Youth classes

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Play Creation: Shadow Puppetry

Grades 2–3 · Shadow puppetry is an ancient and still thriving art form with varying origins in China, Greece/Turkey, and Indonesia/Cambodia. Students will journey to Indonesia and create an original piece based on a traditional folk tale, The Dancing Pig. Meet Rangsasa, the ogress with superhuman powers, the dancing pig who outsmarts her, and the great trickster Pelan. Students will design and make their own puppets, and learn vocal and physical performance techniques and basic principles of how light, color, and shadow operate.

In the 2–3 grade play creation class, young artists will create a shadow play from start to finish using full color puppetry, vocal projection, full body movement, and dynamic backdrops.

SAT 11:30am–1pm · 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/2 (dress rehearsal), 6/3 (performance) · $190

Suzi Garner is a shadow puppeteer, writer, and visual artist. Living in Southeast Asia for 15 years, she studied traditional forms of puppetry, art, and music throughout the region. Since moving to the Bay Area she has performed with ShadowLight Productions in San Francisco and teaches at a wide variety of schools and art programs.

Performance Workshop: Potter Plays—The Series Continues

Grades 3–5 · Inspired by Harry Potter’s magical world, we will create an original tale of mayhem, might, and magic. Share your special skills and invent unique songs, dances, and characters in the world of Hogwarts. The show belongs to you as director, actor, and playwright. Make your costumes, sets, and props for the premiere performance to share with family and friends during the last class—and be sure to stay for the after-party!

SAT 9:30–11:30am · 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3, 6/10 (9am–12:30pm—dress rehearsal, performance, and after-party) · $270

Nancy Gold is a multifaceted performing artist, director, teacher, and author of Finding Your Funny Bone! The Actor’s Guide to Physical Comedy and Characters. Her teaching experience includes Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, ACT Young Conservatory, California Shakespeare Theatre, Marin Theatre, UCLA, and public and private schools throughout the country. Directing credits include A Servant of Two Masters, Pipping Longstocking, Madeline and the Gypsies, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and original adaptations based on literature. She studied with Jacques LeCoq and Ctibor Turba, and has a BFA from the University of Illinois and a Master’s equivalency degree. Nancy performs comedy and vaudeville with her partner, Lol Levy.

Circus Skills for the Stage

Grades 4–5 · Learn circus skills from the ground up! Explore the amazing skills of acrobatics, clowning, and juggling in a fun and safe environment. This class will develop and enhance your strength, flexibility, grace, balance, and communication skills through collaborative and solo work. When we present our circus spectacular showcase on the final day, your friends and family will be thrilled by what you can do. Get ready to move!

SAT 1–3pm · 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3, 6/10 (showcase) · $240

Slater Penney is a local and international award-winning performing artist and instructor. He grew up in Berkeley and upon graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Theatre Arts, he began his circus training at the San Francisco Circus Center (SFCC). Since 1997, Slater has taught children circus arts at SFCC, Make-A-Circus, Trapeze Arts, Head Over Heels, Teatro Zinzanni, and the Kinetic Arts Center. Slater was a body performer for motion capture with Tech TV, earning an Emmy Award in 2000 for “Specialty: Technical Achievement.” He currently performs both nationally and abroad in his two award-winning creations, Le Projet Migration and The Submarine Show.

Musical Theatre Scene Study: Urinetown

Grades 5–8 · “It’s a Privilege to Pee!” Tony Award-winning Urinetown: The Musical, with music by Mark Hollman, book by Greg Kotis, and lyrics by both Holman and Kotis, is a satirical comedy about a fictional town suffering a 20-year drought. The CEO of Urine Good Company, Mr. Cladwell, keeps hiking up the fees for water usage, and makes the poor line up and pay for their water, and even charges them for the use of the one restroom in town! Drama ensues when his lovely daughter, Hope, falls madly in love with the leader of the resistance, Bobby Strong. The award-winning score includes “Tell Her I Love Her,” “Don’t Be the Bunny,” “It’s a Privilege to Pee,” and “Run, Freedom, Run.”¬†Individually, students will work on singing and acting a 16-bar selection from the score. Additionally, students will be paired with scene partners to explore the acting process for developing a scene. The final performance will include solos, ensemble musical numbers, and prepared scenes.

FRI 4–6:30pm · 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26, 6/2, 6/9 (performance) · $280

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.

Improvisation

Grades 6–8 · Expand your imagination through improvisation! As an ensemble, students explore technique, theory, games, tricks, and pranks that help them open up to the kind of spontaneity that breeds better comic timing on stage, stronger reactions in rehearsals, laughter at parties, and a lot more fun at family functions. All levels welcome. Returning students will be challenged with more advanced exercises.

THU 4:30–6:30pm · 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, 6/1, 6/8 (showing) · $260

Laura Derry was a scripted actor terrified of improv, but after her first class, it was so much fun that she hasn’t stopped doing it. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from UCSC and trained at ACT, Berkley Rep, and BATS Improv. Laura performs improv all over the Bay Area, was on TLC’s reality show Four Weddings, and recently starred in the short film Displacement, which received an award at the Monaco International Film Festival. Laura is a guest artist who teaches in the K–12 school system, applying improv and getting students ready for performances. She works with beginning adult improvisers, more advanced classes geared towards performances involving short form or long form, and local businesses doing leadership and communication trainings with applied improv. Laura is a walking testament to the power of improv—she was once very shy, highly self-critical of her creativity, and terrified of improv. Now she is a professional improviser and teacher who creates a safe, fun space to laugh with a wonderful group of people.

Acting Intensive: Spring Training

Grades 7–10 · This class is designed for serious young actors who want to take their performance to the next level and are interested in searching for ways to make authentic work. Grapple and examine the same techniques professionals use: learn to analyze scripts, play an action in a scene, identify your objective, overcome your obstacles, and focus your energy. Work with other serious young actors who want to get better at performing, together.

FRI 4–6pm · 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12 · $150

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.

Private Voice

Grades 6–8 · 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.

THU 3–3:50pm · $75/session
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.

One-on-One Audition Coaching

Grades 6–8 · Don’t be caught unprepared for an upcoming high school 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 · $75/hour
Please call 510 647–2996 to schedule a coaching session

Summer Theatre Intensive

Entering grades 6–8 · Explore all facets of theatre through a fun-filled, four week experience for all levels. Students study with professional artists, creating an original play to be performed onstage at Berkeley Rep! Click here for more information.

Session 1 · June 19–July 14 · $1250