aCurriculum Outline

The curriculum provides a full immersion into the performing arts scene in New York City and a deep understanding of the range of possibilities in interdisciplinary art, artmaking and the life of an artist.

The five main components of the curriculum are:

  • Ongoing semester-long technique classes which meet twice a week, taught by acclaimed NYC teaching artists.

The entire group participates in the Movement course. Students with a focus in Theater take Voice and Acting at our Trinity/La MaMa studio, while students with a focus in Dance get the opportunity to choose from a wide array of classes at dance studios all across the city. Some examples of studios are: Gibney Dance, Alvin Ailey, Movement Research and Mark Morris Dance Group.

  • Workshops and lectures by exciting working artists.

Workshops range in length and cover a wide variety of styles, genres, and approaches to the creative process. There are three week-long blocks with a special focus, as well as weekly shorter workshops with a large number of renowned New York based artists. Students get the chance to encounter new areas of performing arts and explore different art forms. Examples of workshops are Viewpoints, Tectonic Theater’s Moment Work, Puppetry, Choreography, Site Specific Performance and Clowning – just to name a few.

  • Field study.

Twice a week, students get to intern with an arts organization of their choice. Each student is placed with an organization that matches their individual interest and focus. This part of the curriculum provides first-hand experience in the realities of making art in New York City and students get to network and make invaluable connections for the future. Examples of Fieldstudy placements are La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, Ping Chong and Company, Upright Citizens Brigade, Tectonic Theater, Danspace, BAAD – Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, Arttherapy Project, The Kitchen, and Dixon Place.

  • Attending Performances and Integrating Seminar.

Throughout the semester students attend three to five shows a week, for a total of around fifty performances throughout the semester. This covers an extensive scope of styles and types of performance as well as a large range of levels of production values. Students are exposed to new and exciting types of work and familiarize themselves with venues all across the boroughs of New York. Examples range from Broadway to Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Chocolate Factory, Dixon Place, WOW Café, outdoor performances in parks to the Metropolitan Opera and Judson Church. Accompanying this aspect of the curriculum is an academic seminar with, readings that provide context and historical perspective, discussions about the performances, and lectures by guest artists. The price of the tickets is included in the program fees.

  • Creating Work.

Once a week during “Monday Night Lab” students devise and show original pieces. This is a chance to experiment and explore different ways of working in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Students collaborate and assist each other and practice how to give constructive feed-back. This culminates in a show at the end of the semester with performances at Trinity College and at La MaMa ETC.

Students earn a full semester of undergraduate or graduate credit: Five academic credits distributed in two 2-credit courses and one 1-credit course. Majors in the Department of Theater and Dance at Trinity College can count three credits toward the major, in consultation with their academic advisor.

Visiting Student Note:

Visiting students please note that 1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours. We will assist you in converting the credit to match your home institution and the Trinity College registrar’s office will provide you with a transcript at the end of the semester.

Course and credit break down:

Performance Analysis – 2 credits

Attendance of three to five shows a week, covering a great range of performances in a wide variety of venues across the city, accompanied by an integrating, academic seminar as well as talkbacks and lectures by Guest Artists. 

Performance Workshop – 2 credits

Semester-long classes in Movement and either Voice and Acting at the TLM studio or dance classes in NYC dance studios. Weekly workshops with NYC based artists in a wide range of styles and approaches. Devising and performing of original creative work through-out the semester, culminating in performances at Trinity College and La MaMa ETC.

Non-Profit Arts Organizations – 1 credit

Working with an arts organization, theatrical venue or individual artist twice a week throughout the semester. 



Barbara Karger – Program Director & Associate Professor of Theater and Dance at Trinity College

Barbara oversees all aspects of the curriculum. She teaches the Performance Analysis Seminar and the Monday Night Lab. She guides and produces the culminating performance. 

Barbara took on the role of program director for Trinity/La MaMa in 2018. She started teaching at Trinity College in 2004 and was the chair of the department of Theater and Dance from 2015 to 2018. Barbara was born and raised in Vienna, Austria and received her MFA equivalent degree in Physical Theater at the renowned Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, alma mater of Pina Bausch and Susanne Linke. She is a founding member of the theater company, “Antagon”, which devised original, physically based ensemble works and toured throughout Europe. As a performer she also worked with various companies such as “Faustwork Mask Theater”, “Ripe Time” and “Bobo Dance”, and for three years toured through 6 continents with the Swiss Mask Theater Troupe “Mummenschanz”. She moved to the United States in the mid-nineties and continued working both in Europe and in the US, as a performer, director, and educator. Some of the highlights of her directing work include: co-direction with Stephan Barbarino of Ludwig II, a long running musical at the Musical Theater Neuschwanstein – an evening length version of Peter and the Wolf at Theater Carré in Amsterdam, and award-winning Fräulein Maria, a highly acclaimed dance/theater piece deconstructing The Sound of Music, both collaborations with her husband Michael Preston and choreographer Doug Elkins. (Fräulein Maria was presented at DTW, Jacob’s Pillow, ADF, and toured the US for 5 years). Favorite New York City productions include Clown Brain at the Flea Theater and From the Gutter to the Glitter and High Heels and Red Noses with Bindlestiff Family Circus and The Palace at 4am at Here Arts Center. Before joining the faculty at Trinity, she taught at numerous theater schools and professional theaters around Europe and in the United States, including NYU’s Playwrights Horizons, The New School and Cooper Union. She is an associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method®. 

Examples of Instructors

Please note that although many instructors return, due to the changing schedules of working artists, there is no guarantee of the specific instructors or guests for any given semester.

Examples of Instructors

A native of Detroit, MI, Rakia Seaborn is a writer, choreographer and performer whose work has appeared at JACK, Dixon Place, La Mama E.T.C., The Tank, AUNTS, chashama and Brooklyn Studios for Dance. Seaborn has worked with Kathy Westwater, Dianne McIntyre, Rashaun Mitchell, Jodi Melnick, and Meta-Phys Ed. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2007, earning a Bachelors of Art in Dance with a concentration in Choreography, and in 2014, she gained an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a 2018 Mertz Gilmore Late Stage Creative Stipend recipient. 

Ricardo Vázquez is an actor and theater creator recently seen in Fuente Ovejuna at Theater for a New Audience and HBO’s The Other Two. He was in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of The Inheritance and has developed new work/performed with Theatre for a New Audience, Atlantic Theater, New York Stage and Film, The New Group, Kitchen Theatre, The New Ohio, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Mass MOCA Museum, Dixon Place, and has appeared regionally on stages including the Guthrie Theatre, Magic Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, Mixed Blood Theatre, Teatro del Pueblo and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He has appeared in feature films Nina of the Woods, Farmer of the Year, The Public Domain, and Death to Prom. TV credits: The Other Two(HBO), In an Instant (ABC), M@dabout TV, Evine Live. In collaboration with Tony Award winner Robert Rosen (Théâtre de la Jeune Lune), he has created two solo pieces that celebrate the history of Puerto Rico: Juracán: The Jíbaro and his Three Sons, and Escúchame. He is a Playwrights’ Center Jerome Many Voices Fellow; and received the coveted Twin Cities IVEY Award for Emerging Artist.

He has been a guest teaching artist with the Guthrie Theatre/University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, History Theater, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, Teatro del Pueblo, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Ten Thousand Things, CUNY Creative Arts Team, and The Juilliard School. He is part of the acting faculty of The Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) and LIU/The New Group BFA Acting for Film & Television.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lizzy is an actor, singer and screenwriter. BA: Columbia University- Art History. MFA: Brown/Trinity Repertory (Acting, Directing and Playwriting). Select credits include Broadway: Macbeth (u/s Lady Macbeth, Banquo); Regional Theater: As You Like It (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Julius Caesar (The Hanover Theater) and Shoebox: A Roadside Picnic (ASF). Film and TV: The Storied Life of AJ Fikry (Hulu/Amazon Prime), New Amsterdam (NBC) and Hostages (NBC)


Wren Mack (they/them) has appeared at the York Theatre, NY Fringe Festival, the PIT, and throughout the regional US & France. Their voiceover work spans brands from Ford Motors to the Cyberwire Network. They also have produced award-winning indie film and recently appeared in VELOUR (2020 Official Selection, QueerX FF).

Wren has taught acting, speech, and voice and movement for over a decade in Las Vegas, Mumbai, and NYC. They currently serve on the musical theatre faculty at New York Film Academy, where they also run faculty trainings on inclusive practices in creative spaces.

As a writer, Wren has written everything from musical theatre history for Routledge Press to an audioplay adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac. They are a proud member of Actor’s Equity and a Key with Ring of Keys. 

Wren Mack

Ethelyn Friend (she/her) is a NYC-based actor/singer, writer and voice teacher; a member of the  Roy Hart Center in France since 2003, and a founding faculty member of Naropa University’s groundbreaking MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance Program, the first graduate training program to integrate contemporary physical theatre forms, Viewpoints, extended range vocal work and traditional contemplative practices. She encountered the Roy Hart Theatre voice work in 1991, a classically trained soprano who had been warned “never to sing below middle C”. The expansion of the literal and figurative range of the voice which followed profoundly revolutionized the course of her life and work. Areas of expertise include extended voice applied to Shakespeare, new approaches to music-theatre work, improvisation in performance, and creating bridges between the speaking and singing voice onstage.

Additional teaching: NYU/Experimental Theatre Wing, Brandeis University MFA Acting, Cornish College For the Arts, University of Colorado. 

Recent performance credits: Off-Broadway: Coal Country (Public Theater), Our Brother’s Son (Signature Theatre), Troilus & Cressida (Baryshnikov Arts), SpillCasa Cushman (Tectonic Theatre workshops). Original solo shows include More Than Daisy Dares, based on Emily Dickinson’s Master Letters,  Blackout: How I Became White In America, an autobiographical account of family ancestry.

Education: NYU/Circle-in-the-Square Studio; MFA Brandeis University.

“This is not a program where we aspire to become shining stars on Broadway, rather, we are thrown into a whirlpool of all genres of theater and dance, where we discuss, debate, and are provoked to understand what makes a good show, what makes good art, and are to be challenged as we make discoveries about what kind of art is our own.”

Hanako Justice Trinity/La MaMa alumna ‘10

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