Adult classes

Workshops

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A Physical Approach to Acting

Join the School of Theatre for a one day workshop featuring Steven Epp, who is performing in Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses at Berkeley Rep. Learn how the engagement of the body and a sense of play can serve as the foundation of performance. Open to all levels.

SAT 10am–1pm · 3/23 · $85

Steven Epp has appeared at Berkeley Rep in Treasure Island, Tartuffe, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, A Doctor in Spite of Himself, Figaro, The Miser, and Don Juan Giovanni. His off-Broadway credits include Hamlet at the New Victory Theatre and Servant of Two Masters at Theatre for a New Audience. Regional credits include productions at American Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the Spoleto Festival, Center Stage in Baltimore, Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, South Coast Rep, and the Old Globe. Steven was an actor, writer, and co-artistic director at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, 1983–2008. Acting credits include title roles in Tartuffe, Hamlet, Figaro, The Miser, and Man of La Mancha. He received the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Play for Children of Paradise, was a 1999 Fox Fellow, a 2009 McKnight Theatre Fellow, and a 2011 Beinecke Fellow, and received the 2012 Best Actor Helen Hayes Award and the 2017 Best Actor Ivey Award.

Beginning Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class introduces and establishes the skills required to perform different genres of voice acting. Beginning and professional actors learn the techniques and artistry of reading commercial, narration, and character copy. Students also learn professional microphone techniques, home-recording tips, and how to read authentically, as well as how to launch a freelance voice-over career. Students will also get to work with a professional sound engineer. Lessons will be recorded for students to keep for their records.

SAT & SUN 10am–5pm (1 hour lunch break) · 3/30, 3/31 · $290 (Winter)
SAT & SUN 11am–5pm (30 minute lunch break) · 4/6, 4/7 · $290 (Spring)

Sally Clawson is a SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor in voice over, film, and theatre. She has been voicing commercials, industrials, and video games for over 15 years. A partial list of her clients include Clorox, Yoplait, Old Navy, Target, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, has taught at Cal Shakes Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Voice One. Sally has an MFA in Performance from Mills College.

Theatre of the Oppressed: Mindfulness, Meditation, & Liberation

“Within this fathom-long body, lies the world of suffering, its cause, and its liberation.”—Gautama Buddha

All oppression involves the body—the body holds and reflects the experience of its oppression. Fear, anxiety, and oppression bleed their way into the habits of our human expression, trapping, binding, and shutting down our natural spontaneity and aliveness, making us mechanized, divided, and imbalanced in our bodies and our minds and isolated, aggressive, or confused in our relationships and interactions. The original form of mindfulness—the mind’s capacity to observe itself, reflect, and transform—is theatre. This workshop will explore the rich, deep, powerful practices of mindfulness, dishabituation, and embodiment within the corpus of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, focusing on practical techniques for transforming and finding liberation through somatic and energetic awareness in the personal, interpersonal, and political dimensions. We will use demechanization, dynamization, image theatre, forum theatre, and rainbow of desire while developing presence, focus, and a strong capacity for meditative awareness. Open to anyone with a desire to use theatre, art, and meditation to explore a powerful approach to transforming self and society. Please dress comfortably to move.

SAT 12:30–5:30pm · 4/6 · $90
SAT & SUN 12:30–5:30pm · 6/1, 6/2 · $180

Jiwon Chung is a professional actor, director, and a key theorist of Theatre of the Oppressed. He is the Artistic Director of Kairos Theater Ensemble, adjunct professor of Theater and Social Justice at Starr King School at the Graduate Theological Union, and past President of the national organization for Theatre of the Oppressed. Author of numerous books, articles, and performances, he is considered a pioneer in the integration of somatics, Theatre of the Oppressed, and socially engaged art. The focus of his work is in the application of theatre as a tool for social and political change, using Theatre of the Oppressed to challenge, resist, and transform systemic oppression and structural violence and to redress large-scale historical atrocity and injustice. His approach to performance and social change is informed by his background as veteran, martial artist, and three decades of vipassana meditation.

Enter the Clown

An acting class for people who hate clowns, and a clowning class for people who love acting

“The clown is a poet who is also an orangutan.” What insights can actors who seek to deepen their practice and propel their work to a higher level learn from the world of the clown, where the tender and the grotesque, the raucous and the whimsical live side by side? What can the lessons from the work of Stanislavski, Mikhail Chekhov, and others do to inform and enrich the work of your average buffoon, a poet that hides behind the smallest of masks—the red nose? Join renowned Shakespearean actor, one-man showmaster, and Cirque du Soleil clown Ron Campbell for a day filled with movement, masks, mirth, and buckets of fun. Enter the Clown and exit a slightly more dangerous, perhaps less rational, but certainly more compelling actor.

SAT 12:30–4:30pm · 4/13 · $85

In a career that has spanned three decades and four continents, Ron Campbell has performed everywhere from the streets of Paris, Rome, and Florence to the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Fuji Dome in Japan. A recipient of the Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, the “King of the Clowns” in Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza, and award-winning one-man show practitioner (R. Buckminster Fuller, The Thousandth Night, Shylock, The Dybbuk, The Boneman of Benares, Beckett’s Eh Joe among others), Ron has trained with such luminaries as Philippe Gaulier, David Shiner, Min Tanaka, and Georges Bigot, and has taught physical theatre, clowning, and mask in Japan, Europe, and North America. An associate artist at California Shakespeare Theater, Ron has played everything from Richard the Third to Sherlock Holmes to Don Quixote, for which he received both the Bay Area Critic’s Award and Theatre Bay Area’s Outstanding Principal Performance Award. Ron is the founder and CEO of Soar Feat Unlimited.

Actors’ Spring Training

Join us in this weekend workshop to learn simple yet rigorous techniques for core conditioning, and play with applying them to your text work on stage. We will use performance training tools and approaches from Viewpoints, Alexander Technique, Butoh, and BodyMind Centering to explore the power and flexibility of our spines, and how to access this core potency on stage. This work is accessible for all bodies, abilities, and identities; we each start from where we are. We go deep into our own imaginative bodyminds and learn to expand out to each other and our audience and community.

SAT 1–4pm · 4/20 · $60

Nina Galin is a dance-theatre artist, educator, and a somatic therapist. She grew up doing a range of theatre practices, from Marlowe to The Music Man. Her passion for movement and performance as research led her into modern and postmodern dance and choreography. In recent years her love for text and movement has included experimental productions based on Shakespeare, Melville, and Beckett as well as original autobiographical words, verbatim interviews, and historical research. She did extensive study of dance history, theory, and experimental choreography at UC Riverside and received her MFA in choreography and doctorate in Performance Studies from UC Davis. As a somatic therapist and educator, she draws on Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, BodyMind Centering, Pilates, yoga, and connective tissue massage. She lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and dogs.

Play with Your Food: Cooking and Eating as Theatre

As sensual and aesthetic acts, preparing and eating food have theatrical, ritual, and even musical possibilities. The acts of cooking and eating can be sensual and social, and of course have cultural significances and political implications. Using somatic and physical exercises, writing, talking, and improvising, we’ll delve into all these dimensions of cooking and eating to investigate their theatrical potentials, and begin to craft some of those potentials into performance. In this experimental, experiential workshop, we will use exercises from various disciplines, including Viewpoints, BodyMind Centering, and Contact Improvisation. Each participant is invited to bring a food that has personal meaning or sparks their creative interest. You can literally bring the food, or just the story of what it means to you and how it inspires, confounds, tantalizes, or amuses you.

SAT 1–4pm · 4/27 · $60

Nina Galin is a dance-theatre artist, educator, and a somatic therapist. She grew up doing a range of theatre practices, from Marlowe to The Music Man. Her passion for movement and performance as research led her into modern and postmodern dance and choreography. In recent years her love for text and movement has included experimental productions based on Shakespeare, Melville, and Beckett as well as original autobiographical words, verbatim interviews, and historical research. She did extensive study of dance history, theory, and experimental choreography at UC Riverside and received her MFA in choreography and doctorate in Performance Studies from UC Davis. As a somatic therapist and educator, she draws on Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, BodyMind Centering, Pilates, yoga, and connective tissue massage. She lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and dogs.

Vocal Presence for Women

Is your voice enhancing or reducing your impact? We speak every day in a variety of situations, and our voice is the most powerful tool to achieve our objectives and navigate the workplace. Yet we rarely focus on how to use it effectively. In this interactive workshop, voice and speech coach Deborah Eubanks will help you explore the range and dynamism of your voice. Through warm-up exercises, breathing techniques, and practice, you’ll develop the skills to unleash your innate, unique vocal power. This workshop can be followed by optional one-on-one sessions with the trainer.

SAT 10am–4pm (30 minute lunch break) · 5/4 · $125

Deborah Eubanks was born and raised in London where she combined her knowledge of anatomy as an RN tutor with her theatre training at the Harold Pinter Studios. Deb currently serves on the faculty at SF Academy Art University. She worked with Stephen Hawking’s theatre company Libra. She offers courses at Berkeley Rep and the University of San Francisco (“Voice for Performance”), and coaches for executives from companies such as Sephora, Wells Fargo, Financial Times, Facebook, and Oculus.

Mask Performance

Explore the core work of mask performance, using masks and styles from traditions including Commedia dell’arte and Balinese theatre. We will create character from the outside in, through performances that introduce heightened physical aesthetics and theatricality. Delving into the realms of character architype, stereotype, and the grotesque, we will stretch ourselves in characterizations that span the spectrum from animal nature to the sublime.

SAT noon–4pm · 5/11 · $75

M. Graham Smith is a San Francisco-based director, educator, and producer. He is an O’Neill National Directing Fellow and an Oregon Shakespeare Festival FAIR Fellow. He’s directed at HERE in New York City and venues in San Francisco, including American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre, Crowded Fire, Central Works, EXIT Theatre, PlayGround, Brava, The Playwright’s Foundation, Cutting Ball Theater, Ray of Light, Berkeley Playhouse, Golden Thread, San Francisco Opera, New Conservatory, and The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work. He directed the West Coast premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera in San Francisco and Truffaldino Says No at Shotgun Players, winning a Best Director award from the Bay Area Critic’s Circle. Recent credits include The Lady Onstage at Profile Theatre in Portland, Oregon; The Liar, adapted by David Ives at Occidental College in Los Angeles as an Edgerton Foundation Fellow; and Deal with the Dragon at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Beginning Directing: Barrow Group Technique

This introductory directing workshop focuses on The Barrow Group’s approach to directing. Directors explore all the beginning steps to directing, including script analysis, audition technique, and scene work with actors to focus on communication between actor and director to evoke natural, spontaneous performances. The workshop also touches on TBG tools (found in An Actor’s Companion by Seth Barrish) and working with actors.

SAT & SUN 1–5pm · 5/18, 5/19 · $165

Alyson Rutter recently moved to the Bay Area after 10 years as a union actor in NYC where she starred in the award-winning films Video, Apathy, and The Great Love Rosemary, and performed in numerous stage productions. She can also be seen in The Knick, Damages, Bored to Death, and the feature film We Only Know So Much. Directing credits include The Pavilion, called a “tantalizing revival” by the New York Times, Dying City, and Gruesome Playground Injuries, among others. She wrote and performed her one-woman show, The Goldilocks Effect, at The Barrow Group Theatre Company where she also taught acting.

Acting

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Beginning Acting

Develop a basic understanding of acting fundamentals through Stanislavski-based practice. Using exercises and scene work, this class introduces students to the elements of dramatic action, text analysis, and character development, as well as the tools for releasing inhibitions and expanding vocal and physical range. May be repeated.

MON 7–9:30pm · 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3, 6/10 · $335 (August)
SAT 10am–12:30pm · 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 6/1, 6/8 · $310 (Greene)

Bobby August, Jr. is an actor, improviser, and teacher. He earned an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Davis. Some of his favorite past performances include portraying Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Howie in Rabbit Hole, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and The Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Bobby also devises physical theatre pieces with long-time collaborator Iu-Hui Chua. They created and performed Crawl and Ligilo at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, Bobby is the owner and director of the award-winning Made Up Theatre (MUT) in Fremont, California. His theatre specializes in presenting completely improvised plays. He has performed with MUT at improv festivals throughout the country—most recently winning Best Improv Group at the Sacramento Comedy Festival. His improv education includes training at the world-famous Second City and Annoyance Theatre in Chicago.

Marvin Greene is a professional actor and has performed with major regional theatres such as ACT, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, and San Jose Rep. Marvin served as an instructor at ACT for over a decade and also teaches at the Academy of Art College and Voice One in San Francisco. Marvin has taught at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre since 2003.

Acting Shakespeare

How do we best approach the challenge of acting Shakespeare? The profound understanding of human character has set Shakespeare above all other playwrights in the English language. The most effective performers of the Bard’s plays, in Britain and America, have always understood that his language is the key to unlocking the secrets of character and action that have kept the plays vital for over 400 years. Students will learn to analyze scripts and uniquely embody the rhythms, thereby truly owning each character. All levels welcome.

TUE 7–10pm · 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30 · $230

Deborah Eubanks was born and raised in London where she combined her knowledge of anatomy as an RN tutor with her theatre training at the Harold Pinter Studios. Deb currently serves on the faculty at SF Academy Art University. She worked with Stephen Hawking’s theatre company Libra. She offers courses at Berkeley Rep and the University of San Francisco (“Voice for Performance”), and coaches for executives from companies such as Sephora, Wells Fargo, Financial Times, Facebook, and Oculus.

Intermediate Acting: Barrow Group Technique

In this eight-week course, students will play with acting exercises, monologues, and scenes using The Barrow Group Approach to Acting, a set of simple, practical tools designed to get acting to look as much like real life as possible, so audience members feel like they are watching real people rather than actors working. We’ll use script analysis to determine what the story is in order to get busy doing physical actions. Using real behavior within the imaginary circumstances of the script encourages spontaneity and gives the feeling that we don’t know what will happen next—just like real life! (It also happens to keep those watching on the edge of their seats!)

TUE 1:30–4pm · 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28 · $290

Alyson Rutter recently moved to the Bay Area after 10 years as a union actor in NYC where she starred in the award-winning films Video, Apathy, and The Great Love Rosemary, and performed in numerous stage productions. She can also be seen in The Knick, Damages, Bored to Death, and the feature film We Only Know So Much. Directing credits include The Pavilion, called a “tantalizing revival” by the New York Times, Dying City, and Gruesome Playground Injuries, among others. She wrote and performed her one-woman show, The Goldilocks Effect, at The Barrow Group Theatre Company where she also taught acting.

Intermediate Acting

Students will analyze and perform scenes straight from dramatic literature. Special emphasis is placed on encouraging students to make dramatically effective choices by playing provocative actions, discovering the event within the scene, and finding creative obstacles. May be repeated.

Prerequisite: Prior acting experience or previous acting classes at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre or another reputable theatre studio that stressed the fundamentals of text analysis, beat breakdown, and character objectives.

WED 7–10pm · 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29, 6/5 · $350

Marvin Greene is a professional actor and has performed with major regional theatres such as ACT, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, and San Jose Rep. Marvin served as an instructor at ACT for over a decade and also teaches at the Academy of Art College and Voice One in San Francisco. Marvin has taught at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre since 2003.

Intermediate/Advanced Acting

Students will analyze and perform two- and three-person scenes that vary in style and period and that dive deeper into the tools of The Barrow Group Approach to Acting, which was developed by Seth Barrish, founder and co-artistic director of The Barrow Group Theatre Company in New York City, as applied to scene study. Students will select their own scenes and partners; outside rehearsal is encouraged. May be repeated.

Prerequisite: Prior acting experience or previous intermediate acting classes at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre or another reputable theatre studio that stressed the fundamentals of text analysis, beat breakdown, and character objectives.

TUE 7–10pm · 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4 · $350

Alyson Rutter recently moved to the Bay Area after 10 years as a union actor in NYC where she starred in the award-winning films Video, Apathy, and The Great Love Rosemary, and performed in numerous stage productions. She can also be seen in The Knick, Damages, Bored to Death, and the feature film We Only Know So Much. Directing credits include The Pavilion, called a “tantalizing revival” by the New York Times, Dying City, and Gruesome Playground Injuries, among others. She wrote and performed her one-woman show, The Goldilocks Effect, at The Barrow Group Theatre Company where she also taught acting.

Advanced Acting: Meisner Technique

Actors will work on exercises and scenes, utilizing elements of the Meisner Technique in the process of bringing the text to life! Following the specific needs of each individual instrument, we will explore and integrate exercises and material that will awaken deeper levels of curiosity, broaden experience, and further mastery of the craft.

For acceptance into this class, students must submit a résumé to school@berkeleyrep.org.

MON 6:30–9:30pm · 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3, 6/10 · $325

Rachael Adler studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, and was later designated there to teach the technique. After a career as an actor and model in New York and the Bay Area, Rachael founded two Meisner conservatories (Studio Magnetic, Waterfront Playhouse and Conservatory). In addition to studying the Meisner Technique, Rachael has also trained in other techniques with Larry Moss, Sandra Seacat, Bill Hickey, and Earle Hyman at HB Studios in New York, Loyd Williamson at the Actors Movement Studio, and many other acting, voice, and movement techniques. Rachael’s other areas of expertise include classes in scene and monologue work. She has taught at ACT, Mills College, Foothill College, and other venues in the US, and is the Master Meisner Teacher at MeisnerEspana in Barcelona, Spain.

What’s So Funny? Directing and Acting Comedy

This workshop is designed for actors and directors to explore and analyze what makes something funny. By studying the events of a scene and watching examples of how to build comic structure, students will understand the components of humor from sitcoms, plays, and movies.

MON 7–10pm · 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3 · $275

Jonathan Moscone serves as Chief of Civic Engagement for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, envisioning and implementing strategies to fulfill YBCA’s role as a citizen institution in the city’s neighborhoods, schools, and throughout the civic realm. Prior to YBCA, Jonathan served for 16 years as Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater, where he directed nearly 20 productions. He has directed at theatres across the country including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre in Houston, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Campo Santo, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Huntington Theatre in Boston. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in Directing, he received the inaugural Zelda Fichandler Award by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation in 2009, for “exceptional contribution to the national arts landscape through regional theatre work.” His teaching credits include: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, ACT’s MFA Program, and the Yale School of Drama. He has served on the national board of Theatre Communications Group in New York City and currently serves on the boards of the San Francisco Film Commission, Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project, and the Homeless Prenatal Program.

Actors’ Spring Training

Join us in this weekend workshop to learn simple yet rigorous techniques for core conditioning, and play with applying them to your text work on stage. We will use performance training tools and approaches from Viewpoints, Alexander Technique, Butoh, and BodyMind Centering to explore the power and flexibility of our spines, and how to access this core potency on stage. This work is accessible for all bodies, abilities, and identities; we each start from where we are. We go deep into our own imaginative bodyminds and learn to expand out to each other and our audience and community.

SAT 1–4pm · 4/20 · $60

Nina Galin is a dance-theatre artist, educator, and a somatic therapist. She grew up doing a range of theatre practices, from Marlowe to The Music Man. Her passion for movement and performance as research led her into modern and postmodern dance and choreography. In recent years her love for text and movement has included experimental productions based on Shakespeare, Melville, and Beckett as well as original autobiographical words, verbatim interviews, and historical research. She did extensive study of dance history, theory, and experimental choreography at UC Riverside and received her MFA in choreography and doctorate in Performance Studies from UC Davis. As a somatic therapist and educator, she draws on Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, BodyMind Centering, Pilates, yoga, and connective tissue massage. She lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and dogs.

On-Camera Acting: Level 1 & 2

Students will focus on creating character by thoroughly understanding the relationship between the text, situation, and the technical aspects of camera work. When these fundamental tools are genuinely understood and used correctly, only then can actors be free to work to the best of their ability in front of a camera. Areas of study will include script analysis, scene study, and character development, as well as camera technique, set discipline, and set etiquette. All scenes will be rehearsed with direction from the instructor, and copies will be given to students for their reference; please bring a 16GB SD card. A variety of other subjects will also be discussed relating to the business side of show business, including audition technique, agents, union membership, photographs, and websites. May be repeated.

Prerequisite for Level 2: Prior on-camera acting experience or previous acting classes at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre or another reputable theatre studio.

TUE 7–10pm · 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4, 6/11 · $360 (Level 1)
MON 7–10pm · 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3, 6/10 · $335 (Level 2)

Rolf Saxon (AEA, BAE, SAG/AFTRA) trained with ACT’s first Young Conservatory class and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Working extensively in film, television, and theatre, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatre Complicte as well as West End and regional productions, his film and television credits include over 25 films and being a regular on three television series. Among others, he has worked with Tom Cruise, Brian De Palma, Vin Diesel, Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Helen Mirren, Trevor Nunn, Ryan Reynolds, and Steven Spielberg. A director in both theatre and film, he has also been a private tutor and coach for over 20 years teaching including the Drama Lab (London) and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor of Drama at Ohlone College, teaches at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, SFAA, and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Beginning Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class introduces and establishes the skills required to perform different genres of voice acting. Beginning and professional actors learn the techniques and artistry of reading commercial, narration, and character copy. Students also learn professional microphone techniques, home-recording tips, and how to read authentically, as well as how to launch a freelance voice-over career. Students will also get to work with a professional sound engineer. Lessons will be recorded for students to keep for their records.

SAT & SUN 10am–5pm (1 hour lunch break) · 3/30, 3/31 · $290 (Winter)
SAT & SUN 11am–5pm (30 minute lunch break) · 4/6, 4/7 · $290 (Spring)

Sally Clawson is a SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor in voice over, film, and theatre. She has been voicing commercials, industrials, and video games for over 15 years. A partial list of her clients include Clorox, Yoplait, Old Navy, Target, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, has taught at Cal Shakes Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Voice One. Sally has an MFA in Performance from Mills College.

Intermediate Voice-Over Acting

In this voice-over class, students will study and practice multiple styles of voice acting, be introduced to more advanced techniques, and deepen their choices and confidence on the microphone. In addition, students will learn about recording equipment and how to set up a home studio.

Prerequisite: Beginning Voice-Over Acting class.

MON 7–10pm · 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29 · $290

Sally Clawson is a SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor in voice over, film, and theatre. She has been voicing commercials, industrials, and video games for over 15 years. A partial list of her clients include Clorox, Yoplait, Old Navy, Target, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, has taught at Cal Shakes Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Voice One. Sally has an MFA in Performance from Mills College.

Advanced Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class focuses on establishing the student’s home studio for recordings and auditions, as well as shaping, refining, and individualizing each student’s singular voice. Students will be allowed to focus on their preferred type of copy, and will be required to record assignments outside of class. Students without a home studio can record assignments on their phone or other device that creates MP3s. Class size is limited.

Prerequisite: Intermediate skills, or permission from the instructor, are required to take this class.

WED 7–10pm · 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29, 6/5 · $320

Sally Clawson is a SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor in voice over, film, and theatre. She has been voicing commercials, industrials, and video games for over 15 years. A partial list of her clients include Clorox, Yoplait, Old Navy, Target, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, has taught at Cal Shakes Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Voice One. Sally has an MFA in Performance from Mills College.

Musical Theatre Acting

Using improv and physical theatre exercises, as well as character and script analysis, we will mine new, audacious, and vulnerable ways to bring our musical stories to life! Tailored to each student’s experience level, the class is a creative and supportive space for beginners, while also challenging the more seasoned performers and giving concrete tools to use in the future. Each class is accompanied with piano by accomplished Musical Director Grace Renaud, and will culminate in a showcase-style performance of songs of the student’s and teacher’s choosing that show a range of character and emotion. Students are expected bring at least one memorized song that you feel comfortable with for the first class (and the instructor will reach out to help with any questions or music suggestions you may have).

THU 7–10pm · 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23 · $290

Ariela Morgenstern spent nearly a decade working as a professional actor and singer in New York after spending a decade in the classical music and theatre world in San Francisco. Now that she’s back home in California, she coaches actors and executives to breathe new life into their presence and presentations, and is an assistant lecturer in leadership communications and storytelling at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute. Ariela also performs regularly and was seen last summer in the world premiere of the new musical A Walk On The Moon at American Conservatory Theater, as well as at her sold-out cabaret show at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. She has performed throughout California and New York City, including as a soloist in Imant Raminsh’s Symphony of Psalms at Carnegie Hall. A longtime fan of Kurt Weill’s music, she won second place in the International Lotte Lenya Competition. Favorite roles include Mrs. One & Two u/s in Adding Machine (off Broadway), Ms. Wilde in Flashdance the Musical (first national tour), Franca in The Light in the Piazza (Arena Stage and TheatreWorks), Aldonza in Man of La Mancha (Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina), Jenny in The Threepenny Opera (Marvel Rep, New York, Drama Desk nominated), and the title role of Carmen (San Francisco Lyric Opera).

Grace Renaud was born on Maui and moved to Marin as a child and fell in love with the Bay Area. She attended Mills College (Oakland) for both her undergrad and graduate studies in pipe organ performance, studying under Sandra Soderlund. Grace is the music director at Notre Dame des Victoires, music director and organist for the Spanish Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, and choir director and musical theatre music director for Convent/Stuart Hall High School. Her specialties are bringing out the voice of the individual and blending the voices of a group into a refined expression of harmony and truth through music. In 2018, Grace started her own group called Soulshine. It is an intergenerational choir that sings gospel arrangements of songs from all genres to uplift the heart and inspire the soul.

Theatre of the Oppressed

Theatre of the Oppressed, conceived by Augusto Boal, is a collection of games, techniques, and exercises for using theatre as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. It uses the dynamized human body and the charged theatrical space as laboratories for exploring power, transforming oppression, and finding solutions to the fundamental problems of conflict, inequality, injustice, and human suffering. This workshop will introduce basic techniques (demechanization, dynamization, image theatre, forum theatre) from the Theatre of the Oppressed, with an end to understanding their application as practical and essential tools for artistic development, creative expression, social engagement, and personal transformation. This class is open to both experienced and beginning performers, as well as anyone interested in exploring art as a method for social and personal change, while developing spontaneity, fluidity, presence, creativity, and critical intelligence.

THU 7–10pm · 4/11, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30, 6/6 · $325

Jiwon Chung is a professional actor, director, and a key theorist of Theatre of the Oppressed. He is the Artistic Director of Kairos Theater Ensemble, adjunct professor of Theater and Social Justice at Starr King School at the Graduate Theological Union, and past President of the national organization for Theatre of the Oppressed. Author of numerous books, articles, and performances, he is considered a pioneer in the integration of somatics, Theatre of the Oppressed, and socially engaged art. The focus of his work is in the application of theatre as a tool for social and political change, using Theatre of the Oppressed to challenge, resist, and transform systemic oppression and structural violence and to redress large-scale historical atrocity and injustice. His approach to performance and social change is informed by his background as veteran, martial artist, and three decades of vipassana meditation.

Theatre of the Oppressed: Mindfulness, Meditation, & Liberation

“Within this fathom-long body, lies the world of suffering, its cause, and its liberation.”—Gautama Buddha

All oppression involves the body—the body holds and reflects the experience of its oppression. Fear, anxiety, and oppression bleed their way into the habits of our human expression, trapping, binding, and shutting down our natural spontaneity and aliveness, making us mechanized, divided, and imbalanced in our bodies and our minds and isolated, aggressive, or confused in our relationships and interactions. The original form of mindfulness—the mind’s capacity to observe itself, reflect, and transform—is theatre. This workshop will explore the rich, deep, powerful practices of mindfulness, dishabituation, and embodiment within the corpus of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, focusing on practical techniques for transforming and finding liberation through somatic and energetic awareness in the personal, interpersonal, and political dimensions. We will use demechanization, dynamization, image theatre, forum theatre, and rainbow of desire while developing presence, focus, and a strong capacity for meditative awareness. Open to anyone with a desire to use theatre, art, and meditation to explore a powerful approach to transforming self and society. Please dress comfortably to move.

SAT 12:30–5:30pm · 4/6 · $90
SAT & SUN 12:30–5:30pm · 6/1, 6/2 · $180

Jiwon Chung is a professional actor, director, and a key theorist of Theatre of the Oppressed. He is the Artistic Director of Kairos Theater Ensemble, adjunct professor of Theater and Social Justice at Starr King School at the Graduate Theological Union, and past President of the national organization for Theatre of the Oppressed. Author of numerous books, articles, and performances, he is considered a pioneer in the integration of somatics, Theatre of the Oppressed, and socially engaged art. The focus of his work is in the application of theatre as a tool for social and political change, using Theatre of the Oppressed to challenge, resist, and transform systemic oppression and structural violence and to redress large-scale historical atrocity and injustice. His approach to performance and social change is informed by his background as veteran, martial artist, and three decades of vipassana meditation.

Stage Combat: Small Sword

Ages 16 and up · Small sword is the most elegant and deadly of the personal combat weapons. Students will explore this juxtaposition of grace and violence by studying period movement in conjunction with swordplay. This course will cover the basic skills of theatrical small sword, stressing safety and partnership. Participants will also learn footwork, parries, thrusts, deceptions, wounds, kills, and many other skills allowing them to create the illusion of violence. It will be fast-paced, fun, and a good workout, too! All students will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform scenes that include stage combat and take a skills proficiency test for recognition as an Actor Combatant with Dueling Arts International. Class size is limited to 12. Full-fingered gloves are required. Open to all levels.

Class is held at Berkeley Rep’s rehearsal studio at 999 Harrison St, Berkeley CA 94710.

MON 7–10pm · 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13 · $230

Dave Maier is the resident fight director at San Francisco Opera, California Shakespeare Theater, and a company member with Shotgun Players. He has won several awards for Fight Direction and has choreographed violence for several Berkeley Rep productions, including Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. His work has been seen at ACT, La Jolla Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Magic Theatre, and Aurora Theatre Company, among others. He is a Full Instructor of Theatrical Combat with Dueling Arts.

One-on-One Audition Coaching

Don’t be caught unprepared for an upcoming audition. Berkeley Rep faculty members are available to work with actors on contemporary and classical monologues. Make choices that you feel confident about. Be directed by and collaborate with working professionals.

Dates/Times: to be scheduled with the instructor · $80/hour
Please call 510 647–2996 to schedule a coaching session

Improvisation

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Beginning/Intermediate Improvisation

Gain experience and understanding of the philosophies and fundamentals of improvisational theatre via a Keith Johnstone (IMPRO)-based practice in this beginning/intermediate class. Through playful interactive theatre games and storytelling, students are introduced to the elements of spontaneity, listening, accepting, and responding. This methodology helps students access their imagination, free their inhibitions, and increase their confidence. This class, taught by a professional improviser, focuses on skills that enhance the student’s creative path. Principles explored include being present in the moment, letting go of the inner critic, and strengthening creative impulses. May be repeated.

WED 7–10pm · 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29, 6/5 · $350 (Galvez)
WED 3–5pm · 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29 · $275 (Klemm)

Zoe Galvez has been teaching and performing improvisational acting for over a dozen years. She studied improv and acting with David Razowsky, Uta Hagen, Keith Johnstone, Rebecca Northan of Loose Moose, SF Mime Troupe, Anne Bogart and the SITI company, BATS, The Groundlings, and The Moscow Art Theatre. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and a Main Stage company member of the nationally acclaimed BATS Improv. Zoe has introduced thousands of people to the magic of improv in the Bay Area and beyond. She is a pioneer in bringing improvisational theatre to the world of business with ImprovHQ.

Kasey Klemm is a professional improviser with 20+ years of experience. He is the former artistic director of BATS Improv, San Francisco’s longest running and most-acclaimed improvised theatre company, and cites Keith Johnstone as one of his biggest influences. Kasey’s easy going nature and passion for improvisation helps create a playful space for students of all levels to explore their inherent creativity and take risks in a positive and supportive environment.

Advanced Improvisation

Open your mind to the infinite possibilities of improvised theatre. Delve into the more potent possibilities of improv, while exploring the nuances of style in storytelling, long form, genre work, and continued development of spontaneity and dynamic play. You will receive direct, tailored, and supportive feedback. This class will be geared toward performance-level improv—getting you ready to hit the stage or giving you a tune-up wherever you are as an improviser. No matter what, we will have fun and laugh. A lot.

THU 7–10pm · 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30, 6/6 · $325

Kasey Klemm is a professional improviser with 20+ years of experience. He is the former artistic director of BATS Improv, San Francisco’s longest running and most-acclaimed improvised theatre company, and cites Keith Johnstone as one of his biggest influences. Kasey’s easy going nature and passion for improvisation helps create a playful space for students of all levels to explore their inherent creativity and take risks in a positive and supportive environment.

Improvisation Performance Lab

One of the joys of improvisation is sharing the creativity and spontaneity with an audience. This class introduces the skill of performing improvisational games and stories in a light and generous atmosphere. Students explore the philosophy of “giving” rather than “shining,” and practice interaction techniques that demystify the perceived barriers between performers and an audience. There will be two scheduled performances during class time.

Prerequisite: Approval from instructor prior to registration.

WED 7–10pm · 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1 (performance), 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29, 5/31 (performance) · $330

Kasey Klemm is a professional improviser with 20+ years of experience. He is the former artistic director of BATS Improv, San Francisco’s longest running and most-acclaimed improvised theatre company, and cites Keith Johnstone as one of his biggest influences. Kasey’s easy going nature and passion for improvisation helps create a playful space for students of all levels to explore their inherent creativity and take risks in a positive and supportive environment.

The Art of Business Improv

Improv is no longer just for actors! “The Master of Fine Arts is the new MBA,” so argued author Daniel Pink in his seminal New York Times story about the new creative economy. While this is an extreme statement, its implications are powerful: you cannot excel in business without creativity. In our competitive and evolving economy, being logical and analytical is no longer enough; the modern executive must be nimble and inventive to face the constant change. Theatre artists possess many of the skills regularly sought after in today’s economy—creativity, resiliency, agility, courage, collaborative awareness, and high levels of emotional intelligence. This class is specifically designed for professionals from any field, at any level, who want to reap the benefits of this training and develop their leadership skills. In this playful and unpretentious atmosphere, even the most reserved student will learn to harness their creativity, enhance their public speaking (through story telling assignments and explorations), trust their instincts, deepen their listening skills, read nonverbal body language, master their emotions, quiet their inner critic, and gain confidence in front of an audience.

THU 7–9pm · 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30 · $210

Joyful Simpson is an actress, writer, and creativity educator who combines improv theatre, behavioral sciences, and mindfulness to create dynamic trainings for businesses and institutions. She studied theatre and psychology at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and earned an MFA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis. While at Davis, she spearheaded an applied improv-based training program for the Graduate School of Management. In 2013 she founded Pro-CreativeArts—an applied theatre organization—and is hired throughout the United States to lead trainings that foster creativity, collaboration, and communication for teams and leaders. Born into an iconic theatre family, she brings to her classes a unique body of experience gained from creating and performing theatre professionally since childhood. Her solo comedy recently won Best of Fringe at the 2016 San Francisco Fringe Festival. Her theatre credits include lead actor and co-author of four plays for “Prize of Hope”-winning company Human Nature and co-founder of the ensemble-driven theatre company Rococo Risqué, winner of SF Weekly Best Theater Ensemble 2005. Joyful has also appeared as an actor in many projects on stage and film, including Odyssey Works, an immersive theatre project; The Pursuit of Happiness, with Will Smith; and Spring Awakening, directed by Broadway and West End director Stafford Arima.

Improv Games

Kickstart your weekend with two hours of fun-facilitated improv games! We’ll play a new set of games each week, and we’ll keep the focus on the playing then on learning through debriefing.

FRI 4:30–6:30pm · 4/26, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17 · $160

Kasey Klemm is a professional improviser with 20+ years of experience. He is the former artistic director of BATS Improv, San Francisco’s longest running and most-acclaimed improvised theatre company, and cites Keith Johnstone as one of his biggest influences. Kasey’s easy going nature and passion for improvisation helps create a playful space for students of all levels to explore their inherent creativity and take risks in a positive and supportive environment.

Genre Dialect Work for Improvisers and Actors

Upstairs/Downstairs and Film Noir

Don’t want to break out in a cold sweat every time you are endowed as a British dowager in a period romance or a cockney house servant? Can’t quite figure out what exactly the other improvisers are doing with their voices in those film noir scenes? Learn physical triggers that will help you quickly find the placement, melody, and general sound changes for some of the most commonly called for dialects in improvisation. We will study the dialects in a multi-sensorial way, with a focus on the physical changes, the phonetic sound changes, and immersion (listening to primary sources of the dialect). We’ll also get the dialects up on their feet in improv games and scenes.

TUE 7–10pm · 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30 · $230

Rebecca Castelli holds a BA in voice and theatre and an MFA in acting. Previously from Seattle, she won a Seattle Times Footlight Award for her role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and also had the honor of acting with Tony award-winning actress Judy Kaye in Gypsy at 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company. She was a company member of the Marin-based Porchlight Theatre Company for five years and had leads in many of their mainstage productions, including Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. Locally, Rebecca has also acted with Shotgun Players and Cinnabar Theater Company. She dialect coaches for various Bay Area theatres, including Shotgun Players, Theatre Rhinoceros, Town Hall Theatre Company, Mendocino Theatre Company, Virago Theatre Company, and Ross Valley Players. She is a founding member of The Incidentalists, a long-form improvisational group based in Oakland.

Period Movement, Manners, and Dances for Improvisers

This class will offer students an in-depth immersion into the movement styles of different periods and genres. We will focus on the Victorian (upstairs-downstairs) Era. We will explore and illuminate high- and low-status characters using Laban movement techniques. Get ready for the ball and learn the waltz, minuet, and allemande. We will also go deeper into the dark places of Film Noir, practicing filmic reactions, close-ups, and narrated direction. Broaden your performance technique by experimenting with genre work and improvising with descriptive movement, which strengthens and expands your possibilities when improvising. This class is designed to complement Rebecca Castelli’s Genre Dialect Work class.

TUE 7–10pm · 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4 · $230

Erica Blue is an international performance art, dance, and theatre maker. She has a BA in performance studies from Sarah Lawrence College and has done Master’s work at Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre and Wesleyan University. After founding The Raw Material Performance Ensemble in Amsterdam, she then traveled and studied dance extensively in Southern Asia. Once arriving in the Bay Area she began teaching, directing, and performing with her ensemble, Teatro Auzzura. Her solo work has been performed at La Mama in New York, the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, and has won Best of the Fringe in San Francisco and Seattle. She also received a Goldie award in 2000 for her role as Salvador Dali’s wife, Gala. Blue’s company has received critical acclaim for their dance theatre work around the US and in Europe.

Directing / Devising

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What’s So Funny? Directing and Acting Comedy

This workshop is designed for actors and directors to explore and analyze what makes something funny. By studying the events of a scene and watching examples of how to build comic structure, students will understand the components of humor from sitcoms, plays, and movies.

MON 7–10pm · 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3 · $275

Jonathan Moscone serves as Chief of Civic Engagement for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, envisioning and implementing strategies to fulfill YBCA’s role as a citizen institution in the city’s neighborhoods, schools, and throughout the civic realm. Prior to YBCA, Jonathan served for 16 years as Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater, where he directed nearly 20 productions. He has directed at theatres across the country including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre in Houston, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Campo Santo, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Huntington Theatre in Boston. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in Directing, he received the inaugural Zelda Fichandler Award by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation in 2009, for “exceptional contribution to the national arts landscape through regional theatre work.” His teaching credits include: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, ACT’s MFA Program, and the Yale School of Drama. He has served on the national board of Theatre Communications Group in New York City and currently serves on the boards of the San Francisco Film Commission, Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project, and the Homeless Prenatal Program.

Play with Your Food: Cooking and Eating as Theatre

As sensual and aesthetic acts, preparing and eating food have theatrical, ritual, and even musical possibilities. The acts of cooking and eating can be sensual and social, and of course have cultural significances and political implications. Using somatic and physical exercises, writing, talking, and improvising, we’ll delve into all these dimensions of cooking and eating to investigate their theatrical potentials, and begin to craft some of those potentials into performance. In this experimental, experiential workshop, we will use exercises from various disciplines, including Viewpoints, BodyMind Centering, and Contact Improvisation. Each participant is invited to bring a food that has personal meaning or sparks their creative interest. You can literally bring the food, or just the story of what it means to you and how it inspires, confounds, tantalizes, or amuses you.

SAT 1–4pm · 4/27 · $60

Nina Galin is a dance-theatre artist, educator, and a somatic therapist. She grew up doing a range of theatre practices, from Marlowe to The Music Man. Her passion for movement and performance as research led her into modern and postmodern dance and choreography. In recent years her love for text and movement has included experimental productions based on Shakespeare, Melville, and Beckett as well as original autobiographical words, verbatim interviews, and historical research. She did extensive study of dance history, theory, and experimental choreography at UC Riverside and received her MFA in choreography and doctorate in Performance Studies from UC Davis. As a somatic therapist and educator, she draws on Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, BodyMind Centering, Pilates, yoga, and connective tissue massage. She lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and dogs.

Beginning Directing: Barrow Group Technique

This introductory directing workshop focuses on The Barrow Group’s approach to directing. Directors explore all the beginning steps to directing, including script analysis, audition technique, and scene work with actors to focus on communication between actor and director to evoke natural, spontaneous performances. The workshop also touches on TBG tools (found in An Actor’s Companion by Seth Barrish) and working with actors.

SAT & SUN 1–5pm · 5/18, 5/19 · $165

Alyson Rutter recently moved to the Bay Area after 10 years as a union actor in NYC where she starred in the award-winning films Video, Apathy, and The Great Love Rosemary, and performed in numerous stage productions. She can also be seen in The Knick, Damages, Bored to Death, and the feature film We Only Know So Much. Directing credits include The Pavilion, called a “tantalizing revival” by the New York Times, Dying City, and Gruesome Playground Injuries, among others. She wrote and performed her one-woman show, The Goldilocks Effect, at The Barrow Group Theatre Company where she also taught acting.

Audition

One-on-One Audition Coaching

Don’t be caught unprepared for an upcoming audition. Berkeley Rep faculty members are available to work with actors on contemporary and classical monologues. Make choices that you feel confident about. Be directed by and collaborate with working professionals.

Dates/Times: to be scheduled with the instructor · $80/hour
Please call 510 647–2996 to schedule a coaching session

Movement

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A Physical Approach to Acting

Join the School of Theatre for a one day workshop featuring Steven Epp, who is performing in Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses at Berkeley Rep. Learn how the engagement of the body and a sense of play can serve as the foundation of performance. Open to all levels.

SAT 10am–1pm · 3/23 · $85

Steven Epp has appeared at Berkeley Rep in Treasure Island, Tartuffe, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, A Doctor in Spite of Himself, Figaro, The Miser, and Don Juan Giovanni. His off-Broadway credits include Hamlet at the New Victory Theatre and Servant of Two Masters at Theatre for a New Audience. Regional credits include productions at American Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the Spoleto Festival, Center Stage in Baltimore, Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, South Coast Rep, and the Old Globe. Steven was an actor, writer, and co-artistic director at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, 1983–2008. Acting credits include title roles in Tartuffe, Hamlet, Figaro, The Miser, and Man of La Mancha. He received the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Play for Children of Paradise, was a 1999 Fox Fellow, a 2009 McKnight Theatre Fellow, and a 2011 Beinecke Fellow, and received the 2012 Best Actor Helen Hayes Award and the 2017 Best Actor Ivey Award.

Alexander Technique for Mind/Body Balance

Alexander Technique is a time-honored method used by actors to improve posture, breath, and movement. Effective movement liberates your acting skills and enriches your life. As you stop responding to the world in a habitual manner, new avenues of physical ease and creativity open up. Discover the Alexander Technique for body/mind balance. Let your body’s physical genius emerge!

THU 7–9:30pm · 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25 · $170

Elyse Shafarman holds a Master’s degree in Physiological Psychology and Alexander Technique Teacher Certification from Frank Ottiwell (2003). Elyse is on the faculty of American Conservatory Theater’s MFA program and maintains a private Alexander Technique practice in San Francisco and Berkeley. Her background as a modern dancer and training in psychology, yoga, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction influence her approach to teaching.

Enter the Clown

An acting class for people who hate clowns, and a clowning class for people who love acting

“The clown is a poet who is also an orangutan.” What insights can actors who seek to deepen their practice and propel their work to a higher level learn from the world of the clown, where the tender and the grotesque, the raucous and the whimsical live side by side? What can the lessons from the work of Stanislavski, Mikhail Chekhov, and others do to inform and enrich the work of your average buffoon, a poet that hides behind the smallest of masks—the red nose? Join renowned Shakespearean actor, one-man showmaster, and Cirque du Soleil clown Ron Campbell for a day filled with movement, masks, mirth, and buckets of fun. Enter the Clown and exit a slightly more dangerous, perhaps less rational, but certainly more compelling actor.

SAT 12:30–4:30pm · 4/13 · $85

In a career that has spanned three decades and four continents, Ron Campbell has performed everywhere from the streets of Paris, Rome, and Florence to the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Fuji Dome in Japan. A recipient of the Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, the “King of the Clowns” in Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza, and award-winning one-man show practitioner (R. Buckminster Fuller, The Thousandth Night, Shylock, The Dybbuk, The Boneman of Benares, Beckett’s Eh Joe among others), Ron has trained with such luminaries as Philippe Gaulier, David Shiner, Min Tanaka, and Georges Bigot, and has taught physical theatre, clowning, and mask in Japan, Europe, and North America. An associate artist at California Shakespeare Theater, Ron has played everything from Richard the Third to Sherlock Holmes to Don Quixote, for which he received both the Bay Area Critic’s Award and Theatre Bay Area’s Outstanding Principal Performance Award. Ron is the founder and CEO of Soar Feat Unlimited.

Mask Performance

Explore the core work of mask performance, using masks and styles from traditions including Commedia dell’arte and Balinese theatre. We will create character from the outside in, through performances that introduce heightened physical aesthetics and theatricality. Delving into the realms of character architype, stereotype, and the grotesque, we will stretch ourselves in characterizations that span the spectrum from animal nature to the sublime.

SAT noon–4pm · 5/11 · $75

M. Graham Smith is a San Francisco-based director, educator, and producer. He is an O’Neill National Directing Fellow and an Oregon Shakespeare Festival FAIR Fellow. He’s directed at HERE in New York City and venues in San Francisco, including American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre, Crowded Fire, Central Works, EXIT Theatre, PlayGround, Brava, The Playwright’s Foundation, Cutting Ball Theater, Ray of Light, Berkeley Playhouse, Golden Thread, San Francisco Opera, New Conservatory, and The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work. He directed the West Coast premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera in San Francisco and Truffaldino Says No at Shotgun Players, winning a Best Director award from the Bay Area Critic’s Circle. Recent credits include The Lady Onstage at Profile Theatre in Portland, Oregon; The Liar, adapted by David Ives at Occidental College in Los Angeles as an Edgerton Foundation Fellow; and Deal with the Dragon at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Period Movement, Manners, and Dances for Improvisers

This class will offer students an in-depth immersion into the movement styles of different periods and genres. We will focus on the Victorian (upstairs-downstairs) Era. We will explore and illuminate high- and low-status characters using Laban movement techniques. Get ready for the ball and learn the waltz, minuet, and allemande. We will also go deeper into the dark places of Film Noir, practicing filmic reactions, close-ups, and narrated direction. Broaden your performance technique by experimenting with genre work and improvising with descriptive movement, which strengthens and expands your possibilities when improvising. This class is designed to complement Rebecca Castelli’s Genre Dialect Work class.

TUE 7–10pm · 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4 · $230

Erica Blue is an international performance art, dance, and theatre maker. She has a BA in performance studies from Sarah Lawrence College and has done Master’s work at Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre and Wesleyan University. After founding The Raw Material Performance Ensemble in Amsterdam, she then traveled and studied dance extensively in Southern Asia. Once arriving in the Bay Area she began teaching, directing, and performing with her ensemble, Teatro Auzzura. Her solo work has been performed at La Mama in New York, the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, and has won Best of the Fringe in San Francisco and Seattle. She also received a Goldie award in 2000 for her role as Salvador Dali’s wife, Gala. Blue’s company has received critical acclaim for their dance theatre work around the US and in Europe.

Actors’ Spring Training

Join us in this weekend workshop to learn simple yet rigorous techniques for core conditioning, and play with applying them to your text work on stage. We will use performance training tools and approaches from Viewpoints, Alexander Technique, Butoh, and BodyMind Centering to explore the power and flexibility of our spines, and how to access this core potency on stage. This work is accessible for all bodies, abilities, and identities; we each start from where we are. We go deep into our own imaginative bodyminds and learn to expand out to each other and our audience and community.

SAT 1–4pm · 4/20 · $60

Nina Galin is a dance-theatre artist, educator, and a somatic therapist. She grew up doing a range of theatre practices, from Marlowe to The Music Man. Her passion for movement and performance as research led her into modern and postmodern dance and choreography. In recent years her love for text and movement has included experimental productions based on Shakespeare, Melville, and Beckett as well as original autobiographical words, verbatim interviews, and historical research. She did extensive study of dance history, theory, and experimental choreography at UC Riverside and received her MFA in choreography and doctorate in Performance Studies from UC Davis. As a somatic therapist and educator, she draws on Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, BodyMind Centering, Pilates, yoga, and connective tissue massage. She lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and dogs.

Stage Combat: Small Sword

Ages 16 and up · Small sword is the most elegant and deadly of the personal combat weapons. Students will explore this juxtaposition of grace and violence by studying period movement in conjunction with swordplay. This course will cover the basic skills of theatrical small sword, stressing safety and partnership. Participants will also learn footwork, parries, thrusts, deceptions, wounds, kills, and many other skills allowing them to create the illusion of violence. It will be fast-paced, fun, and a good workout, too! All students will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform scenes that include stage combat and take a skills proficiency test for recognition as an Actor Combatant with Dueling Arts International. Class size is limited to 12. Full-fingered gloves are required. Open to all levels.

Class is held at Berkeley Rep’s rehearsal studio at 999 Harrison St, Berkeley CA 94710.

MON 7–10pm · 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13 · $230

Dave Maier is the resident fight director at San Francisco Opera, California Shakespeare Theater, and a company member with Shotgun Players. He has won several awards for Fight Direction and has choreographed violence for several Berkeley Rep productions, including Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. His work has been seen at ACT, La Jolla Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Magic Theatre, and Aurora Theatre Company, among others. He is a Full Instructor of Theatrical Combat with Dueling Arts.

Voice / Dialects

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Voice for Performance: On the Stage and in Daily Life

Free your natural speaking voice! This class will enable students to gradually and safely build vocal strength while continually aiming to reach full vocal potential. Through a series of exercises designed to eliminate the blocks that inhibit vocal freedom, students will develop strength and creative vocal range. Classes will begin with extensive warm-ups, which will be incorporated into relevant texts specifically chosen to best embody and express the true unique vocal life of each student. Students will be given the opportunity to apply techniques learned to a piece of their choice.

TUE 7–10pm · 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4 · $230

Deborah Eubanks was born and raised in London where she combined her knowledge of anatomy as an RN tutor with her theatre training at the Harold Pinter Studios. Deb currently serves on the faculty at SF Academy Art University. She worked with Stephen Hawking’s theatre company Libra. She offers courses at Berkeley Rep and the University of San Francisco (“Voice for Performance”), and coaches for executives from companies such as Sephora, Wells Fargo, Financial Times, Facebook, and Oculus.

Beginning Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class introduces and establishes the skills required to perform different genres of voice acting. Beginning and professional actors learn the techniques and artistry of reading commercial, narration, and character copy. Students also learn professional microphone techniques, home-recording tips, and how to read authentically, as well as how to launch a freelance voice-over career. Students will also get to work with a professional sound engineer. Lessons will be recorded for students to keep for their records.

SAT & SUN 10am–5pm (1 hour lunch break) · 3/30, 3/31 · $290 (Winter)
SAT & SUN 11am–5pm (30 minute lunch break) · 4/6, 4/7 · $290 (Spring)

Sally Clawson is a SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor in voice over, film, and theatre. She has been voicing commercials, industrials, and video games for over 15 years. A partial list of her clients include Clorox, Yoplait, Old Navy, Target, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, has taught at Cal Shakes Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Voice One. Sally has an MFA in Performance from Mills College.

Intermediate Voice-Over Acting

In this voice-over class, students will study and practice multiple styles of voice acting, be introduced to more advanced techniques, and deepen their choices and confidence on the microphone. In addition, students will learn about recording equipment and how to set up a home studio.

Prerequisite: Beginning Voice-Over Acting class.

MON 7–10pm · 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29 · $290

Sally Clawson is a SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor in voice over, film, and theatre. She has been voicing commercials, industrials, and video games for over 15 years. A partial list of her clients include Clorox, Yoplait, Old Navy, Target, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, has taught at Cal Shakes Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Voice One. Sally has an MFA in Performance from Mills College.

Advanced Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class focuses on establishing the student’s home studio for recordings and auditions, as well as shaping, refining, and individualizing each student’s singular voice. Students will be allowed to focus on their preferred type of copy, and will be required to record assignments outside of class. Students without a home studio can record assignments on their phone or other device that creates MP3s. Class size is limited.

Prerequisite: Intermediate skills, or permission from the instructor, are required to take this class.

WED 7–10pm · 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29, 6/5 · $320

Sally Clawson is a SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor in voice over, film, and theatre. She has been voicing commercials, industrials, and video games for over 15 years. A partial list of her clients include Clorox, Yoplait, Old Navy, Target, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, has taught at Cal Shakes Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Voice One. Sally has an MFA in Performance from Mills College.

Musical Theatre Acting

Using improv and physical theatre exercises, as well as character and script analysis, we will mine new, audacious, and vulnerable ways to bring our musical stories to life! Tailored to each student’s experience level, the class is a creative and supportive space for beginners, while also challenging the more seasoned performers and giving concrete tools to use in the future. Each class is accompanied with piano by accomplished Musical Director Grace Renaud, and will culminate in a showcase-style performance of songs of the student’s and teacher’s choosing that show a range of character and emotion. Students are expected bring at least one memorized song that you feel comfortable with for the first class (and the instructor will reach out to help with any questions or music suggestions you may have).

THU 7–10pm · 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23 · $290

Ariela Morgenstern spent nearly a decade working as a professional actor and singer in New York after spending a decade in the classical music and theatre world in San Francisco. Now that she’s back home in California, she coaches actors and executives to breathe new life into their presence and presentations, and is an assistant lecturer in leadership communications and storytelling at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute. Ariela also performs regularly and was seen last summer in the world premiere of the new musical A Walk On The Moon at American Conservatory Theater, as well as at her sold-out cabaret show at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. She has performed throughout California and New York City, including as a soloist in Imant Raminsh’s Symphony of Psalms at Carnegie Hall. A longtime fan of Kurt Weill’s music, she won second place in the International Lotte Lenya Competition. Favorite roles include Mrs. One & Two u/s in Adding Machine (off Broadway), Ms. Wilde in Flashdance the Musical (first national tour), Franca in The Light in the Piazza (Arena Stage and TheatreWorks), Aldonza in Man of La Mancha (Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina), Jenny in The Threepenny Opera (Marvel Rep, New York, Drama Desk nominated), and the title role of Carmen (San Francisco Lyric Opera).

Grace Renaud was born on Maui and moved to Marin as a child and fell in love with the Bay Area. She attended Mills College (Oakland) for both her undergrad and graduate studies in pipe organ performance, studying under Sandra Soderlund. Grace is the music director at Notre Dame des Victoires, music director and organist for the Spanish Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, and choir director and musical theatre music director for Convent/Stuart Hall High School. Her specialties are bringing out the voice of the individual and blending the voices of a group into a refined expression of harmony and truth through music. In 2018, Grace started her own group called Soulshine. It is an intergenerational choir that sings gospel arrangements of songs from all genres to uplift the heart and inspire the soul.

Vocal Presence for Women

Is your voice enhancing or reducing your impact? We speak every day in a variety of situations, and our voice is the most powerful tool to achieve our objectives and navigate the workplace. Yet we rarely focus on how to use it effectively. In this interactive workshop, voice and speech coach Deborah Eubanks will help you explore the range and dynamism of your voice. Through warm-up exercises, breathing techniques, and practice, you’ll develop the skills to unleash your innate, unique vocal power. This workshop can be followed by optional one-on-one sessions with the trainer.

SAT 10am–4pm (30 minute lunch break) · 5/4 · $125

Deborah Eubanks was born and raised in London where she combined her knowledge of anatomy as an RN tutor with her theatre training at the Harold Pinter Studios. Deb currently serves on the faculty at SF Academy Art University. She worked with Stephen Hawking’s theatre company Libra. She offers courses at Berkeley Rep and the University of San Francisco (“Voice for Performance”), and coaches for executives from companies such as Sephora, Wells Fargo, Financial Times, Facebook, and Oculus.

Genre Dialect Work for Improvisers and Actors

Upstairs/Downstairs and Film Noir

Don’t want to break out in a cold sweat every time you are endowed as a British dowager in a period romance or a cockney house servant? Can’t quite figure out what exactly the other improvisers are doing with their voices in those film noir scenes? Learn physical triggers that will help you quickly find the placement, melody, and general sound changes for some of the most commonly called for dialects in improvisation. We will study the dialects in a multi-sensorial way, with a focus on the physical changes, the phonetic sound changes, and immersion (listening to primary sources of the dialect). We’ll also get the dialects up on their feet in improv games and scenes.

TUE 7–10pm · 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30 · $230

Rebecca Castelli holds a BA in voice and theatre and an MFA in acting. Previously from Seattle, she won a Seattle Times Footlight Award for her role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and also had the honor of acting with Tony award-winning actress Judy Kaye in Gypsy at 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company. She was a company member of the Marin-based Porchlight Theatre Company for five years and had leads in many of their mainstage productions, including Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. Locally, Rebecca has also acted with Shotgun Players and Cinnabar Theater Company. She dialect coaches for various Bay Area theatres, including Shotgun Players, Theatre Rhinoceros, Town Hall Theatre Company, Mendocino Theatre Company, Virago Theatre Company, and Ross Valley Players. She is a founding member of The Incidentalists, a long-form improvisational group based in Oakland.

Private Voice

Learn to sing with ease and confidence, eliminating vocal pain and fatigue while improving your range and breath control. Each session includes breathing and relaxation exercises, vocal exercises and technique, and vocal coaching on songs, including how to act a song and how to prepare a musical theatre audition.

MON between 10am–noon · $80/hour
To schedule a voice session email rcastelli@berkeleyrep.org

Rebecca Castelli holds a BA in voice and theatre and an MFA in acting. Previously from Seattle, she won a Seattle Times Footlight Award for her role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and also had the honor of acting with Tony award-winning actress Judy Kaye in Gypsy at 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company. She was a company member of the Marin-based Porchlight Theatre Company for five years and had leads in many of their mainstage productions, including Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. Locally, Rebecca has also acted with Shotgun Players and Cinnabar Theater Company. She dialect coaches for various Bay Area theatres, including Shotgun Players, Theatre Rhinoceros, Town Hall Theatre Company, Mendocino Theatre Company, Virago Theatre Company, and Ross Valley Players. She is a founding member of The Incidentalists, a long-form improvisational group based in Oakland.

Writing

Playwriting

This class is for anyone who has ever wanted to write a play, and those who have already written one and want to develop it further with a writers group. Areas of focus include character development, dramatic structure, writing dialogue, and effective exposition. The course provides a structured writing program, deadlines for presenting work, and a supportive group of writers with which to share and discuss projects. Students present portions of the developing work to the class and submit a draft of the final project to the instructor for written feedback at the end of the course.

TUE 7–10pm · 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4 · $350

Gary Graves is a company co-director of Central Works Theater Ensemble in Berkeley. Now in its 12th season, Central Works is dedicated to the development of new works for the theatre. He has written and directed numerous productions with Central Works, UC Berkeley, Hardback Theater, and American Theater Arts in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University and a PhD in directing from UC Berkeley.

 

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Roda Theatre
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