MELISSA SMITH has served as Conservatory Director and Master Acting Teacher for the
American Conservatory Theatre since 1995. In that time, she expanded the Master of Fine Arts
Program from a two to a three-year program, and more recently, restructured the program to
integrate the MFA actors with A.C.T.’s core company. Under her leadership the A.C.T. MFA
program has consistently ranked among the top five acting programs in the United States, and in
the Bay area, MFA productions have developed a reputation as being some of the best alternative
theater in San Francisco. MFA Alumni frequently appear in feature films, on television and on
stages throughout the United States. Illustrious graduates include Annette Bening, Denzel
Washington, Anika Noni Rose, Elizabeth Banks and Omar Metwally.
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