Applications are currently not being accepted for American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress. We plan to continue the program in-person in Summer 2022. To be notified when applications open, please contact email@example.com.
We encourage people to consider A.C.T.’s other actor training program, which is being temporarily offered entirely online: The 15-week San Francisco Semester.
Speaking Classical Text/Speech and the Actor/Voice
Jessica Berman (Speaking Classical Text/Speech and the Actor/Voice) is a dialect coach and teaches acting, voice, speech, and text at UC Berkeley, A.C.T. (Summer Training Congress and San Francisco Semester), and Academy of Art University. Recent dialect and vocal coaching credits include Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, What the Constitution Means to Me, Monsoon Wedding, An Octoroon, Watch on the Rhine, and Hand to God (Berkeley Repertory Theatre); An American in Paris (2017 North American tour); The Eva Trilogy, The Baltimore Waltz, Sojourners, and runboyrun (Magic Theatre); Shakespeare in Love, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Native Son, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, and August: Osage County (Marin Theatre Company); and Fences (California Shakespeare Theater). In addition to her work in the theater, Berman works with business professionals and private individuals on communication, presence, and presentation skills. She holds an MA from the Birmingham School of Acting and an MFA from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Mark Jackson (Classical Acting/Movement) is an award-winning theater maker whose work in theater, dance, and performance has been seen in the Bay Area at American Conservatory Theater’s M.F.A. Program, Art Street Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, The Cutting Ball Theater, Encore Theatre Company, EXIT Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Potrzebie Dance Project, San Francisco International Arts Festival, San Francisco State University, Shotgun Players, and Z Space; nationally at Studio Theatre (Washington, DC), The Catamounts (Denver), and Hunger & Thirst Theatre (New York City); and internationally at Arts International Festival IV (Japan), Edinburgh Festival Fringe and The Bread & Roses Theatre Company (UK), and English Theatre Berlin and Deutsches Theater Berlin (Germany). Jackson teaches regularly in the M.F.A., Summer Training Congress, and Studio A.C.T. programs, and is the director of Studio A.C.T. He has taught a variety of theater courses at schools and theaters in California and Berlin, Germany.
Warren David Keith
Warren David Keith (Acting) has been an esteemed stage and film actor (SAG-AFTRA, AEA) and director for 25 years. Keith has acted in many highly acclaimed movies including Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, A Serious Man (Coen brothers), and Haiku Tunnel (Josh Kornbluth), as well as television shows such as Nash Bridges, The Equalizer, and Trauma. He played the lead in the feature-film Moonlight Sonata (by Celik Kayalar). He regularly acts and directs plays at A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, and Aurora Theatre Company in the Bay Area. For over 15 years, Keith has been a much sought-after teacher of graduate and master classes in prestigious acting schools including A.C.T., UC Davis, The New School for Social Research, and Barnard College. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Yale School of Drama.
Patrick Russell (Acting/Classical Acting/Soliloquy) received his BFA in acting from UC Santa Barbara and is a graduate of A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts Program. He has performed in theaters across the Bay Area, including A.C.T. (King Charles III, Once in a Lifetime, and A Christmas Carol), California Shakespeare Theater (As You Like It), Aurora Theatre Company (A Bright New Boise, Wilder Times, Body Awareness, Trouble in Mind, and Awake and Sing!), San Francisco Playhouse (Noises Off, Red Velvet, Seminar, reasons to be pretty, and the world premieres of 77% and Trouble Cometh), Magic Theatre (Fool for Love and The Other Place), Marin Theatre Company (Othello), Marin Shakespeare Company (Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Three Musketeers, and The Comedy of Errors), Center REPertory Company (Old Wicked Songs), and Shotgun Players (Care of Trees). Film credits include the feature film Being Us, the web series SanFranLand, and the award-winning animated short film Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero. His voice-over work can be heard in numerous radio and internet ads. As a teaching artist, Russell has worked with A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory, California Shakespeare Theater, Academy of Art University, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Currently, Russell is also an instructor for A.C.T.’s Professional Development Training Program, San Francisco Semester Program, and Studio A.C.T. (acting, movement, and clown). He conducts audition workshops and information seminars at universities across the country as a recruiter for A.C.T. Most recently, he was the movement instructor for the BFA in acting program at Southern Oregon University. Russell is a member of Actors' Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.
Speaking Classical Text/Voice
Christine Adaire (Speaking Classical Text/Voice) is the head of voice at A.C.T. She is a Designated Master Linklater Voice Teacher, trained by the world renowned voice teacher Kristin Linklater. She has worked as an actor, voice coach, and director in many American regional theaters, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the Guthrie Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Goodman Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Court Theatre, American Players Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and Shakespeare & Company. She has coached the dialects for the Broadway production and first national tour of Mary Poppins. Adaire has taught at DePaul University, National Theatre School of Canada, University of Massachusetts–Amherst, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and Roosevelt University. She has taught workshops in Shanghai, Barcelona, London, Australia, New Zealand, and Birmingham, England. Her current area of research and writing is transgender voice. She works with transgender individuals so that they can modify their voice to more fully express their gender identity.
Letitia Bartlett (Clowning) has been teaching mime, clowning, and circus arts since the 1970s. She has studied mime with Samuel Avital, Leonard Pitt, and Jacques Lecoq. She has been a member of the Kite Tails Mime Duet, the Tandy Beal Dance Company, and for 10 years, a director and performer for San Francisco's Make-A-Circus. For 25 years, Bartlett was half of the clown and circus duet “Julietta and Jeremy,” performing at schools, corporate events, and internationally in Mexico and Taiwan. As a freelance circus performer, she has performed at thousands of events over the last 40 years. Bartlett is an Iyengar Yoga instructor and studies regularly at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India. She teaches mime at the Clown Conservatory at the Circus Center and acting and physical theater for Academy of Art University. It is always a joy and a privilege to teach clowning in A.C.T.’s Summer Training Congress.
Matt Chapman (Movement) is a performer, teacher, and director of physical theater, movement, and clown. He is artistic director and co-founder of Under the Table Ensemble Theatre, a physical comedy ensemble now in its seventeenth year of making works and touring the country and globe. Chapman is currently teaching at A.C.T. and Stanford University. He spent three years on faculty at Dell'Arte International’s School of Physical Theatre, and has taught at Marymount Manhattan College and Manhattanville College in New York, as well as teaching workshops at such places as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Actors Theatre of Louisville, New York University, Vassar College, Sarah Lawrence College, Towson University, and many other universities and theaters. Chapman regularly works abroad, teaching and performing at festivals, schools, and theaters in South Africa, Denmark, Colombia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, and England. He is a Round 9 recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations Future Leaders program, and plays guitar in the Oakland punk rock band The Big Forgive.
John Fisher (Acting/Classical Acting) is the recipient of six San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for playwriting and directing and is the only two-time winner of the Will Glickman Award (Medea, the Musical and Combat!), given by the Bay Area’s major critics. He recently appeared in New York City at the United Solo Festival in his one-man show A History of World War II: The D-Day Invasion to the Fall of Berlin, for which he won the United Solo Award for Best Actor. He will perform this show at The Marsh in San Francisco in the fall and at the Manhattan nightclub Pangea in September. In 2016, Fisher was nominated for a SFBATCC Award for both Breaking the Code: The Alan Turing Story and Shakespeare Goes to War. Other recognitions include two Cable Car Awards for Best Theatircal Production, the GLAAD Media Award and LA Weekly Theater Award for Outsanding LA Theatre, the San Francisco Bay Guardian “Goldie” Award, and the Backstage West Garland Award. Fisher holds a PhD from UC Berkeley and has taught acting, directing, and playwriting at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, A.C.T., and the Yale School of Drama.
Soliloquy, Text & Technique, Director of STC
Christopher Herold (Director of the STC/Soliloquy/Text and Technique) has taught in A.C.T.’s M.F.A. Program, Summer Training Congress, and Studio A.C.T. Before becoming STC director in 2008, he served as a core acting teacher for fifteen years. As a director in the M.F.A. Program, Herold staged Robert Schenkkan’s The Kentucky Cycle: Part One, Brecht’s Galileo, and George F. Walker’s Escape from Happiness. Studio A.C.T. productions include The Marriage of Bette and Boo and Fuddy Meers. Also a member of the faculty at the UC Berkeley, Herold has directed productions of Metamorphoses, Summertime, The Ruling Class, Our Town, Sauce for the Goose, Criminal Genius, Adult Entertainment, Three Sisters, Orestes, Pterodactyls, Good, The Crucible, Noises Off, Chinamen, Infancy, and Funeral Games. Herold has also taught at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and Stanford University. The former artistic director and a founding member of Jawbone Theater Ensemble, his work with that company includes direction of the San Francisco premiere of Manfred Karge's Conquest of the South Pole and Samuel Beckett’s Play for the Bay Area Fringe Festival. He also directed the critically acclaimed production of Achilles & Patroklos (Central Works Theater Company), and the San Francisco premiere of Tick, Tick . . . Boom! (Theatre Rhinoceros), chosen by the San Francisco Bay Guardian as one of the Ten Best Musical Productions in San Francisco. A recipient of the Roslyn Schneider Eisner Prize for Continuing Creative Achievement and the Mark Goodson Prize for Distinguished Theatrical Talent, Herold holds a doctorate in dramatic art from UC Berkeley. In the Bay Area, Herold has appeared with Aurora Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Word for Word Performing Arts Company, Central Works, Shotgun Players, Theatre Rhinoceros, Playwrights Foundation, and at Yerba Buena Gardens. Herold is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Speaking Classical Text/Speech and the Actor/Soliloquy/Voice
Stephanie Hunt (Speaking Classical Text/Speech and the Actor/Soliloquy/Voice) is an actor, director, and teacher. She has acted with Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Campo Santo. As a charter company member of Word for Word Performing Arts Company, she has performed roles in stories by Upton Sinclair, Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter, Andrew Sean Greer, Colm Tóibín, and Tobias Wolff. Hunt also has directed productions of Wolff’s Bullet in the Brain and Lady’s Dream, and Cornell Woolrich’s noir thriller Angel Face. She has taught the Word for Word approach in numerous workshops and residencies for middle and high school students, as well as to literature teachers. In addition, Hunt has worked as the dialect and vocal coach for California Shakespeare Theater’s production of John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven by Octavio Solis, and for Word for Word’s award‐winning production of Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. She earned her M.F.A. at American Conservatory Theater and studied voice with Virginia Ness, Cynthia Bassham, and Catherine Fitzmaurice, and speech and text with Deborah Hecht, Lynne Soffer, Mary Braaten, and Deborah Sussel. In 2010, Hunt was certified as an instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework. She has taught acting and voice at Chabot College, San Francisco State University, and Sonoma State University. Currently, she teaches acting at the University of San Francisco, and acting and voice at Stanford University. This summer, she is teaching voice and speech at A.C.T.’s Summer Training Congress and voice for A.C.T.’s Back to the Source program.
Acting/Classical Acting/Master Acting
Domenique Lozano (Acting/Classical Acting/Master Acting) has directed A Christmas Carol for A.C.T. for the past nine years, as well as numerous productions for the M.F.A. Program and Young Conservatory. Recent M.F.A. projects include Fuente Ovejuna, The Skin of Our Teeth, Sueño, and Happy to Stand; the Will on Wheels productions of The Comedy of Errors, Othello, and Twelfth Night; and 10 graduating showcases. Other directing credits include work with Center REPertory Company, Marin Theatre Company, TheatreFIRST, San Jose Stage Company, and Napa Valley Repertory Theatre (where she was a founding member/associate artistic director). Acting credits include work with California Shakespeare Theater, A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Lozano also teaches at UC Berkeley, and has taught at UC Davis, Cal Shakes, A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, Saint Mary’s College, and other regional institutions. She has also served as a vocal and dialect coach for many Bay Area productions.
Kimberly MacLean (Improvisation) is an actor, director, and teacher of scripted, musical, and improvised arts. She is in the main stage company of SF’s oldest & largest improv theater, BATS Improv, where she performs, directs, and teaches. MacLean applies her 20 years of teaching & masters of educational best practices as the director of learning at Speechless, a company using applied improvisational techniques. She is also an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts, teaching acting techniques to animation students. As a producer of the San Francisco Improv Festival since 2010, she gets to support and build improv community around the world. MacLean was a founding member of the improv & sketch group The Last Laugh SF, and performs throughout the area as a guest with many improv troupes and in a duo with Rachel Hamilton, aptly named Hamilton & MacLean. She was most recently seen on the big screen as Tina in All the Others Were Practice and is in production for a follow-up film focused on her character. In 2015, she was nominated for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, sponsored by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University. MacLean holds a BA in theater.
Leyla Modizadeh (Acting) has performed professionally across the country for over thirty years. She is best known for her original solo shows and also collaborations with Obie Award–winning theater artist Ping Chong over the last 25 years. She received her BA in Humanities from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Acting from University of Washington. She has been teaching acting for over 25 years at various institutions including Baruch College (NYC), Texas Tech University, University of Mississippi, Ohlone College, San Jose City College, and currently UC Berkeley.
M. Graham Smith
Graham Smith(Acting/Classical Acting/Movement) is a San Francisco–based director, educator, and producer. He is an O’Neill National Directors Fellow, an Oregon Shakespeare Festival FAIR Fellow, and a resident artist at Crowded Fire Theater. He has directed around the country and in San Francisco at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre Company, Central Works Theater Company, Crowded Fire, EXIT Theatre, Brava! For Women in the Arts, Playwrights Foundation, The Cutting Ball Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, Golden Thread Productions, San Francisco Opera, New Conservatory Theatre Center, and The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He directed the west coast premiere of Jerry Springer: The Operaand Truffaldino Says No at Shotgun Players, winning the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Criticls Circle Award for Best Stage Direction. Recent credits include Deal with the Dragon (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Mia Chung’s You For Me For You (Crowded Fire), and Qui Nguyen’s Begets: Fall of a High School Ronin (A.C.T.). He teaches in A.C.T.'s actor training programs and in the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, as well as the Meisner Technique Program in Barcelona, Spain.
Laura Wayth (Acting/Audition/Classical Acting/Soliloquy) received her MFA from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Wayth is the author of two books: The Shakespeare Audition: How to Get Over Your Fear, Find the Right Piece, and Have a Great Audition and A Field Guide to Actor Training: Navigating Acting Methods, Studio Classes, Private Training, and Graduate and Undergraduate Programs. She was a 2002–03 Fulbright Fellow to Moscow and a 2012 Senior Fulbright Scholar to Romania. She has worked internationally as a teacher and coach in Italy, Morocco, China, and London. Wayth is currently associate professor and coordinator of the actor training program at San Francisco State University.