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Acting for the Screen

In the Acting for Screen Module, we offer an innovative collaboration between Theatre and Film that not only prepares actors for the particularities of working with one another in front of a camera rather than for an audience, but integrates performers into a total filmmaking practice that includes understanding of camera, sound and editing. We believe the best preparation as an artist is to experience enough of the whole process to be a full collaborator in film storytelling, but we also know that in today’s market, the best professional training must give actors the tools to present themselves to the world, whether by shooting your own audition videos, editing your reel of scenes from past work, or directing short films and web content as your own best showcase. Our program offers a range of interdisciplinary approaches to screen performance from among a range of academic programs so as to best tailor the experience to your particular strengths as a craftsperson, as well as preparation for the business of acting, to begin your work as a professional. 

Learning Objectives

  • Gain significant experience acting for camera (and possibly stage), with a working knowledge of acting techniques and strategies employed for screen and stage.
  • Gain awareness of historical developments in different performance styles and strategies employed in screen work.
  • Understand the effects of shooting and editorial choices upon the documentation of performance and expressive relationships between performance and cinematic technique.
  • Understand the processes necessary and resources available for continuing their work in a self-directed fashion after graduation.


Acting for the Screen Course Requirements


Opportunities for application and practice on campus:
Participation in student film/television/web production groups, acting in curricular and co-curricular student films, plays, and improvisation groups. 

Opportunities for projects, practica, and internships off campus:
Professional production opportunities and internships, particularly in areas of casting, talent representation and management, or performance. 

Community Building Activities:
Block cinema, visiting filmmaker lectures, student theatrical performances and group screenings. 


A further refinement of the professional reel completed in the Diagnostic Scene Study will be presented alongside a professional resume and a 5-7 page paper treating the student’s experience and development of skills and goals as an artist in courses, extracurricular, and co-curricular work. 

Board Members

Kelly O’Sullivan 

Kelly O’Sullivan’s theatre credits include Bruise Easy, The Humans, Columbinus, and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (American Theater Company- Ensemble member), This is Modern Art, The Internationalist, Honest, Good Boys and True, The Crucible, and 100 Saints You Should Know (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Seagull (Goodman Theatre), Bad Jews (Theatre Wit), Hesperia (Writers Theatre), My Wonderful Day– Barrymore Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play (The Wilma Theatre), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Northlight Theatre), Jon and Sketchbook 7 (Collaboraction), The Glory of Living (Profiles Theatre), and Mr. Marmalade– Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Principal Actress in a Play (Dog & Pony Theatre). She has acted at the Pacific Playwrights Festival and the Ojai Playwrights Conference. TV: The Mob Doctor, Battleground, the character “Voodoo” on Sirens, and The History of Us pilot for CBS. Film: In Memoriam, Jessica, Sleep With Me, and Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party. Kelly is a graduate of Northwestern University, The School at Steppenwolf, and a recipient of a Princess Grace Fellowship Award for Theatre. 

Marina Squerciati

Marina plays ‘Burgess’ in her series regular role in Dick Wolf’s “Chicago P.D.” She has crossed over several times to “Chicago Fire”, “Chicago Med”, and “Chicago Justice”. Marina spent time working in the New York theatre, winning awards for her work playing Judy Holliday, as well as on Broadway.  She first gained attention in television for her recurring roles in both “Gossip Girl” and then as a Russian spy in “The Americans”. She has spent her “Chicago PD” hiatuses over the past two years working in the film world.  She will be seen in the independent horror film “Central Park” and “Marshall”, starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Reginald Hudlin, in which she plays Josh Gad’s wife in the story of Thurgood Marshall.  She also wrote, acted and produced a web series called, Special Skills, which can be seen here: Special Skills recently won “Best Web Series” at the Laugh Out Loud’s comedy festival in Montreal. As a result, Marina and her writing partner, got a writing deal with Kevin Hart’s new network, LOL, and Lionsgate. 

Sponsoring Departments: Radio/Television/Film and Theatre

Module Coordinators (main student contacts): Detra Payne and Spencer Parsons

Module Advisor: Catherine Carrigan

How to Enroll 

This module is open to both Radio/Television/Film and Theater majors.

From sophomore year onward, students may enroll in the module upon completion of the prerequisites. 

To enroll, please submit the module declaration form to module advisor Catherine Carrigan, 

Grade Policy

Students must maintain a B- average in module coursework. If their average falls below B-, they will not be permitted to submit a capstone.