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Certification Program

Join the movement that is advancing the way actors train...

The Certification Program is an Advanced Course of Teacher Training designed for university professors, acting  coaches, professional actors and directors, and graduate students who are passionate about offering the best of  themselves to their students. 

Advance your teaching skills and CV and get certified to teach Seven Pillars Acting. Certification equips you with a comprehensive system, philosophy, pedagogy, and day-to-day curriculum that will prepare you for any acting classroom. Above all, it will enable you to activate your students' talent through tangible, repeatable steps. Our goal is to instill a process that our students can call their own. 

If you are a professional actor with teaching experience you are eligible to get certified ​to teach the technique.


What's It All About?

The Certification Program is a rigorous immersion into the technique and curriculum of Seven Pillars Acting, culminating in a teaching assessment and written examination. Led by Sonya Cooke and other master instructors, this teacher training offers participants the next step up in their academic or professional careers, no matter what level of achievement they may already enjoy. Certification will help educators and program leaders offer a high quality, empowering, and effective system of training to their departments and schools. The Certification Program will help those teachers just starting to build their brand to increase their marketability to schools and universities. Bottom-line, this is for teachers who seek a codified method for acting training that works for actors today, as well as a learning philosophy that priorities artistic autonomy, inclusivity, professional rigor, and personal empowerment.


What Are the Requirements?

The requirements have recently changed and no longer require an MFA in Acting or Directing. Although higher degrees can certainly help one's candidacy, creating such an obstacle restricts talented and able teachers from teaching this work. Each applicant will be considered on their own merits and given their own circumstances. The requirements therefore simply are professional acting credits and professional acting training. That being said, the application process is still competitive and space is limited to only the most eligible and ready teachers.


What is the Certification Process?

Participants receive in advance the comprehensive Seven Pillars Acting Manual, which will equip them with all the lesson plans and tools needed for teaching. This is a critical text not only for the Certification Program but also for the many years in the classroom to follow. First, participants will train as if they are actors themselves. For 12 weeks, class meets twice a week online either with Sonya Cooke or one of the Master Instructors. During these sessions, the Certified Master Instructor will lead the participants through the full acting training curriculum. Sprinkled throughout will be conversations and reflections on pedagogy and process. Participants will also practice the leading of the exercises, but emphasis is placed on understanding the tools from the perspective of the student. After those 12 weeks, the Assessment portion of the certification begins. Over 5 full days, the participants will lead and demonstrate the curriculum in a mock class. Complete with a written exam, this Assessment serves as the final measurement for the participants readiness for certification. Upon completion, participants learn about their certification stats within a week. 

What Happens After Certification?

After successfully completing the teacher certification, participants are certified as Seven Pillars Acting Instructors for four years. From there, continued and higher levels of certification are available. Certified teachers are able and encouraged to teach Seven Pillars Acting in professional studios and universities, as they like, but opportunities expand to private coaching, mentorship, and our own community networking outlets, both in real-time and on social media.

Certification Program Outcomes:

Teachers receiving certification will possess…

  • The certified ability to teach or incorporate Seven Pillars Acting within institutions and programs.

  • Improved marketability and credentials for universities, colleges, and professional studios.

  • A professional network of teaching artists and resources.

  • A comprehensive, trademarked system of teaching acting, including day-by-day lesson plans and textbook.

  • A roadmap for decentering the classroom and canon, including suggestions of more diverse scripts as well as techniques for encouraging cultural compassion and competency.

  • Pathways and options for navigating challenging teaching moments.

  • Confidence in helping students reach their optimal performance skills.


Join us for the next Teacher's Training and Certification Program

Fall 2023


Training Schedule:

12 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday nights

September 5th – November 30th  

7-10pm CST


Online Assessment and Exam:

December 4th – 8th

Monday - Friday 9am-5pm CST

Training will take place online via Zoom.

Training Tuition:


Assessment and Exam Tuition:



This year, tuition for the 12 week training program is free because this year the training will be recorded for future internal training purposes. Participants acknowledge and agree to be recorded via Zoom. The remaining cost is for the Online Assessment and Exam week which is not filmed


*Installment plans available upon request. 


Cancelation Policy: In the event that a participant signs up but cannot attend due to unforeseen reasons, tuition is refundable until 1 month before the Certification Program. After then, tuition is non-refundable nor transferrable. 


Students currently in grad school are eligible for partial scholarships as well as our internship program.


We have diversity scholarships available for BIPOC teachers for full and partial tuition waivers. We encourage all those eligible to apply

Fill out the form below to apply.

Application Deadline is August 1st. 


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