USF Sarasota-Manatee recently signed a unique memo of understanding with the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training which will allow Masters of Fine Arts students to serve as “courtesy faculty” instructors in the USFSM General Education program. Beginning in the fall, USFSM students will benefit from an enriched theatre appreciation course with opportunities to witness productions in development and interact with various artists at the Asolo. Through this collaboration, third year advanced MFA students will also expand their skill sets and augment their résumés with college teaching experience. The agreement is for a period of two years.
“USFSM is thrilled to have a partnership with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training whereby third-year MFA students will teach the Introduction to Theatre course as part of our curriculum,” said Jane Rose, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “Our students will experience a uniquely rich version of this course, which introduces theatre as a collaborative art and profession. In addition to being taught by advanced MFA actors, they will have multiple opportunities to see plays, tour backstage areas and converse with various artists as they witness the production process first hand.”
Greg Leaming, director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory training program looks forward to adding undergraduate teaching experience to his students’ already impressive résumés. “The partnership with USFSM allows the Conservatory to build into the training program this important skill set, making our students highly marketable in this extremely competitive business,” Leaming said. He also expects that the partnership will deliver a greater degree of exposure and awareness of theater in general, and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory in specific. It will showcase Leaming’s internationally renowned actor training program and the work being done on the Cook and Mertz stages to a highly desirable young audience—the student body of USFSM. “What has been up to now one of the best kept secrets here in the community of Sarasota will now be a very well-known and highly laudable fact.” Leaming predicts.