I've accepted an offer to pursue an MFA in Acting at the U. of Houston. Now that it's official, I'm officially eager to get down there. The Head of Acting is Jack Young, former Artistic Director of The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and The Warehouse Theater. He's energetic, committed, charismatic, and well-connected in the world of classical acting. Other names on the program masthead include Sir Peter Hall, Edward Albee, and Lanford Wilson.... Anyone heard of these guys?
The MFA program at the U. of Houston is brand new, for all intent and purpose. I will be a member of the first class doing a completey reworked, two-year curriculum. Until now, the program wasn't in very good shape, from all I've heard. But, UHouston is putting real money into it, now, with several newly hired faculty (i.e., not just replaced faculty, but additional faculty; the program is being EXPANDED.)
I can't wait to get down there.
UPDATE: I auditioned for Jack in Chicago, while I was there for U/RTA. The experience was a hoot. When I finished my monologues, Jack barked "what else do you have?" He kept barking that question until I'd run through six or eight monologues. Then he barked, "sing." Then he said, "Go back to Friar Lawrence and..." he gave me notes. I did that until he stopped me in the middle, worked it, and then said, "Go back to Roy Cohn..." and gave me notes. He made me go back and forth among several monologues--jumping rails entirely each time--for a good ten or 15 minutes. He asked me what roles I would like to play. I said Macbeth, Roy Cohn, Lear. He asked me what had been the most difficult thing I ever did. I said learning to act (and I meant it). He said he'd work my tail off, when I got to Houston. Judging from the audition, I believe him.
The upshot: the audition itself was Jack's best sales pitch for the program because it gave me a taster's sample of what his coaching will be like.
Another benefit of the program I like: I'll earn SAFD certification.