The ACADEMY is Black Box’s conservatory acting program.
Our most intensive training program, the conservatory runs for 100 days and trains actors to Work Hard and Be Fearless.

The ACADEMY training logistics:

  • Five months of rigorous conservatory acting training
  • Immersion in Meisner, Viewpoints, Text Analysis, Classics, TV/Film, Commercial, and Content Creation
  • Individualized instruction led by the Black Box ACADEMY Instructors and Industry Guests
  • Admission based on application and audition
  • Final Graduate Showcase for 300+ leading industry professionals
  • Students graduate with a website housing headshots, resume, bio, and professionally filmed contemporary and classical audition monologues

The Black Box Method trains actors to:

  • Work consistently from the most honest and brave place possible
  • Be present, free and open to inspiration on stage
  • Use imagination to live truthfully under given circumstances
  • Incorporate text, direction and collaboration into an individualized process
  • Trust that you are enough
  • Work at a professional pace with a revolutionized artistic process

The ACADEMY, our five-month acting conservatory, is Black Box’s most rigorous training program, designed for both already-working actors seeking process-based training and new-to-the-industry artists.

Applications for The Class of 2024 opened in August and are being reviewed on a rolling basis. Our conservatory was established in 2012 and our alumni have been thriving in multiple markets and benefiting from our alumni network for over a decade now. 

Students spend the first stage of training on The Black Box Method, our proprietary technique based in Meisner and Viewpoints. The second stage of the program focuses on application, preparing the ensembles for contemporary and classical theatrical work, audition technique, TV, film, and commercial work, and developing original content.

The conservatory culminates in the ACADEMY Industry Showcase, in which our actors rehearse and professionally film both scene work and monologues. Black Box then presents their work digitally to 300+ local and national agents, managers, casting directors, and other industry professionals across media. Students graduate with professional materials — headshot, resume, bio, and their filmed audition monologues — housed on individual actor webpages, along with our customized You Graduated, Now What? packet filled with templates for submission and audition tracking, guidelines for best practices, and other business-of-acting resources to ensure our graduates build on their momentum from showcase with the full institutional support of Black Box. 

Since debuting this digital showcase format in 2020, we have propelled our graduates towards securing agency representation, booking roles in TV, film, and commercial projects, appearing on Chicago and regional theater stages, and making their own vital work. 


Applications for next year’s ensemble are now open. Click below to review the logistics and to begin your application.