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Summer Session 1

Sorry there is limited availability. For more information please call our team on 415.749.2228.

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Session #1: June 14–July 11

PLEASE NOTE:
All times listed reflect Pacific Standard Time (PST)

All Session #1 classes meet online
No classes offered online will be converted to in-person.

ONLINE CLASSES MEETING 2X PER WEEK 

These classes meet Mon/Wed or Tue/Thur for 4 weeks during the June 14 to July 11 period.

Three Courses, Eight Classes each
Designed to be taken either individually, in succession, and/or repeatedly

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

Refer to each class’s individual description for further details, including scheduling, tuition, and this session’s faculty.

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.

Mon/Wed 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30; July 5, 7 

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.

Tue/Thu 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 15, 17, 22, 24, 29; July 1, 6, 8 

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.

Tue/Thu 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 15, 17, 22, 24, 29; July 1, 6, 8 

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., or their equivalent elsewhere, 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.

Tue/Thu 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 15, 17, 22, 24, 29; July 1, 6, 8 

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!

Mon/Wed 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30; July 5, 7 

Do you find communicating a challenge as you shift in and out of the Zoomiverse? Do you need space and tools to develop your voice and confidence when communicating your ideas or points of view? This inspiring class uses engaging theater games, creative role-playing, storytelling, and voice techniques, to bring out and amplify your natural voice. You will practice creative communication skills around sharing your own stories and points of view, listening actively to others, owning and articulating your unique presence—whether in your work place, at home, or socially. Laughter, authentic conversation, and critical thinking will go hand in hand as you strengthen your ability to express yourself with confidence, clarity, and creativity.

Let’s Talk: Dialogue in Daily Life is for you if:

  • You are a non-actor who wants to strengthen your voice, presence, and ability to communicate in your workplace or community. 
  • You are an actor or artist who wants more confidence when communicating with your creative collaborators.
  • You are excited to integrate creative practices into your practical, everyday work life and personal communications.

Mon/Wed 7:30–10:00 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30; July 5, 7 

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 and acting over a four-week session in preparation for a final, staged Cabaret performance online, open to invited guests. The Cabaret performance will include solo songs celebrating the lifework 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 just a few. 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 the best possible intensive experience, shortly before the first class we will contact registered students to request some basic information about their past musical theater experience and what they understand to be their vocal range. Singers will need to prepare a solo to sing for the first night of class for vocal placement and casting. Instructions will be sent on what to prepare once you have registered for the class.

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 feel 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 online environment that will both challenge and support your growth.

Mon/Wed 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30; July 5, 7 

This course is suitable for students of all levels. Beginning students will discover their best singing voice, and more experienced singers will gain an opportunity to thoroughly exercise their vocal muscles. Through group work utilizing the Garcia-Marchesi vocal tradition, all students will build their breath support, extend their vocal range, blend resonance areas, and increase their quality of tone and volume. Students will also learn techniques to help protect their voices when they sing. Voice Building is a course that may be taken as frequently as desired, and many students return often throughout the year. Students regularly pair this course with Musical Theater 3–Cabaret Performance, scheduled later the same evening.

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.

Tue/Thu 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Eight Classes – June 15, 17, 22, 24, 29; July 1, 6, 8 

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. This repeatable course is open to students of all experience levels and is designed to accommodate each student at their individual level of experience. Though not required, it is recommended that students registered for this course also take Alexander Technique.

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.

ONLINE INTENSIVES

Intensives meet Mon-Fri for 1 week, unless otherwise noted.

Mondays, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

Three Classes– June 14, 21 & 28

Led by A.C.T. Director of the Conservatory Peter J. Kuo

It’s live. It’s theater. It’s video. Develop new skills to thrive in the new normal! This immersive class will to help you excel in your creative use of Zoom, streamed performances and digital content. This techniques and aesthetics workshop will take you on a deep dive into methods that can help you to craft beautiful and compelling streaming content, and will build on your existing skills from your live in-person theater work. Since theatre around the world pivoted to online, Peter J. Kuo has produced rich, compelling online productions that are both theatre and video. We still may not be able to gather in large groups as we once did, but we can continue telling stories and making theatre in this new format. Learn how to make this new art form captivating, and continue to engage your audiences. Enroll now! Kuo’s workshops have been selling out regularly in presentations hosted by theaters and organizations across the country.
NOTE – students must have access to a consistent internet connection and be prepared to work with their camera on.

Live Video Theater Workshop is for you if:

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

Mon–Fri, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Five Classes– June 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

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

Intro to On-Camera Acting is for you if:

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

Mon–Fri, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Five Classes– June 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

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

Meisner Technique Workout 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 have had an introductory experience to Meisner Technique already, and wish to enrich your understanding of technique in practice.
  • You are an intermediate or advanced acting student who wishes to bring greater truth and responsiveness to their acting.

Mon–Fri, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Five Classes– June 28, 29, 30; July 1, 2

This advanced intensive addresses common issues that inhibit success when auditioning for theater and film. Students will both “cold read” and prepare assigned material, receive directorial adjustments, and practice callbacks. All students will be asked to self-assess in the process of overcoming auditioning habits that hold them back from their best work. Résumé preparation and headshot selection will also be touched upon. 

Please note: Closer to the first day of class, registered students will receive a note from the instructor on what to prepare for the first day.

Audition for Theater & Film is for you if:

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

ONLINE MASTER CLASSES

Master classes meet once only.

Sunday, June 20, 1–5 p.m. | One-day online 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 fills up quickly every session. Enroll now!

Self-Taped Audition 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.

Sunday, June 27, 1–4 p.m. | 1-day online class led by Laura Wayth

Shakespeare’s plays include outrageous comedies, frightening tragedies, and rollercoaster adventure tales. His ability to express dynamic characters and keen psychological insights through poetic language is unparalleled. This fun, one-day online class offers a very practical introduction to understanding Shakespeare’s language, and techniques for activating poetic language in performance.

Speaking Shakespeare’s Lingo is for you if:

  • You’re curious about Shakespeare, have read some Shakespeare, maybe even acted in one of the plays before, and would like to get more familiar with the principles of bringing his language to life in performance. 
  • You’ve taken Acting 1 or Acting 2 at Studio A.C.T., or equivalents elsewhere, and wish to continue advancing your acting skills into classical plays and poetry.
  • You wish to move your exploration of acting toward more advanced levels via the challenges particular to Shakespeare’s incredible characters and stories.

Sunday, July 11, 1–4 p.m. | one-day online class led by Radhika Rao

Ready for a playful day? This fun, active, engaging one-day class uses improvisation and storytelling 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 actors do—create by playing. In this course we will use physical and verbal games to improvise stories. We will look at mythical tales and retell them for today, and enact our own original stories that speak to our unique experiences in the contemporary world. No prior experience with acting or improvisation is required. All people eager to play are welcome!

Creative Play is for you if:

  • You wish to explore your playful, creative side in a supportive and safe environment.
  • You’re interested in creative physical and verbal storytelling—live, in action, as opposed to on paper.
  • You’re looking to spend a rejuvenating, creative afternoon with others that you can engage from the comfort of your own home.

See more classes in Summer Session #2: Jul 19–Aug 15