About the 2023 Theatre for All Actor Training Program

Queens Theatre held the first part of its 6th annual Theatre for All Professional Training Program for Deaf/Disabled actors for two weeks from Monday, November 6 through Friday, November 17, 2023. Students who completed Part I have the opportunity to audition for Part II, an in-person training and performance intensive to be held at Queens Theatre in Spring 2024. The program is free of cost for the students.

Workshops were be taught by disabled and non-disabled industry professionals, including: Brigid Brady (Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera, “Gossip Girl); Linda Larkin (the voice of Jasmine in Disney's "Aladdin"); Mary Theresa Archbold (“Inventing Anna”, “Girls 5 Eva”, “Bull”, “Law & Order: SVU”); leading disability advocate and performer Christine Bruno (“Public Servant, Best Summer Ever”, “Law & Order, The Actors Studio); Clark Jackson ("Eugene The Marine", "A Journal For Jordan", "Pose", "Bull"); Pamela Sabaugh (NY Classical Theater, Radio Lab, Keen Co., TBTB); David Lawson (Comedy Central, RISK!); and Roundabout Director Group member Evan T Cummings (Director, Lincoln Center: An Evening of Short Plays). 

Through inclusive intensive workshops, students participate in university level training to prepare them for acting on the stage and screen. The intensive focuses on auditioning, acting, improvisation, musical theater, voice, and movement. The program has two tracks, designed for actors of varying levels of experience: Early Career, and Working Actor.

Actor seated in front of a panel of three instructors

All photos on this page credited to Dominick Totino.

The Theatre for All Actor Training Program is provided free of cost to all students who are accepted, due to the generous support of Vincent D’Onofrio, who donates proceeds from his children’s book Pigs Can’t Look Up to support the program. D’Onofrio, best known for his roles in the drama Full Metal Jacket, the hit television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the Netflix series Daredevil has been an early and ongoing champion of Theatre for All (TFA), and has served as an instructor himself.

TFA Training Program Course Descriptions

Early Career Level:
Professional Training

This course is designed for "Early-Career" actors to build on the actor’s existing set of skills. Prior actor training or experience is a prerequisite for this course. Students will be introduced to straight-forward, effective tools to help further develop their practice for stage and on-camera work. This program includes courses in Audition Technique and Classical Theater as well as other courses.

Audition Technique
This course will offer students tools for preparing for all elements of a theatrical audition. Class topics will include reading from sides and how to make smart, active choices about character and intention. Selecting monologues, scenes, or songs that can best showcase you and your unique voice. Cold Reading skills: skimming scenes for clues, finding spontaneity and confidence in brand new material. How do I incorporate my access needs when asked to cold read? The “Day before” and “Minute-before” preparation: Digging deeply into character, need, and story, even when you don’t have the full script.

Classical Theater
Through the exploration and performance of Classical scenes and characters, students will get connected with a vibrant and authentic expressivity in their performance of non-contemporary dramatic work. Emphasis will be placed first on the emotional and intellectual understanding of the texts, then on their uninhibited physical and vocal expression. Core acting work on intentions, tactics, obstacles, and relationships will be reinforced.  

Working Actor Level:
Advanced Training

This professional course is designed for working actors to build and deepen their acting practice for the stage and camera. Prior professional stage and/or on-camera training or experience is a prerequisite for this level. This program includes courses in On Camera Performance and Acting in Commercials as well as other courses.

On Camera Performance
Students dive into the technical aspects of on-camera acting including framing, continuity, stillness, thinking and breathing. In this class you will also learn methods to conserve your energy during long intervals between shots whether you are a day player, co- or guest star, recurring character or series regular. Students will examine the economics of being a working actor and the elements of life on set will be explored including shoot schedules and actor accommodations. 

Acting in Commercials
In this workshop, you will learn the art of commercial acting and audition technique. Students learn how to analyze commercial copy and find the acting beats within the text to make a lasting impression in the audition room. Focus is given to making a connection with the camera, nailing your slate, selling a product without being too over the top and relaxing into your role. Students will also learn lingo that is specific to commercial auditions and on-camera acting. In the end, students will know how to confidently audition online, make it to callbacks, and book the job.