Spring Session 2019

classes meet once weekly for 8 weeks

April 1–May 26*

 

*some classes continue through June 2

 


 

Acting & Audition          Physical          Voice          Specialties

 


 

Important Information:

 

  • All courses meet at 30 Grant Avenue, in downtown San Francisco, unless otherwise noted.

  • 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 is May 27–June 2. 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.


Sign Up Today!

 

Register by Sunday March 10
with code SPRING10 
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.
     

Important info regarding enrollment:

  • New students must fill out a new student questionnaire at the time of their registration.
  • Most courses are limited to 12 or 14 students. 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.These course descriptions are subject to change.

 

Non-refundable fees apply:

  • $20 nonrefundable 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 in writing 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.


All course descriptions are subject to change.


Spring Session 2019

 

Acting & Audition

Studio A.C.T. Acting classes are divided into Introduction courses for people new to the given subject, the Studio A.C.T. Acting 1–3 Sequence for those wishing to develop a solid foundation in core acting principles, and Acting Focus courses providing more in-depth scene-study opportunities.

 

 

Course

Instructor

Day/Time

Tuition

Introduction to Acting
 

Julie Douglas
 

Wed 6:30­–9:30 p.m.
 

$375
 

Introduction to Acting

 

Heidi Carlsen


Thu 6:30­–9:30 p.m.



$375

 

Intro to Shakespeare

Drew Khalouf

Tue 6:30­–9:30 p.m.

$375
 

Acting 1

Katie Rubin

 

Tue 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

Acting 1
 

Alyson Rutter

 

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.


 

$375

 

Acting 2
 

Liz Anderson
 

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375
 

Acting 2

Katie Rubin

Thu 6:30­–9:30 p.m.

$375

Acting 3

 

Mark Rafael

Mon 6:30­–9:30 p.m.

$375
 

Acting Focus: Acting and Audition for Commercials
 


Deb Fink



 

Mon 6:30­–9:30 p.m.

 

$425

 

IT'S BACK!
Acting Focus: BAH HA HA!


Julie Douglas

 


Tue
6:30–9:30 p.m.
 


$375

Acting Focus: Scales of Realism

W.D. Keith

Mon 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor

 

Rick Burkhardt /
Thaddeus Pinkston
 

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$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 p.m.

$325

Activating Character Through Voice & Body

 
Heidi Carlsen

 
Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 
$375

 

Dynamic Movement

Mark Jackson

Thu 6:30–9 p.m.

$325

 
IT'S BACK!
Intro to Clowning



Patrick Russell

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375
 
SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL EVENT!
Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire!
Spitfire Company (Czech Republic)

Sun, June 2 only
       1–4 p.m.

$75

 
       

 

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

 

Rick Burkhardt/
Thaddeus Pinkston

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$475
 

Activating Character Through Voice & Body

Heidi Carlsen

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375
 

Introduction to Dialects

 

Drew Khalouf

 

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

 

Musical Theater 3: Cabaret Performance
 

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

IT'S BACK!
Introduction to Clowning

 


Patrick Russell


Wed
6:30–9:30 p.m.


$375

 

Introduction to Playwriting

Jonathan Spector

Tue 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

SPECIAL RETURN EVENT!
Master Class: Pry Bars for Creative Jams
 

Monique Jenkinson

Sun, April 28 only

1–5 p.m.

$75

 

SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL EVENT!
Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire!


Spitfire Company
(Czech Republic)

Sun, June 2 only

1–4 p.m.
 


$75
 



 

 

Acting & Audition

 

Introduction 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. 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 Shakespeare

Eight Classes

The critic Harold Bloom suggested that Shakespeare may actually have invented the human being! Shakespeare’s keen psychological insights and ability to express dynamic characters through poetic language are unparalleled. His plays include outrageous comedies, frightening tragedies, and rollercoaster-like adventure tales. This introduction to acting Shakespeare’s plays is open to everyone. No prior knowledge is necessary. Through work on sonnets, soliloquies, and/or short scenes, students will acquire a practical understanding of Shakespeare’s language, including a fundamental understanding of scansion and Shakespearean text analysis. Though not required, it is recommended that students registered for this course pair it with Activating Character Through Voice & Body, offering a highly physical complement to the very active verbal demands of Shakespeare’s language.

Introduction to Shakespeare is for you if:

  • You’ve never acted Shakespeare before, are curious about Shakespeare, and would like an introduction to the principles of bringing his language to life in performance.
  • You’ve taken Acting 1 and Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T., or equivalents elsewhere, and wish to continue advancing your acting skills into classical plays.
  • You’ve taken some acting classes and/or acted in some plays in the past few years, and wish to move your exploration of acting toward more advanced levels via the challenges particular to Shakespeare’s incredible characters and stories.
  • You minored in theater as an undergraduate in college and wish to dive back in via the world’s greatest playwright.

 

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Studio A.C.T. 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 fortify 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 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 1–3 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

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 1–3 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 1–3 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 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.

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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 Spring 2019 Studio A.C.T. Session include:

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Acting Focus: Acting & Audition for Commercials

Eight Classes

Both acting in and auditioning for commercials require actors to improvise on their feet, respond quickly and truthfully, and know how to work within a camera’s frame. This comprehensive class will give students greater confidence acting in front of a camera by empowering them with direct experience. 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 be explored. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises.


Acting Focus: Acting & Audition for Commercials
 is for you if:

  • You are an experienced actor looking for more specific experience in the area of screen acting for commercials.
  • 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 film and commercials.
  • You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.

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IT’S BACK!

Acting Focus: BAH HA HA!

Eight Classes

It has been said that acting comedy is far more challenging than drama—it’s clear you either got the laugh or you didn’t! And the greatest laughs come from the deepest truths. Great comic acting is based in timing, a keen understanding of irony, and a deep sense of the absurd truths of the human experience. Plays we call “comedies” may be about anything from light love to deeply serious political upheavals. In this advanced scene study course, students will explore scenes from a range of stage comedies, including classic American comedies by the likes of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart and contemporary comedies by Yasmina Reza or Ayad Akhtar.

Acting Focus: BAH HA HA! is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor 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 an actor who wishes to expand your practical understanding of the challenges particular to comic acting.
     

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Acting Focus: Scales of Realism

Eight Classes

Realism is the dominant acting style of our age. It has been described as “the art of disguising art to create the appearance of reality.” But it is a style, nonetheless, encompassing a range adjustable to larger and smaller stages and screens. This class will focus on the main tenets of realism—the duty to appear as a human being and not an actor, the elimination of performative habits, the recognition of genuine interaction, moment-to-moment playing, and the “life,” not the lines. This class offers the challenge, the intimacy, and the power of “close-up” acting. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all games and exercises.


Acting Focus: Scales of Realism
 is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor 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 or on film.
  • 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.
 
 

 

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor

Eight Classes

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. An excellent class for anyone interested in the full range of what singing in the American musical theater asks of actors. 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 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.


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Activating Character Through Voice and Body

Eight Classes

This class helps students connect their voice to their body, in order to more truthfully activate and express the psychology and emotions of the variety of characters an actor might play. It’s about getting your own voice out of your head and your character’s voice into your body, forging authentic and dynamic connections between yourself and your character. Through a variety of enlivening and rigorous exercises, participants will learn to free their voice and breath, activate their entire body, be open to the emotions that are kindled in us as a result, and channel the sometimes intense emotions that plays ask of us in a way that is both dramatically effective and personally healthy.


Activating Character Through Voice and Body
 is for you if:

  • You are an experienced actor looking for a solid weekly voice and body workout.
  • You are an actor with some experience who wishes to strengthen the connection between your voice and body.
  • You have taken Acting 1 or Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T., or its equivalent elsewhere, and wish to begin bringing a greater awareness of your voice and body to your acting.

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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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IT’S BACK!

Introduction to Clowning

Eight Classes

Clowning is more than red noses and circuses. The greatest clowns not only make us belly laugh, they reveal the most vulnerable depths of our shared humanity. This experiential art form allows for more freedom, play, and resilience in all your work. Your clowning skills will serve you 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. Clowning also helps you feel more comfortable on stage, not taking yourself too seriously while more actively finding life’s joyful absurdity! This class provides an introductory experience to the art of clowning, allowing you to explore heightened physical comedy while also developing a deeper authenticity of presence. Though not required, students are encouraged to pair Introduction to Clowning with the one-day-only, June 2 Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire.

Introduction to Clowning 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’ve taken some acting classes and/or acted in some plays in the past few years, and wish to move your exploration of acting toward more advanced levels via the exciting challenges of Clowning.
  • You minored in theater as an undergraduate in college and want a fun experience to help you dive back in.

 

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SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL EVENT!

Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire

A one-day intensive led by Spitfire Company, Czech Republic

Sunday, June 2, 1–4 p.m.

Studio A.C.T. is honored to host this incredible master class with actors from the Czech Republic’s innovative and renowned Spitfire Company, recognized for creating exciting physical theater that grapples with gender roles, current politics, and eternal social themes. Every day in life we wear masks—at work, at home, at parties, at the theater! In life, the masks we wear provide insights into our motivations, fears, and hopes. In theater, mask work helps actors perform with greater truth, honesty, and playfulness. This master class will focus on Spitfire’s use of theatrical mask traditions to create innovative, provocative, and insightful contemporary theater. Do not miss this rare opportunity to explore the rich tradition of mask work with master theater makers. Spitfire’s work has been acclaimed in Berlin, Prague, Milan, Florence, Krakow, Washington, New York, London, Beijing, Oslo, Seoul, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, and now San Francisco.

This master class is offered in cooperation with the San Francisco International Arts Festival, presenting Spitfire’s acclaimed production, Antiwords.

Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire is for you if:

  • You wish to develop a greater sense of truth, honesty, and playfulness in your acting.
  • You are interested in innovative, physical approaches to performance.
  • You wish to explore the multi-national tradition of mask work.
  • You are a performing artist (actor, dancer, singer, drag artist, other) who wishes to strengthen the discipline and rigor of your performance-making process through an exploration of mask work.  

 

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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

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. An excellent class for anyone interested in the full range of what singing in the American musical theater asks of actors. 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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Introduction to 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 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 a person interested in how voice and speech reflect a given person’s cultural and regional background.
  • You are an actor who is relatively new to dialect work, 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.

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Activating Character Through Voice and Body

Eight Classes

This class helps students connect their voice to their body, in order to more truthfully activate and express the psychology and emotions of the variety of characters an actor might play. It’s about getting your own voice out of your head and your character’s voice into your body, forging authentic and dynamic connections between yourself and your character. Through a variety of enlivening and rigorous exercises, participants will learn to free their voice and breath, activate their entire body, be open to the emotions that are kindled in us as a result, and channel the sometimes intense emotions that plays ask of us in a way that is both dramatically effective and personally healthy.


Activating Character Through Voice and Body
 is for you if:

  • You are an experienced actor looking for a solid weekly voice and body workout.
  • You are an actor with some experience who wishes to strengthen the connection between your voice and body.
  • You have taken Acting 1 or Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T., or its equivalent elsewhere, and wish to begin bringing a greater awareness of your voice and body to your acting.

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Musical Theater 3—Cabaret Performance

Eight Classes

This course is designed to provide the intermediate- to advanced-level singer/actor with an intensive performance experience in a supportive, learning environment. Each artist will train extensively in singing, movement, and acting over an eight-week session in preparation for a final Cabaret performance open to invited guests. The Cabaret performance will include ensemble numbers, solos, and duets celebrating the life work of a particular composer or genre in musical theater. In past years, we have presented Cabarets celebrating the music of Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and Richard Rodgers, to name a few. Students regularly pair this course with Voice Building for Singers, a group vocal training course scheduled earlier the same evening.
 

Prerequisites:

  • Prior singing and musical theater training at the intermediate to advanced level is required. 
  • After enrolling for the class, please email a short bio or résumé to studio@act-sf.org within five business days.

 

Musical Theater 3—Cabaret Performance is for you if:

  • You have had prior experience and training in Musical Theater in the past, but it’s been awhile and you’d like to reboot.
  • You have taken Musical Theater 1 and 2, and/or The Singing Actor course here at Studio A.C.T., or similar classes elsewhere that would be deemed equivalent.
  • As a musical theater artist, you are able to train and collaborate intensively with an ensemble and sing solos in front of an audience. 
  • You are interested in developing your performance skills as a professional musical theater artist 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 3—Cabaret Performance, 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.
 

IT’S BACK!

Introduction to Clowning

Eight Classes

Clowning is more than red noses and circuses. The greatest clowns not only make us belly laugh, they reveal the most vulnerable depths of our shared humanity. This experiential art form allows for more freedom, play, and resilience in all your work. Your clowning skills will serve you 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. Clowning also helps you feel more comfortable onstage, to not take yourself too seriously while more actively finding life’s joyful absurdity! This class provides an introductory experience to the art of clowning, allowing you to explore heightened physical comedy while also developing a deeper authenticity of presence. Though not required, students are encouraged to pair Introduction to Clowning with the one-day-only, June 2 Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire.
 

Introduction to Clowning 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’ve taken some acting classes and/or acted in some plays in the past few years, and wish to move your exploration of acting toward more advanced levels via the exciting challenges of Clowning.
  • You minored in theater as an undergraduate in college and want a fun experience to help you dive back in.
     

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Introduction to Playwriting

Eight Classes

This introductory course is for those who are either brand new to writing plays or early in their playwriting life. Through writing exercises and by reading contemporary plays, students will deep-dive into essential elements of the craft—language, structure, character, form, and genre. Each week, you will do 8–10 pages of writing and read one or two plays. Through this class, you will build a consistent writing practice for yourself, and push your work into new and unfamiliar territory. In the final weeks of the course, you will write and revise a ten-minute play.
 

Introduction to Playwriting is for you if:

  • You are curious about playwriting and want to start exploring.
  • You are early in your playwriting journey and want to gain practical skills to jump-start your progress.
  • You have experience in other aspects of theater and want to understand the playwright’s perspective
  • You’re ready to WRITE!

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SPECIAL RETURN EVENT!

Master Class: Pry Bars for Creative Jams

A one-day intensive led by performance maker Monique Jenkinson
Sunday, April 28, 1–5 p.m.
 

Every artist’s creativity gets stuck in a jam at some point. Whether you are new to performing and unsure how to begin, an actor between gigs, or a solo performance-maker who occasionally feels stuck, this fun, exploratory master class is for you. Using practical, down and dirty techniques, you’ll kick your inner critic out of the room, focus and free your unique artistic voice, and translate your vision into original performances made quickly and with limited resources. Through primarily physical approaches, this master class encourages students to embrace a joyous rigor, shed the perceived preciousness and mystery of the creative process, and cultivate emotional honesty in performance. Expect physical and vocal work, improvisation, creativity with objects, engaged discussion, and playing dress up. The workshop is open to artists of all disciplines, abilities, and experience levels. Students must be willing to move, perform in front of others, and discuss their work.
 

Master Class: Pry Bars for Creative Jams is for you if:

  • You sometimes feel stuck in your creativity and want to learn skills for getting unstuck and making performances quickly out of what you have available to you.
  • You are interested in learning about techniques for creating original performances from scratch.
  • You are curious about practical tools and techniques for working in experimental modes that draw on your unique voice.
  • You are a performing artist (actor, dancer, singer, drag artist, other) who wishes to strengthen the discipline and rigor of your performance-making process.

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SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL EVENT!

Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire

A one-day intensive led by Spitfire Company, Czech Republic
Sunday, June 2, 1–4 p.m.


Studio A.C.T. is honored to host this incredible master class with actors from the Czech Republic’s innovative and renowned Spitfire Company, recognized for creating exciting physical theater that grapples with gender roles, current politics, and eternal social themes. Every day in life we wear masks—at work, at home, at parties, at the theater! In life, the masks we wear provide insights into our motivations, fears, and hopes. In theater, mask work helps actors perform with greater truth, honesty, and playfulness. This master class will focus on Spitfire’s use of theatrical mask traditions to create innovative, provocative, and insightful contemporary theater. Do not miss this rare opportunity to explore the rich tradition of mask work with master theater makers. Spitfire’s work has been acclaimed in Berlin, Prague, Milan, Florence, Krakow, Washington, New York, London, Beijing, Oslo, Seoul, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, and now San Francisco.

This master class is offered in cooperation with the San Francisco International Arts Festival, presenting Spitfire’s acclaimed production, Antiwords.

  • Master Class: Mask Work for Actors with Spitfire is for you if:
  • You wish to develop a greater sense of truth, honesty, and playfulness in your acting.
  • You are interested in innovative, physical approaches to performance.
  • You wish to explore the multi-national tradition of mask work.
  • You are a performing artist (actor, dancer, singer, drag artist, other) who wishes to strengthen the discipline and rigor of your performance-making process through an exploration of mask work.

 

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