Fall Session 2020

September 14–November 8*

*Some classes continue through November 15. Fall courses meet 1 day per week for 8 weeks, unless otherwise noted. Master Classes meet only once.


Class Descriptions

Fall Session class descriptions are listed alphabetically.
Please read your selected class description(s) carefully.

Acting 1–3 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 solidify the student’s foundation in the practices learned. Together, these courses comprise the Studio A.C.T. Acting 1–3 Sequence, and feature the most prevalent training practices used by professional actors, derived from the practices of Konstantin Stanislavski. These practices address awareness, truthful playing, use of language and physical action, psychology, emotion, and 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 1–3 Sequence is for you if:

  • You already have some introductory or beginning acting experience and wish to develop a more 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.

Acting 1

Eight Classes

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 Intro 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 actively.
  • You’re interested in the full Studio A.C.T. Acting 1–3 Sequence and are ready to start.
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 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 Intro 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 1–3 Sequence and have already taken Acting 1.
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 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 1–3 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.
Acting Focus: Acting & Audition for the Camera

Eight Classes

Acting in and auditioning for commercials, film, and TV requires actors to: improvise on their feet, respond quickly and truthfully to the given circumstances of dialogue and environment, and to possess an awareness of how best to work within a camera’s frame. This comprehensive class will give students greater confidence acting in front of a camera by empowering them through direct experience with on-camera auditions and performances. Techniques for quick memorization, relaxation under stress, effective audition and cold reading strategies, basic improv techniques related to on-camera acting, and methods for quickly honing in on the emotional truth of a scene, will all be explored. Issues related to self-taping, Zoom, and recording at home for booked work will be addressed. Strategies for self-marketing and career development will also be touched on. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all exercises and homework assignments. This class is open to all levels, though material and assignments may vary depending on experience and skill level.

Acting Focus: Acting & Audition for the Camera is for you if:

  • You are an actor looking for more specific experience in the area of acting and auditioning for commercials, TV, Film and Corporate Industrials.
  • You have already taken both Acting 1 and Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T., or their equivalents elsewhere, and wish to expand your acting into the area of screen media.
  • You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward developing an on-camera career or otherwise.
Acting Focus: Meisner Technique

Eight Classes

With a goal to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” this advanced course challenges students to move more deeply into their acting-instrument and craft through the use of instincts and emotional impulses. Students will participate in a series of specific improvisational exercises developed by Sanford Meisner, designed to hone focus, deepen engagement, and facilitate a surrender to the “reality of doing.” Along the way, each student will learn to recognize, mine, and craft from the genuine “sparks” within themselves the vital elements which motivate their moment-to-moment actions onstage. Meisner Technique is one of the most popular, effective, and widely used acting techniques in America over the past century.

Acting Focus: Meisner Technique is for you if:

  • You have taken some acting classes before, such as Acting 2 or 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.
  • You have had an introductory experience to Meisner Technique already, and wish to enrich your understanding of technique in practice.

 

Acting Focus: Shakespeare

Eight Classes

Shakespeare’s plays include outrageous comedies, frightening tragedies, and rollercoaster adventure tales. His ability to express dynamic characters and keen psychological insights through poetic language are unparalleled. Through active work on sonnets, soliloquies, and short scenes, you will acquire a practical understanding of Shakespeare’s language, including a fundamental understanding of scansion, Shakespearean text analysis, and how to activate poetic language in performance. Though not required, it is recommended that students registered for this course pair it with Voice & Speech Workout or Alexander Technique, offering a complement to the active verbal demands of Shakespeare’s language.

Acting Focus: Shakespeare is for you if:

  • You’ve taken Acting 2 or Acting 3 at Studio A.C.T., or equivalents elsewhere, and wish to continue advancing your acting skills into classical plays.
  • You’re curious about Shakespeare, have read some Shakespeare, maybe even acted in one of the plays before, and would like to get more familiar with the principles of bringing his language to life in performance.
  • You wish to move your exploration of acting toward more advanced levels via the challenges particular to Shakespeare’s incredible characters and stories.
Alexander Technique

Eight Classes

This repeatable course is open to students of all experience levels and designed to accommodate each student at their individual level of experience. 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.


New DROP-IN Class!

Beginner Tap Dance Workout

1 to 9 drop-in classes*
A total of 9 sessions are offered on Tuesdays, 6:30
7:45 p.m., September 15 to November 10
*Enroll in the number of classes you’d like to take, then drop-in on the dates you prefer.

In addition to being a great art form unto itself, tap is among the most iconic American dance forms in musical theater. Tap is also performed in dance concerts, on sidewalks, and just about anywhere. Tap’s emphasis on rhythmic movement patterns challenges the mind as well as the body. The rhythmic percussion creates joy and satisfaction. Whether you’re a dancer wishing to expand your range of influences to include tap, an actor who is intimated by dance and wishes to take the leap, or a non-performer looking for a fun and creative way to exercise, this drop-in beginner tap workout is for you.

NOTE – Students do not need to own tap shoes to take this course. Students must have a space available at home suitable for them to participate physically while, and a consistent internet connection.

Beginner Tap Dance Workout is for you if:

  • You’re an actor who is intimated by dance and wishes to take the leap.
  • You’re a dancer wishing to add tap to your range of influences.
  • You’re looking for a fun and creative way to exercise your brain and body.
  • You’re looking for a way to feel more comfortable and secure in your body.
  • You’d like to learn tap from the comfort of your own home!


New!

Directing Multi-Media Theater in and out of the Zoomiverse

Eight classes led by New York director Ashley Tata

Something theater artists around the world have now learned from our recent Stay-at-Home adventures is how multi-media theater is uniquely positioned to bridge the in-person and digital experiences of live performance—both happen in real time, and both can provide exciting theater! This unique course will introduce you to basic theories and practices of making multi-media performances. Using technologies available to us in our day-to-day lives—e.g. GarageBand, iMovie, and QLab—we will learn to create performances that are theatrical, yet grounded in technology as their “stage.” Students will develop skills in dramaturgical analysis, and apply traditional theater, film, and performance making skills to both online and in-person multi-media productions. We will explore the possibility for multi-media in the creation of new work and in re-imagining classic plays. The primary focus of the course will be your individual interest in creating—as writer, director, designer, or performer—and to explore analytical and creative processes that cross perceived boundaries of what is “live”.

NOTE – students must have access to a consistent internet connection, and audio/video software such as iMovie and GarageBand, or PC equivalents. According to student interest, the class may also explore QLab, an industry-standard sound/video cueing software for Mac.

Directing Multi-Media Theater in and out of the Zoomiverse is for you if:

  • You are a writer, director, designer, and/or performer interested in exploring the possibilities of multi-media performance.
  • You are interested in live theater, live online performance, or both, and wish to explore how the two relate in terms of their creative processes.
  • You are a theater artist interested in putting common, cotemporary technologies and software to use toward making stronger, more dynamic and exciting dramaturgical and storytelling choices in your work.


New!

Exploring World Theater Artists
 

Eight Classes

How does a performance do what it does to us? This stimulating seminar for actors, directors, and audience members examines a range of international theater and performance makers who continue to significantly impact world theater and culture. We will look at examples of their work, how it’s made, and the artistic, social, and political issues that arise. Students will develop their ability to critically analyze a performance and their unique personal experience of it, and to engage others in meaningful conversation and debate. As artists and audiences, how do we go about enjoying (or not!) the visceral experience of a performance, while also recognizing how it makes its impact on us? The overarching aim of the seminar is to develop our creative engagement alongside a view of theater as an experiential, critical place for enjoying diverse, challenging, and inspiring perspectives.

Exploring World Theater Artists is for you if:

  • You’re interested in having more stimulating, engaging conversations about the theater and performances you attend.
  • You’re an actor, director, or audience member interested in exploring work created by international artists.
  • You want the best of both worlds—the joy of sharing theater experiences with others and the rigor of critical engagement— to heighten your enjoyment and inspiration while expanding your perspective.
Intro to Acting

Eight Classes

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. Through 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 Intro to Acting also register for a Studio A.C.T. Voice or Physical course.

Intro 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!
Intro to Dialects

Eight Classes

Actors are often called upon to use regional dialects by a variety of plays and films, from Shakespeare to contemporary television dramas taking place in past or current eras. Having demonstrable skill with dialects significantly enhances an actor’s resume. This comprehensive introductory dialects course will help you learn how 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.

Introduction to Dialects  is for you if:

 

  • You are an actor who is relatively new to dialect work, and wants to get a few dialects under your belt and learn practices for picking up new dialects in the future
  • You are an actor with 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 are a person interested in how voice and speech reflect a given person’s cultural and regional background.

 

Intro to On-Camera Acting

Eight Classes

This course introduces you to the fundamentals of acting on camera, using short scenes drawn from existing film and television scripts. Participants will explore the basic principles of truthful on-camera acting and learn practical techniques particular to acting on camera versus onstage, as well as gaining an introductory understanding of the film and television industry. Homework includes memorization of assigned short scenes.

Intro to On-Camera Acting is for you if:

  • You have past acting experience but not with on-camera acting, are curious about acting on camera, and want an unintimidating but engaging opportunity to explore it. 
  • You’ve done a bit of on-camera acting in the past, but it’s been a while and you’re hungry to get back in touch with acting on camera.
  • You’ve already taken Intro to ActingActing 1, and Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T., or their equivalents elsewhere.


New Special Event!

Master Class: Directing Multi-Media Theater in and out of the Zoomiverse
 

Sunday, October 11, 1–5 p.m. | 1-day class led by New York director Ashley Tata

Something theater artists around the world have now learned from our recent Stay-at-Home adventures is how multi-media theater is uniquely positioned to bridge the in-person and digital experiences of live performance—both happen in real time, and both can provide exciting theater! This unique master class will introduce you to basic theories and practices of making multi-media performances. Using technologies available to us in our day-to-day lives—e.g. GarageBand, iMovie, and QLab—we will learn to create performances that are theatrical, yet grounded in technology as their “stage.” Students will develop skills in dramaturgical analysis, and apply traditional theater, film, and performance making skills to both online and in-person multi-media productions. We will explore the possibility for multi-media in the creation of new work and in re-imagining classic plays. The primary focus of the class will be your individual interest in creating—as writer, director, designer, or performer—and to introduce you to analytical and creative processes that cross perceived boundaries of what is “live”.

NOTE – students must have access to a consistent internet connection, and audio/video software such as iMovie and GarageBand, or PC equivalents. The class may also touch on Q-Lab, an industry-standard sound/video cueing software for Mac.

Directing Multi-Media Theater in and out of the Zoomiverse is for you if:

  • You are a writer, director, designer, and/or performer interested in exploring the possibilities of multi-media performance.
  • You are interested in live theater, live online performance, or both, and wish to explore how the two relate in terms of their creative processes.
  • You are a theater artist interested in putting common, cotemporary technologies and software to use toward making stronger, more dynamic and exciting dramaturgical and storytelling choices in your work.


Special Return Event!

Master Class: MFA Audition Prep Workshop
 

Sunday, October 18, 1–5 p.m. | 1-day class led by A.C.T. MFA Core Faculty Lisa Anne Porter

This very popular annual master class returns! Getting ready to apply to graduate school acting programs? Get insider tips from this special master class with Lisa Anne Porter, actor, director, and core faculty in A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts Program. Students will perform and receive constructive feedback on two short monologues. They will also engage in a Q&A about what to expect at their MFA audition, tips on how to prepare their résumé and application, as well as how to prepare mentally and emotionally. NOTE: Students must come prepared with two monologues of their choosing, one contemporary and one classical, fully memorized, and which together run no more than 4 minutes total.Please also bring copies of your current headshot and résumé.

Master Class: MFA Audition Prep Workshop is for you if:

  • You are a student or actor who is considering or planning to audition for MFA acting programs in the coming year and want guided practice.
  • You want to feel more at ease and familiar with the process of applying to and auditioning for MFA acting programs.
  • You want to gain special insight into what is particular about auditioning for MFA programs, as opposed to theater productions, commercials, etc.


Special Event!

Master Class: Self-Taped Auditions
 

Sunday, November 15, 1–5 p.m. | 1-day class led by Chauntee’ Irving

Actors are increasingly asked by theater and film producers to submit self-taped video auditions. This master class is a fast-paced, one-day course designed to equip today’s actor with the essential skill of self-taping for auditions. The course will cover current industry standards for self-tapes, practical tools for integrating the technical demands of taping along with acting craft, as well as hands-on methods to approaching camera work. The curriculum will prepare students from diverse camera acting backgrounds with the knowledge and resources to immediately begin producing effective self-tapes for the acting business. If possible, students should come prepared to use a smartphone for video recording in addition to a laptop. This master class sold out quickly last Spring. Enroll now!

Master Class: Self-Taped Auditions is for you if:

  • You are an actor with little to no experience self-taping for auditions
  • You are a working actor who wants to strengthen the quality of your self-taped auditions
  • You are a theater educator who would like to prepare your students for self-taped auditions and/or college admissions.
Playwriting—Rewriting the Rules

Eight Classes

As playwrights, we instinctively create rules as we write—from how a play is structured to the speech patterns of a certain character. Sometimes these rules are derived from other plays we have seen, and sometimes they originate from our own sensibility. The key to making original and unique work is to first identify the rules we naturally and unconsciously follow, and then turn them into concrete tools for making new rules. Through writing exercises and examinations of students’ own plays in progress, we will learn how to harness the “art of rule-making” in order to make plays that break all rules, gripping the audience in the process.

Playwriting—Rewriting the Rules is for you if:

  • You have written a play or plays before, whether they have been produced or not.
  • You wish to gain practical insights into creating unusual storytelling structures that will surprise and compel your audience.
  • You feel stuck in traditional or otherwise familiar modes of storytelling in your plays, and want help shaking yourself loose.
Voice & Speech Workout

Eight Classes

This class is designed to help participants develop a solid foundational understanding, practical fluency, and sense of confidence with their ability to use their full voice and speak with greater clarity. Participants will learn practical techniques to develop a richer, stronger, and more versatile speaking voice. Though not required, it is recommended that students registered for this course also take Alexander Technique. This repeatable course is open to students of all experience levels and is designed to accommodate each student at their individual level of experience. Students regularly pair this course with Musical Theater Performance 4: Scene Study if they have not taken that course already.

 

Voice & Speech Workout is for you if:

  • You are an actor who wishes to improve your ability to speak text with greater clarity, variety, and richness.
  • You are not an actor, but your job requires public speaking and you wish to strengthen your clarity of speech and confidence in speaking.
  • You are a person who enjoys language and wishes to have a practical, enlivening experience with it.

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.

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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