Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University

The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University is a three-year graduate program in the theater arts. It has been located at Pace University since 2006 and grants Master of Fine Arts degrees in acting, directing, and playwriting. James Lipton serves as Dean Emeritus. The program is sanctioned by the Actors Studio, though graduation from the school does not guarantee membership in the Actors Studio.


The Actors Studio Drama School was established by the Actors Studio in 1994. From 1994 to 2005, the school was a graduate division of The New School. In 2005, the Actors Studio and The New School declined to renew their contract, and the Actors Studio soon thereafter signed a 10-year contract with Pace University, where the Actors Studio Drama School became a graduate program of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. Andreas Manolikakis, chair of the Actors Studio Drama School 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 a few 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 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: ActingEdit

  • Susan Aston (Director of Acting)
  • Jacqueline Knapp
  • Beth Manspeizer
  • Jacqueline Jacobus
  • Michael Billingsley (Movement)
  • Kate Billingsley (Acting and Movement)
  • Chris Clavelli (Shakespeare)
  • Corinna May (Voice and Speech)
  • Craig Bacon (Voice and Speech)
  • Robert Serrell (Voice and Speech
  • Matthew Dudley (Neutral American Speech)

Faculty: DirectingEdit

  • Ed Setrakian
  • Brian Rhinehart
  • Andreas Manolikakis (Chair)
  • Ken Urso
  • Shawn Lewis (Design)

Faculty: PlaywritingEdit

  • Edward Allan Baker (Director of Playwriting)
  • Clay McLeod Chapman


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

External linksEdit

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