Matt Garner, M.F.A.

Professional Profile
A seasoned actor and motivated educator, passionate about the ever-shifting world of performing arts and the positive impact the arts can have on a student’s overall education regardless of their career path

  • Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Three years of experience teaching at the undergraduate level at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Ten years of professional acting experience both regionally and in New York, NY

Education & Training
Master of Fine Arts, Acting
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 2013

  • Acting: Ray Dooley & Scott Ripley
  • Voice (Linklater): Bonnie Raphael
  • Voice (Miller Voice Method): John Patrick & Scott Miller (NYU)
  • Movement: Craig Turner
  • On-Camera: John Patrick & Estes Tarver
  • Chekhov: Vivienne Benesch & Rebecca Guy (Juilliard)
  • Clown: Chris Bayes & Lucas Rooney (NYU)
  • Improvisation: Zach Ward & Lisa Jolley
  • Auditioning: Michael Kirsten (Harden Curtis Agency), Alaine Alldaffer (Playwrights Horizons), Pat McCorkle, & Stephanie Klapper

Certificate, Acting Conservatory (Part-Time)
Atlantic Acting School, New York, NY, 2008

  • Committed Impulse: Josh Pais
  • Script Analysis (Practical Aesthetics): Jordan Lage & Bridgette Dunlap
  • Repetition (Meisner): Tamara Lovatt-Smith & Michael Piazza
  • Voice (Chuck Jones): Katie Bull
  • Movement: Daniel Sergio & Patrick James Taylor

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Mass Communication
Samford University, Birmingham, AL, 2005

Key Qualifications

  • Proficient in multiple acting methods including but not limited to Stanislavski, Adler, Meisner, and Donnellan
  • Proficient in Miller Voice Method (Scott Miller, Head of MFA Voice, NYU) with formative graduate training in Linklater and Chuck Jones; also extensive knowledge of IPA and dialect development
  • Extensive training via multiple graduate courses and specialized workshops in Shakespeare, Chekhov, Clown, On-Camera, Auditioning, Improvisation, etc.
  • Seasoned performer: Red, Clybourne Park, In the Next Room, A Raisin in the Sun, Henry V, Death of a Salesman, NYC International Fringe Festival, etc.
  • Multiple connections to artistic/casting professionals in NYC and regional markets
  • Roles with Nashville area professional theaters include Death of a Salesman (Winter 2015) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Fall 2015) with Nashville Repertory Theatre; Henry V (Summer 2015) and King Lear (Winter 2016) with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival
  • Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-eligible

Professional Development in Education

Instructor/Teaching Artist, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, 2016

  • Lead instructor for Shakespeare's Verse and Shakespeare's Voice
  • Instruction in the following:
    • Argument structuring
    • Iambic pentameter scansion
    • Operative words
    • Figures of speech
    • Voice/body connection
    • Vocal energy
    • Expansive breath

Instructor, The University of the South, Sewanee, 2016

  • Substitute instructor for Playing Shakespeare I: Shakespeare from School to Stage
  • Instruction in the following:
    • Prose Structure and Rhythm
    • Expansive Breath
    • Variable Vocal Pitch and other Stresses
  • Substitute instructor for The Shakespeare Project
  • Instruction in the following:
    • Verse Scansion
    • Figures of Speech
    • Rhetorical Devices

Instructor, Lipscomb University, 2016

  • Guest instructor for Special Skills Course
  • Introduced students to the theatrical skill of juggling

Instructor, Middle Tennessee State University, 2015

  • Substitute adjunct instructor for three sections of Theatre Appreciation
  • Instruction in and evaluation of the following:
    • Design Elements
    • Musical Theatre
    • Global Theatre

Instructor, Junior Thespian Festival (Ensworth School), 2015

  • Lead instructor for the Educational Theatre Association
  • Developed the following workshops:
    • Dispelling the Shakespeare Fear: an introduction to the rhythms and patterns of Shakespeare’s verse
    • Anatomy of a Scene: an introduction to practical scene analysis
    • The Expressive Storyteller: an introduction to voice development for the actor

Instructor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011-2013

  • Lead instructor in a studio classroom of 20 undergraduates
  • Total autonomy in development of syllabus and classroom structure
  • Instruction in and evaluation of the following:
    • Script Analysis with a focus on given circumstances, obstacles, actions and stakes
    • Movement exercises and vocal warm-ups to develop voice-body connection
    • Improvisational games and repetition exercises to free the actors impulses
    • Monologues and scene work to apply learned principles
    • Written criticism of PlayMakers Repertory Company productions on UNCs campus
    • Other reading assignments, discussions and quizzes from primary and supplementary texts

Graduate Assistant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010

  • Assistant to Senior Dramaturgy Professor
  • Key evaluation for all term papers
  • Office hours kept for one-on-one student evaluations and assistance

Influential Texts

A Sense of Direction, William Ball
Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen, Paul Meier
An Actor Prepares, Constantin Stanislavski
Freeing the Natural Voice, Kristin Linklater
Playing Shakespeare, John Barton
Respect for Acting, Uta Hagen
Sanford Meisner on Acting, Sanford Meisner and Dennis Longwell
Shakespeare’s Advice to the Players, Peter Hall
The Actor and the Target, Declan Donnellan
The Intent to Live, Larry Moss
The Open Door, Peter Brook