Adult classes

Pre-Season Workshop

Advanced Scene Study: Applied Physical Theatre

This unique intensive is an opportunity to focus on plays that require physically stylized performance techniques often loosely referred to as “physical theatre.” Techniques will be drawn from Lecoq, Grotowski, Artaud, Bogart, Chaikin, Van Itallie, Suzuki, and more. Inspired by the work of notable physical theatre companies (such as Complicite, Kneehigh Theatre, SITI Company, Lookingglass Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and more), we will apply those techniques to scenes that are suited to physical theatre techniques. Scenes will be selected from a wide range of plays, including The Tempest, The Miser, Ubu Roi, Marat Sade, Angels in America, The Laramie Project, 1001 Arabian Nights, and The Wild Bride. In order to make the most of class time, students will be assigned scenes and rehearse prior to the first class.

FRI 7–10pm, SAT & SUN 11am–5pm · 9/15, 9/16, 9/17 · $210

James Wagner is a Los Angeles based actor who has taught acting workshops in the Bay Area for over 10 years. As a teacher he explores cutting edge acting techniques—believing that we live in an evolving universe and that acting must have its own evolutionary trajectory. He has pursued integrative techniques that connect body, mind, emotion, and spirit to the various aspects of spatial and interpersonal relationships on stage. James also believes the creative process can be more than just a craft and a profession but also a sacred process and a transformative practice. He is an MFA graduate of American Conservatory Theatre and has a PhD in Transformative Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies.

Acting

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Beginning Acting

Develop a basic understanding of acting fundamentals through Stanislavski-based practice. Using exercises and scene work, the 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 · 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20 · $325 (August)
SAT 11am–1pm · 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28 · $200 (Nicolaus)

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.

Jack Nicolaus is an actor, director, clown, educator, and arts advocate with 10 years of experience in the professional theatre world. He has worked with organizations such as the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, American Repertory Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 59E59, Peoples Improv Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Department of Defense. He is the artistic director emeritus of Everybody Nose: NYC, a clown ensemble in New York. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Acting and Directing from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University.

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 learn to analyze the text for its rhythms, its rhetorical flourish, and its tonal colors, and apply it to their monologue work. All levels welcome

MON 7–10pm · 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16 · $230

Julian López-Morillas is well known in the Bay Area as a professional actor and director specializing in Shakespeare. He holds the rare distinction of having appeared in professional productions of all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays and has directed some 20 of them. He had a long association with California Shakespeare Theater and served as its Associate Artistic Director for several years. Julian has taught Shakespeare as literature at Mills College and classical acting technique at UC Berkeley, San Jose State, Foothill College, Solano College, and Dominican.

Intermediate Acting

Students 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.

TUE 7–10pm · 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21 · $350

Jack Nicolaus is an actor, director, clown, educator, and arts advocate with 10 years of experience in the professional theatre world. He has worked with organizations such as the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, American Repertory Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 59E59, Peoples Improv Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Department of Defense. He is the artistic director emeritus of Everybody Nose: NYC, a clown ensemble in New York. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Acting and Directing from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University.

Intermediate/Advanced Acting

Students analyze and perform two and three person scenes varied in style and period focusing on honesty of interpretation and also the intentions of the playwright. 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 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.

WED 7–10pm · 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, 11/29 · $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: Scene Study

Are you disenchanted with the Method? Have you felt limited by purely analytical approaches to acting? Have you asked yourself, “How can I maintain my emotional connection to self and others onstage? And what on earth should I be doing with my body right now?” If so, you are not alone, and there is indeed a remedy! In this scene study performers will utilize the rasabox system, a concrete physical tool to access, express, and manage their feelings/emotions within the context of scene work. Initiating participants into physical expression of eight key emotions, rasaboxes integrates ancient theory with contemporary emotion research on the enteric nervous system, facial expression, and neuroscience. Participants will train to work holistically through direct physical practice, in which body/mind/emotions are treated as a single system. In practice, rasaboxes produces performances that are visceral and useful across a wide range of contexts. Rasaboxes integrates rather than separates acting, movement, and voice, engaging the whole performer in a single, powerful, and learnable approach. Students are guided to work with gentle awareness of their own physical limitations and strengths. This is a physical class for people of all stages of life. Want to know more? Visit rasaboxes.org for more information on this technique.

THU 7–10pm · 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 · $230

Susan-Jane Harrison trained as an actor at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and received an MFA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis. As an actor, Susan-Jane has performed throughout the UK. Locally, she has worked with Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre, Woman’s Will, Center Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, and A Traveling Jewish Theatre, among others. She was the recipient of a First Bite Award from Radio 4 where her first play, Alaska, was subsequently produced. A second radio play, The Quetzal, has been aired on the PBS Satellite Network. Her first stage play, Today I Live, has been workshopped through RADA in London and premiered in 2016 with a subsequent play, Hunting Love, produced in the Bay Area. Susan-Jane has taught Laban Movement, Voice into Text, and acting in numerous acting programs throughout the Bay Area including The Actor’s Centre, Columbina’s Workshop, UC Davis, Jeffrey Bihr Studio, and Woman’s Will. She is a teaching artist with California Shakespeare Theater.

Intermediate/Advanced Acting: Shakespeare

This class is for students who have taken at least one class that incorporated the rasaboxes system. See class description for Intermediate/Advanced Acting: Scene Study offered earlier this fall. In this class we will work with Shakespeare’s text within the rasaboxes system. Students will learn a short Shakespeare scene in the context of this class. After reviewing the rasaboxes system, we will work with Shakespeare scenes in the context of the rasaboxes system, culminating in performance of these scenes during the final class. We will also touch on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s approach to text including the work of Linklater and Cicely Berry: decoding the structure of iambic pentameter, discovering the potential ‘clues’ in broken metre/verse structural changes, following breath and rhythm, lifting words, and exploring emphasis.

THU 7–10pm · 10/26, 11/3, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30 · $230

Susan-Jane Harrison trained as an actor at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and received an MFA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis. As an actor, Susan-Jane has performed throughout the UK. Locally, she has worked with Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre, Woman’s Will, Center Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, and A Traveling Jewish Theatre, among others. She was the recipient of a First Bite Award from Radio 4 where her first play, Alaska, was subsequently produced. A second radio play, The Quetzal, has been aired on the PBS Satellite Network. Her first stage play, Today I Live, has been workshopped through RADA in London and premiered in 2016 with a subsequent play, Hunting Love, produced in the Bay Area. Susan-Jane has taught Laban Movement, Voice into Text, and acting in numerous acting programs throughout the Bay Area including The Actor’s Centre, Columbina’s Workshop, UC Davis, Jeffrey Bihr Studio, and Woman’s Will. She is a teaching artist with California Shakespeare Theater.

Advanced Acting

Advanced Acting is an intensive scene study course for students with previous acting training and/or experience. The class focuses on solidifying technique, deepening internal connection, and strengthening textual analysis skills. Scenes are drawn from a variety of styles and genres, and students should expect to spend substantial rehearsal time outside of class.

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

Due to instructor’s high demand, class schedule can change occasionally. Total instructional hours will always be met.

MON 6:30–9:30pm · 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/23, 10/30, 11/13 · $265

Andrew Hurteau has been acting and teaching since graduating from American Conservatory Theater. He has performed with Berkeley Rep, ACT, the Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, and throughout the Bay Area. In addition to the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Andrew has taught at ACT, Academy of Art University, and the Nueva School.

On-Camera Acting

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. 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.

MON & WED 7–10pm · 9/13, 9/18, 9/20, 9/25, 9/27, 10/2, 10/4 · $300

Rolf Saxon (AEA, BAE, SAG/AFTRA) is originally from the Bay Area and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he remained after graduation working extensively in film, television, and theatre, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Theatre Complicite, the Royal Court, and the National, as well as West End and regional productions working with, among others, directors Simon Curtis, Simon McBurney, Adrian Noble, Trevor Nunn, and Matthew Warchus, and actors Daryl Hannah, Rosemary Harris, Kelly McGillis, and Gene Wilder. His film and television credits include working with directors Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma, and actors Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel, Tom Hanks, Dame Helen Mirren, Jonathan Pryce, and Ryan Reynolds. A director in both theatre and film, he has also been a private tutor and coach for over 20 years as well as a teacher at the Drama Lab (London) and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Presently, he is a Professor at Ohlone College and teaches at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (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 who will attend most classes. Lessons will be recorded for students to keep for their records.

MON 7–10pm · 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20 · $395

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.

Voice-Over for Podcasters

Up the fan base of your podcast by learning simple voice-over skills to bring dynamic energy and game to your stories, interviews, or person-on-the-street adventures. This class will not turn you into a radio personality. Instead, it will enhance your natural talent, authenticity, and on-air confidence. We will discuss the best equipment and recording spaces. Best of all, we will record a short podcast in each class! Class size is limited to 12.

WED 7–10pm · 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8 · $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.

Clowning for Stage and Circus

Tap in to poetic sources of humor and connection, through this ancient and irreverent art form! We’ll explore physical comedy, improvisation, clown logic, and the nature of comedy itself. By using the clown’s unique role as a Holy Fool, we’ll explore how clowns apply their infinite stupidity to the questions of existence, in order to celebrate, mock, reinforce, combat, question, or comment on the societies we live in and the lives we lead. Inspiration will be drawn from: circus, mime, theatre, cartoons, masks, vaudeville, and ritual clowning.

THU 7–9:30pm · 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16 · $200

Nikolas Strubbe is an internationally acclaimed performing artist, director, and educator, bringing the eccentric arts (circus, vaudeville, physical theatre, mask, and more) to four continents and counting. Nikolas has been featured in Zoppe Circus, Circus Avalon, Barzirk, Burlesque Idol Australia, and TV’s MythBusters. Local roles include Banquo in We Players’ Macbeth at Fort Point and the vaudevillian Emcee Eddie in Boxcar Theatre’s immersive cult hit The Speakeasy. Nikolas is a graduate of UCSC and The Flying Actor Studio, co-founded San Francisco’s Main Street Theatre, and has taught at San Francisco’s Circus Center, the Nueva School, and workshops at Stanford University. He is currently a faculty member at the Clown Conservatory, teaching Mime and Clown to professional circus artists, and he occasionally tours as the adults-only, improv-vaudevillian The Incredible Feelzo: Man of Moderate Talent.

Theatre of the Oppressed: “Rehearsal for Revolution”

Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) is a form of popular education that uses theatre as a vehicle for fundamental social transformation. Forged in the crucible of revolutionary movements, it uses the dynamized human body and the charged theatrical space as laboratories for exploring power, transforming oppression, and finding collective solutions to the fundamental problems of conflict, exploitation, violence, and human suffering. Harnessing the reflexivity of the theatrical form as a generative critical methodology, TO charges that there are no neutral observers, ideologies, or systems of practice: every spectator is a potential actor, every system potentially oppressive or liberatory, and that the collective artistic liberation of our human capacity, dignity, and creativity is an imperative for transformation and survival. This workshop will review basic techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed (Demechanization, Dynamization, Image Theatre, Forum Theatre), as well as advanced uses of Image Theatre, Forum Theatre, internal techniques (Rainbow of Desire, Cop-in-the-Head), while exploring TO-specific approaches to devising, rehearsal, performance, facilitation, and activism. These techniques will be shared as practical and essential tools for artistic development, creative expression, and social engagement. It will also focus on their application to collective problem-solving, community-building, resistance, resilience, and transformation of structural and systemic violence at this historic moment of backlash and racism. Open to all levels.

THU 7–10pm · 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30 · $350

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: Rapier and Dagger

Ages 16 and up · Unleash your inner Mercutio! Learn to create the illusion of violence while studying the martial art most commonly practiced in Renaissance Europe. Students will learn to layer acting skills and stage combat technique to create convincing scenes containing theatrical violence. Use both sides of the brain and body while learning this unique and versatile art form. All students will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform scenes that include a choreographed fight and take a skills proficiency test for certification as a Theatrical Combatant with Dueling Arts International. Full-fingered gloves are required. Class size is limited to 12. Open to all levels.

MON 7–10pm · 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 11/27, 12/4 · $265

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

Audition

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The Art of Auditioning

This class covers all aspects of the audition process but focuses on the commitment to strong, imaginatively chosen actions. Actors will work on either a classical or a contemporary monologue on the first day of the workshop and on the second day, the focus will shift to working with sides and a reader. Learn how to prepare to show your full range as an actor and to bring any scene to dramatic life, ready to make any adjustments that the director might give you. Each actor will receive individual attention on their monologue and we will recreate the audition situation with a “reader” or a scene partner, a director, and several “sides” from one or two plays. Sides will be distributed on Saturday so actors can prepare.

SAT & SUN noon–5pm · 10/28, 10/29 · $190

Amy Potozkin is in her 28th season at Berkeley Rep. Through the years she has also had the pleasure of casting plays for ACT (Seattle), Arizona Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, B Street Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Marin Theatre Company, the Marsh, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Social Impact Productions Inc., and Traveling Jewish Theatre. Amy cast roles for various independent films, including Conceiving Ada, starring Tilda Swinton; Haiku Tunnel and Love & Taxes, both by Josh Kornbluth; and Beyond Redemption by Britta Sjogren. Amy received her MFA from Brandeis University, where she was also an artist in residence. She has been an audition coach to hundreds of actors and presentation/communication coach to many business people. Amy taught acting at Mills College and audition technique at Berkeley Rep’s School of Theatre, and has led workshops at numerous other venues in the Bay Area. Prior to working at Berkeley Rep, she was an intern at Playwrights Horizons in New York. Amy is a member of CSA, the Casting Society of America, and was nominated for an Artios Award for Excellence in Casting for The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures and One Man, Two Guvnors.

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 Improvisation

Gain experience and understanding of the philosophies and fundamentals of improvisational theatre via a Keith Johnstone (IMPRO)-based practice in this beginning 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 · 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, 11/29 · $350

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.

Intermediate/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.

TUE 7–10pm · 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21 · $350

Diane Rachel has been performing and teaching at BATS Improv since 1989. She created a specialty long-form program with a focus on intimate acting and stage combat, which has attracted an international following. She has led workshops in Melbourne, Paris, Amsterdam, and Helsinki and has taught at ACT and Stanford. Diane is a founding member of San Francisco improv group True Fiction Magazine.

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: Intermediate Improvisation at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre or special permission from the instructor.

WED 7–10pm · 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 (performance), 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, 11/17 (performance) · $330

Diane Rachel has been performing and teaching at BATS Improv since 1989. She created a specialty long-form program with a focus on intimate acting and stage combat, which has attracted an international following. She has led workshops in Melbourne, Paris, Amsterdam, and Helsinki and has taught at ACT and Stanford. Diane is a founding member of San Francisco improv group True Fiction Magazine.

Improv for Business Professionals

We’ve all heard the buzz: Improv is no longer just for actors. 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. “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. It is clear that a paradigm shift is taking place and more of a premium is being placed on right brain behavior, as evidenced by the rising popularity of improv theatre training within top MBA programs, such as Duke, UCLA, MIT, and Stanford. 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. Because we live in an exciting time of cross pollinations, improv theatre training has proven itself to be a highly effective method for teaching 21st-century soft skills to the modern executive. This class is specifically designed for professionals from any field who want to reap the benefits of this training and develop their leadership skills. In this playful and unpretentious atmosphere, you will learn to harness your creativity, enhance your public speaking, trust your instincts, deepen your listening skills, read nonverbal body language, master your emotions, quiet your inner critic, and gain confidence in front of an audience.

THU 7–9pm · 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26 · $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.

Directing / Devising

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Directing with Precision

Are you the kind of artist who wants to control everything? In this introduction to a stage director’s craft, we’ll explore how the director crafts every event that occurs onstage between the start and finish of the play. Prepare the text, the space, the elements of design, and the actors to tell a clear and compelling story. We’ll cover three major topics throughout the course: a director’s script analysis, the basics of stagecraft and mise-en-scene, and strategies for communicating with actors to draw out their best performances. The course builds toward the presentation of a directed scene. Students should come to the class with an idea of a two-character, 10-minute scene that they’d like to direct. Casting resources of Berkeley Rep’s acting students as well as professional actor contacts will be available for the directors who request it. Students will leave the class with a clear process for preparing and rehearsing a scene from start to finish.

MON 7–10pm · 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20 · $300

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.

Devising Theatre

Got an idea for a non-conventional theatrical performance that you want to develop? Want exercises that will help shape and explore that idea? Want to build a community of creators just like you? Devising Theatre is an eight-week class where students will start with an idea and begin to develop the shape, structure, through line, characters, technical, and musical aspects. The class will culminate in an invited public showing for friends and family.

WED 7–9:30pm · 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, 11/29 · $300

Dan Wolf is an actor, rapper, playwright, director, producer, and educator. His work crosses artistic and cultural borders to combine conventional theatre styles with the themes, language, music, history, politics, and aesthetics of the Hip-Hop generation. Dan is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Hip-Hop music and theatre collective Felonious “known to turn Hip-Hop shows into ass-shaking Musical Theater.” Dan is also the Artistic Director of Sound in the Silence an experiential education project that uses history to inspire new performance and creative expression. Dan is currently developing Curren$y, an all female Hip-Hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. His play Daylighting was produced by Shotgun Players in 2014. His play Stateless, a hip-hop and beatbox infused theatrical collaboration with Tommy Shepherd, balancing German and Jewish history with the problems of racism and the African American experience, has been produced in San Francisco, Hamburg, and New York. His play Angry Black White Boy, based on the novel by Adam Mansbach, premiered at Intersection for the Arts in October 2008, ran for 12 sold-out weeks, and was named Top Ten Best Theater Plays by the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner. His play Beatbox: A Raparetta (co-authored with Tommy Shepherd) has been produced in San Francisco, Oakland, Petaluma, Germany, and at the New York Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Beatbox is published by TCG in the Hip-Hop Theater anthology Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy.

Creating Solo Work Through Adaptation: Folktales and Your Own

The creation of new work is challenging for many reasons. How can our personal stories both sustain and explain us? How can we connect these narratives to the work? Cast member Susan Lynskey from Imaginary Comforts will lead students through a series of strategies and techniques that will inspire and provoke new ideas regarding your tales, your family’s, and actual folktales while studying the style of Daniel Handler in order to make your own original solo theatre piece. Tony Taccone, director of Imaginary Comforts, will visit the class, and we are hoping to entice Daniel Handler and other cast members to join us to discuss their creative process.

MON 7–10pm · 10/9, 10/23, 11/6 · $160

Susan Lynskey is a Helen Hayes-nominated actor who performs regularly at Washington, DC-area theatres, as well as increasingly on the West Coast—as a Berkeley Rep actor with Imaginary Comforts this season and with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s nationally-acclaimed world premiere, Roe. She earned her BA (Honours) from McGill University, her MFA from the University of Iowa, and her Certificate from the National Theatre School of Canada. Susan is an Associate Professor and the Artistic Adviser to Co-Curricular Theatre in Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts—and serves nationally on multiple task forces for Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and Georgetown University that advocate for inclusion of all abilities, diversity, and social justice. She is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA. Susan believes in the power of story, its ability to explain and sustain us, to comfort, and to transform lives. Susan is delighted to serve this Fall 2017 semester at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre.

Movement

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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!

TUE 7–9:30pm · 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 · $185

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.

Stage Combat: Rapier and Dagger

Ages 16 and up · Unleash your inner Mercutio! Learn to create the illusion of violence while studying the martial art most commonly practiced in Renaissance Europe. Students will learn to layer acting skills and stage combat technique to create convincing scenes containing theatrical violence. Use both sides of the brain and body while learning this unique and versatile art form. All students will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform scenes that include a choreographed fight and take a skills proficiency test for certification as a Theatrical Combatant with Dueling Arts International. Full-fingered gloves are required. Class size is limited to 12. Open to all levels.

MON 7–10pm · 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 11/27, 12/4 · $265

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

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 sustain 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.

THU 7–10pm · 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 · $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.

Dialects and Accents for Improvisers and Actors

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 cowboy from Texas in a Western genre? Learn physical triggers that will help you quickly find the placement, melody, and general sound changes for commonly called for dialects in improvisation—from New York, Plantation Southern, rural Southern, and Texas, to foreign accents such as British, Irish, French, German, and Russian. We will study the dialects in a multisensorial way, with a focus on the physical changes, the phonetic sound changes, and with immersion (listening to primary sources of the dialect). We’ll also get the dialects “up on their feet” in improv games and scenes.

THU 7–10pm · 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30 · $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.

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 who will attend most classes. Lessons will be recorded for students to keep for their records.

MON 7–10pm · 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20 · $395

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.

Voice-Over for Podcasters

Up the fan base of your podcast by learning simple voice-over skills to bring dynamic energy and game to your stories, interviews, or person-on-the-street adventures. This class will not turn you into a radio personality. Instead, it will enhance your natural talent, authenticity, and on-air confidence. We will discuss the best equipment and recording spaces. Best of all, we will record a short podcast in each class! Class size is limited to 12.

WED 7–10pm · 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8 · $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.

Empowering Women in the Workplace: Section One

What is Presence?

Open to all levels · This section offers practical exercises on using clarity and control when speaking to large groups or one on one, while maintaining the human connection. Through interactive techniques we will explore how to fully engage a group in an in-person or digital meeting. We will focus on making a successful pitch within strict time constraints, and amongst an unreceptive or challenging audience. Lastly, we will work on diagraming a speech in accordance with unique styles that are successful within corporate cultures.

SAT & SUN 1–5pm · 9/30, 10/1 · $285

Deborah Eubanks is in her 14th year teaching at the School of Theatre and is currently coaching and teaching Vocal Mastery with Peter Novak of The Strictly Speaking Group, at Facebook headquarters at Oculus. She also serves on the faculty at the Academy of Art University and on the URTA audition panel and teaches acting technique for Art Experience High School students at SF Academy. She has served on the faculty at the University of San Francisco, was Director in Residence at Sonoma State University, Head of Curriculum Design of the Theater Arts program at St. Vincent’s High School, and has taught at American Conservatory Theater and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Deborah completed her training at Harold Pinter Studios in the U.K. She has directed at Libra Theatre Company under Stephen Hawking, as well as teaching and performing at Covent Garden Arts Center Cambridge and Age Exchange Theatre in London. Deborah was voted SF Divafest Playwright for Crystal Daze. She is a vocal coach to Oculus, Facebook, and an inspirational speaker at Old Navy.

Empowering Women in the Workplace: Section Two

Being Seen and Recognized for Your Expertise and Contributions: Taking Credit and Rejecting “The Imposter Syndrome”

This section focuses on speaking from a place of strength and owning your accomplishments. Everybody carries their own styles of expression. In this section we will build on your unique traits to amplify your skills as a leader. We will use actor techniques, role-play real world examples, and analyze any past scenarios that clients wish to bring to the room. We will examine how this applies to introvert and extrovert leadership styles.

SAT & SUN 1–5pm · 11/4, 11/5 · $285

Deborah Eubanks is in her 14th year teaching at the School of Theatre and is currently coaching and teaching Vocal Mastery with Peter Novak of The Strictly Speaking Group, at Facebook headquarters at Oculus. She also serves on the faculty at the Academy of Art University and on the URTA audition panel and teaches acting technique for Art Experience High School students at SF Academy. She has served on the faculty at the University of San Francisco, was Director in Residence at Sonoma State University, Head of Curriculum Design of the Theater Arts program at St. Vincent’s High School, and has taught at American Conservatory Theater and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Deborah completed her training at Harold Pinter Studios in the U.K. She has directed at Libra Theatre Company under Stephen Hawking, as well as teaching and performing at Covent Garden Arts Center Cambridge and Age Exchange Theatre in London. Deborah was voted SF Divafest Playwright for Crystal Daze. She is a vocal coach to Oculus, Facebook, and an inspirational speaker at Old Navy.

Empowering Women in the Workplace: Section Three

Calming and Centering the Body for a Powerful Entrance: Stake Your Territory

This section will bring together elements of sections one and two and provide ongoing tools to remove performance anxiety. Participants will learn how to embrace nervous habits and work with nervous energy to enhance communication. We will focus on breathing, posture, and owning your unique physical expression. Participants will learn techniques to use every day and develop a communication style that feels natural, unrehearsed, conveys the passion of your intentions, and presents your authentic and spontaneous self.

SAT & SUN 1–5pm · 12/2, 12/3 · $285

Deborah Eubanks is in her 14th year teaching at the School of Theatre and is currently coaching and teaching Vocal Mastery with Peter Novak of The Strictly Speaking Group, at Facebook headquarters at Oculus. She also serves on the faculty at the Academy of Art University and on the URTA audition panel and teaches acting technique for Art Experience High School students at SF Academy. She has served on the faculty at the University of San Francisco, was Director in Residence at Sonoma State University, Head of Curriculum Design of the Theater Arts program at St. Vincent’s High School, and has taught at American Conservatory Theater and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Deborah completed her training at Harold Pinter Studios in the U.K. She has directed at Libra Theatre Company under Stephen Hawking, as well as teaching and performing at Covent Garden Arts Center Cambridge and Age Exchange Theatre in London. Deborah was voted SF Divafest Playwright for Crystal Daze. She is a vocal coach to Oculus, Facebook, and an inspirational speaker at Old Navy.

Private Voice

Learn to sing with ease and confidence, eliminating vocal pain and fatigue while improving your range and breathing 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.

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

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

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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 · 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21 · $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.

Writing Funny: An Interactive Writing Comedy Workshop

Everyone enjoys a good laugh. What’s even better is creating that laugh. What makes something funny is a skill that can be honed. We will examine the components of humor and apply it to your work. Whether you are writing a play, short story, novel, or preparing a presentation, Writing Funny will improve your work and give it that humorous lift it needs. If there is one funny bone in your body, there are others, and together we’ll find them. The most important thing in this class is that you enjoy writing and creating. The space is safe, your process is respected, and everyone gets a chance to work and create in a supportive, constructive setting. Students are asked to come to the first class with a few pages of a humorous scene, or story with some dialogue. This will be the basis of the first session as we edit, shape, and transform your work, so SNL will come begging for your material!

SAT 11am–1pm · 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18 · $160

Arje Shaw is a playwright, actor, and producer best known for The Gathering, produced on Broadway in 2001. He has written sit-coms for ABC along with his plays: A Catered Affair, produced Off Broadway, and Magic Hands Freddy, Soho Playhouse starring Ralph Macchio. Moolah is soon to open in New York in 2017; Marriage In Play is being workshopped regionally, and his one-man show, Freddy Goes Solo, is being developed at the Marsh and Stage Werx in San Francisco. He is currently co-producer of the new hit musical Love Sick at the Osher Studio and Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Arje is the creator and producer of The Sonnet Man, a hip hop Shakespeare fusion starring spoken word poet Devon Glover. In collaboration with artist Maggie Silverman and Devon Glover, Arje is writing “Billy Eats the Big Apple,” a children’s guide to New York City through rap.

Creating Solo Work Through Adaptation: Folktales and Your Own

The creation of new work is challenging for many reasons. How can our personal stories both sustain and explain us? How can we connect these narratives to the work? Cast member Susan Lynskey from Imaginary Comforts will lead students through a series of strategies and techniques that will inspire and provoke new ideas regarding your tales, your family’s, and actual folktales while studying the style of Daniel Handler in order to make your own original solo theatre piece. Tony Taccone, director of Imaginary Comforts, will visit the class, and we are hoping to entice Daniel Handler and other cast members to join us to discuss their creative process.

MON 7–10pm · 10/9, 10/23, 11/6 · $160

Susan Lynskey is a Helen Hayes-nominated actor who performs regularly at Washington, DC-area theatres, as well as increasingly on the West Coast—as a Berkeley Rep actor with Imaginary Comforts this season and with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s nationally-acclaimed world premiere, Roe. She earned her BA (Honours) from McGill University, her MFA from the University of Iowa, and her Certificate from the National Theatre School of Canada. Susan is an Associate Professor and the Artistic Adviser to Co-Curricular Theatre in Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts—and serves nationally on multiple task forces for Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and Georgetown University that advocate for inclusion of all abilities, diversity, and social justice. She is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA. Susan believes in the power of story, its ability to explain and sustain us, to comfort, and to transform lives. Susan is delighted to serve this Fall 2017 semester at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre.