Acting & Musical Theatre

The Acting and Musical Theatre program gives interested students the opportunity to study the practical and theoretical elements of live theatre. The program integrates classwork and practical workshops with an active production schedule that includes two main-stage productions a year and a variety of student projects.

Emphasis on acting preparation through the study of various techniques in acting (Meisner and Stanislavsky, Bogart, Chekov method), voice and diction, and physical techniques are highlighted. Students will hone their powers of observations and attention to detail as well as their creative problem solving skills. Learning to form, organize and articulate ideas and listen to others in rehearsal and performance is the ultimate goal.

Class Levels

Little Stars: Ages 5-6

Creative drama offers an opportunity for children to:

    • Expand self-awareness
    • Develop imagination
    • Think independently
    • Work cooperatively
    • Improve communication skills
    • Express a healthy release of emotions
    • Build social awareness

In essence, creative drama is dramatic activities which have the experience of the participants as the goal. This differs from theatre classes in which preparation for a performance is the objective. Creative drama is usually reserved for children four to six years old – or stages of development when participants can benefit from dramatic experience if there is no pressure to perform. Creative drama can include dramatic play, story enactment, imagination journeys, theatre games, music, and dance. “Let’s pretend” is the norm in creative drama class, not just a child’s game. Creative drama can help children learn about emotions, problem solving, and relating to other people. Through their experiences with drama, students develop their imaginations and their confidence.

Spotlight Drama & Musical Theatre: Ages 7-9

Spotlight Drama and Musical theatre is designed to educate students about the combination of theatre and music. Students will learn basic acting and singing techniques and theatre and musical theatre terminology for their grade level. This class is designed to teach students how to work together in groups, think critically, use their imagination, discover new ideas, and solve problems. Students will learn how to improve their focus, self-confidence, and social skills. Students will be expected to work to the best of their ability to achieve group and individual success.

Center Stage 1: Ages 10-11 & Center Stage 2: Ages 12 & Up

This course is an overview of the American Musical Theater through the study of its’ elements and its’ history as well as hands on experience with 2 musical pieces. This course addresses how to approach the imaginary circumstances of musical acting by working with objectives, obstacles, tactics, relationships, beats and personalization. as well as explores the music, lyrics and libretto of a musical and teaches the student to look at (and listen to) these components of a musical for clues to character development.

Acting 2: Ages 10-11

This course will focus on two main projects which build experience and self-confidence, as well as collaborations that allow students to be part of something greater than themselves. Emphasis on acting preparation through the study of various techniques in acting (Meisner and Stanislavsky, Bogart, Chekov method), voice and diction, and physical techniques are highlighted. Students will hone their powers of observations and attention to detail as well as their creative problem solving skills. Learning to form, organize and articulate ideas and listen to others in rehearsal and performance is the ultimate goal.

This dynamic class is great for young actors who want to have fun, be challenged and learn the art of acting. Acting classes are a powerful way to teach confidence, risk taking, cooperation and problem solving skills. This class is designed to be repeated. We have two performances in January and June!

Acting 3: Ages 12-13

This course will focus on two main projects which build experience and self-confidence, as well as collaborations that allow students to be part of something greater than themselves. Emphasis on acting preparation through the study of various techniques in acting (Meisner and Stanislavsky, Bogart, Chekov method), voice and diction, and physical techniques are highlighted. Students will hone their powers of observations and attention to detail as well as their creative problem solving skills. Learning to form, organize and articulate ideas and listen to others in rehearsal and performance is the ultimate goal.

This exciting class is just for 12- 13 yr olds. Just the right balance of fun and seriousness, it offers an opportunity to build acting skills and connect with other young actors, as well as have a great time. Students will work on understanding conflict, action and how to drive a scene, and most importantly personalizing any material to make a performance uniquely their own.

Teen Musical Theatre: Ages 12-18

In this fast paced class teen performers hone their skills performing in plays and musicals including learning Broadway songs, performing musical and non-musical scenes, and through other solo and ensemble material.  They will continue to develop a solid acting foundation through character development, improv skills, vocal technique, and staging in this Broadway-bound performance class. We will have two performances in January and June!

Improv for Teens: Ages 13-18

Improvisation taps into the part of most student’s brains that seldom gets fully activated or utilized and is the most powerful tool available to build confidence in student performers. Students will learn to create expression, imagination, and appreciation in group dynamics. They will create scenes and narrative structures and develop their improv skills through games and learn to make, accept and extend offers in improvisation.

Scenes and Monologues: Ages 13-18

This semester as well as next semester Scenes and Monologues class will be emphasing The Meisner Technique and the teachings of Uta Hagen and Stella Adler. These popular acting techniques are based on a total understanding of yourself, your character and the surrounding of any given scene or play. The goal of these methods are to eliminate the “actor” on the stage, leaving a character that exists completely within the moment, learn to live in the moment as an actor, and let go of any idea of result. Learn what it means to really “do” and to respond truthfully to a given moment based on what you get from your partner. Through improvisation, emotional truth and personal response learn to resonate authenticity within a given circumstance. Using these methods the students will begin to understand one of the definitions of real acting, which is “to live truthfully under the imaginary circumstances”. The training involves a specific series of exercises that build upon each other. The successful comprehension and execution of each exercise is essential to the success of the next and so on. Everyone begins at the beginning and moves through each step laying essential groundwork for the second semester’s focus of demonstrating a clear and full understanding of emotional preparation, relationships, and objectives.

Legit Play: Ages 12-18 (September-November)

For serious and committed students grades 8-12, by audition in late August. Additional rehearsal time may be required. Rehearsals meet twice weekly. This is a 4 month commitment. Advanced ensemble will  explore and enrich acquired skills, including physical and vocal work, characterization, emotional truth and availability, active pursuit of an objective and ensemble storytelling. This important class for honing skills and taking greater risks culminates in a fully produced play directed by Leland Williams.

Lights! Camera! Action!: Acting for Camera Ages 11-13 (January-May)

Using cameras and smartphones this exciting class teaches both commercial and film audition skills. Students will work on-camera every week, as well as watch and review playback footage.  Class will encompass single and two person copy and how to make essential adjustments between working on stage and acting for the camera.

Dress Code

Little Stars

Comfortable clothes that students can move in. No dresses or flip flops. Black slip-on or lace-up tap shoes.

Acting and Musical Theatre

Comfortable but appropriate clothing, nothing that will distract from work at hand, ie: pulling clothing up or down, unable to move fully.