Winter Session 2019

Inter-Session 2018

Popular weeklong intensives
Dec 10–14

 

Winter Session 2019

classes meeting once weekly for 8 weeks

Jan 7–Mar 3*

 

*some classes continue through March 10

 


Inter-Session 2018

 


 

Acting          Physical          Voice          Specialties

 


 

Important Information:

 

  • Courses meet once a week for eight weeks for a total of eight sessions, unless otherwise noted. Please note a given class’s dates carefully as there may be exceptions.

  • Make-up week for Winter Session 2019 is March 4–10. Classes are held this week only in the event a teacher must cancel a previously scheduled class. Students should plan to hold the weekday of their class in reserve that week.

  • Students receive written evaluations for most courses.

  • College credit is offered for 8-session courses only.

 

Questions?

Email studio@act-sf.org or call 415.439.2441.


Early Bird Discount!

Register by Friday December 21 with code WINTER10 and get
10% off
classes*


*Early Bird Discount not applicable to Master Classes


Registration Policies:

 

  • Students should read the criteria explained in a given course’s description carefully in order to register for the courses they believe are the best fit.
  • Instructors can make recommendations about all returning students’ placement. However, final decisions regarding admission and placement are at the discretion of the Studio A.C.T. Program Director.
  • Studio A.C.T. assumes no responsibility for personal injuries that occur as the result of course work or classroom activity.
  • By registering for a course, students warrant that they are healthy enough for an experiential academic experience that may be psychologically, physically, or emotionally challenging.


These course descriptions are subject to change.

Most courses are limited to 12 or 14 students, so early registration is highly recommended. A minimum enrollment of 6 students must be achieved in order for a course to be offered. In the event that fewer than 6 students register, a course may be canceled. If a course is canceled, all registrants will have the option to switch into another available class of their choosing or be issued a full refund.

New students must fill out a new student questionnaire at the time of their registration.

Non-refundable fees apply:

  • $20 non-refundable registration fee for new students
  • $10 nonrefundable registration fee for returning students
  • $5 nonrefundable library fee for all students
     

Refund Policy:


Withdrawal and refund requests must be made 24 hours prior to the first class session
. In the event of withdrawal, class tuition is refunded while the non-refundable registration and library fees are withheld. Should a withdrawal and refund request be made after the deadline, a $20 processing fee will be withheld in addition to the standard non-refundable fees. Please allow 10 working days for your refund to be processed.

Please Note: Refunds of any kind cannot be processed after the second class session.

 



Inter-Session 2018


The annual Studio A.C.T. Inter-Session offers a handful of weeklong intensive experiences in popular acting skills areas.
All Inter-Session intensives meet for five consecutive evenings, Mon–Fri, Dec 10–14.

 

Course

Instructor

Day/Time

Tuition

Intensive: Audition for Theater

W.D. Keith

M–F   6:30–9:30 p.m.

$300

NEW!
Intensive: Intro to The Barrow Group Acting Technique


Alyson Rutter


M–F   6:30–9:30 p.m.

 


$300
 

Intensive: Unarmed Stage Combat Certification

Dave Maier

M–F   6:30–9:30 p.m.

$325

 

Winter Session 2019

 

The Studio A.C.T. Winter Session 2019 offers a range of classes meeting once weekly for 8 weeks, Jan 7–Mar 3, 2019. Please Note: some classes continue through March 10.


Acting & Audition

 

Course

Instructor

Day/Time

Tuition

Introduction to Acting
 

Fontana Butterfield
 

Thu 6:30­–9:30 p.m.
 

$375
 

Introduction to Acting


 

Heidi Carlsen



Sun 1–4 p.m.
No class 2/10;
Final class 3/10


 

$375


 

Intro to Meisner Technique

Mark Rafael

Thu 6:30­–9:30 p.m.

$375
 

Intro to On-Camera Acting

Liz Anderson

 

Mon 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$425

Acting 1
 

Heidi Carlsen
 

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.
 

$375
 

Acting 1
 
 

Alyson Rutter
 
 

Sun 1–4 p.m.
No class 2/10;
Final class 3/10

$375

 

Acting 2

Julie Douglas

Tue 6:30­–9:30 p.m.

$375

Acting 2

Liz Anderson

Wed  6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375

Acting 3

 

Mark Rafael

Mon 6:30­–9:30 p.m.

$375
 

Acting 3
 

Paul Finocchiaro
 

Tue 6:30­–9:30 p.m.
 

$375
 

IT'S BACK!
Acting Focus: Performing Women's Voices


Margo Hall


Mon
6:30–9:30 p.m.
 


$375

Acting Focus: Shakespeare in Action

Mark Jackson

Mon 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

NEW!
Acting Focus: A Way With Words

 


Drew Khalouf



Tue 6:30–9:30 p.m.
 

$375

 

NEW A.C.T. Mainstage Tie-In!
Acting Focus: Who's Afraid of
Edward Albee?

 

W.D. Keith



 

Tue 6:30–9:30 p.m.



 

$375




 

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor

 

Laura Wayth /
Thaddeus Pinkston
 

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Dates: 1/17–3/7

$475



Physical


Studio A.C.T. Physical skills classes are divided into introduction courses for people new to the given subject and repeatable courses providing a workout that allows each individual to progress to their fullest.

 

Course

Instructor

Day/Time

Tuition

Alexander Technique

Kari Prindl

Tue 6:30–9:00 p.m.

$325

Dynamic Movement

Caitlyn Tella

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

 

Clowning

Julie Douglas

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375
 

 

Voice


Studio A.C.T. Voice skills classes are divided into introduction courses for people new to the given subject and repeatable courses providing a workout that allows each individual to progress to their fullest.

 

Course

Instructor

Day/Time

Tuition

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor

 

Laura Wayth /
Thaddeus Pinkston

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Dates: 1/17–3/7

$475
 

Dialects

Drew Khalouf

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375
 

Musical Theater 2: Audition Prep for Singers
 

Francie Epsen-Devlin
/ Naomi Sanchez
 

Mon 7:30–10 p.m.
 

$475

 

Voice Building for Singers

 

 

Francie Epsen-Devlin
/ Naomi Sanchez


 

Mon 6:30–7:30 p.m.

$150

 

 


 

Specialties


Studio A.C.T. Specialties classes provide unique experiences and opportunities to build skills related to the core Acting, Physical, and Voice class offerings.

 

 

 

 

Course

Instructor

Day/Time

Tuition

Introduction to Improv

Liz Anderson

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

 

Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy

Katie Rubin

Sun 1–4 p.m.
No class 2/10;
Final class 3/10

$375


Stand-Up Comedy
 


Katie Rubin


Thu
6:30–9:30 p.m.


$375

Clowning

Julie Douglas

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

 

SPECIAL EVENT!
Master Class: Zen and the Art of Producing, Directing, and Artistic Directing



Tom Ross
Artistic Director,
Aurora Theatre Company

Sun, Feb 3

1–4 p.m.
 


$75
 




 

Inter-Session 2018 Intensives


The annual Studio A.C.T. Inter-Session offers a handful of weeklong intensive experiences in popular acting skills areas. All Studio A.C.T. Inter-Session intensives meet for five consecutive evenings, 6:30–9:30 p.m., Mon–Fri, Dec 10–14. Students should plan to attend all five class meetings.

Intensive: Auditioning for Theater

Five Classes

This advanced intensive addresses common issues that inhibit success when auditioning for theater. Students will “cold read,” prepare assigned material, receive directorial adjustments, and be put through their paces in mock callbacks. All students will be asked to self-assess in the process of overcoming unproductive auditioning habits. Résumé preparation and headshot selection will also be touched upon. After registering online, students will receive confirmation of approval to enter the class and a note from the instructor on what to prepare for the first day.
 

Intensive: Audition for Theater is for you if:

  • You are a regularly auditioning actor looking to polish and sharpen your auditioning skills.
  • You are preparing for auditions at local theaters that have recently announced their upcoming seasons.
  • You are preparing to audition for MFA programs.
  • You have taken advanced acting courses, whether at A.C.T. or elsewhere, yet still wish to develop a solid foundation of skills and confidence when it comes to auditions.

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NEW!

Intensive: Intro to The Barrow Group Acting Technique

Five Classes

The Barrow Group Acting Technique—developed by Seth Barrish, founder and co-artistic director of The Barrow Group Theatre Company in New York City—is a set of simple tools for performing, designed to encourage spontaneity, foster real human behavior, and help you become more sensitive, imaginative, responsive, and alive onstage. The technique also includes methods for relaxing in performance, bringing greater freedom to your work, and for changing your work effortlessly and invisibly so the audience feels like they are watching a real person rather than an actor. This intensive experience is structured to effectively include actors of all levels of ability, from beginners to more experienced and advanced actors.
 

Intensive: Intro to The Barrow Group Acting Technique is for you if:

  • You’ve taken an acting class before and wish to continue exploring a greater sense of truth in your acting.
  • You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
  • You’ve been acting for a number of years and are interested in simple, accessible, fun, and wildly effective tools to enhance your craft.
  • You wish to bring greater economy, emotional honesty, and personal investment to your acting.
  • You wish to expand the range and flexibility of your realistic acting to include both stage and screen realism.

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Intensive: Unarmed Stage Combat

Five Classes

This intensive is designed to cover fundamental techniques to safely and convincingly create the illusion of violence onstage. Stressing safety, storytelling, and partnering, this class will explore the most commonly used unarmed combat techniques, including fighting with found objects and comedic violence. The intensive culminates with an unarmed skills proficiency test for certification in Unarmed Combat as a Theatrical Combatant with Dueling Arts International. (The cost of certification is included in your tuition.) Actors whose résumé includes certification in stage combat techniques have an advantage with directors and casting directors looking to cast productions involving theatrical violence.
 

Stage Combat Intensive: Unarmed Combat is for you if:

  • You are an actor who wishes to expand your stage combat skill set.
  • You are an actor who wishes to enhance their résumé with certification in unarmed stage combat.
  • You are a person who is not an actor but wishes to explore a fun, creative, and empowering mind-body practice.
  • You enjoy combining physical and intellectual challenges in creative ways.
     

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Acting & Audition

 

Introduction to Acting

Eight Classes
Note: For Heidi Carlsen’s Sunday class only, there is no class on 2/10; the final class session will be held on 3/10

This course explores the art of acting in a playful, encouraging, collaborative atmosphere, and offers a dynamic and engaging introduction to the craft of acting and theater. In fun and engaging exercises, students will work on strengthening self-confidence, overcoming performance anxiety, improving focus and concentration, connecting with others through trust-building games and active listening, understanding “stage presence,” and opening their imaginations to playing characters. Because actor training is also life training, students can expect to find new, deeper connections to their own and others’ creativity, unlocking profound layers of empathy through character exploration. Particular emphasis will be given to transferable skills, such as expanding the imagination, collaborating effectively, speaking and presenting without anxiety, and supporting others’ growth. Students may be asked to prepare simple assignments outside of class, including memorizing short texts. Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and to actively participate in all games and exercises. Though not required, it is recommended that students who register for Introduction to Acting also register for a Studio A.C.T. Voice or Physical course.
 

Introduction to Acting is for you if:

  • You’ve never studied acting before, are curious about acting, and want an unintimidating but engaging opportunity to explore it.
  • You’ve done a bit of acting in the past, but it’s been a while and you’re hungry to get back in touch with your creative impulses.
  • You’re shy and looking for an experience to help you emerge from your shell.
  • You believe you’re “not that creative,” and wish to be proven otherwise!

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Introduction to Meisner Technique

Eight Classes

Through his work with the Group Theatre and his dedication to actor training, Sanford Meisner had a profound effect on the development of a uniquely American technique. This advanced introductory class familiarizes students with a series of exercises originally developed by Meisner. The work is intended to hone focus, deepen moment-to-moment engagement, and develop an actor’s emotional authenticity. As the work is physically and emotionally demanding, this course is recommended to those who have already taken Acting 2 or Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., or their equivalents elsewhere, and who have a grounding in Stanislavski-based techniques. Memorizing and performing scenes—as well as rehearsals with scene partners outside of class—are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises. Though not required, it is recommended that students who register for Introduction to Meisner Technique also register for a Studio A.C.T. Voice or Physical course.
 

Introduction to Meisner Technique is for you if:

  • You have taken some acting classes before, such as Acting 2 or Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T. or equivalents elsewhere, and wish to explore the techniques specific to the Sanford Meisner tradition.
  • You are an intermediate or advanced acting student who wishes to bring greater truth and responsiveness to their acting.

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Introduction to On-Camera Acting

Eight Classes

This course introduces students already familiar with stage acting to practices particular to acting on camera. Through simple exercises and scenes from films and TV shows, students will explore the fundamentals of good acting, learn practical on-camera technique, and acquire a basic, realistic understanding of the film and television industry. Students will be asked to prepare simple assignments outside of class—including memorizing short texts—and are expected to attend all scheduled classes and to actively participate in all exercises.

Introduction to On-Camera Acting is for you if:

  • You’ve already taken both Acting 1 and Acting 2, or equivalents elsewhere, and are now interested in exploring what is particular to acting on camera.
  • You're an actor interested in pursuing commercial or film acting and want to begin.
  • You’re intimidated by cameras, and wish to demystify them and gain greater confidence with acting in front of them.
     

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Studio A.C.T. Acting Sequence


Three Courses, Eight Classes each

Designed to be taken either individually, in succession, and/or repeatedly

Acting 1Acting 2, and Acting 3 are three different courses designed to be taken either individually or in succession. Each class may also be repeated in order to further fortify the student’s foundation in the practices learned. Together, these courses comprise the Studio A.C.T. Acting Sequence, and feature the most prevalent training practices derived from the innovative master of modern acting, Konstantin Stanislavski, and used by professional actors. These practices address awareness, truthful playing, use of language and physical action, psychology, emotion, and active script analysis. Students will develop a working understanding of common practical concepts such as action, objective, obstacle, conflict, tactic, intention, motivation, trigger, target, and acting “beats.”
 

The Studio A.C.T. Acting Sequence is for you if:

  • You already have some introductory or beginning acting experience and wish to develop a solid foundation in the most commonly utilized and effective acting practices.
  • You’re interested in exploring acting as a serious interest alongside your other interests.
  • You’re interested in either exploring or pursuing acting as a profession.

    Please note:
    Since acting is a life practice, these courses are designed to be repeatable, emphasizing fluency over “quick-fixes.” Students are occasionally encouraged to repeat levels before moving on to the next.

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Acting 1

Eight Classes
Note: For Alyson Rutter's Sunday class only, there is no class on 2/10; the final class session will be held on 3/10.

This early-level acting class emphasizes ensemble-building, imaginative play, expanding creativity, strengthening self-confidence and self-discipline, memorization techniques, cultivating personal responsibility, and strategies for successful collaboration. Course content may include some memorization of short scenes and monologues from contemporary plays, and students will be asked to prepare assignments outside of class. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises. Though not required, it is recommended that students who register for Acting 1 also register for a Studio A.C.T. Voice or Physical course.


Acting 1
is for you if:

  • You’ve taken Introduction to Acting at Studio A.C.T., or an equivalent elsewhere, and wish to continue exploring acting.
  • You took an acting class or acted in a play many years ago, and wish to reconnect to actor training.
  • You’re wondering whether a career in acting is for you and wish to explore it on your feet.
  • You’re interested in the full Studio A.C.T. Acting Sequence and are ready to start.

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Acting 2

Eight Classes

In this mid-level class students will engage in work with a dual emphasis on pursuing actions and intentions alongside active listening and responding to one’s scene partners. Students will work on at least one scene and one monologue. Rehearsing outside of class is expected, and thorough preparation is essential. Students will receive constructive criticism and adjustments, with the intention of expanding their ability to integrate receiving and offering feedback into their personal and collaborative process. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises. Though not required, it is recommended that students who register for Acting 2 also register for a Studio A.C.T. Voice or Physical course.


Acting 2
is for you if:

  • You’ve taken some acting classes or acted in a play or two some years ago, and wish to reconnect to or resume your exploration of acting.
  • You’ve taken Introduction to Acting and Acting 1 at Studio A.C.T., or equivalents elsewhere, and wish to continue exploring acting.
  • You’re interested in the Studio A.C.T. Acting Sequence and have already taken Acting 1.

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Acting 3

Eight Classes

Students enrolled in this upper-level class will learn further practical strategies for rehearsing efficiently, collaborating effectively, pursuing actions and intentions, and bringing greater truth, spontaneity, and specificity to their acting through careful analysis of the script in on-your-feet rehearsals. Acting 3 requires memorization of at least one substantial scene and/or one monologue. Students are expected to rehearse outside of class, and thorough preparation is essential. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises. Though not required, it is strongly recommended that students who register for Acting 3 also register for a Studio A.C.T. Voice or Physical course.


Acting 3
is for you if:

  • You’ve taken three or more acting classes and/or acted in three or more plays in the past few years, and wish to move your exploration of acting toward more advanced levels.
  • You minored in theater as an undergraduate in college and wish to dive back in.
  • You’ve taken Acting 1 and Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T. and wish to continue advancing your acting skills.
  • You’re interested in the Studio A.C.T. Acting Sequence and have already taken Acting 1 and Acting 2.
  • You already have some acting experience, have a serious interest in exploring acting as a career, and wish to get a good “workout” to hone your acting muscles.

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Acting Focus Courses

 

The Acting Focus courses are a series of rotating courses (see individual descriptions of courses currently offered below) designed for advanced acting students and experienced actors interested in continuing to hone their skills more rigorously. Individual courses may focus on the work of a particular playwright, a particular style of acting, or a specific practice. All Acting Focus courses are based in intensive scene work unless otherwise noted. The true joy of acting is the result of a lot of hard work, and the level of commitment required should be considered with seriousness. Students must attend all class sessions and actively participate in all activities. Students are expected to rehearse outside of class, and thorough preparation is essential. The Acting Focus courses offered in the Winter 2019 Studio A.C.T. Session include:

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Back by popular demand:

Acting Focus: Performing Women’s Voices

Eight Classes

This advanced scene study course focuses on plays by a diverse range of women writers, such as Dominique Morisseau, Lauren Gunderson, Young Jean Lee, Jenny Schwartz, Suzan-Lori Parks, and many more. We are now making theater in a time that asks for our heightened attention to diverse voices. An intensive experience with women playwrights provides actors of all genders and cultural backgrounds with a particular opportunity to explore and embody the diverse theatrical voices speaking to our changing world. Participating in physical exercises, memorizing and performing scenes, and rehearsals with scene partners outside of class are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises.

Acting Focus: Performing Women’s Voices is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
  • You’ve already taken significant intermediate or advanced level acting courses, such as Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., in the last handful of years, or done some similar amount of acting in plays, musicals, or on film.
  • You are an actor, of any gender or cultural background, who is interested in an acting experience emphasizing an awareness of the varying approaches and voices of culturally diverse women playwrights.


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Acting Focus: Shakespeare In Action

Eight Classes

Shakespeare wrote language-based theater for an audience to hear. Theater is also an event for spectators to see! This class puts Shakespeare’s vividly poetic language into action. Through a variety of practical exercises and approaches, participants will explore their physical expression of Shakespeare’s highly thoughtful and emotional plays. The class is suitable for people who have at least some introductory experience with Shakespeare such that they understand the principle of scansion, as well as those who have worked extensively with Shakespeare but wish to expand their physical engagement with the plays. Actors and directors alike will find this class useful for its emphasis on text analysis done on our feet, through movement and staging. Participating in physical exercises, memorizing and performing scenes, and rehearsals with scene partners outside of class are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises.

Acting Focus: Shakespeare in Action is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
  • You’ve already taken significant intermediate or advanced level acting courses, such as Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., in the last handful of years, or done some similar amount of acting in plays, musicals, or on film.
  • You are an actor with some prior experience with Shakespeare, who already understands the basics of scansion, and who is interested in an experience that emphasizes a physical response to Shakespeare’s language.

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NEW!

Acting Focus: A Way with Words

Eight Classes

Actors depend on the impact of the words they speak to make their imagery rich and their communication of ideas and emotions vibrant, engaging, and provocative. Through detailed work on monologues and scenes from a variety of plays that emphasize dynamic language, this class provides the techniques necessary to use language for its greatest communicative, emotional, and dramatic effectiveness. Participating in all class exercises, memorizing and performing scenes, and rehearsals with scene partners outside of class are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions.
 

Acting Focus: A Way with Words is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
  • You’ve already taken significant intermediate or advanced level acting courses, such as Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., in the last handful of years, or done some similar amount of acting in plays, musicals, or on film.
  • You are an actor who would like to use speech and language more vibrantly and convincingly, and to have the greatest possible descriptive and emotional impact on your audience.

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NEW A.C.T. MAINSTAGE TIE-IN:

Acting Focus: Who’s Afraid of Edward Albee?

Eight Classes

In a New York Times interview, playwright Edward Albee once asked, “Why does everyone want to go to sleep when the only thing left is to stay awake?” It is a question asked by each of Albee’s unique and highly acclaimed plays. Scheduled in tandem with A.C.T.’s production of Edward Albee’s Seascape (directed by Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon), this class will focus on practical, on-your-feet explorations of scenes selected from Albee’s major plays. The class offers a unique opportunity for actors to tackle the distinctive combination of realism, absurdism, humor, rage, and social awareness that Albee’s plays present, as well as his keen attention to dynamic language and character development. Students who take this class also receive a free ticket to the production. Memorizing and performing scenes, and rehearsals with scene partners outside of class, are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all exercises. Please note: Students must read the one-act play, The Zoo Story, in advance of the first class meeting, as we will work with it on that day.
 

Acting Focus: Who’s Afraid of Edward Albee? is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
  • You’ve already taken significant intermediate or advanced level acting courses, such as Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., in the last handful of years, or done some similar amount of acting in plays, musicals, or on film.
  • You are an actor who is baffled, dazzled, and/or intrigued by the kind of razor-sharp dialogue and theatrical daring Albee’s work offers.
  • You want a supportive and challenging environment to take some personal risks in your acting work, and recognize that the existential terrors provided by Albee’s plays might be just what you need!

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Acting Focus: The Singing Actor

Eight Classes

Dates: 1/17–3/7

Singing in theater is as much a matter of acting as it is a technical practice. In this course, students will approach songs from the musical theater and jazz standards repertoire as they would monologues and scenes from plays, marrying the technical needs required to sing with the psychological and emotional truth demanded of good acting. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all exercises.


Acting Focus: The Singing Actor
 is for you if:

  • You are pursuing acting or musical theater training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
  • You’ve already taken intermediate or advanced level acting courses, such as Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., in the last handful of years, or done some similar amount of acting in plays, musicals, or on film.
  • You are a singer who wishes to act their songs more truthfully.
  • You are an actor who sings, and wish to incorporate your acting skills more fully into your singing.

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Physical

 

All Studio A.C.T. Physical skills classes are divided into introduction courses for people new to the given subject and repeatable courses providing a workout that allows each individual to progress to their fullest. Occasionally, additional courses are offered, providing another unique experience with a given subject.

 

Alexander Technique

Eight Classes

This repeatable course is open to students of all experience levels. The Alexander Technique is among the most widely practiced performance-related techniques in the world. The work is intended to address issues pertaining to the practitioner's bodily alignment, efficiency of movement, and redistribution of tension. Students will practice means of recognizing and undoing habitual patterns that get in the way of natural movement, voice production, and creativity. They will become more deeply present in themselves and in the world by accessing their innate power and flexibility. Issues of performance and performance anxiety will also be addressed. Alexander Technique is a perfect companion to all Studio A.C.T. courses.


Alexander Technique 
is for you if:

  • You’ve never taken an Alexander Technique course before and want a thorough introduction.
  • You have had experience with Alexander in the past, but it’s been awhile and you wish to reconnect.
  • You have substantial experience with Alexander and are hungry for a workout.
  • You feel limited by the way you move.
  • You want to have more vocal flexibility and power.
  • You want to be able to notice what is occurring in the moment and have the choice to transform yourself.
  • You want to focus on a personal project and learn how to apply the Alexander Technique to the project.


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Dynamic Movement

Eight Classes

When the American theater director Anne Bogart said, “All acting is physical acting,” she named a basic truth known since the days of the ancient theater masters—both eastern and western. This class—designed to be repeatable—approaches movement as acting, breaking down how we use our bodies in time and space to create dynamic movement that expresses character, story, subtext, emotion, and ideas. Students will explore and expand their kinesthetic, physical, spontaneous, and creative responsiveness to their acting partners. The work is also applicable to creating choreography and staging for plays, musicals, dance pieces, and other performances. Students should come prepared to move, a lot!


Dynamic Movement
 is for you if:

  • You are an actor who wishes to expand their physical awareness and responsiveness as it relates to their acting.
  • You are a dancer or choreographer looking to expand the dramatic, theatrical aspects of your work.
  • You are someone who wants a creative physical workout that is as intellectually stimulating as it is physically demanding.
  • You are someone who wishes to strengthen the creative connections between their mind and body.


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Clowning

Eight Classes

Clowning is not just red noses and circuses. It can be found in a range of theater and performances, from Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett to contemporary screen work such as Seinfeld’s Kramer and endless television commercials. Actors may be called upon to “clown” by a wide range of theater or film work. The greatest clowns not only make us belly laugh, they reveal the most vulnerable depths of our shared humanity. This class—designed to be repeatable—provides an experience with the art of clowning that allows actors to explore heightened physical comedy while also developing a deeper authenticity of presence. This experiential art form allows for more freedom, play, and resilience in all your work. Clowning skills serve the actor in a variety of contexts—from auditioning to improvisation, and from performing scripted plays both comic and tragic to discovering the joy in the mistake and the beauty in the imperfect.
 

Some Clowning Req’d is for you if:

  • You’re an actor or performer interested in significantly expanding your range of physical and emotional expression.
  • You have previously taken a Studio A.C.T. Acting 1 or 2 class, or equivalents elsewhere, and wish to explore a complimentary aspect of acting and performance.
  • You have previously taken a Studio A.C.T. Introduction to Clowning class, or equivalent elsewhere, and wish to further your exploration of the art of clowning.

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Voice

 

All Studio A.C.T. Voice skills classes are divided into introduction courses, designed for people new to the given subject, and repeatable courses, designed to provide a workout in the given subject area that allows each individual to progress to their fullest. Occasionally additional courses are offered, providing another unique experience with a given subject.
 

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor

Eight Classes

Dates: 1/17–3/7

Singing in theater is as much a matter of acting as it is a technical practice. In this course, students will approach songs from the musical theater and jazz standards repertoire as they would monologues and scenes from plays, marrying the technical needs required to sing with the psychological and emotional truth demanded of good acting. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all exercises.


Acting Focus: The Singing Actor
 is for you if:

  • You are pursuing acting or musical theater training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
  • You’ve already taken intermediate or advanced level acting courses, such as Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., in the last handful of years, or done some similar amount of acting in plays, musicals, or on film.
  • You are a singer who wishes to act their songs more truthfully.
  • You are an actor who sings, and wish to incorporate your acting skills more fully into your singing.

 

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Dialects

Eight Classes

From Shakespeare to Mad Men and Downton Abbey, actors are often called upon to use regional dialects by a variety of plays, television series, and films. Having demonstrable skill with dialects significantly enhances an actor’s résumé. This comprehensive dialects course, designed to be repeatable, will help you refine your ability to sound like a local from anywhere in the English-speaking world. When working with a dialect, authenticity depends upon specificity, and this class will help you make your sounds and phrasing specific to any region. You will also experience how specifying a character’s dialect can enhance your ability to play their intentions. Participating in all class exercises, and memorizing and performing short scenes are required. Some rehearsals with scene partners outside of class may also be required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions.
 

Dialects is for you if:

  • You have already taken Introduction to Dialects at Studio A.C.T., or an equivalent elsewhere.
  • You are an actor who has done some dialect work in the past, wants to get a few new dialects under your belt, and to hone practices for picking up new dialects in the future.
  • You are an actor with significant past experience working with dialects, but it’s been awhile and you want to refine your sense for dialects and your process for learning them.
  • You have a specific performance on the horizon that requires a dialect of you, and you want to make a thorough study of it and of processes for learning dialects.

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Musical Theater 2–Audition Prep for Singers

Eight Classes

This course is designed for the intermediate- to advanced-level singer-actor who wants to polish their musical theater audition presentation and unravel audition anxiety. This course will provide extensive vocal technique and appropriate song selection, along with a deep understanding into the world of casting, the musical theater industry, and audition protocol. Students will work in class to develop their professional marketing portfolio and expand their audition repertoire books. Every student will master the art of storytelling through song, learning how to analyze and perform each song as a monologue. This course will culminate in an open class presentation on the final day for invited guests. Though not required, students regularly pair this course with Voice Building for Singers, scheduled immediately prior.
 

Musical Theater 2 – Audition Preparation for Singers is for you if:

  • You have had some experience with musical theater in the past but it’s been awhile and you’d like to reboot.
  • You are interested in exploring musical theater material as a solo artist.
  • You are interested in auditioning for musical theater at the community, regional, or national level and wish to train in a fun environment that will both challenge and support your growth.
     

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Voice Building for Singers

Eight Classes

This is a course that is suitable for students of all levels. Beginning students will discover their best singing voice and more experienced singers will gain an opportunity to exercise their vocal muscles through group work utilizing the Garcia-Marchesi vocal tradition. Students will also learn techniques to help protect their voices when they sing. This course is suitable for students of all levels of experience and may be taken as often as desired. Though not required, it is recommended that students registered for this course pair it with a Studio A.C.T. Alexander Technique course. Students also regularly pair this course with Musical Theater 2–Audition Prep for Singers, if they have not taken that course already.

Voice Building for Singers is for you if:

  • You are a new singer wishing to strengthen your voice musculature and technique in a supportive environment.
  • You are an experienced singer looking for a regular and intensive workout.

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Specialties


Studio A.C.T. Specialties classes provide unique experiences and opportunities to build skills related to the core Acting, Physical, and Voice class offerings. Some classes are offered each session, while others are special one-time events. Subjects may include clowning, drag performance, improv, stand-up comedy, devised theater, special seminars and intensives with guest artists, and more.
 

Introduction to Improv

Eight Classes

This introductory improv course is a fun way to explore your innate ability to be playful and creative. Featuring a range of confidence-building exercises, trust- and ensemble-building games, character development, and scene work, Introduction to Improv helps you face fears while developing your instinctive, authentic, creative impulses. Studying improvisation frees the imagination, and helps you be more spontaneous and receptive to new ideas—in a playful, supportive atmosphere alongside classmates from a wide variety of backgrounds. Sometimes silly, sometimes outrageous, improv training inspires students to think outside of the box and say "yes" to the unknown. If you've always been interested in improv, but hesitant to give it a try, this is an opportunity to tap into the depths of your innate creativity. Though not required, it is recommended that students registered for this course pair it with Introduction to Acting.

Introduction to Improv is for you if:

  • You’ve never studied improv before, are curious about improv, and want an unintimidating but engaging opportunity to explore it.
  • You’ve done a bit of improv in the past, but it’s been a while and you’re hungry to get back in touch with your creative impulses.
  • You’re shy and looking for an experience to help you emerge from your shell.
  • You believe you’re “not that creative,” and wish to be proven otherwise!

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Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy

Eight Classes
No class 2/10; Final class 3/10

In this introductory course, students will learn the scientific structure of joke-writing, practice it repeatedly on their feet, and leave with a “Tight Five” minutes of material completed and ready to perform. The class is appropriate for people brand new to comedy, as well as people who have already done a bit of stand-up work but are looking for punch-up help, to more fully understand joke structure, and/or to mentally get the science of joke-writing to support your already developed intuitive sense of what is funny. We will delve deeply into what makes a joke, beginning on Day 1 by putting your ideas through a structure that turns your observations about life into hilarious comedy that kills every time. Please note: joke writing is a cerebral endeavor that requires intelligence, wit, time-commitment, dedication, and a willingness to risk and fail. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and actively participate in all activities. Students are expected to write between each class session, and to share their written work in class each week. There are no prerequisites for this class.

Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy is for you if:  

  • You’re new to comedy or stand-up comedy and wish to explore what makes a joke tick.
  • You do some stand up (or have) and want to solidify your conscious process for developing and honing material.
  • You’re an actor or performer who thinks “I’m not funny” and wishes to crack the mechanics of joke writing and joke performing.

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Stand-Up Comedy

Eight Classes

In this course, you will deepen and expand what you learned in Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy (a prerequisite for taking this class). By now, you will be familiar with joke structure, have been developing material for some time, and even have some jokes in your repertoire that you’re somewhat happy with. In this class, we’ll expand your performance skills, write more jokes, and help you become more comfortable being you while you tell them. We will look at a wide range of joke styles, and the different ways one can be funny onstage, so that you can pick and choose how you'd like to express yourself in your set. We will dive in deeply together, tighten what you have, take the reins off a bit, and explore your stand-up voice. Who are you as a comic? What is your true intention for telling jokes? What contribution can your humor make to the world? The class is designed to be repeatable, offering developing and newly established comics a regular lab space to work their material. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and actively participate in all activities. Students are expected to write between each class session and to share their written work in class each week.

Stand-Up Comedy is for you if:

  • You have already taken Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy at Studio A.C.T.
  • You are ready to expand your understanding of what makes something funny.
  • You're eager to grow as a comic.
  • You want continued support as you proceed with your joke writing.

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Clowning

Eight Classes

Clowning is not just red noses and circuses. It can be found in a range of theater and performances, from Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett, to contemporary screen work such as Seinfeld’s Kramer and endless television commercials. Actors may be called upon to “clown” by a wide range of theater or film work. The greatest clowns not only make us belly laugh, they reveal the most vulnerable depths of our shared humanity. This class, designed to be repeatable, provides an experience with the art of clowning that allows actors to explore heightened physical comedy while also developing a deeper authenticity of presence. This experiential art form allows for more freedom, play, and resilience in all your work. Clowning skills serve the actor in a variety of contexts—from auditioning to improvisation, and from performing scripted plays both comic and tragic to discovering the joy in the mistake and the beauty in the imperfect.
 

Some Clowning Req’d is for you if:

  • You’re an actor or performer interested in significantly expanding your range of physical and emotional expression.
  • You have previously taken a Studio A.C.T. Acting 1 or 2 class, or equivalents elsewhere, and wish to explore a complimentary aspect of acting and performance.
  • You have previously taken a Studio A.C.T. Introduction to Clowning class, or equivalent elsewhere, and wish to further your exploration of the art of clowning.

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SPECIAL EVENT!

Master Class: Zen and the Art of Producing, Directing, and Artistic Directing

A one-day master class led by Tom Ross, Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director

Sunday, February 3, 1–4 p.m.

Ever wonder how a producer puts all the pieces of a theatrical production together? Not just the magic you see onstage, but the mysterious workings behind the scenes? Or what an artistic director actually does? How does a theater’s season of plays come together? This one-day master class with Tom Ross, artistic director of Aurora Theatre Company, will help you break the task of producing down into easy to comprehend pieces. Ross will share from his years of experience as a director, independent producer, and artistic director, and also facilitate role playing and other practical exercises to provide you with strategies that help you remain cool, calm, and creative while making the art and bringing audiences in to experience it.

For the past 27 years, Tom Ross has been growing Aurora Theatre Company—first as its managing director and then for the past 15 years as its artistic director. Additionally, he has produced and directed his own productions and been a producer of the legendary Solo Mio Festival, which hosted national and international artists. Ross first learned about producing from Joseph Papp, the great impresario of New York’s Public Theater, where he produced his first two shows. Ross’s mantra of “keeping the drama onstage” and avoiding crisis has helped him steer Aurora Theatre into an institution with a two million dollar budget.
 

Master Class: Zen and the Art of Producing, Directing, & Artistic Directing is for you if:

  •  You are an aspiring director and/or producer who wants to better understand the business side of the industry.
  • You are interested in producing your own work and need a gentle kick in the right direction.
  • You are a director, actor, or self-producer interested in practical insights into how creating work differs in American regional theaters as compared to independent productions.
  • You are a budding artistic director of a small company who would like to up your game and grow your theater.
  • You are a theater lover who wants to better understand how the magic happens.

 

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