The Carol Hickey Acting Studio Conservatory Program
If you are serious about competing at the top level of our industry, you must make a serious commitment to training. The Conservatory offers students the opportunity to take weekly core classes in Acting, Voice and Movement along with Specialty classes in Improvisation, Musical Theatre, on-Camera, Shakespeare, and others so that you develop the entire instrument and produce work that is elevated above and beyond other actors. This program will challenge the student to expand their ability to be affected and express with dimension and resonance. The Conservatory students also receive priority placement in special workshops offered at the studio and in auditions for The Alchemy Theatre.
Conservatory Cost - $4400
Payment Plans Available:
11 months: $400
12 months: $366.67
*Discount of $275 when paid in full by January 1st
The Conservatory Program is a year commitment.
You will be required to take all classes and workshops listed in the curriculum below.
Mondays | Ongoing | 6pm - 9pm
Scene Study with Carol Hickey
This class focuses on the disciplined practice of training the imagination to create a second reality using the script as a road map. Mastering this technique the student becomes self-reliant and can create a truly realistic performance that has profound resonance and dimension.
January | February
Sunday | January 13th - March 10th | 3pm - 6pm
Voice & Movement with Sheila Gordon
This course moves the professional actor from breath to thought - connecting voice, body and mind for an empowered approach to text and character. Each class begins with a somatic warm-up that integrates Bartenieff/Laban/Functional Movement Analysis and Firzmaurice Voicework. The eight weeks focus on voice and speech deconstructing (i.e.. discovering our habits!) dialects and embodied character. Sheila provides an inviting and inspiring environment that produces both personal and professional results. Students will walk away with greater awareness, facility, and strength in the won, unique instrument.
Saturday | March 2nd | 10am - 1pm
Workshop with Harry Mastrogeorge
Renowned acting coach, Harry Mastrogeorge will teach a 3 hour intensive on his approach to the work. All students are encouraged to audit the additional workshop for free.
April | May
Saturday |April 6th - May 25th | 11am - 2pm
Shakespeare with Gwen Kelso
This class will increase your ability to respond to language and demanding content. Students will explore both the Tragedy and Comedy of Shakespeare. Both textual and physical components of approaching heightened text will be investigated. Your ability to express freely, boldly, and with conviction will be expanded through the work.
Saturday | June 15th | 10am - 1pm
Workshop | Musical Theatre with Aleque Reid & Heath Calvert
This class will focus on freeing the Actor's natural voice through breathing, physicality, and vocal techniques found similarly in 'Alexander Technique.' Students will have the opportunity to sing both individually and as a group. With the help of the instructor, students are encouraged to focus on Musical Theatre styles that interest them. By the end of the course, participants will have gained a better understanding of picking/cutting appropriate audition material that showcases their unique vocal qualities.
July | August
Saturday | July 6th - August 24th | 11am - 2pm
Improvisation into Homework with Sarah Marie Curry
Students will use the techniques of improvisation as an effective and efficient way to joyfully commit to the work of acting. Learn how to focus the use of your imagination, become more open and aware, increase focus and attention, and play pretend at the highest level. Students will leave class with a better understanding of their own creative mind as well as how to relinquish the ego's concerns over product and presentation.
Saturday | September 14th | 10am-1pm
Workshop | Voice Over with Debbi Derryberry
Focus on producing winning VO auditions for the commercial market. Define your voice for marketing, find your niche, and perfect your demo reel. If you don't have a demo reel, Debi will walk you through the process of all you need to know and how to set up an easy, professional home studio. Also will develop and fulfill voices for animated content. It will provide insight in how to break into this expanding industry and how to define and market your unique voice characteristics. Mic time for everyone!
October | November
Saturday |October 5th - November 23rd | 11am - 2pm
On Camera with Tracy Middendorf & Robert Walden
This class will put the focus up close and personal! Each students will learn about camera shots and angles, and the function of each person working on set. You will also have plenty of on camera time to see how you can do less and be more impactful in your work on film. Stillness, emotional openness, depth, resonance and presence will be explored.
Mondays | October 7th - November 25th | 6pm - 9pm
Showcase Rehearsal with Carol Hickey & Michael Cooper
November 22nd and 23rd
Carol Hickey | Scene Study | 1st year Showcase
Carol Hickey has studied with some of the most prestigious instructors in Acting at HB Studio in New York and 7 years in Los Angeles with Harry Mastrogeorge. She has a degree in Theatre from University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her living working on commercials and television series (Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under, Scrubs, ER, NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Big Love, National Tide, AT&T, Kelloggs, Cisco and many more) in Los Angeles. She also has received awards for her work on stage, developing premiere works in Los Angeles and in New York with The Canyon Theatre Company, along with name actors such as Mark Ruffalo and Kathy Bates. She worked as an instructor through East L.A. Classic Theatre to inner city, underprivileged youth and has primarily served as a private audition coach here in Austin.
Harry Mastrogeorge | Master Class
Harry has been directing and teaching since 1956 and has numerous film, television and producing credits. Harry's students range from Robert Redford, Ray Liotta, Bryan Cranston, Djimon Hounsou to Brit Marling.
Robert Walden | Monologues - Scene Study
Robert Walden's acting credits include five years on the TV series LOU GRANT (he received three EMMY Nominations), five years on BROTHERS (two CABLE ACE Nominations), and some 80 guest-star appearances, WEST WING, LAW & ORDER, SVU among them. His many films include Oscar Winners: ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and Paddy Chayefsky's THE HOSPITAL. Stage roles include: DEATH OF A SALESMAN (Willy Loman) and MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING (Branch Rickey - Dramalogue Award, Best Actor). Regional Theaters: ACT, MARK TAPER FORUM, ARENA STAGE, CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE in the PARK. Directing: DYLAN - won Best Production, Actor, Actress, Director from LA Critics and 7 Dramalogues. DANNY and the DEEP BLUE SEA, AFTER CRYSTAL NIGHT, THE QUARREL (LA and NYC). And here in Austin this year, GOOD PEOPLE. He has directed and written for television. Taught five years in the MA program at The New School for Drama in NYC. He has moderated at the ACTOR'S STUDIO, in which he's a lifelong member.
Sheila Gordon | Voice and Movement
This course moves the professional actor from breath to thought - connecting voice, body and mind for an empowered approach to text and character. Each class begins with a somatic warm-up that integrates Tai Chi and Feldenkrais. Over the course of 9 weeks, actors will develop a solid practice of connecting with the breath and opening the voice through sound improvisation and articulation warmups. Sheila provides an inviting and inspiring environment that produces both personal and professional results. Students will walk away with greater awareness, facility, and strength in the expressive instrument.
Michael Cooper | Directing - Showcase
As an award-winning stage director, Michael has directed staged readings of Peter and Alice and Domesticated for The Alchemy Theatre in AUSTIN. Michael has also directed in LOS ANGELES: The Pacific Resident Theatre productions of The Dorothy Parker Project and The Lion in Winter; The Sierra Madre Playhouse productions of The Lion in Winter and To Kill A Mockingbird (Nominated for 7 BroadwayWorld Awards, including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play); A Good Smoke; Two Men Losing Their Minds (winner LA Weekly Award): The Nature of the Beast; American Air; Where, Oh Where Could My Baby Be? (winner 2 Drama-Logue Awards); Tennessee Jar (winner 4 Drama-Logue Awards); Coyote Ugly; Welcome Signs (winner LA Weekly Award –Best Ensemble). NEW YORK: A Good Smoke. From 2000 to 2011 Michael was the Artistic Director of The Canyon Theatre Ensemble, in Los Angeles. Michael assisted Gordon Davidson on Marsha Norman's play, Traveler in the Dark at the Mark Taper Forum Los Angeles and also performed Off-Broadway as Whizzer Brown in William Finn's In Trousers at the Promenade Theatre in New York City. Michael is a 2005 alumus of Lincoln Center Theatre Director's Lab West.
Gwendolyn Kelso | Shakespeare
Gwen Kelso is a professional teaching artist and actor. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, Gwen has taught for programs all over the country and is currently teaching faculty at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC and adjunct faculty with ACC in Austin. As a teaching artist, Gwen has taught for Imagination Stage, St. Louis Rep., The Shakespeare Society, TFANA, BAM, ZACH Theatre, Austin Shakespeare (and many more!). As an actor, highlights include Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Austin Shakespeare, and Saint Louis Shakespeare Festival. A native Austinite (Bowie HS!), Gwen received her BFA in acting from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University; MFA in acting from the Shakespeare Theatre in DC.
Sarah Marie Curry | Improv
Sarah has been an actor for 16 years and an improvisation actor and teacher for 8 years. On stage she has been called "hilarious" "fierce" "truly exceptional" and is a B. Iden Payne Awards winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical for her role as "Jaime" in The Last Five Years this past season.She was a proud member of the B. Iden Payne Award Winning Troupe: Girls Girls Girls. Improvised Musicals for 7.5 years and currently stars as one half of dramatic improv duo Cascade also nominated for a B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Improv Troupe.
Aleque Reid | Musical Theatre
Aleque Reid can currently be seen in Insidious-The Final Key, I'm Dying Up Here on Showtime, and heard as the singing voice for Poppy in the new Netflix show Trolls - The Beat Goes On. Some of her notable stage credits include Hair (Broadway National Tour), Domesticated (Lincoln Theater Center), All's Well That Ends Well (Public Theater), and Nobody Loves You (Second Stage).
Heath Calvert | Musical Theatre
Heath Calvert is best known for his work on Broadway in Amelie, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Hair, and Good Vibrations. His Off-Broadway/Regional credits include: Nobody Loves You (2nd Stage; Lucille Lortel Nomination), The Old Globe, Studio Theatre, O'Neill Theater Center, Cap 21, Ahmanson Theater.
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