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Workshops

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Hone your skills or learn something new!

We offer workshops in acting, directing, improv and other stagecraft throughout the year.

Words, Words, Words: A Workshop in Understanding and Performing Shakespeare
with Bill Peters

May 29 through July 20, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Mondays: May 29, June 5, 12, 19, July 3, 10

Tuesdays: June 27, July 18 (to accommodate scheduled Monday night play readings)

Paul Robinson, an English director recently said, “English is the only language that you can’t translate Shakespeare into.” Many actors and directors come to rely on substituting subtext for Shakespeare’s actual language as they work through the plays in rehearsal. The result of which is the creation of vague, watered-down performances that are confusing to audiences.

 

This workshop is designed to help actors and directors master the intricacies of Shakespearian text. It is designed to serve actors and directors who have experience performing Shakespeare, as well as those who don’t. Over the course of 8 sessions, we will explore the nature of Shakespeare’s theatrical imagination, and the linguistic tools he used to create his themes, plots and characters. The work will consist of studying and performing various monologues and scenes from his collected works. This workshop will also serve to enhance the participants' responses to other styles of playwriting.

 

Maximum of 16 participants. Price is $160 for the 8-week workshop.

People who are Shakespeare-phobic are particularly welcome. 

Email sccactorstheatre@gmail.com use the PayPal button below to sign up.

Bill Peters is a professor emeritus at San Francisco State University where he taught playwriting, acting, directing and Shakespeare performance for many years.

headshot of Bill Peters

His directing credits include projects at the Manhattan Theatre Club, The Denver Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Jewel Theater in Santa Cruz, and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. He has directed many times for Actors' Theatre's 8 Tens @ 8 Festival.

"What a privilege to be able to take a six-week directing class with Bill Peters. It was utterly fascinating to watch Bill dissect a performance, pulling it apart, thread by thread, to show how there is no right or wrong way to say something, only a way unique to that director.  
A memorable six weeks."

--Sally Bookman

Directing for Actors workshop

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Chekov & Meisner Techniques
with Bruce Avery & Lana Palmer

June 24 & 25, 10 am to 5 pm (with lunch break) 

The paradox of acting well is this: how does one tell the truth by lying?  This workshop addresses that question by exploring two different acting approaches: the Michael Chekhov Method and the Meisner Technique.

Day One of this two-day workshop will be a crash course in Meisner, to begin the process of learning to avoid self-consciousness so that one can respond honestly to each moment as one encounters it.  

Day Two will introduce the methods of Michael Chekhov, whom Konstantin Stanislavski declared his most brilliant student. Chekhov’s ideas help one to achieve what he called “inspired acting.” Inspired acting requires one to respond to the moment authentically while embodying someone else.  To “embody” a character requires a symbiosis of external and internal elements, which Chekhov’s work combines and develops.

Each day will feature two 150 m
inute sessions, with a two-hour break for lunch and rest.  Wear loose, physically comfortable clothing that will allow you to move briskly. Each day will start with a lively, thirty-minute warmup to bring us physically and vocally into the space, followed by exercises developed by Meisner and Chekhov.

 

Maximum of 16 participants. Price is $125 for the two-day workshop.
Actors of all levels and experience are welcome to attend. 

Email sccactorstheatre@gmail.com or use the PayPal button below to sign up.

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Bruce Avery is the Artistic Director of Bread & Butter Theatre, and a professor of Theatre Arts at SF State University. His PhD is from UC Santa Cruz, where he also worked as dramaturg for Shakespeare Santa Cruz

headshot of Bruce Avery

Recent directing credits include Marisol, Learning Alone, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Much Ado About Nothing, and Venus in Fur at SFSU, along with Funeral Game, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Bread & Butter Theatre. 

Lana Palmer is a Canadian-born, San Francisco-based film and theatre maker. Her plays have had staged readings and productions at Playwrights’ Centre of San Francisco and PianoFight, and Bread & Butter Theatre.

headshot of Lana Palmer

As a sound designer and composer, she is proud to have designed over 40 productions with leading companies in the Bay Area and throughout North America. Lana is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, and the Dramatists Guild. 

Improv 101: Introduction to Improvisation and Scene Technique
with Maurissa Afanador

July 24 through August 28, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Through scene work and group games that focus on trust, active listening and play, students learn the building blocks of improvisation in this introductory class. 

Topics covered: "Yes, and...", scene work fundamentals, being comfortable on stage, and working together. 

 

Maximum of 16 participants. Price is $180 for the 6-week workshop.

No prior improv or acting experience required.

Email theatregoogs@gmail.com or use the PayPal button below to sign up.

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Pre-pay to ensure your spot!

Maurissa Afanador is the owner and lead improv instructor for Greater Than The Sum, a vendor-provider of theater arts classes for The Arts at Google. She is a 30-year improv veteran who has performed on multiple house teams in Chicago and Los Angeles.

headshot of Maurissa Afanador

"Maurissa is an amazing teacher.
She made it a very safe environment for us to fail and learn."

"Her passion for improv was immediately and consistently contagious."

"This was the best course ever."

Bill Peters is a professor emeritus at San Francisco State University where he taught playwriting, acting, directing and Shakespeare performance for many years.

bill peters_edited.jpg

​His directing credits include projects at the Manhattan Theatre Club, The Denver Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Jewel Theater in Santa Cruz, and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. He has directed many times for Actors' Theatre's 8 Tens @ 8 Festival.

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