Winter Session class descriptions are listed alphabetically.
Please read your selected class description(s) carefully.
Three Courses, Eight Classes each
Designed to be taken either individually, in succession, and/or repeatedly
Acting 1, Acting 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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore scenes written by playwrights that entertain, unite, confront, and make visible the stories and 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. This class will empower you to discover and analyze a script in 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 descent, 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.
Contemporary Latinx Scene Study is for you if:
- You have read the above note and recognize yourself in it.
- You are able to read and speak conversational Spanish and English with intermediate fluency.
- You are pursuing actor training with seriousness, whether toward a career or otherwise.
- You’ve already taken significant intermediate acting courses, such as Acting 2 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!
Una descripción en español está debajo.
Estudio Contemporáneo de la Escena Latinx
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.
Actuación 3: Estudio Contemporáneo de la Escena Latinx es para usted si:
- Ha leído la nota anterior y se reconoce dentro de ella.
- Tiene por lo menos un nivel principiante de fluidez en español e inglés.
- 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 como Acting 2 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!
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, encompassing a range adjustable to larger and smaller stages and screens. This class will focus on the main tenets of realism: the task of appearing 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 as it can appear on larger and smaller stages and screens. 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.
This very popular course 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 intense emotions that plays often 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 have taken Acting 1 or Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T., or their equivalent elsewhere, and wish to bring a greater awareness of your voice and body to your acting.
- You are an experienced actor looking for a solid voice and body workout.
- You are an actor with some experience who wishes to strengthen the connection between your voice and body.
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.
This fun, active, engaging course for older adults uses storytelling and improvisation techniques to explore the art of playing. When we go to the theater, most often it’s to see a “play,” a script that tells a story enacted by actors. This word, “play," comes from the foundation of what the actor is doing—playing creatively. In this course we will use physical and verbal games to improvise stories. We will look at mythical tales and retell them for today. We will play our way toward enacting our own original stories that speak to the experience of older adults in the contemporary world. No prior experience with improvisation or storytelling is required. All people eager to play are welcome!
Creative Play for Older Adults is for you if:
- You consider yourself an older adult who wishes to stay playful.
- You’re interested in creative storytelling, live, in action, as opposed to on paper.
- You wish to physically and verbally explore your playful, creative side in a supportive and safe environment.
- You’re looking for a creative outlet that you can engage from the comfort of your own home.
From Shakespeare to August Wilson, Orange Is the New Black to Fresh Off the Boat, 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. It is also a useful means toward understanding language in action. This comprehensive dialects course, designed to be repeatable, will help you refine your ability to speak English-language text in a dialect from anywhere in the 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 Intro 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.
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!
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. Utilizing a compassionate approach, actors will participate in a series of specific improvisational exercises developed by Sanford Meisner, designed to hone focus, deepen engagement, and facilitate total engagement with 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.
Intro to 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.
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:
Do you miss the community that you enjoyed when "social distancing" was not in our vocabulary? Do you need space to dialogue about what’s happening in the world today, to develop yourself and your voice in this new era of distanced communication? Do you want to do all this creatively, through theater games, storytelling, and playing characters both invented and real? This class will combine the principles of Improvisation, Theater of the Oppressed, and Linklater Voice techniques, to bring out and amplify your natural voice. You will practice sharing your stories, listening to the other, speaking truth to power, and owning your unique presence that you bring to the world. Laughter, authentic conversation, and critical thinking will go hand in hand.
Listen and Be Heard! is for you if:
Master Class: Directing – Staging as Storytelling
Sunday, March 14, 1–4 p.m. | 1-day class led by Mark Jackson
This popular one-day master class explores how staging works alongside dialogue to convey character psychology and a play’s story and themes. Relationships between characters are expressed by how they stand in relation to one another. The timing of when actors move and are still reveals subtext and intention. The smallest gesture sometimes reveals as much, or more, than the longest monologue. In this sense, staging is a form of dramatic writing. What we see impacts what we hear, and vice versa. In this class we will look at examples of staging in production, as well as playwrights whose writing relies on both staging and dialogue. We will work both at the table and on our feet to explore practical means of devising dynamic, impactful staging that expresses psychology and story.
Master Class: Directing – Staging as Storytelling is for you if:
- You are an actor, director, or playwright interested in how staging can contribute to storytelling in theater.
- You are curious about the relationship between a director’s homework and work done in the room with actors, and how to strike an effective, collaborative balance between planning and spontaneity.
- You are interested in collaborative ways to rehearse that allow actors, directors, and playwrights to work together to create a unified staging for a production.
Master Class: Playwriting – Channeling Your Voice
Sunday, February 28, 1–5 p.m. | 1-day class led by Liliana Padilla
In this four-hour master class, playwrights will engage in a series of collective creative exercises that help us open ourselves to listening to characters, dialogue, images floating in our subconscious. Exercises involve light, modifiable movement, as well as meditation practices, used as tools for creative practice. We will share text created in class and find room for expanding these universes. We will practice receiving and responding to each others’ work, not only through our heads and preconceptions but also our bodies and instincts. The class is open to playwrights of all levels of experience.
Master Class: Playwriting – Channeling Your is for you if:
- You are a playwright or aspiring playwright who wishes to further awaken the voices inside you, and heighten your ability to listen to them.
- You are interested in being inspired by your subconscious.
- You want to generate new material.
- You are interested in discovering on the page.
- You are interested in giving and receiving peer feedback.
Master Class: Self-Taped Auditions
Sunday, February 7, 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.
This course is for students who want to explore musical theater, cabaret, and/or jazz singing for the very first time, as well as students who want to revisit their musical theater muscles. The course addresses proper vocal and breath techniques, storytelling through music and lyrics, and how to build a repertoire book appropriate for your casting. You will learn how to perform and project in a variety of performance venues. The class examines the history and business aspects of the world of cabaret, jazz, and musical theater industries. Each student prepares a mini solo cabaret concert for invited guests on the final night of class. Students regularly pair this course with Voice Building for Singers, a group vocal training course scheduled earlier the same evening.
Please note: In order to provide students with the best possible experience, shortly before the first class we will contact them to request some basic information about their past musical theater experience, what they understand of their vocal range, and any ideas they may already have for song selection.
Musical Theater 1—Performance Technique is for you if:
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:
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.
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