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Theatre Course Descriptions

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Choice A
ACTING OUT; A Foundation in the The Method with Breath Awareness taught by Lucinda McDermott
This hands on acting studio will give students a strong foundation in Stanislavski’s Acting Method as interpreted by Uta Hagen (HB Studios) and enhanced with the Breath Awareness Technique by Michael Moriarty. The Method introduces the student to the terminology used predominately in the acting industry. Through exercises and scene work, students will gain a working knowledge of the acting approach that is the basis for all other methods, and one for which the actor can develop his/her own approach. Neutral mask work will be used to help build characters with a strong physical life. Dress to move. Lucinda studied in NYC both at HB and the Michael Moriarty Acting Studio.

Choice B
BROADWAY SINGERS BOOT CAMP; A Course in Stage Singing for Actors taught by David Jennings
This course is designed to introduce the budding actor to the fundamentals of Singing for the Stage, and by association, Professional Singing. Through the use of intensive vocal exercises aimed at breaking bad vocal habits and promoting better ones, students will be introduced to Proper Vocal Technique, Proper Placement, Vowel Support, Breath Control and utilizing "The Mask" to their advantage.  Beginning and Advanced students are all welcomed.  This class is a MUST for anyone considering a career in Musical Theater. Increase vocal stamina and range, learn how to maintain a healthy voice, and the art of "Power Singing."  Each student will be asked to sing a vocal selection at the beginning and at the end of this course for evaluation. Dress to move, and bring your sheet music/book. David is a Broadway veteran, and professional singer.

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Choice A
ACTING OUT; A Foundation in the The Method with Breath Awareness taught by Lucinda McDermott (See description above)

Choice B
BROADWAY SINGERS BOOT CAMP; A Course in Stage Singing for Actors taught by David Jennings (See description above)

Choice C
IMPROV ENSEMBLE WORKSHOP; a Workshop in Improvisational Performance, led by Aaron Mowles
A workshop for non-scripted performance. Utilizing improv games, exercises, and energizing challenges, this workshop incorporates and requires movement, imagination, enthusiasm, and desire to take risks and explore. The focus will be on process rather than product, that is-- working in the moment.  Student actors will rediscover the art of play in its rawest form by placing emphasis on the art of creating something from nothing. Working without a script, skills focused on are ensemble, spontaneity, listening and observing, and organically creating characters.  The workshop will culminate in an improvisational performance merely based on a time, place, character, and situation. Dress to move. Aaron is a recent graduate of Radford University who is specializing in physical performance.

1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Choice A
AUDITION PREP; A course for Actors to get prepared to get work!
Maximizing your first impression. This course will introduce the student actor to the professional audition process.  Real life scenarios will be presented, including creating an actual resume, selecting the best song and monologue for the character, getting through the dance/Movement-for-Singers portion of an audition, cold readings, and more. Students will be given mock audition situations and will be asked to work through them in real time using songs, sides and improv. Students will finish this course fully informed of the ins and outs of the professional auction process, fully aware of what is usually expected of the professional audition actor, as well as fully prepared with insider tips and tricks on how to get the job! We will also cover the audition process and putting together your audition package for BFA college programs. Taught by David Jennings and Lucinda McDermott.

Choice B
PLAYWRITING FOUNDATIONS; a Beginner’s Workshop in the Craft of Playwriting, taught by Lucinda McDermott
A hands-on workshop in learning about and developing the tools of the playwright; structure, dialogue, action through writing exercises, reading and responding to each other’s work. Students will learn how to take and give constructive feedback. We will be writing every day, alternating workshop time with writing time. Our goal will be a 10 minute play. One day a week will be lab time working with the student directors, learning the development/rehearsal process of a new play. In addition we will cover the basics of the business of the playwright. Be prepared to write—bring paper, pens, and laptop! Lucinda is a professional published/produced playwright.

Choice C
DIRECTING FOUNDATIONS; a Beginner’s Workshop in the Craft of Directing, led by Melissa Rayford
An overview to the director’s craft offering hands-on experience and knowledge of play structure, analysis, interpretation and the journey to production. The goal of the course is to give students tools to develop independent concepts, structure efficient and effective rehearsals which will lead to a solid production. In addition we will explore the unique task of collaborating with a playwright on a new script by working with the playwrights once a week in the Director/Playwright Lab. Melissa is a professional director based in Richmond, VA.

3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

PRODUCTION (all theatre students - NO CHOICE)
Week One: The Biz of the Biz, a seminar taught by David Jennings and Lucinda McDermott

This seminar will prepare the young theatre artist for a professional career in Theatre.  Utilizing an open and lively discussion format with Q&A, the course will cover such topics as finding an agent, getting into Actor's Equity, making the Casting Director connection, having a "gig between gigs" and more!  A special "surprise guest" theatre professional from New York will join our discussion during this course.

Week Two-Four: Final Projects/Productions. Students will be divided into production teams working on Final Presentation Projects depending on their other courses. Projects include  Broadway Review, New Play Readings, Scenes and Monologues, Improv Scenes

Projects will be lead/supervised/directed by Lucinda McDermott, David Jennings, Melissa Rayford, and Aaron Mowles.