Professional Actor Training Program (PATP)
The UW Professional Actor Training Program (PATP) has been a highly regarded three-year conservatory training program for more than forty years. The program leads to a Master of Fine Arts in Acting degree. We are devoted to preparing carefully selected actors for the professional world of theatre, film, television and newer digital media. Our training is based on the time honored traditions and practices of Stanislavski combined with extensive physical training that includes Suzuki training, the Viewpoints, Alexander Technique and Stage Combat.
The primary focus of the PATP is to provide our actors with the tools and sensibilities to become outstanding theatre actors who are comfortable and effective in all media. The faculty is made up of successful theatre professionals who are inspired to teach.
Importantly, the PATP also strives to inspire life-long exploration and inquiry into the creative spirit that informs the actor’s work. We recognize the importance of ensemble work and the necessity of entrepreneurial skills in developing a versatile, evolved actor.
The training day is from 9am to 5pm followed by evening and weekend rehearsals and performances. Our program is structured to immerse students in the traditional vocabulary and practices set down by Konstantin Stanislavski and informed by the individual professional experiences of the faculty. The program is also designed to increase the actors’ expressiveness through “instrument classes” in voice, speech, dialects, and extensive physical training. Over the three years of study, our students are exposed to cutting edge material as well as work in the established canon of western dramatic literature.
During their course of study, each student appears in at least seven productions, two self-written solo shows, an in-depth dialect project and continual, extensive scene and technique classes. Recognizing the challenges and opportunities beyond theatre technique, we also provide our students with screen-acting opportunities and audition coaching for film, TV, commercials and new media. We provide the means, equipment and expertise to make professional quality videos to showcase our students’ talents. During the third year, classes and projects focusing on career and business become part of the curriculum. At the end of the third year we prepare a professional showcase for Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. Each actor in the program leaves with a professional quality audition “reel”.
Prominent leaders from theatre, film and television regularly lecture and teach workshops with our students.
PATP actors audition for northwest theatres including the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, ACT (A Contemporary Theatre), Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as for summer theatre festivals from around the region and country, several of whom come to campus to audition UW PATP actors. Many of our students find summer acting work and a number of our third year actors find professional work immediately after graduating.
PATP students receive a great deal of individual mentoring and are evaluated by the entire acting faculty at the end of each quarter. Students are admitted with the expectation that all will graduate, although unsatisfactory progress can result in dismissal from the program.