It isn't hard to believe those boasts, when you look at a list of the school's alumni, which includes Robert Redford, Spencer Tracy, Lauren Bacall, Kirk Douglas, Jennifer Jones, Grace Kelly, Edward G. Robinson, William Powell, Danny DeVito, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jason Robards, Rosalind Russell, Anne Bancroft, John Cassavetes, Robert Cummings, Hume Cronyn, Cecil B. DeMille, Vince Edwards, Jim Backus, Julia Duffy, Ruth Gordon, Judd Hirsch, Kate Jackson, Cleavon Little, John Lone, William Devane, Agnes Moorehead, Pat O'Brien, Don Rickles, Florence Henderson, Tom Poston, Eric Roberts, Kim Cattrall, Armand Assante, Gena Rowlands, Peter Weller, French Stewart and Loretta Swit.
Founded in 1884 in New York, the American Academy opened their west coast campus in 1974. Would-be students must audition for first-year admission to the school (reading two short monologues from any published play); second and third year classes are by invitation only.
Both campuses offer a three-year program leading to an Associate in Arts degree, as well as a six-week summer program. But unlike most colleges, the Academy focuses strictly on acting (and such related courses as makeup, voice & speech, movement & style, mime... even fencing!). Students put what they learn into practice, with at least four performance projects each year.
As you might expect, tuition isn't cheap; it runs about $7,000 per year (perhaps more by the time you read this - phone to be sure). Merit scholarships and financial aid is available.
In late 2000, the Academy moved from Pasadena to to its new permanent campus near Jim Henson Studios at the historic Charlie Chaplin Studios in Hollywood.
Getting there: From Hollywood & VIne, go west on Holllywood to La Brea, turn left (south) and go four blocks south on La Brea to just past DeLongpre Ave. The school will be on your left (east) side.
more information on this subject, you can access the Academy's official
website at: http://www.aada.org.]
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