Robert Cohen, Slava Dolgachev, Olympia Dukakis, Richard Feldman, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Peter Jay Fernandez, Joanna Merlin, Jane Nichols, Fay Simpson, and Gregory Wallace, among others.

Presented in collaboration with

The New York Teacher Development Program is made possible through the generous support of the Lui & Wan Foundation.

The workshop is an intensive two-week immersion with approximately 100 hours of instruction. Classes run Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 10:00pm with additional classes on Saturday morning.

Classes in Los Angeles will take place on the campus of USC. Classes in New York will take place on the campus of NYU.

A detailed weekly schedule, as well as reading list and preparation materials will be shared with admitted participants in the weeks prior to the workshop.

Applications are now being accepted and are evaluated on a rolling basis.
For full consideration, please submit all materials by March 22, 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.

Apply Now

Teaching CV

Acting Resume

Statement of Interest

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

Tuition for the 2019 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 began offering three professional development fellowships for acting teachers providing full scholarship to the program. Applications for these fellowships will open shortly for the 2019 cycle.

In addition, we offer some 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 New York in 1996. In the 21 years since its inception the program has graduated more than 250 alumni, many of whom are now teaching at premier institutions across the country. Founded by J. Michael Miller, the program’s four initial faculty included Earle Gister, Michael Kahn, Lloyd Richards, and Ron Van Lieu. In 2017, the program expanded to the west coast for the first time and now continues on both coasts each summer.

Over the years, 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
Gregory Wallace

From Past Participants

“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


“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

“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

“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.