Full-Time, Teaching-Track, Assistant Professor of Theatre Practice in Comedy – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

Full-Time, Teaching-Track, Assistant Professor of Theatre Practice in Comedy

The University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts (SDA) invites applications for a full-time Research, Teaching, Practice, Clinical (RTPC) Comedy teacher to work within the comedy and acting programs beginning Fall 2024.  

This position will cover classes in the comedy and acting areas. In the comedy area, classes include Improv (introductory and advanced), Sketch Comedy (live and on-camera), Fundamentals of Comedy, History of Stand-Up, and Character. In the acting area, classes include Introduction to Acting, and Scene Study. The goal of these classes is to develop each student’s ability to explore and work with and without text, make choices that build a credible dramatic or comedic character based upon the demands of the text, and build a strong connection to the other actor(s). Other responsibilities include fostering the excellence and vitality of M.F.A., B.F.A. and B.A. acting and comedy programs, promoting the School as a vital part of the arts and entertainment environment of Southern California, and advancing the reputation and visibility of the School nationally and internationally.

Candidates should have ample experience working as an actor or comedian with substantial professional credentials, at least three to five years teaching experience and engaging with others in the role of teacher, director and/or mentor to students of comedy or acting. An understanding of contemporary comedy methodologies (improv, stand-up, sketch, clown) is preferred. Basic understanding of multiple and varied contemporary actor training methodologies is a plus.

Required skills include improv performance technique, sketch comedy, an academic understanding of comedy performance theory, demonstrated imaginative actor training technique, familiarity with voice and movement technique, text study, dramatic action, scene study and camera techniques.  Although required skills should include basic physical, vocal, and imaginative technique, text study, dramatic action, scene study, and camera, this position requires an expertise in improv performance technique, sketch comedy, and comedy theory.

The successful candidate is a charismatic individual with sensitivity to the academic environment; someone who has demonstrated career leadership and someone who shares the School’s credo and mission. While academic credentials are desirable, all equivalent experience in the professional arena is also important. The successful candidate must understand the need to balance theory and practice, as well as understand and value the School or Dramatic Arts’ unique location in Los Angeles and the dynamic relationship that exists between theatre, new media, and the film entertainment industry.

Applications should include a letter describing the candidate’s qualifications for the position, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three references.  Salary commensurate with experience.  

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in any field
  • Experience working as a professional actor or comedian
  • Improv performance technique, sketch comedy, an academic understanding of comedy performance theory, demonstrated imaginative actor training technique, familiarity with voice and movement technique, text study, dramatic action, scene study and camera techniques. 
  • 3-5 years teaching
  • Creative work that demonstrates interest in originality, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Computer proficiency (MS Office, Outlook, and Internet)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Theatre or Related Field
  • Ample experience working as an actor or comedian with substantial professional credentials
  • Advanced acting technique, show development, advanced improv performance technique, sketch comedy, advanced comedy methodologies, and a firm understanding of the comedy performance scene globally
  • 5+ years of teaching engaging with others in the role of teacher, director and/or mentor to students of comedy or acting

The annual base salary range for this position is $80,000-$85,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

The USC School of Dramatic Arts, founded in 1945, is recognized internationally as a leader in theatre education. The School offers innovative programs and curricula in acting, playwriting, design, critical studies, sound design, stage management and technical direction. With a faculty of artists working at the highest level of their profession, the School offers BA, BFA and MFA degrees and has an active production program of more than 20 shows with a population of 550 undergraduate and graduate students combined.

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which comprises the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is.

USC and SDA are committed to fostering an inclusive environment that affirms identity, embraces our university’s core values of wellness, equity, and civility, and celebrates the unique dimensions of every Trojan. USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy. USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance.

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

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