for Stage & Screen
The Acting program at John Paul the Great Catholic University is dedicated to the training of exceptional actors who are prepared to use their skills in service of the New Evangelization. The acting curriculum is designed to develop body, voice and speech, as well as intellect and spirit, to form a person who is prepared to bring his or her gifts to the Church and the world. Graduates will pursue careers in theatre, television, and film.
“In producing a work, artists express themselves to the point where their work becomes a unique disclosure of their own being, of what they are and of how they are what they are.”
- Pope Saint John Paul II
Perhaps nowhere is this truer than in the craft of acting. JPCatholic’s acting program forms actors who achieve the pope’s vision of revelation and artistic excellence. Actors who achieve this by way of crafting fully-fleshed, fully-human performances reveal something of the mystery of the human person and the glory of God.
You'll learn to develop the character from the self, as well as mastering rehearsal and performance techniques. You will become familiar with the terminology and techniques of Stanislavski, which are the foundation of contemporary acting. Then you'll bring it all together with performance analysis, script analysis, and Meisner exercises to develop emotional honesty and reliance on impulse.
"Lee Eskey's program was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my acting training, and I've benefited immensely from his discipline and honest critique. After a year with him I've become a much stronger actress from his coaching and guidance."
Paige Grube, Class of 2013
"One of the things I loved so much about these classes is that Prof. Eskey integrated acting with the Theology of the Body and essentially what it means to be human."
Ivana Diaz, Class of 2014
"The Acting program at JPCatholic will help you grow as an actor and as a person."
Elliot Meiser, Class of 2015
ENTM 131 - Introduction to Performing Techniques
This course is a study of the fundamentals of stage movement and vocal production. Course work includes ensemble building, Linklater exercises, relaxation exercises, and the creation of physical and vocal warm-ups.
ENTM 231 - Voice and Speech
The course builds on “Introduction to Performing Techniques” with advanced explorations of the voice and speech techniques of the master acting technicians Linklater, Berry and Skinner.
ENTM 316 - Acting I: Foundations
The purpose of this course is the introduction to Stanislavski terminology and technique, developing character from self, beginning rehearsal techniques, and performance analysis. Meisner exercises are used to develop emotional honesty and reliance on impulse.
ENTM 319 - Acting II: Action and Text
In this course text and dialogue are considered from the actor’s perspective. Scene work is explored and students are instructed in text analysis (the study of the language within the script) and scene study (the study of the structure of the script) for performance.
ENTM 320 - Acting III: Character Building and Development
This course is an exploration of building and performing characters that fall outside the student’s usual physical or vocal type. The emphasis will be on creating characters based on the recognition and development of the student’s internal emotional life and thought patterns.
The student will then translate and demonstrate these characters based on the establishment of external vocal/physical adjustments, and interpreting characters based on script analysis.
ENTM 332 - Movement for the Actor
This course is an exploration of stage movement based on work of masters such as Suzuki, Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Bogart. It may include physical character development, Kabuki theatre physical techniques, Noh theatre physical techniques and mask work.
ENTM 333 - Scene Study
This course consists of rehearsal of scenes from classic and contemporary American playwrights including Miller, Williams, Shepard, Foote and others.
ENTM 334 - Styles in Acting
This course will consist of advanced work in specific acting styles such as Greek, Restoration (including Jean-Baptiste Moliere) and Shaw.
ENTM 335 - Screen Acting
This introduction to screen acting begins by analyzing the similarities and differences between stage and screen acting. Course work continues into exercises that instruct students on basic screen techniques and will evolve into introductory scene work in front of the camera.
ENTM 336 - Playing Shakespeare
This course provides students with a fundamental approach to playing Shakespeare. Particular emphasis will be placed on a rhetorical approach to text and punctuation utilizing Shakespeare's First Folio as the key to unlocking the text in a presentational actor/audience experience.
ENTM 430 - Production Project I
From first reading through to performance, students rehearse and perform a play from a classic or contemporary American writer.
ENTM 432 - Production Project II
From first reading through to performance, students rehearse and perform a play from a seminal writer such as Tennessee Williams, Bertolt Brecht, Noel Coward, Harold Pinter, Anton Chekhov, or Samuel Beckett.
ENTM 433 - Screen Practicum
Students work with a student director on a short film.
ENTM 434 - Cold Reading
This class fosters the skill of creating a character with little or no preparation, as is often the case in television audition situations.
ENTM 101 - Story, Genre, and Structure
A theoretical and practical introduction to the human phenomenon of storytelling, what stories are, their central role in culture from ancient times to the present day, and how storytellers seek and communicate meaning. Particular attention will be paid to the significance of story in the Judeo-Christian tradition and story’s role within the Christian faith.
Students will generate numerous story ideas, and with the help of their classmates and the instructor will evaluate those ideas in terms of audience appeal, theme and meaning.
ENTM 102 - Media Survey
This course introduces students to the diverse world of radio, television, news, cinema, internet, print and advertising. Students will learn how to critically experience such media and analyze its desired results. Students will also explore how media has developed and evolved through history and examine the current influences of media on society from a cultural, artistic and economic perspective.
In addition, we will explore what the role of Christians in this new media environment can and should be, and how we can best utilize the opportunities available to us to become who we want to be.
ENTM 103 - Fundamentals of Post-Production
This class will focus on the basic fundamentals of post-production, which includes picture and sound editing, media management, media capture and the various editing techniques available to editors to communicate ideas.
The class will cover the history of cinematic editing and the impact it has had on visual storytelling, as well as the various styles of editing that make up the language of cinema. Students will learn and use editing software to edit various projects and assignments.
ENTM 104 - Fundamentals of Production
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of pre-production and production, and the roles and responsibilities of all personnel and positions that are essential to its success. Students will become familiarized with the detailed preparation required for the shoot and the interdependence of the script, budget, schedule, and breakdown.
Students will also learn how a digital video camera works, the characteristics of lenses, how to record clean sound, and how to use lighting to illuminate and shape an image.
ENTM 105 - Writing and Pitching a Script
This course builds on the storytelling fundamentals learned in Story, Genre and Structure, with specific application to writing for the screen. The student will learn the basics of scriptwriting and will combine this with previously acquired writing and storytelling skills to write a spec script for an existing half- hour or hour-long television series. Students will hone their presentation skills to pitch their television story.
Class time will be dedicated to covering beginning and intermediate topics including breaking stories, scene writing, dialogue, subtext, direction, giving and receiving notes in a writers’ group, and script format. Students will critique one another’s work in small groups, with instructor guidance.
Considerable time will be required for students to write outside of class. Students will read and respond to the required texts as well as assigned episodic television scripts.
ENTM 203 - Producer: Planning for Production
The Producer: Planning for Production provides a theoretical and practical introduction to the role of the film producer in five principle areas:
- Creative development
- Budgeting, scheduling and hiring
- Marketing and distribution
ENTM 207 - Film Criticism
This class will study some of the most important and influential films in American cinema to understand the cultural context in which they were created, the role of the director in the filmmaking process, and the lasting legacy that the various films enjoy.
ENTM 302 - Directing I
Students learn to analyze and explore directorial approaches used in film and television, looking particularly at the creative use of cameras, sound, composition, and communication with those in front of and behind the camera. They explore, from a directorial perspective, the expressive potential of the image within and beyond the film.
They learn methodologies, which stimulate visual creativity and positioning the image as the fundamental element of cinematic expression. They engage in exercises in the analysis of script and for the purpose of directing actors to obtain the best possible performance.
ENTM 410 - Media Law
The course examines the legal relationships in the motion picture and television industries, as well as the legal relationships between artists and their personal managers. It covers the key legal principles that are involved in most media productions. This includes with trade unions, licensing, intellectual property and contract issues.
THEO 100 - Introduction to Scripture I
In this course the student explores the Scriptures, particularly the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) to understand the person of Jesus Christ. This Scripture course serves as the basis for JPCatholic’s religion curriculum.
While examining some of the basic literary and historical issues relating to Scripture study, the course also introduces students to the theological principles of Catholic biblical exegesis, and the ways the study of Scripture enhances the life of prayer.
THEO 200 - Introduction to Scripture II
This course is a continuation of THEO 100. Whereas THEO 100 focuses largely on the Gospels, this course takes a closer look at the major figures and events of the Old Testament. After a discussion of the literary and historical issues relating to biblical study, students learn the basic structure of the story of salvation history, surveying the books of the Old Testament.
Special attention is given to the way the Old Testament books relate to those in the New Testament. As in THEO 100 students also focus on how Scripture study relates to the life of prayer.
THEO 110 - The Intellectual Life and Virtue
This class will examine the nature of university life by means of pursuing the good life of intellectual and moral virtue. It will examine what defines a virtuous intellectual life, with the underlying core of the class being the primacy of our relationship to Christ who is the Truth. The outcome will be that each student will gain both greater comprehension and facility in university study and the life of the mind.
THEO 311 - Fundamentals of Catholicism
The Catechism explains that there is a three-fold dimension to the Catholic faith: the Church believes it (Creed), celebrates it (Liturgy) and lives it (Morality, Prayer) (cf. no. 2558). This course begins a sequence of three courses (THEO 311, THEO 312, THEO 313) that cover these aspects of the Catholic faith, offering students a comprehensive study of the Catechism.
Particular topics of examination include divine revelation and its sources, the role of faith, the Incarnation, Christ’s work of redemption, beliefs about Mary and the communion of saints, the nature and mission of the Church, and more.
THEO 312 - Sacraments, Liturgy, and Prayer
This course builds on THEO 311 and offers students an in-depth study of the sacraments, liturgy, spirituality and prayer. The course examines the challenges of developing an interior life, focusing on the nature and difficulties of prayer. In addition, students analyze the Church’s liturgical life, with a focus on the seven sacraments by studying the Catechism and spiritual masters.
THEO 313 - Moral Theology and Ethics
Building on THEO 311 and THEO 312, this course rounds out the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, offering an in-depth analysis of the third pillar, namely, the section on Catholic morality.
THEO 400 - Catholic Social Teaching
Building upon what had been discussed in THEO 313, this course is a broad study of general Church teaching on social questions, with strong emphasis on the papal encyclicals and other Church documents. Major issues explored include the role of the State, poverty, war, structures of sin, the duties of employers and employees, and challenges to building a culture of life.
THEO 401 - Marriage and Family
This course introduces the student to the teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacramental understanding of marriage. It examines marriage from a biblical, historical, and doctrinal viewpoint. The course provides a Catholic understanding of human sexuality and the issues that arise in premarital and marital relationships.
The implications of commitment and the realities of today’s external forces on the family are analyzed. Students will learn the significant implications of parenthood and the spiritual and financial duties of raising children.
HUMA 106 - Logic
Students learn about the basic structures of sound reasoning, focusing largely on classic Aristotelian logic. The course serves to help students think and argue with clarity as well as to effectively analyze arguments of others.
The course includes a careful analysis of the operations of the intellect, i.e., understanding, judgment, and reasoning, focusing on their products, i.e., term, proposition, and syllogism.
HUMA 107 - Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion
This course is the second in a series of three that explore logic as art. This course focuses on rhetorical discussion and literature. This course incorporates an analysis of practical evangelization.
PHIL 203 - Philosophy of Nature
This course is a detailed study in the various understandings of nature, beginning with mythology as a primitive attempt at grasping the world, to the classical understanding found in Aristotle and Aquinas, then modern science concepts of Descartes, Galileo and Newton, Darwin, and finally to near-contemporary physicists such as Heisenberg.
PHIL 204 - Philosophy of Man
After providing an overview of the basic principles of the Philosophy of Nature, this course examines the nature of the human being, beginning from the Epic of Gilgamesh, continuing through the Classical period by means of Aristotle, the Middle Ages in Aquinas, the Renaissance via Pascal, and concluding in the modern period in Nietzsche, Freud and T. S. Eliot.
PHIL 408 - Philosophy of God
This is a course in the various understandings of metaphysics, or the nature of being as being, beginning from Plato and Aristotle, and the Middle Ages in Aquinas. The course continues by covering several related questions, beginning with Natural Theology (discussing the traditional proofs for the existence of God, the Divine Attributes that can be understood using reason alone, the analogy of being, and the act of creation), continuing with the “problem of evil” and the question of free will.
HUMA 120 - Culture Making
This course examines how media and business shape the attitudes, practices and beliefs of individuals and groups, and develops in students a rich understanding of the subtle and powerful cultural currents swirling around them, so that they can make valuable contributions to the development of the future of American and international culture.
HUMA 301 - Global Cultures, History and Politics
This course studies a wide variety of global cultures by listening to indigenous voices expressing themselves in cultural products that include novels, films, music, poetry, essays, speeches, and journalism.
HUMA 111, 211, 311 - History of Culture Through the Arts I, II, & III
This course will explain how developments in literature and the arts reflect and impact culture from ancient civilizations through the rise of the Byzantine Empire (I), from late Cristendom through the American and French Revolutions (II), and from then to the presend day (III).
HUMA 402 - American Politics
This course provides an overview of the American political system. Beginning with the Founding Fathers and examining their thought process and progressing through the modern day political landscape this course explores both the system and the importance of the citizen in the political process.
Electives: (2) Choose two from HUMA, PHIL, or THEO, or from the list below:
HUMA 122 - College Writing I
This course will emphasize the use of correct grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics. Students will be required to apply these skills to writing assignments.
HUMA 123 - College Writing II
This course will build on the skills learned in HUMA122.
HUMA 204 - Poetics and Aesthetics
This course stands as the culmination of the sequence of courses in the freshman year that covered grammar, logic and rhetoric. The course examines the role of the artist, the nature and purpose of art, of beauty, and of a life of art-making, and considers whether and how the quality of art can be evaluated in light of a Catholic understanding of art and artists. The course further considers the significance of these ideas to human endeavors such as work and business that are not typically viewed as artistic.
MATH 115 - Decisions Based on Data
This course is a review of basic mathematical skills, with a focus on those needed to review and understand business statistics and information. The course focuses on real life application of the concepts learned.
Students will also be introduced to basic financial literacy concepts such as budgeting and planning for large purchases that require a loan. The course is also designed to help students learn how to interpret quantitative information and other data in order to make decisions.
SCI 200 - Natural Science
This course explores the scientific method and reasoning. A special emphasis is placed on the design found in nature and environmental science.
BUSI 191 - Entrepreneurial Thinking
In today’s world there is a need for strategic thinking and business vision based on a different paradigm. Competition is not only between products and services, but also between business models. Students will learn about innovation-driven business strategies and methodologies to develop business designs to successfully compete in the new economy.
BUSI 193 - Introduction to Marketing
This course focuses on introducing the idea of “entrepreneurial marketing” and is aimed at students who plan to start a new venture or take a job as a marketing professional pursuing an innovative marketing approach. Students will study a full spectrum of marketing strategies and tactics that are especially suitable for entrepreneurial firms aiming for high growth and innovation yet faced by limited resources and uncertain industry dynamics.
Students will work in teams on marketing plans for their own venture or for other high profile entrepreneurs or executives. The focus of this course is on hands-on experiences and practical application of marketing concepts.
BUSI 291 - Business Planning
In this class students get a “big picture” look at the ingredients of a start-up firm and the process of creating one. The class details those ingredients, discusses the stories (good & bad) of people who have done it, and learn the process by going through it with a team. Students learn the business planning process, how to craft a compelling and clear business story, and acquire inquisitiveness as to how the world of business really works.
The class deliverable is a complete Business Plan created by student teams along with a presentation of the plan.
BUSI 300 - Negotiation Skills
This course teaches students to meet and resolve objections and conflicts that result from written and oral proposals and pitches. Emphasis is on resolving customer obstacles before addressing your own. Topics covered include: Wants vs. Needs; Win-Win Strategies; Best Alternatives to Agreement; Schedule vs. Quality vs. Cost; Progress vs. Perfection. The class progresses through carefully structured, progressively more complex negotiation exercises. Students learn how external and internal negotiation has become a way of life for effective managers in a constantly changing business environment.
BUSI 301 - Social Media Marketing
This course will prepare you to act both strategically and tactically - utilizing social media tools like blogs, microblogs (Twitter), vodcasts, video, and networking sites to engage with your audience and sell your products and services. You will discover how to use analytic tools to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns and communicate meaningfully with your audience. In this class, we will divide into small groups. Each group will build their own blog, as well as two accompanying social media accounts (Twitter & Facebook) for their chosen “business,” and we will analyze their implementation & progress.
BUSI 393 - Leadership and Management
This course gives an in-depth understanding of the differences between – and similarities of -- leadership and management. The course focuses on the major traits of leaders and managers, and augments these with examples of great historic leaders, including George Custer and Jesus Christ.
The course also studies the leadership traits of Abraham Lincoln, and looks at how these can be applied in business to improve management techniques.
COMM 200 - Business Communications
TThis course will teach students how to write and speak effectively in business and other communication.
* This interactive curriculum page may not be a comprehensive listing of all course offerings and requirements. Courses and course descriptions are subject to change. Please see the official University catalog for the most up to date information.
Graduates of the Acting Emphasis program pursue professional careers in theatre, film or television. JPCatholic's proximity to Los Angeles allows for a natural progression into Hollywood television and film careers. Others may seek a theatre-centered career in New York, Chicago, or other major acting hub. Each actor's career is truly unique and depends on that actor's interests and skills.
The acting training at John Paul the Great has left students better prepared for their careers, whether they go on to be professional actors or into another part of the entertainment industry. Actor training fosters a more fully-integrated life through the thorough development of body, voice, and speech. This greater awareness of speech and physical presence prepares the student for success in any field.
If this sounds like something you love, apply now to JPCatholic!
Generous scholarships are still available.