The Associate of Applied Arts Degree in Acting Performance is a 15-month program designed to meet the needs of students who wish to become professional actors. Upon completion of the 71.0 credit hour program, the graduate may expect to possess skills enabling him/her to compete in a professional environment in theatre, television and film.
Michael Schraeder has taught at KD Conservatory since 2004. He earned his Ph.D. in the Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Texas at Dallas, his M.F.A. in Acting from Wayne State University, and his B.S.Ed. in Secondary Education from Baylor University. Dr. Schraeder has presented his theatre, film, and anthropological research at several national academic conferences and symposiums. In 2004 he cofounded the acclaimed Second Thought Theatre, serving as Co-Artistic Director, Public Relations Coordinator, and Advisory Board Member during the company’s first three years. Michael has performed in over seventy professional theatre productions in venues across the country, including New York City, Detroit, Nashville, Atlanta, and Dallas. In addition to his work on the stage, he is represented by Kim Dawson Talent and has made appearances on national television series including Friday Night Lights, Inspector Mom, Sex and the City, and Guiding Light, along with award-winning independent films and several national and regional commercials. As a playwright, his play The Bookman was produced in New York City at the historic Under St. Marks Theatre in 2017 and his play The Chicken Coop Stratagem was featured at the 7 Plays in 7 Days Festival at the Addison Theatre Centre in 2018. Additionally, he has taught Theatre and Film at The University of North Texas and Baylor University and has been a certified, one-act play adjudicator with the Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials (TTAO) since 2006, having judged UIL One-Act Play Competitions at the Zone, District, Bi-District, and Area levels.
Upon successful completion of the Acting Performance program, graduates may expect to possess skills enabling them to compete in the theatre, television, and film industry. The Acting program gives students an opportunity to work in an intensive, exploratory environment under the guidance of working professionals in the entertainment industry.
The primary aim of the Acting Performance program is to aid the student in developing a working methodology of character development while preparing them for the demands of the professional arena. The first semester focuses on exploring the practical and theoretical use of the body and mind as instruments for performance through intense movement, voice, and acting classes. The second semester is geared toward further developing strong emotional connections to characters through scene study and intensive on-camera training. In the third semester, students work on strengthening their listening and reacting skills, as well as identifying and developing the sub-text of a script in order to create multi-dimensional characters.
During the fourth semester, the curriculum concentrates on refining the skills students have acquired during the previous semesters while expanding their knowledge of the professional world as they prepare for an Industry Showcase for an invited audience of agents, casting directors, theatre and film directors, choreographers, producers and theatre owners — an introduction to the start of your professional career and building your network.
Our instructors are selected on the basis of their professional experience and educational achievement. In order to ensure the highest standards of professionalism, we seek instructors from those sectors of the entertainment industry which closely relate to the subject area being taught.