'This From Cloudland' written by Kristen Kosmas, directed by Chi-wang Yang
'This From Cloudland' written by Kristen Kosmas, directed by Chi-wang Yang

The Acting Program offers classically centered training with an eye toward the future, and are designed to prepare young artists for the performance challenges of the 21st Century.

The overall aim of the Acting track is to guide students in becoming versatile, well-rounded theater artists who have the skills to pursue their own creative and professional paths. Accordingly, CalArts seeks talented performers who are engaged with their imaginations, guided by their passions and compelled to speak their stories.

The undergraduate curriculum is designed to provide comprehensive training for sophisticated actors and theater artists, to make strong connections between the physical and the mental. Graduate students are pushed to expand, innovate, and clarify their skillset. Students in both the BFA and MFA Programs learn how to analyze texts, understand acting methodologies and develop their bodies, voices, emotions and minds as instruments for performance.

  • Mirjana Jokovic, Director of Performance, Head of MFA Acting 
  • Andrea LeBlanc, Associate Dean, Co-Head of BFA Acting 
  • Damian Lewis, Co-Head of BFA Acting


Student Story

Cristina Fernandez
Cristina Fernandez Acting MFA 14

I think there is a higher level of expectation for an actor-artist at CalArts than at other places. You’re an active participant in making a piece of art. When I started, I didn’t think I had that capacity as an actor to make my own work; I didn’t understand the language. I’ve begun to create my own work and produce projects. I’ve stretched past being an actor-performer. The cool thing is that you start to trust your own wacky ideas. We all have that experimental part in us, and you begin to honor that. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t, but you learn. CalArts is this great experiment.

I was always amazed at how kind, open and excited people were to share and see each other’s work at CalArts. There’s a true collaborative spirit in the Theater School and the entire Institute. You naturally start to find folks, and you begin to find yourself in a group of people that you trust and that trusts you.

Student Interview

Interview with Peter Mark, an MFA actor in the School of Theater

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