Training

Online workshops and classes

Please check back in September for fall classes!

Please note: Classes will be held online through Zoom meetings. Zoom links will be emailed to students the day before class starts. If you do not receive your link, please email school@berkeleyrep.org.

Theatre of the Oppressed: Mindfulness, Empathy, & 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 12:30–3pm · 8/15 · $50

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.

 

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Self-Tape and Virtual Audition Mastery

Taking Your Skills to the Next Level

Times are uncertain, but one thing is for sure—self-taping is the order of the day. Like everyone else, producing organizations are looking for what CAN be done given the current circumstances, and many realize that pre-production work—including casting—is one thing they can do. Theatres across the Bay Area and even across the country are posting open requests for self-taped auditions—often even in lieu of open calls. In many ways, this time of seeming chaos is a time of unprecedented opportunities. But you need to be prepared to take advantage of it. In this class you will learn how to find self-tape auditions, how to get and use all the equipment you need to make your self-tapes look professional grade (without breaking the bank), and how to actually execute self-tapes and even virtual auditions and callbacks at a competitive level, while still social distancing. Using material from theatre, film, and television, our goal will be to help the actor create compelling and competitive work to…BOOK. THE. JOB.

TUE 7–9pm · 7/28, 8/4, 8/11 · $90

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 Theater and has a PhD in Transformative Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies.

Voice for Transgender/Gender Diverse Individuals

Find your authentic voice that expresses and is congruent with your gender identity. We will explore exercises to change pitch, resonance, and intonation. The skills learned in the exercises will be reinforced by applying them to specific speaking situations. Needed materials: Students should have access to a smart phone and/or a recording device.

SAT 12:30–2:30pm · 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15 · $175

Christine Adaire (she/her/hers) is a Designated Master Linklater voice teacher, trained by the world renowned voice authority Kristin Linklater. She is Head of Voice at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She has worked as an actor, voice coach, and director in many American regional theatres, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Guthrie Theater, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman Theatre, Lyric Opera, Steppenwolf, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and Shakespeare & Company. She has taught workshops in Shanghai, Barcelona, London, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition to working with actors, she specializes in working with Trans/Gender Diverse individuals to help them find a voice that is consistent with their gender identity. She is a contributing writer to the third edition of Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/Gender Diverse Client: A Comprehensive Guide (Plural Publishing).

Storytelling: Find Your Voice

In this six-week virtual course, we will dive into the art of storytelling and personal narratives. There has never been a better time to explore personal stories from the heart than in this current moment of crisis. Our personal stories are dovetailing into the global narrative, resulting in powerful tales yearning to be told. Storytelling is an art form as old as human civilization. Sharing stories from the heart keeps us connected to one another and to our compassion; a vital need now more than ever. Whether you have a solo show dying to be birthed or you want to hone your storytelling skills for professional reasons, this class will help you harness your creativity, trust your instincts, quiet your inner critic, and find your unique voice. Through acting, improv, and writing exercises, we will get that story out of your head and in to the world. There will be a Zoom sharing of the work on the final night of the class for an invited audience.

THU 7–9pm · 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6, 8/13 · $175

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.

Beginning/Intermediate Improvisation

Improv with Zoe Galvez will bring play and laughter into your life during these times of uncertainty! Play helps us stay connected and laughter is the shortest distance between two people! This workshop is designed to introduce you to the thrills and chills of improv and to develop your acting and narrative skill to boot…all from the comfort of your own home. Tap into your sense of joy, connection, and creativity all while learning how to take your improv acting from the stage to the screen. Classes will be hosted on Zoom.

THU 7–9pm · 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6, 8/13 · $175

Zoe Galvez has been teaching and performing improv over a decade. 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 Unscripted Leaders. Zoe believes the world would be a better place if everyone took an improv class. 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. Ask her about her dog Mochi!

Genre Dialect Work for Improvisers and Actors: Irish

Learn physical triggers that will help you quickly find the placement, melody, and general sound changes for the Irish dialect. We will study the Irish dialect 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). Once there is a comfort level with the Irish dialect, we will work on text from films and plays.

THU 7–9pm · 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6, 8/13 · $175

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.

Voice for Performance: On the Stage and in Daily Life

A timely opportunity to take this class remotely, as in addition to the regular curriculum we will investigate how to approach better clarity in voice and speech when your voice is your primary tool, how to combat “Zoom fatigue,” how to stay grounded and feel your voice when talking to a screen, and how to maintain connection and eye contact even digitally. This class will enable students to gradually and safely build vocal strength while amplifying their vocal presence and intentions to have the clearest impact on their listener. 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.

THU noon–2pm · 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6, 8/13 · $175

Utilizing the communications tools honed from her 20+ years as a professional singing actor across the country, Ariela Morgenstern is passionate about using vocal technique and the tools of the actor as a bridge to enable anyone to be more authentically present and vibrant. She teaches leadership communications, public speaking, and storytelling at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Berkeley’s Executive Education programs, and at organizations across the Bay Area with the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute (BECI). Ariela has also been an award-winning performer in the professional theatre and opera world for over two decades and spent ten years in New York as well as touring across the country before moving back home to San Francisco. She has sung as the soloist for Imant Raminsh’s Symphony of Psalms at Carnegie Hall, and was most recently seen in the Bay Area in the new musical A Walk On The Moon at ACT and as Mama Rose in Bay Area Musicals’ production of Gypsy. In addition to performing she also teaches musical theatre acting and cabaret performance at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, and at her own Singing Actor Studio in San Francisco. She holds her degree in Opera Performance and Theater from UC Santa Cruz.

Going Solo: The Art of the One Person Show

Want to make loads of money and tour the world with your own one person show? Unleash the physical possibilities that lurk in each of us when tackling the solo form. Think of it as: a sculpture class for your performance muscles or simply your personal boot camp in the battle to create your own one person show. Learn everything you need to develop, create, perform, and market your one person show in this six-week course. Whether the show inside you is an extended stand-up routine, a stirring memoir, or simply a story well told. Participants can bring in material they’ve developed as well as work with texts created in class and from a variety of non-traditional sources. Participants will have the opportunity to watch Ron’s one man show How to Fail.

WED 7–9pm · 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12 · $175

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.

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.

WED 7–10pm · 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12 · $350

Sally Clawson is the owner of Voice One Training, the premiere voice acting school in San Francisco, and has over 20 years of experience as a voice actor, teacher, and performer. Her many voice over clients include Yoplait, Clorox, Toyota, Old Navy, McDonalds, Pixar, Apple, Google, Microsoft, EA Games, Telltale Games, and Lucas Arts, among others. Sally began developing the voice over curriculum at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre in 2010, and is thrilled to be teaching for her ninth consecutive year at the school. She has also taught at Cal Shakes, Google Arts, and is a certified executive coach with the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. In addition, Sally has a master’s degree in Performance from Mills College.

Directing: Pitch Perfect

Pitching productions is vital to establishing a career in the theatre. It’s one thing to have a vision and it’s another to pitch that vision to potential producers and investors. Learn the necessary strategies to bring a dream to life. You need a vision, passion, determination, courage, resilience, contacts, and the ability to deliver an inspiring pitch. We will teach you how to pitch and keep pitching anywhere, any time: at a pub, a studio, a theatre, or a donor dinner; and how to overcome rejection and never stop pitching until you have made your dream a reality. On the last day of class students will pitch their productions to Berkeley Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer.

WED 7–9pm · 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12 · $175

Kate Cherry is an internationally acclaimed artistic director and director of theatre and opera. As a freelance director, Kate never stops pitching to bring her dreams and the dreams of others to life. As artistic director of both Australia’s Black Swan State Theatre Company and NIDA, Kate produced 12 seasons of dynamic work. Kate has directed over 50 professional productions for various notable performance institutions, including Seattle Opera, New Zealand Opera, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre, and many other theatre and opera companies throughout Australia. She has listened to over 1000 pitches, and advocated for work like The Sapphires, by Tony Briggs, ensuring the story skyrocketed from a conversation in a Melbourne pub to an acclaimed Hollywood movie. Kate has directed numerous screen and theatre luminaries, including multi-award winners Ben Mendelssohn (Emmy Award), Guy Pearce (Golden Globes and SAG Award), and Greta Scaachi (Emmy Award). She has also produced work by Judy Davis (BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Emmys) as a director, and studied with Oskar Eustis (artistic director of New York’s Public Theater, dramaturg of Angels in America, and producer of Hamilton). Her work has been seen by audiences at Seattle Opera, Shakespeare and Company, New Zealand Opera, and at every state theatre company in Australia.

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. The class will have eight participants.

Prerequisite: Approval from instructor prior to registration.

WED 7–10pm · 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12, 8/14 (performance) · $290

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.

Script Analysis and Monologue Work

What the heck does the playwright want and how to act it?

An actor’s job is to read a story, understand what the author is asking of them, and then perform it. This can sometimes be easier said than done. A clear grasp of how to accurately analyze a text—for theatre, film, radio, or television—is crucial to an actor’s ability to make relevant choices. This class will help you to develop an individual and reliable method for understanding theme, plot, character, and situation in order to help you make compelling, playable choices.

This session we will be working with Richard III, Shakespeare’s best-known villain and one of his most popular plays since it was written. A narcissistic sociopath who plots and murders his way to power. We’ll look at how a direct engagement with the text can inform the actor’s approach to a fuller and deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s worlds, bringing the characters to life. Please try and read the play before the first day of class and have it with you. Also, there are great productions out there if you would prefer to familiarize yourself with the play in this manner.

TUE 7–9pm · 7/7, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4, 8/11 · $175

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.

Summer Playwriting Workshop

Take that script you’ve been thinking about to the next level: a staged reading on Zoom. This program is for playwrights who are interested in an intensive six-week developmental workshop, followed by an open Zoom reading of their work. The culminating reading series in the program amounts to the presentation of eight new plays in seven days. It’s an exhilarating experience, but a demanding one. Writers will participate in the readings of fellow students within the group and are responsible for supporting each other in generating an audience for their readings. Consent of the instructor is required prior to enrollment. Students interested in being in the workshop are requested to submit the following materials to ggraves@berkeleyrep.org: a brief description of the project they want to work on in the class or a PDF draft of the script (partial drafts are acceptable). Submissions are reviewed in the order received. Class enrollment is limited to eight.

Readings will be held over Zoom the week of August 17–23.

SAT 10am–1pm · 6/27, 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8 · $395

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.

Summer programs

Take your passions to another level! Explore the elements of theatre-making and performance with fun, unique intensives for middle and high schoolers.

Sunday Sampler

Bring your family and friends to try out our wide range of class offerings for free.

Creative Careers

Kickstart your theatre career with Creative Careers, an online resource including live stream panels, résumé and interview tips, and training opportunities.

Fellowships

Each year, 15 emerging professionals spend 11.5 months learning alongside an accomplished company of artists, administrators, and designers at Berkeley Rep.

 

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