Tisch School of the Arts

Tisch School of the Arts
New York University Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
Established 1965
Type Private
Academic staff 216
Undergraduates 3,163
Postgraduates 939
Location New York City, New York, USA
Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell
Website Tisch.NYU.edu
Tisch School of the Arts NYU.jpg

Tisch School of the Arts (known more commonly as Tisch or TSOA) is one of the 15 schools that make up New York University (NYU).

The school was founded in 1965. It has 2,700 undergraduates (in 7 programs) and 500 graduate students (in 10 programs). Tisch is best known for its acting program, and its film program (often called the NYU Film School).



The Tisch School of the Arts offers BFA, BA, MFA, MA, MPS, and PhD degrees.

Tisch has five divisions, offering a total of fourteen degree programs:

The Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film, Television, & New Media
  • Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film, Television, & New Media, Undergraduate
  • Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film, Television, & New Media, Graduate
  • Department of Photography and Imaging
  • Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)
  • Rita & Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing
The Institute of Performing Arts
  • Graduate Acting Programs
  • Department of Dance
  • Department of Design for Stage & Film
  • Department of Drama, Undergraduate
  • Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program
  • Department of Performance Studies
The Skirball Center for New Media
  • Department of Cinema Studies
  • Moving Image Archiving & Preservation Program
The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music
The Department of Art and Public Policy/Arts Politics

The school also includes an Open Arts curriculum of Tisch classes available to non-Tisch NYU students.

Graduate Film Program

The Graduate Film Program is considered one of the top film schools with many notable film directors on the faculty.

Graduate Acting Program

The Graduate Acting Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts has, since its inception in 1966, grown to become one of the most celebrated and rigorous MFA acting programs in the country.[citation needed] Yearly pooling from 900 plus actors, a select 16 are chosen to enter into the incoming class. The program has gained an international reputation for its selectivity as well as its distinctive conservatory training. Tisch graduate acting students come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

NYU Grad Acting alumni have gone onto various careers in the arts. Some of the alumni include Lady GaGa, Debra Messing, Nina Arianda, Billy Crudup, Michael C. Hall, Peter Krause, Kevin Carroll, Barry Bostwick, John Conlee, Daniel Dae Kim, Bruce Davison, Garret Dillahunt, Jeffrey Donovan, Aunjanue Ellis, Frankie R. Faison, Edi Gathegi, Jordan Gelber, Matthew Gray Gubler, Christopher Guest, Marcia Gay Harden, Jason Butler Harner, Mary Beth Hurt, Marin Hinkle, Neal Huff, Glenn Kessler, Tony Kushner, Eriq La Salle, Ron Lagomarsino, Camryn Manheim, Logan Marshall Green, Michael Mayer, John C. McGinley, Ntare Mwine, Danny Pino, Josh Radnor, Taylor Schilling, Ben Shenkman, Maggie Siff, Rocco Sisto, Enver Gjokaj, Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Daniel Sunjata, Sean Patrick Thomas, Robin Weigert, Saul Williams, Jeff Whitty, Victor Williams, Rainn Wilson, Frank Wood, David Zabel, Daniel Zelman, Navi Rawat, and more.

NYU Graduate Acting grew to be what it is today at the helm of Zelda Fichandler, who became chair of the program in 1984 and stepped down in 2008.

In May 2008, Mark Wing-Davey became chair.[1][2]

Department of Dance

The Tisch Dance Department is fashioned in a conservatory style and is extremely selective;[citation needed] on average, thirty dancers are selected per graduating class. The previous director, Linda Tarnay, was a dancer in the Martha Graham Company and all of the teachers have performing experience with companies from around the world, such as Houston Ballet, Merce Cunningham's Company, and American Ballet Theatre, among others. Many of the faculty have their own companies independent of the dance department, which serve as a springboard to larger companies for many students immediately following graduation.

In the past, famous choreographers such as Aszure Barton, Kate Weare, Nacho Duatto, Jessica Lang, Deborah Jowitt, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, Complexions, and Alonzo King have set their pieces and created original works specifically for Tisch Dance students.[citation needed]

The program strives to prepare students for the rigorous life of a dancer, preparing them by treating their third year students as a company, also known as the Second Avenue Dance Company. Students graduate in three years, hence the difficult schedule which is accelerated in order for dancers to graduate earlier than their peers in other college dance programs. Because of brevity of the three year program, students attend a six week summer course following their first and second years. During these summer intensives, six different companies come in a week each and teach students their style of movement. This is an excellent way for students to be introduced to companies and have the chance to get noticed and get to know the different companies in an intimate setting. This is unique to the Tisch Dance Program, and is conducive to introducing dancers into the real world of auditions and jobs as soon as possible. Also, a select group of second year students have the chance to study abroad in Salzburg, Austria in lieu of attending the summer program.

Undergraduate Drama

Undergraduate students perform in a main stage production of Dancing at Lughnasa.

Founded in 1974, the Undergraduate Department of Drama currently holds the world record as the world's largest drama department;[citation needed] approximately 1400 students are currently matriculated there. According to the undergraduate drama department's literature, "the program in drama places equal emphasis on rigorous conservatory training and comprehensive theatre study in the most exciting and creative city in the world: New York." The current head of the department is Louis Scheeder.

Over one-hundred shows are produced each year in the program including main stage shows, studio related projects, directing projects, and student-run black box productions. The most significant performance spaces are the Skirball Center, Frederick Loewe Theatre, The Abe Burrows Theatre, and The Robert Moss Theater. Unlike most conservatories where casting is assigned and each class serves as an individual company, casting at NYU's undergraduate level is open to any student in his or her second, third, and fourth year of training.

Conservatory training

The cornerstone of the program is the professional training component. Drama's professional program is a network of unique studios, each teaching an exclusive approach to the craft. Students train intensively in one of eight studios three full days a week in a working environment composed of twelve to eighteen students.[3] Students train intensely for three full days a week, and a typical drama student can expect to spend more than forty-five hours a week in class and rehearsal. All incoming actors are placed in a primary studio where they must train for the first two years. Students are divided and placed into these different studios, based on their audition, interview and personal preference.

After their first two years of education, undergraduate actors have the ability engage in an internship or to audition for an advanced studio. Placement in these programs is open only to juniors and seniors and acceptance is offered only after a successful artistic review.

Theater studies

All Students must take a minimum of seven theater studies courses. The first two are introductory courses: Introduction to Theater Studies (ITS) and Introduction to Theater Production (ITP). To fulfill the rest of their theater studies requirements, students can choose from dozens of upper level theater studies courses, with topics ranging from avant-garde to Broadway, or from classical texts to modern American drama. There are also a series of honors seminars in theater studies, with varying topics from semester to semester.

Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film, Television, & New Media, Undergraduate

Post-production center on the 11th floor of the Tisch building at 721 Broadway in New York

Renamed for the benefactor of a large gift to the department in the late nineties, The Kanbar Institute of Film, Television and New Media comprises an undergraduate film program in addition to the famous graduate program. The four year undergraduate program is designed to give students a broad understanding of the aesthetic, technical and practical aspects of film and television production. In 2001, US News and World Report ranked the Graduate Program at NYU film school as one of the top programs in the country. [4]

Notable Undergraduate and Graduate alumni include directors Oliver Stone, M. Night Shyamalan, Joel Coen, Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Roman Coppola, Martin Kunert, Nancy Savoca, and more recently, James Franco, Brett Ratner, Todd Phillips, Marc Forster, and Ryan Fleck. Notable Undergraduate faculty include actor/director Robby Benson, director Susan Seidelman ("Desperately Seeking Susan", "Smithereens"), television producer James Gardner, soundman Chat Gunter ("Law and Order"), documentary filmmakers George Stoney ("All My Babies") and Marco Williams, Morgan Spurlock, and actor Haley Joel Osment ("The Sixth Sense").

Department of Photography and Imaging

The Department of Photography and Imaging provides an undergraduate program of study that combines course work in traditional and digital photographic processes with those in modern two dimensional design.

'Photo and Imaging' is one of the few undergraduate programs at NYU that has restricted enrollment to a level (only 36 new undergraduate students are admitted each year) that greatly augments the academic experience compared with other programs at Tisch and NYU, some of which are considered 'over-enrolled' to the point that the educational experience and availability of classes suffers. For this reason, among others, 'Photo and Imaging' remains one of the best 'bangs-for-your-buck' at NYU.

Interactive Telecommunications Program

The Interactive Telecommunications Program is a graduate department focused on the study and design of new media, computational media and embedded computing under the umbrella of interactivity.

Founded in 1979, the origins of the program date back to 1971 when George Stoney and Red Burns created the Alternate Media Center (AMC). ITP grew out of the work of the AMC, and set the stage for the experimentation which would follow as well as the informing spirit of collaboration, and the ongoing emphasis on crafting social applications and putting the needs of the user first. A pioneering center for application development and field trials, the AMC initially focused on exploring the then-new tool of portable video made possible by Sony's introduction of the Portapak video camera.

Red Burns and her colleagues at the AMC came from backgrounds in documentary film and traditional media—they shared a vision for a freely accessible, grass-roots technology which would enable users to create their own documentaries and distribute them widely. Their efforts led to many significant developments in the field, including lobbying Congress for the creation of what is now public-access television and significant field trials for two-way television in community settings, the use of teletext in major urban centers and communications technologies for the developmentally disabled.

Burns believed that a graduate course of study was needed to train creative, forward thinking, ethical new media developers for what she saw would be a new and growing field. The first 20 graduate students entered the program in 1979—and it grew quickly from there. In 1983 Burns turned her full attention from AMC to ITP and was appointed Chair of the department, a position she holds today. In 1996, she was awarded the Tokyo Broadcasting Systems Chair. Under her leadership the department has become a center for scholars and practitioners who are eager to engage the newest technologies and put them in the hands of media-makers.

Michael Mills, former full-time faculty member of ITP, went on to Apple Computer. He contributed to the group that developed the original prototypes that later became QuickTime. Current ITP professor Dan O'Sullivan, during his student years, served as an intern at Apple and created the prototype for the first navigable interactive video movies—a parallel effort to what was going on in ATG's 3-D graphics group at the time. O'Sullivan also introduced the first widely used interactive television application in NYC, produced and broadcast directly from ITP by way of Manhattan Cable Public Access.

Industry leaders, artists and visionaries who have lectured at ITP over the years include Academy-Award winner, Chairman and CEO of R/Greenberg Associates Digital Studios Robert M. Greenberg, musician and pioneer of immersive virtual reality Jaron Lanier, multimedia artist Vito Acconci, multimedia artist & musician Laurie Anderson, Ethernet creator Bob Metcalfe, CEO of New York Times Digital Martin Nisenholtz, artist Toshio Iwai, and Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger of Antenna Design, to name but a few.

Current ITP faculty members are known for their contributions to the new media field -- Daniel Rozin, Chrysler Design Award-Winning Artist in Residence, has had his work shown in major museums around the world, most recently at the Israel Museum; Dan O'Sullivan and Tom Igoe have just published the authoritative text on physical computing; Jean-Marc Gauthier is the author of several books on interactive 3D applications, and his art installations have been seen internationally; Douglas Rushkoff and Clay Shirky are widely published critics, authors and journalists; Marianne Petit is an artist known for her interactive stories as well as her work in assistive technologies and social applications; Red Burns has served on many boards and is regularly an invited speaker at industry events—she is also the recipient of a Chrysler Design Award, for "Design Champion," a leadership award from the New York Hall of Science, the educator award from the Art Directors Club, Crain's All Star Award, the NYC Mayor's Award for science and technology and was the first recipient of the Matrix Award.

The online magazine Digital Performance describes ITP as

"An oversized Greenwich Village loft houses the computer labs, rotating exhibitions, and production workshops that are ITP — the Interactive Telecommunications Program. Founded in 1979 as the first graduate education program in alternative media, ITP has grown into a living community of technologists, theorists, engineers, designers, and artists uniquely dedicated to pushing the boundaries of interactivity in the real and digital worlds. A hands-on approach to experimentation, production and risk-taking make this hi-tech fun house a creative home not only to its 230 students, but also to an extended network of the technology industry’s most daring and prolific practitioners."

Rita & Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing

The Rita & Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, often simply referred to as the DDW, is one of the smaller departments of Tisch and provides instruction for playwriting and screenwriting. More recently, a third section, television writing, has gained prevalence. Freshman and sophomore years, students are encouraged to learn each form, but by junior and senior year they must declare a "concentration" in one of the three fields. To apply to the DDW, prospective students must submit a portfolio of short writing.

In general, undergraduate students must take at least one writing workshop each semester. In the core freshman workshop, Craft of Visual and Dramatic Writing, students are expected to write a number of short works, but by junior year are expected to work on full-length pieces. Other core classes include Classic and Modern Drama, Shakespeare for Writers, and Film Story Analysis. Students are also encouraged to take classes emphasizing production and performance, and must complete at least one internship over the course of their undergraduate experience. Finally, each student must also take numerous General Education and elective classes to gain a strong liberal arts background.

The department was founded in 1980. In December 2003, the department was renamed to include the names of Rita and Burton Goldberg, thanks to a generous gift to the department.

In general, the department holds about 200 undergraduates and 40 graduates. Notable alumni include screenwriter John Fusco ('86), and playwrights Neil LaBute, Kenneth Lonergan, and Doug Wright. The current chair of the department is Richard Wesley. Its home is on the seventh floor of the Tisch building at 721 Broadway, New York City.

Faculty members include Sabrina Dhawan, Charlie Rubin, Suzan-Lori Parks, Marsha Norman, Rinne Groff, and Donald Bogle.

The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music

The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, or ReMu, trains undergraduates in the production, business, and history of popular music, with a special focus on creative music entrepreneurship in pop, rock, r&b, and hip hop. It is the only department at any university to offer a BFA degree in Recorded Music.

ReMu was established in 2003 on a $5 million donation from music executive Clive Davis, an NYU alumnus. Initially, the program was designed to educate those who wished to produce and market recordings—as Tisch Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell explained to The New York Times, "The basic premise of the department is that recorded music is an art form separate and distinct from live music, that the creative producer who identifies and oversees the construction of the artist's image is as much artist as the person who creates the music."[5] But with the growing financial instability of established record labels and the trend towards democratization in the creation and distribution of music, the program shifted focus to fostering creative entrepreneurs.

The program is currently led by Chair Jeff Rabhan, a prominent artist manager and former music industry executive, as well as journalist/cultural critic Jason King who serves as the program's Artistic Director and helped launch the program. Other faculty include the department's original chair Jim Anderson, a nine-time Grammy Award-winning engineer; Jonathan Finegold, the former A&R Director at Island Records and founder of Fine Gold Music, a consulting company; Errol Kolosine, former General Manager of Astralwerks; Bob Power, the multi-platinum hip-hop producer/mixer; and the self-appointed "Dean of American Rock Critics" Robert Christgau.

Notable alumni include Carter Matschullat, who founded indie label Dovecote Records while a student, and Bo Pericic of the trance duo Filo & Peri. Universal Motown recording artist Tina Parol also spent a year studying in the department.

Coordinates: 40°43′45.2″N 73°59′37.6″W / 40.729222°N 73.993778°W / 40.729222; -73.993778

See also

  • Laurence Tisch
  • List of NYU Tisch People
  • List of New York University People


External links

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