Winter Session 2020

January 6–March 1

Classes meet once a week for 8 weeks.
*Some classes continue through March 8.

Important Information

  • All courses meet at 30 Grant Avenue in downtown San Francisco, unless otherwise noted.
  • Winter Session 2020 courses meet once a week for eight weeks for a total of eight sessions, unless otherwise noted. Master classes meet for one session only. Please note a given class’s dates carefully as there may be exceptions.
  • Winter Session Make-up week is March 2–8. 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 8-session courses only.
  • College credit is offered for 8-session courses only.

FAQ Quick Links:


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Register by December 15
to save 10%

 

*Early Bird discount not applicable to 1-day Master Classes

Questions?

Visit our FAQ page or email
studio@act-sf.org



Schedule:  January 6–March 1, 2020

*Some classes continue through March 8.

 

ACTING & AUDITION


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 DAY/TIME TUITION  

 

Introduction to Acting
with Julie Douglas

Tue 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

 

$375

 

Introduction to Acting
with Heidi Carlsen

Sun 1–4 p.m.
(1/12–3/8; No class 2/9)

$375

 

     
Introduction to On-Camera Acting
with Liz Anderson

Mon 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$425

Introduction to Meisner Technique
with Mark Rafael

 

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375
Acting 1
with Heidi Carlsen
 
Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m. $375
Acting 1
with Michelle Maxson

Sun 1–4 p.m.
(1/12–3/8; No class 2/9)

 

$375
Acting 2
with Liz Anderson
 

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375

Acting 2 
with Michelle Maxson

 

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m. $375

Acting 3
with Paul Finocchiaro

 

Mon 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375

Acting 3
with Katie Rubin

 

Tue 6:30–9:30 p.m.    

 

$375

NEW! / NUEVA!
Acting Focus: Bi-Lingual Scene Study (En/Sp)
with/con Carolina Morones

 

Mon/Lun 6:30–9:30 p.m.

$375

Acting Focus: Shakespeare In Action
with Mark Jackson

 

Tue 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375

Acting Focus: Scales of Realism
with Mark Rafael    

 

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor 
with Beth Wilmurt & 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 DAY/TIME TUITION  

 

Alexander Technique
with Kari Prindl

 

Tue 6:30–9:00 p.m.

 

$325

 

 

Dynamic Movement
with Erin Mei-Ling Stuart

 

Wed 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

$375

 

     

 

VOICE


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 DAY/TIME TUITION  

 

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor
with Beth Wilmurt & Thaddeus Pinkston

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

 

$475

 

 

Dialects
with Drew Khalouf

 

Thu 6:30–9:30 p.m.

 

 

$375

 

     

Musical Theater 2–Audition Prep for Singers
with Francie Epsen-Devlin & Thaddeus Pinkston

 

Mon 7:30–10 p.m.
(1/13–3/2)

$475

 

     

Voice Building for Singers
with Francie Epsen-Devlin & Thaddeus Pinkston

 

Mon 6:30–7:30 p.m.
(1/13–3/2)

$150

 

     


SPECIALTIES


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 DAY/TIME TUITION  

 

Introduction to Improv
with Radhika Rao
Fun, funny, and freeing!

 

Sun 1–4 p.m
(1/12–3/8; No class 2/9)

 

 

$375

 

NEW!
Staying Spiritually Fit as a Working Artist
with Katie Rubin
Living the artist life well!

 

Sun 1–4 p.m
(1/12–3/8; No class 2/9)

 

$375

 

     

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

with Tom Ross (producer, director, former artistic director of Aurora Theater Co.)

 

Sun, Feb 23 only
1–4 p.m.

 

$75

 

     


Acting & Audition

Introduction to Acting

Eight Classes

Explore the art of acting in a playful, encouraging, collaborative atmosphere. In fun and engaging exercises, students will work on strengthening self-confidence, overcoming performance anxiety, connecting with others through trust-building games, understanding “stage presence” and “active listening,” 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. introductory level 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!


Introduction to On-Camera Acting

Eight Classes

This intermediate-level class introduces students already familiar with stage acting 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.

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.

 


Introduction to Meisner Technique

Eight Classes

Through his work with the Group Theater 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 Stanislavsky-based techniques. 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. 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’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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

Acting Focus Courses

The Acting Focus courses are a series of rotating courses designed for advanced acting students and experienced actors interested in further honing their skills. 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:

NEW! / NUEVA!

Acting Focus: Bilingual Scene Study (En/Sp)

Eight Classes

Explore scenes written by playwrights that entertain, unite, confront, and make visible the stories and the diverse cultural expressions found at the intersection between Spanish and English. This comprehensive acting class will give you direct experience with bilingual Spanish/English plays, including adaptations, reimagined classics, and new works by the likes of Luis Alfaro, Tanya Saracho, Octavio Solis, and Guadalís Del Carmen. The class will empower you to discover and analyze a script in on-your-feet rehearsals and in-depth conversations. In addition to further developing practical acting skills, we will address cultural implications of casting, dialects, and Spanish/English bilingualism, as well as the issues of class and race privileges. Actor rehearsal tools will focus on effective collaboration, being grounded in truth, full-body storytelling, specificity, and the joys and challenges particular to performing in multiple languages. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all exercises. Memorizing and performing scenes, and rehearsals with scene partners outside of class, are required.

Note—This class is open to everyone. Students must be able to engage in conversational Spanish and English with intermediate fluency, and to read written Spanish and English to understand the plays used in class. People of Latinx and Afro-Latinx decent, and both indigenous and native Spanish speakers, are encouraged to attend, as well as people of any ethnic/cultural background for whom English or Spanish is their first language, and the other their second.

Acting Focus: Bilingual Scene Study (En/Sp) is for you if:

  • You have read the above note and recognize yourself in it.
  • 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 intrigued and excited by exploring cross cultural perspectives in theater. 
  • You want a supportive and challenging environment to take some personal risks in your acting work, and the thematic and theatrical challenges of Spanish bilingual theater is what you need!
  • You have a minimum beginner’s level fluency in Spanish and English.

 

Una descripción en español está debajo.

Enfoque de Actuación: El estudio de escena bilingüe (En/Sp)  
Ocho Clases

Explora escenas escritas por dramaturgos que entretienen, unen, enfrentan y hacen visibles las historias y las diversas expresiones culturales que se encuentran en la intersección entre el español y el inglés. Esta clase de actuación integral le brindará experiencia directa con obras bilingües español / inglés, incluidas adaptaciones, obras clásicos reinventados y nuevos trabajos de artistas como Luis Alfaro, Tanya Saracho, Octavio Solís y Guadalís Del Carmen. La clase le permitirá descubrir y analizar un guión por medio de ensayos y conversaciones en profundidad. Además de desarrollar aún más las habilidades prácticas de actuación, abordarémos las implicaciones culturales del casting, los dialectos y el bilingüismo español / inglés así como los problemas de los privilegios de clase y raza. Las herramientas de ensayo de los actores se centrarán en la colaboración efectiva basada en la verdad, la narración completa de cuentos, la especificidad y el gozo y desafíos particulares para actuar en varios idiomas. Los estudiantes deben planear asistir a todas las sesiones y comprometerse a participar activamente en todos los ejercicios. Se requiere memorizar y realizar escenas y ensayos con los compañeros de escena fuera de clase.

Nota: esta clase está disponible a todos. Los estudiantes deben poder conversar en español y en inglés con fluidez intermedia y leer español e inglés por escrito para comprender las obras de teatro que se utilizan en clase. Se le anima que asistan personas de ascendencia latinx y afro-latino al igual que hispano hablantes como nativos, así como personas de cualquier origen étnico/cultural para quienes el inglés o el español sea su primer idioma y el otro su segundo.

Enfoque de Actuación: el estudio de escena bilingüe (En / Sp) es para usted si:

  • Ha leído la nota anterior y se reconoce dentro de ella.
  • Está buscando seriamente la capacitación de actor ya sea como profesión o para la comunidad.
  • Ya ha tomado importantes cursos de actuación de nivel intermedio o avanzado comoActing 3 en Studio A.C.T. en los últimos años o ha realizado una cantidad similar de actuación en obras de teatro, musicales o en películas.
  • Es un actor que se siente intrigado y emocionado al explorar perspectivas interculturales dentro del teatro.
  • Desea un ambiente de apoyo y desafiante para asumir algunos riesgos personales en su trabajo de actuación ¡y lo que mas necesita son los desafíos temáticos y teatrales del teatro bilingüe español!
  • Tiene por lo menos un nivel principiante de fluidez en español e inglés.

 

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. Memorizing and performing scenes, and some rehearsals with scene partners outside of class are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all activities.

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 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 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: 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.

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. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all exercises. Memorizing and performing songs and some spoken text around them are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all activities.

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor 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.

Physical

Acting isn’t only about the lines you speak. It’s about using every aspect of your body to tell a story. 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

The Alexander Technique is among the most widely practiced performance-related techniques in the world. It addresses 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. The class is repeatable and is open to students of all experience levels.

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.

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. 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.

 

Voice

The voice is a key aspect of how actors communicate and express characters, whether through speaking or singing. 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. 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. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all exercises. Memorizing and performing songs and some spoken text around them are required. Students should plan to attend all class sessions and expect to actively participate in all activities.

Acting Focus: The Singing Actor is for you if:

  • You are pursuing actor 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.

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 in-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 and wants to get a few new dialects under your belt and 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.

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, 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 of class 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.

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.

 

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, special seminars and Intensives with guest artists, and more.

 

Introduction to Improv

Eight Classes

Sometimes silly, sometimes outrageous, improv training will inspire you to think outside the box and feel excited to say "yes" to the unknown. Studying improvisation frees the imagination, builds self-confidence, and is fun! This class will help you become more spontaneous and receptive to new ideas in a playful, supportive atmosphere, alongside classmates from a wide variety of backgrounds. Through a variety of creative, on-your-feet games, improv helps you become more comfortable in yourself, no matter the situation. 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 studied improv a long time ago and need a refresher.
  • You wish to try improv for the first time.
  • You’re an actor who wants to develop greater spontaneity in your acting.
  • You’re not an actor, but want to feel more comfortable in yourself in a variety of social or work situations that demand your spontaneity.
  • You’re looking for a fun and creative experience with performing, but without the pressure of memorizing lines or analyzing plays.

NEW!

Staying Spiritually Fit as a Working Artist

Eight Classes

As a working artist, we are constantly confronted with challenges that tax us emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Often, these challenges come from outside the artistic craft itself—contract negotiations, setting boundaries with colleagues, asking for what we need without feeling guilty, taking rest without telling ourselves we should "always be driving forward.”  To have confidence and ease when showing up for these challenges, we need to integrate healing and self-care into our working creative lives. In this class, you will discover your blocks to success, where you get in your own way, where you might grow and expand, and where you might disempower or not care for yourself in the ways only you can. We will explore tools for a more peaceful and empowered experience of being a working artist, and design a self-care and healing plan for your unique creative life. Though we’ll be working in a group setting, this class will be tailored to each individual. The work will be vulnerable at times, requiring rigorous honesty on your part. Come ready for healing and for change.

Staying Spiritual Fit as a Working Artist is for you if:

  • You're working as an artist and find yourself exhausted, burned out, anxious, and nervous more than you’d like, and you’d like to develop strategies to experience these things less.
  • You're working as an artist and have noticed there's an area of your life you can't seem to get "under control,” and you’d like strategies to help you do so.
  • You're working sometimes as an artist, want to be doing so more often, but find you get in your own way.
  • You want to integrate a greater spiritual awareness into your life, work, and creativity.
  • You understand that you are not a victim, that life does not "owe" you anything, and that you are responsible for your You are ready and willing to look at yourself with rigorous honesty.

SPECIAL RETURN EVENT!

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

A one-day master class led by Tom Ross—director, producer, former artistic director of Aurora Theatre Company
Sunday, February 23, 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, former 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 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.

From 1991 to 2019, Tom Ross followed his mantra of “keeping the drama onstage” and grew Aurora Theatre Company—first as its managing director and then for 15 years its artistic director—into an institution with a two million–dollar budget. Additionally, Ross has produced and directed his own productions throughout the Bay Area, and been a producer of the legendary Solo Mio Festival, which hosted artists from around the country and world. Ross first learned about producing from Joseph Papp, the great impresario of New York’s Public Theater, where he produced his first two shows.

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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