4. American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco, CA): Not associated with any university or college, the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) offers an M.F.A. program in actor training. Interesting note of history here, ACT was founded in 1965 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Carnegie Mellon University by theater and opera director William Ball. By invitation from San Francisco philanthropists and officials, Ball relocated the company to San Francisco and astonished the theater world by presenting 27 fully staged productions in rotating repertory in two different theaters (the Geary and the Marine's Memorial Theatre) during the first 40-week season. At ACT, not only will you have a chance to work with a Tony-winning regional theater company but perform in the history Geary and Strand Theatres. Alumni include Annette Benning, Denzel Washington, Anna Deavere Smith, Elizabeth Banks, and Darren Criss.
5. University of San Diego (San Diego, CA): The University of San Diego offers an M.F.A. in Dramatic Arts in collaboration with the world-renowned Old Globe theater. This partnership makes USD/Old Globe one of the finest acting programs on the West Coast. Only seven students are chosen each year, and they are given full scholarships and stipends. But most important, students are given the chance to perform at the Old Globe, one of America's finest regional theaters. Alumni include Jim Parsons.
OnStage Blog (Shared with permission)
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