PATP - Training for Success | Chattanooga State Community College

PATP - Training for Success

July 31, 2019 | | Internal Press Release

professional actor training program

This coming fall marks the seventeenth year of the Professional Actor Training Program (PATP) at Chattanooga State. The two-year acting program is designed for students who desire to pursue careers in theatre, film, and television. Students earn 16 credit hours per semester in a program that is both intense and supportive. 

The curriculum and style are modeled after The New Actors Workshop, a training program in New York City founded by George Morrison, Mike Nichols and Paul Sills. Rex Knowles and Sherry Landrum, who taught and administered the program in New York for ten years, head the program at ChattState.  

The curriculum includes intensive work in scene study, improvisation, voice, speech, movement and production.  Students enrolled in the program will have ample performance opportunities – including improv comedy shows, student productions, musicals, and productions with the Chattanooga State Repertory Theatre housed on campus.  

This two-year program consists of four technical certificates in Acting: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced and Professional. Upon finishing their training, students are ready to enter the industry. Some students supplement their certificate training with General Education classes that lead them to an associate degree and, then, continue their studies at a four-year institution.

In addition, PATP and Rose Bruford College in London have entered into a collaboration whereby students who successfully complete all four technical certificates and who meet Rose Bruford’s entrance requirements, may be eligible to earn a Bachelor’s degree with honors following one additional calendar year of study in London.

Graduates are working in all areas of theatre, television, and film. Theatre: Chicago City Limits, Emerald Coast Theatre Company, Circa 21, Cumberland County Playhouse. Television: The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Jessica Jones, Blue Bloods, Master of None, The Mysteries of Laura.

Tyler Buckingham (Class of 2014) recently won Best Lead Actor (Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Awards) for his performance in Three Ladies of Orpington by Daniel Guyton and was nominated Best Director Southern States Short Film (Southern States Indie FanFilmFest) for his work on Bro/ken.

Jessie Knowles’ (Class of 2005) one-woman show titled Jessie’s Messy Mind was chosen Pick of the Fringe this past July at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Jayme Tinti (Class of 2005), co-founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning Savannah Stage Company, was recently voted Best Director by the readers of Connect Savannah.

Bridgett Bryant (Class of 2007) served as Production Manager, director, and performer for Emerald Coast Theatre Company.

Mattie Waters (Class of 2006) is co-founder and director of The Pop-Up Project in Chattanooga.

For more information on the Professional Actor Training Program or to schedule an audition, contact Rex Knowles at (423) 697-3246 or visit 

Story by Rex Knowles