Adult classes

Workshops

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Actor’s Retreat

The window between Christmas and New Year’s is a short respite; you probably want to use it to rest, rejuvenate, and envision a wonderful year to come. This retreat is intended to help you do all three. You will renew your craft, nurture your creative spirit, and envision your 2020 artistic goals. We will start each day with a variety of practical spiritual techniques adapted especially for actors and drawn from master acting teachers. We will work physically, vocally, emotionally, and interpersonally. Once we feel free and rooted in our authentic selves, then we will move on to scene work. Finally, each day will finish with a writing process that culminates in your having a step-by-step plan for how to achieve specific professional and artistic goals in 2020. Scenes will be assigned to facilitate optimal artistic growth.

Note: Due to the holiday season, the class is designed to be a self-contained experience, so pre-class prep and rehearsal is encouraged but optional.

Auditors can attend one, two, or all three days. They can watch all the work and participate in all exercises, but will not be assigned a scene to present. $60 per day.

SAT, SUN, MON 10am–5pm (1-hour lunch break) · 12/28, 12/29, 12/30 · $330

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.

Theatre of the Oppressed: Mindfulness, Meditation, & 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 12:30–5:30pm · 9/21 · $95

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.

Simple and True: A Monologue Workshop

Some people like acting that’s larger than life. Which begs the question: “What’s larger than life?” This workshop will operate from the belief that the best acting is the most true to life. Through monologue work, students will learn simple and practical tools any actor can use to help their work be more relaxed, truthful, and spontaneous in plays both classic and modern. Students must come prepared with two solidly memorized and rehearsed monologues, preferably ones they have performed or auditioned with before: a contemporary one for the first day of class, and a Shakespeare one in verse for the second day. Expect this class to be a fun, relaxed, and supportive environment in which to shake things up a little.

SAT & SUN 1–4:30pm · 10/5, 10/6 · $140

Anthony Fusco is an award-winning actor and teaching artist with over 30 years’ experience. As an actor in the Bay Area he’s appeared in nearly 50 productions at American Conservatory Theater, and in shows for Cal Shakes, Berkeley Rep, SF Playhouse, the Magic Theatre, and Marin Theatre Company. Anthony has also performed at other theatres across the country, off Broadway, and on Broadway. He teaches regularly for ACT’s MFA program, and has taught previously for the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre as well. He trained at The Juilliard School and with The Barrow Group.

Empowering the Moment: For Actors/Directors/Devisers

In every scene or monologue there’s a moment where the story turns: a fulcrum or a climax. One of the best ways to shape a scene or unlock a character’s journey through a play is to find these moments, make the most of them, and shape everything else according to these choices. This is a workshop to help actors minimize analysis, simplify scene work, and free up more physical and emotional energy. We’ll explore practical ways of mapping out a story and empowering the most important moments.

SAT & SUN 12:30–5:30pm · 11/2, 11/3 · $220

Edward Morgan has directed at various regional theatres including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Next Act Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Merrimack Rep, the Kennedy Center, Clarence Brown Theatre, Round House Theatre, the Studio, and Milwaukee Rep where he was associate artistic director for six years and directed nearly 30 plays. He and his works have been honored with Helen Hayes Awards and nominations, and he was a Drama League of New York Directors Project Fellow. He has written adaptations and plays that have been produced at regional theatres, universities, and filmed for Public TV including Way Downriver: William Faulkner’s “Old Man,” which was recently produced at North Coast Rep; A Rising Wind co-written with John Kishline; A Christmas Carol co-written with Joe Hanreddy; Sounding River; Appalachian Voices; An Irish Reunion; and The Last Ride of the Bold Calhouns. Edward has worked as a teacher and guest artist at numerous graduate and undergraduate programs and frequently conducts master classes. Internationally, he toured India as an actor and director through the U.S. State Department and has directed and taught in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. He is a member of SD&C and AEA, a casting partner for Cirque du Soleil, and is on the roster of Fulbright Specialists.

Behavior, Behavior, Behavior: For Actors/Directors/Devisers

As actors, we tend to concentrate on the text, our partners, and whatever basic blocking we discover or are given in the process of staging. Yet sometimes the key to a fresh, genuine experience of a scene can come through adding another layer of activity or behavior, whether realistic or non-realistic. This is often found in Eastern European theatre and in various forms of physical theatre. We’re going to work with naturalistic texts, but explore and unlock them with a greater emphasis on other layers of behavior. Our goal will be to develop some new tools for engaging a scene.

SAT & SUN 12:30–5:30pm · 11/9, 11/10 · $220

Edward Morgan has directed at various regional theatres including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Next Act Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Merrimack Rep, the Kennedy Center, Clarence Brown Theatre, Round House Theatre, the Studio, and Milwaukee Rep where he was associate artistic director for six years and directed nearly 30 plays. He and his works have been honored with Helen Hayes Awards and nominations, and he was a Drama League of New York Directors Project Fellow. He has written adaptations and plays that have been produced at regional theatres, universities, and filmed for Public TV including Way Downriver: William Faulkner’s “Old Man,” which was recently produced at North Coast Rep; A Rising Wind co-written with John Kishline; A Christmas Carol co-written with Joe Hanreddy; Sounding River; Appalachian Voices; An Irish Reunion; and The Last Ride of the Bold Calhouns. Edward has worked as a teacher and guest artist at numerous graduate and undergraduate programs and frequently conducts master classes. Internationally, he toured India as an actor and director through the U.S. State Department and has directed and taught in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. He is a member of SD&C and AEA, a casting partner for Cirque du Soleil, and is on the roster of Fulbright Specialists.

Movement Improvisation Lab

How can we train to feel at home in our bodies, onstage and off? How can we train to keep evolving our range of physical possibilities and deepening our presence? In this workshop we will play with a range of approaches to improvisation, including Viewpoints, Contact Improv, and musically oriented Free Improvisation. We will learn a warm-up that draws on postmodern dance and somatic disciplines including Body-Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, and Laban work.

SAT 1–4pm · 10/12 · $65

Nina Galin is a dance-theatre artist, educator, and a somatic therapist. She grew up doing a range of theatre practices, from Marlowe to The Music Man. Her passion for movement and performance as research led her into modern and postmodern dance and choreography. In recent years her love for text and movement has included experimental productions based on Shakespeare, Melville, and Beckett as well as original autobiographical words, verbatim interviews, and historical research. She did extensive study of dance history, theory, and experimental choreography at UC Riverside and received her MFA in choreography and doctorate in performance studies from UC Davis. As a somatic therapist and educator, she draws on Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Body-Mind Centering, Pilates, yoga, and connective tissue massage. She lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and dogs.

Enter the Clown

An acting class for people who hate clowns, and a clowning class for people who love acting

“The clown is a poet who is also an orangutan.” What insights can actors who seek to deepen their practice and propel their work to a higher level learn from the world of the clown, where the tender and the grotesque, the raucous and the whimsical live side by side? What can the lessons from the work of Stanislavski, Mikhail Chekhov, and others do to inform and enrich the work of your average buffoon, a poet that hides behind the smallest of masks—the red nose? Join renowned Shakespearean actor, one-man showmaster, and Cirque du Soleil clown Ron Campbell for a fun-filled day with movement, masks, mirth, and buckets of fun. Enter the Clown and exit a slightly more dangerous, perhaps less rational, but certainly more compelling actor.

SAT 12:30–4:30pm · 10/26 · $85

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.

Alexander Technique for Mind/Body Balance

Alexander Technique is a time-honored method used by actors to improve posture, breath, and movement. Effective movement liberates your acting skills and enriches your life. As you stop responding to the world in a habitual manner, new avenues of physical ease and creativity open up. Discover the Alexander Technique for mind/body balance. Let your body’s physical genius emerge!

SAT 1–4pm · 11/16 · $65

Elyse Shafarman holds a Master’s degree in Physiological Psychology and Alexander Technique Teacher Certification from Frank Ottiwell (2003). Elyse is on the faculty of American Conservatory Theater’s MFA program and maintains a private Alexander Technique practice in San Francisco and Berkeley. Her background as a modern dancer and training in psychology, yoga, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction influence her approach to teaching.

Acting

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Beginning Acting

Develop a basic understanding of acting fundamentals through Stanislavski-based practice. Using exercises and scene work, this class introduces students to the elements of dramatic action, text analysis, and character development, as well as the tools for releasing inhibitions and expanding vocal and physical range. May be repeated.

MON 7–9:30pm · 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2 · $335

Shannon R. Davis directs and educates in the Bay Area, across the country, and internationally. Current: Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Killian Directing Fellow, Berkeley Rep teaching artist, company member and director at Theatre of Yugen. Directing: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Theatre of Yugen, Microsoft Research, Facebook Research, San Anselmo Playhouse, Musical Café, Shotgun Players, Exit Theatre, Brava Theater, others. Teaching: UW–Madison, International School of Asia Karuizawa, Beyond Acting, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, FOGG Theatre, StageWrite, others. Acting: Forward Theater Co., Renaissance Theaterworks, Theatre of Yugen, Children’s Theater of Madison, City Theatre Co., Vortex Rep, others. MFA, Directing. MFA, Acting. BA, Directing/Voice. Studied at UW–Madison and MXAT–Harvard.

Beginning/Intermediate Acting

Develop a basic understanding of acting fundamentals through Stanislavski-based practice while analyzing and performing contemporary scenes and monologues. Special emphasis is placed on elements of dramatic action, text analysis, and character development, as well as the tools for releasing inhibitions and expanding vocal and physical range. May be repeated.

SAT 10:30am–1pm · 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 12/7 · $335 (Greene)
TUE 1:30–3:30pm · 11/12, 11/19, 11/26, 12/3, 12/10 · $185 (Dolas)

Marvin Greene is a professional actor and has performed with major regional theatres such as ACT, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, and San Jose Rep. Marvin served as an instructor at ACT for over a decade and also teaches at the Academy of Art College and Voice One in San Francisco. Marvin has taught at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre since 2003.

Lura Dolas is emerita from UC Berkeley where she was the advanced acting teacher for the Department of Theater and Dance. She was the founding director of the California Shakespeare Festival Conservatory and has also taught for Boston University as well as for university sponsored programs in London and Ireland. Her most recent local acting credits include Augustine in Everything Is Illuminated and Queen Atossa in The Persians at Aurora Theatre—roles for which she received San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award Nominations. She performed in productions for Cal Shakes, where she played over thirty roles including Cleopatra, Kate, Titania, Gertrude, Beatrice, and Lady M. She has also performed for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Santa Fe Shakespeare, and venues in Seattle and Atlanta. Dolas is the recipient of the 2015 Divisional Teaching Award for non-senate faculty.

Acting Shakespeare

How do we best approach the challenge of acting Shakespeare? The profound understanding of human character has set Shakespeare above all other playwrights in the English language. The most effective performers of the Bard’s plays, in Britain and America, have always understood that his language is the key to unlocking the secrets of character and action that have kept the plays vital for over 400 years. Students will learn how to analyze scripts and uniquely embody the rhythms, thereby truly owning each character. All levels welcome.

TUE 7–10pm · 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3 · $245

Julian López-Morillas is well known in the Bay Area as a professional actor and director specializing in Shakespeare. He holds the rare distinction of having appeared in professional productions of all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays and has directed some 20 of them. He had a long association with California Shakespeare Theater and served as its Associate Artistic Director for several years. Julian has taught Shakespeare as literature at Mills College and classical acting technique at UC Berkeley, San Jose State, Foothill College, Solano College, and Dominican.

Intermediate Acting

Students will analyze and perform scenes straight from dramatic literature. Special emphasis is placed on encouraging students to make dramatically effective choices by playing provocative actions, discovering the event within the scene, and finding creative obstacles. May be repeated.

Students who are interested in participating will have the opportunity to perform in a staged reading in conjunction with Berkeley City College’s playwrighting class in an open workshop setting on the evening of December 11.

Prerequisite: Prior acting experience or previous acting classes at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre or another reputable theatre studio that stressed the fundamentals of text analysis, beat breakdown, and character objectives.

WED 7–10pm · 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4 · $360

Marvin Greene is a professional actor and has performed with major regional theatres such as ACT, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, and San Jose Rep. Marvin served as an instructor at ACT for over a decade and also teaches at the Academy of Art College and Voice One in San Francisco. Marvin has taught at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre since 2003.

Intermediate/Advanced Acting

Inhabiting is a psychophysical technique for actors, utilizing breath, voice, and physicality as a springboard into emotion and a trigger for the intellect. Gain concrete tools for approaching modern texts with increased ease, joy, and confidence! Students will put these techniques into practice through the medium of short scenes. Inhabiting aims to widen students’ understanding of the self as performer. Rather than dictating a finite method, the practice of inhabiting trains attitude, focus, and approach via a range of exercises. Inhabiting can be applied to any theatrical endeavor and is focused on expanding each student actor’s “toolbox.” Inhabiting was developed by Susan-Jane Harrison, drawing on the work of Rudolf Laban, Kristin Linklater, Patsy Rodenburg, Jerzy Grotowski, Stanislavsky’s Active Analysis, and the work of Richard Schechner. May be repeated.

Prerequisite: Prior acting experience or previous intermediate acting classes at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre or another reputable theatre studio that stressed the fundamentals of text analysis, beat breakdown, and character objectives.

TUE 7–10pm · 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3 · $360

Susan-Jane Harrison is a British-American playwright, performer, and teacher. She trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, with a MFA from the University of California at Davis. Unusual collaborations in Harrison’s artistic work have allowed her to develop across disciplines (acting, writing, and dance). As performer and playwright, she continues to work internationally (the UK, USA, NZ, and AU). Most notably she has worked with BBC Radio and A&BC Theatre Co in the UK. In the USA, she has worked with Berkeley Rep, Aurora Theatre Company, Woman’s Will, American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, and A Traveling Jewish Theatre. She has performed on Theatre Row in NYC at United Solo Festival, and her work as a playwright has been produced as part of the RADA Festival and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Advanced Acting/Directing: The Art (and Skill) of Collaboration

Directors and actors will work together in a practicum that focuses on elements of the rehearsal process, including staging, text analysis, studying the events of the scene, interpretation, and overall collaboration. Working from selected texts, students will engage in practical work and participate in discussions with guest practitioners such as Tony Taccone.

For acceptance into this class, students must submit a résumé to school@berkeleyrep.org.

MON 7–10pm · 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/28, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25 · $290

Jonathan Moscone serves as Chief Producer for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, envisioning and implementing strategies to fulfill YBCA’s role as a citizen institution in the city’s neighborhoods, schools, and throughout the civic realm. Prior to YBCA, Jonathan served for 16 years as Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater, where he directed nearly 20 productions. He has directed at theatres across the country including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre in Houston, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Campo Santo, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Huntington Theatre in Boston. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in Directing, he received the inaugural Zelda Fichandler Award by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation in 2009, for “exceptional contribution to the national arts landscape through regional theatre work.” His teaching credits include: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, ACT’s MFA Program, and the Yale School of Drama. He has served on the national board of Theatre Communications Group in New York City and currently serves on the boards of the San Francisco Film Commission, Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project, and the Homeless Prenatal Program.

On-Camera Acting

Students will focus on creating character by thoroughly understanding the relationship between the text, situation, and the technical aspects of camera work. When these fundamental tools are genuinely understood and used correctly, only then can actors be free to work to the best of their ability in front of a camera. Areas of study will include script analysis, scene study, and character development, as well as camera technique, set discipline, and set etiquette. All scenes will be rehearsed with direction from the instructor, and copies will be given to students for their reference; please bring a 16GB SD card. A variety of other subjects will also be discussed relating to the business side of show business, including audition technique, agents, union membership, photographs, and websites. May be repeated.

MON 7–10pm · 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7 · $245

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.

Beginning Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class introduces and establishes the skills required to perform different genres of voice acting. Beginning and professional actors learn the techniques and artistry of reading commercial, narration, and character copy. Students also learn professional microphone techniques, home-recording tips, and how to read authentically, as well as how to launch a freelance voice-over career. Students will also get to work with a professional sound engineer. Lessons will be recorded for students to keep for their records.

MON 7–10pm · 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2 · $420

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.

Jim Edgar has been captivated by voice-over and recording his whole life. As a full-time VO, he has voiced a Star Wars Stormtrooper ornament warning kids to stay away from presents, the Levi’s Stadium Talking Scoreboard campaign, and appeared as an ongoing voice for John Muir Health. He works across all areas of voice-over with commercial, narrative, eLearning clients including Adobe, Exploratorium, Samsung, Visa International, Oracle, Cisco, and Eisenhower Healthcare. You may have heard him as Captain Thorn and the Evil Dr. Houser in the Deadwood Mansion VR Escape Room, Blackfeather the Assassin in VainGlory, Quigley the Robot in Leapfrog’s Letter Machine Rescue Team, The Birdman of Alcatraz in 1954 Alcatraz, or the laconic (and holographic) Bartender in Emerald Theater. Jim also works as an audio consultant to voice actors setting up home studios and is on the faculty at Voicetrax SF.

Advanced II Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class focuses on establishing the student’s home studio for recordings and auditions, as well as shaping, refining, and individualizing each student’s singular voice. Students will be allowed to focus on their preferred type of copy, and will be required to record assignments outside of class. Students without a home studio can record assignments on their phone or other device that creates MP3s. Class size is limited.

Prerequisite: Intermediate skills, or permission from the instructor, are required to take this class.

WED 7–10pm · 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13 · $340

Jim Edgar has been captivated by voice-over and recording his whole life. As a full-time VO, he has voiced a Star Wars Stormtrooper ornament warning kids to stay away from presents, the Levi’s Stadium Talking Scoreboard campaign, and appeared as an ongoing voice for John Muir Health. He works across all areas of voice-over with commercial, narrative, eLearning clients including Adobe, Exploratorium, Samsung, Visa International, Oracle, Cisco, and Eisenhower Healthcare. You may have heard him as Captain Thorn and the Evil Dr. Houser in the Deadwood Mansion VR Escape Room, Blackfeather the Assassin in VainGlory, Quigley the Robot in Leapfrog’s Letter Machine Rescue Team, The Birdman of Alcatraz in 1954 Alcatraz, or the laconic (and holographic) Bartender in Emerald Theater. Jim also works as an audio consultant to voice actors setting up home studios and is on the faculty at Voicetrax SF.

Musical Theatre Acting

Using improv and physical theatre exercises, as well as character and script analysis, we will mine new, audacious, and vulnerable ways to bring our musical stories to life! Tailored to each student’s experience level, the class is a creative and supportive space for beginners, while also challenging the more seasoned performers and giving concrete tools to use in the future. Each class includes piano accompaniment by accomplished Musical Director Eryn Allen, and will culminate in a showcase-style performance of songs of the student’s and teacher’s choosing that show a range of character and emotion. Students are expected bring at least one memorized song that they feel comfortable with for the first class (and the instructor will reach out to help with any questions or music suggestions you may have).

MON 7–10pm · 11/11, 11/18, 11/25, 12/2, 12/9 · $330

Ariela Morgenstern spent nearly a decade working as a professional actor and singer in New York after spending a decade in the classical music and theatre world in San Francisco. Now that she’s back home in California, she performs regularly and was seen last summer in the world premiere of the new musical A Walk on the Moon at American Conservatory Theater, as well as at her sold-out cabaret show at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. She has performed throughout California and New York City, including as a soloist in Imant Raminsh’s Symphony of Psalms at Carnegie Hall. A longtime fan of Kurt Weill’s music, she won second place in the International Lotte Lenya Competition. Favorite roles include Mrs. One & Two u/s in Adding Machine (off Broadway), Ms. Wilde in Flashdance the Musical (first national tour), Franca in The Light in the Piazza (Arena Stage and TheatreWorks), Aldonza in Man of La Mancha (Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina), Jenny in The Threepenny Opera (Marvel Rep, New York, Drama Desk nominated), and the title role of Carmen (San Francisco Lyric Opera).

Eryn Allen is an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area-based music director and pianist. Recent musical director/conducting credits include Once (42nd Street Moon), Matilda and Billy Elliot (CCMT), Mamma Mia (Center Rep), and Broadway Cares Cabaret at Feinstein’s (ft. the cast of Aladdin, 2019 National Tour). National tour credits: Les Misérables (2018), Miss Saigon (2019), A Bronx Tale (2018). She recently won a Shellie Award for Outstanding Music Direction on Billy Elliot. In addition, she teaches private piano out of her home and plays piano for Martuni’s Piano Bar in San Francisco.

Theatre of the Oppressed

Theatre of the Oppressed, conceived by Augusto Boal, is a collection of games, techniques, and exercises for using theatre as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. It uses the dynamized human body and the charged theatrical space as laboratories for exploring power, transforming oppression, and finding solutions to the fundamental problems of conflict, inequality, injustice, and human suffering. This workshop will introduce basic techniques (demechanization, dynamization, image theatre, forum theatre) from the Theatre of the Oppressed, with an end to understanding their application as practical and essential tools for artistic development, creative expression, social engagement, and personal transformation. This class is open to both experienced and beginning performers, as well as anyone interested in exploring art as a method for social and personal change, while developing spontaneity, fluidity, presence, creativity, and critical intelligence.

THU 7–10pm · 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 12/5 · $360

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.

Theatre of the Oppressed: Mindfulness, Meditation, & 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 12:30–5:30pm · 9/21 · $95

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.

Stage Combat Certification: Broadsword–Level 1

Ages 16 and up · Broadsword: weapon of choice in the Middle Ages. This certification course will prepare you for great steel slinging roles like Richard III, Macbeth, Beowulf, Robin Hood, and Joan of Arc. This class will stress safety, partnership, and telling the story of the fight while covering basic sword fighting history and terminology. Additionally, students will learn the skills necessary to perform realistic broadsword fights. All students will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform scenes that include stage combat and take a “Skills Proficiency Test” for recognition as a Theatrical Combatant with Dueling Arts International. Full fingered gloves are required. Class size is limited to 10. Open to all levels.

Class is held at Berkeley Rep’s rehearsal studio at 999 Harrison St, Berkeley CA 94710.

MON 7–10pm · 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18 · $300

Dave Maier is the resident fight director at San Francisco Opera, California Shakespeare Theater, and a company member with Shotgun Players. He has won several awards for Fight Direction and has choreographed violence for several Berkeley Rep productions, including Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. His work has been seen at ACT, La Jolla Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Magic Theatre, and Aurora Theatre Company, among others. He is a Full Instructor of Theatrical Combat with Dueling Arts.

Storytelling: Find Your Voice

In this six-week course, we will dive into the art of storytelling and solo performance. Storytelling is an art form as old as human civilization. Personal stories from the heart keep us connected to one another and to our compassion, a vital need in our world today. Whether you have a solo show you are working on or you want to hone your performance skills for professional reasons, this class will help you harness your creativity, trust your instincts, quiet your inner critic, find your unique voice, and develop presence and ease in front of an audience. Through acting, improv, and writing exercises, we will get that story out of your head and onto the stage. The class will culminate in a student performance at the School of Theatre.

THU 7–10pm · 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31 (showing) · $280

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.

One-on-One Audition Coaching

Don’t be caught unprepared for an upcoming 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 · $80/hour
Please call 510 647–2996 to schedule a coaching session

Private Voice

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.

MON between 10am–noon · $80/hour
To schedule a voice session email rcastelli@berkeleyrep.org

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

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Beginning Improvisation

Gain experience and understanding of the philosophies and fundamentals of improvisational theatre via a Keith Johnstone (IMPRO)-based practice in this beginning class. Through playful interactive theatre games and storytelling, students are introduced to the elements of spontaneity, listening, accepting, and responding. This methodology helps students access their imagination, free their inhibitions, and increase their confidence. This class, taught by a professional improviser, focuses on skills that enhance the student’s creative path. Principles explored include being present in the moment, letting go of the inner critic, and strengthening creative impulses. May be repeated.

THU 7–10pm · 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 12/5 · $360
WED 3–5pm · 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20 · $275

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.

Intermediate/Advanced Improvisation

Open your mind to the infinite possibilities of improvised theatre. Delve into the more potent possibilities of improv, while exploring the nuances of style in storytelling, long form, genre work, and continued development of spontaneity and dynamic play. You will receive direct, tailored, and supportive feedback. This class will be geared toward performance-level improv—getting you ready to hit the stage or giving you a tune-up wherever you are as an improviser. No matter what, we will have fun and laugh. A lot.

WED 7–10pm · 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4 · $360 (Galvez)
SAT 12:30–3:30pm · 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 12/7 · $245 (August)

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!

Bobby August, Jr. is an actor, improviser, and teacher. He earned an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Davis. Some of his favorite past performances include portraying Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Howie in Rabbit Hole, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and The Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Bobby also devises physical theatre pieces with long-time collaborator Iu-Hui Chua. They created and performed Crawl and Ligilo at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, Bobby is the owner and director of the award-winning Made Up Theatre (MUT) in Fremont, California. His theatre specializes in presenting completely improvised plays. He has performed with MUT at improv festivals throughout the country—most recently winning Best Improv Group at the Sacramento Comedy Festival. His improv education includes training at the world-famous Second City and Annoyance Theatre in Chicago.

Advanced Long Form Improvisation: Genre—Charles Dickens

This class will have a threefold approach: narrative improvisation, dialects and language, and movement. We will be learning storytelling techniques as well as advanced improvisation skills so that the ensemble can develop a group mind and a sense of “what happens next” in a story. We will be learning Standard British for the upper-class characters, and Cockney and Irish for the lower-class characters. The dialects will be approached in a multi-sensorial way, with a focus on the physical changes, the phonetic sound changes, and with immersion (listening to primary sources of the dialect). We will do studies of Dickens characters, such as the Artful Dodger, Ebenezer Scrooge, Miss Havisham, Uriah Heep, Mr. Micawber, and Rosa Bud, so that we may understand how best to create the language and physicality of these larger-than-life characters in our improvisational stories. The class will also study the movement and manners of the upper- and lower-class characters of the Victorian period. The class will culminate in a full-length improvised play based on the style of Charles Dickens’ books.

TUE 7–10pm · 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3 · $360

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.

Erica Blue is an international performance art, dance, and theatre maker. She has a BA in performance studies from Sarah Lawrence College and has done Master’s work at Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre and Wesleyan University. After founding The Raw Material Performance Ensemble in Amsterdam, she then traveled and studied dance extensively in Southern Asia. Once arriving in the Bay Area she began teaching, directing, and performing with her ensemble, Teatro Auzzura. Her solo work has been performed at La Mama in New York, the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, and has won Best of the Fringe in San Francisco and Seattle. She also received a Goldie award in 2000 for her role as Salvador Dali’s wife, Gala. Blue’s company has received critical acclaim for their dance theatre work around the US and in Europe.

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 · 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23 (performance), 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 11/22 (performance) · $410

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.

The Art of Business Improv

Improv is no longer just for actors! “The Master of Fine Arts is the new MBA,” so argued author Daniel Pink in his seminal New York Times story about the new creative economy. While this is an extreme statement, its implications are powerful: you cannot excel in business without creativity. In our competitive and evolving economy, being logical and analytical is no longer enough; the modern executive must be nimble and inventive to face constant change. Theatre artists possess many of the skills regularly sought after in today’s economy: creativity, resiliency, agility, courage, collaborative awareness, and high levels of emotional intelligence. This class is specifically designed for professionals from any field, at any level, who want to reap the benefits of this training and develop their leadership skills. In this playful and unpretentious atmosphere, even the most reserved student will learn to harness their creativity, enhance their public speaking (through storytelling assignments and explorations), trust their instincts, deepen their listening skills, read nonverbal body language, master their emotions, quiet their inner critic, and gain confidence in front of an audience.

THU 7–9:30pm · 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 12/5, 12/12 · $245

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.

Audition

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Simple and True: A Monologue Workshop

Some people like acting that’s larger than life. Which begs the question: “What’s larger than life?” This workshop will operate from the belief that the best acting is the most true to life. Through monologue work, students will learn simple and practical tools any actor can use to help their work be more relaxed, truthful, and spontaneous in plays both classic and modern. Students must come prepared with two solidly memorized and rehearsed monologues, preferably ones they have performed or auditioned with before: a contemporary one for the first day of class, and a Shakespeare one in verse for the second day. Expect this class to be a fun, relaxed, and supportive environment in which to shake things up a little.

SAT & SUN 1–4:30pm · 10/5, 10/6 · $140

Anthony Fusco is an award-winning actor and teaching artist with over 30 years’ experience. As an actor in the Bay Area he’s appeared in nearly 50 productions at American Conservatory Theater, and in shows for Cal Shakes, Berkeley Rep, SF Playhouse, the Magic Theatre, and Marin Theatre Company. Anthony has also performed at other theatres across the country, off Broadway, and on Broadway. He teaches regularly for ACT’s MFA program, and has taught previously for the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre as well. He trained at The Juilliard School and with The Barrow Group.

One-on-One Audition Coaching

Don’t be caught unprepared for an upcoming 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 · $80/hour
Please call 510 647–2996 to schedule a coaching session

Directing / Storytelling

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Advanced Acting/Directing: The Art (and Skill) of Collaboration

Directors and actors will work together in a practicum that focuses on elements of the rehearsal process, including staging, text analysis, studying the events of the scene, interpretation, and overall collaboration. Working from selected texts, students will engage in practical work and participate in discussions with guest practitioners such as Tony Taccone.

For acceptance into this class, students must submit a résumé to school@berkeleyrep.org.

MON 7–10pm · 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/28, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25 · $290

Jonathan Moscone serves as Chief Producer for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, envisioning and implementing strategies to fulfill YBCA’s role as a citizen institution in the city’s neighborhoods, schools, and throughout the civic realm. Prior to YBCA, Jonathan served for 16 years as Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater, where he directed nearly 20 productions. He has directed at theatres across the country including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre in Houston, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Campo Santo, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Huntington Theatre in Boston. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in Directing, he received the inaugural Zelda Fichandler Award by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation in 2009, for “exceptional contribution to the national arts landscape through regional theatre work.” His teaching credits include: Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, ACT’s MFA Program, and the Yale School of Drama. He has served on the national board of Theatre Communications Group in New York City and currently serves on the boards of the San Francisco Film Commission, Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project, and the Homeless Prenatal Program.

Storytelling: Find Your Voice

In this six-week course, we will dive into the art of storytelling and solo performance. Storytelling is an art form as old as human civilization. Personal stories from the heart keep us connected to one another and to our compassion, a vital need in our world today. Whether you have a solo show you are working on or you want to hone your performance skills for professional reasons, this class will help you harness your creativity, trust your instincts, quiet your inner critic, find your unique voice, and develop presence and ease in front of an audience. Through acting, improv, and writing exercises, we will get that story out of your head and onto the stage. The class will culminate in a student performance at the School of Theatre.

THU 7–10pm · 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31 (showing) · $280

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.

Empowering the Moment: For Actors/Directors/Devisers

In every scene or monologue there’s a moment where the story turns: a fulcrum or a climax. One of the best ways to shape a scene or unlock a character’s journey through a play is to find these moments, make the most of them, and shape everything else according to these choices. This is a workshop to help actors minimize analysis, simplify scene work, and free up more physical and emotional energy. We’ll explore practical ways of mapping out a story and empowering the most important moments.

SAT & SUN 12:30–5:30pm · 11/2, 11/3 · $220

Edward Morgan has directed at various regional theatres including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Next Act Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Merrimack Rep, the Kennedy Center, Clarence Brown Theatre, Round House Theatre, the Studio, and Milwaukee Rep where he was associate artistic director for six years and directed nearly 30 plays. He and his works have been honored with Helen Hayes Awards and nominations, and he was a Drama League of New York Directors Project Fellow. He has written adaptations and plays that have been produced at regional theatres, universities, and filmed for Public TV including Way Downriver: William Faulkner’s “Old Man,” which was recently produced at North Coast Rep; A Rising Wind co-written with John Kishline; A Christmas Carol co-written with Joe Hanreddy; Sounding River; Appalachian Voices; An Irish Reunion; and The Last Ride of the Bold Calhouns. Edward has worked as a teacher and guest artist at numerous graduate and undergraduate programs and frequently conducts master classes. Internationally, he toured India as an actor and director through the U.S. State Department and has directed and taught in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. He is a member of SD&C and AEA, a casting partner for Cirque du Soleil, and is on the roster of Fulbright Specialists.

Behavior, Behavior, Behavior: For Actors/Directors/Devisers

As actors, we tend to concentrate on the text, our partners, and whatever basic blocking we discover or are given in the process of staging. Yet sometimes the key to a fresh, genuine experience of a scene can come through adding another layer of activity or behavior, whether realistic or non-realistic. This is often found in Eastern European theatre and in various forms of physical theatre. We’re going to work with naturalistic texts, but explore and unlock them with a greater emphasis on other layers of behavior. Our goal will be to develop some new tools for engaging a scene.

SAT & SUN 12:30–5:30pm · 11/9, 11/10 · $220

Edward Morgan has directed at various regional theatres including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Next Act Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Merrimack Rep, the Kennedy Center, Clarence Brown Theatre, Round House Theatre, the Studio, and Milwaukee Rep where he was associate artistic director for six years and directed nearly 30 plays. He and his works have been honored with Helen Hayes Awards and nominations, and he was a Drama League of New York Directors Project Fellow. He has written adaptations and plays that have been produced at regional theatres, universities, and filmed for Public TV including Way Downriver: William Faulkner’s “Old Man,” which was recently produced at North Coast Rep; A Rising Wind co-written with John Kishline; A Christmas Carol co-written with Joe Hanreddy; Sounding River; Appalachian Voices; An Irish Reunion; and The Last Ride of the Bold Calhouns. Edward has worked as a teacher and guest artist at numerous graduate and undergraduate programs and frequently conducts master classes. Internationally, he toured India as an actor and director through the U.S. State Department and has directed and taught in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. He is a member of SD&C and AEA, a casting partner for Cirque du Soleil, and is on the roster of Fulbright Specialists.

Movement

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Physical Comedy for Actors and Improvisers

Ground your characters in authentic presence and allow them to soar to new heights of physical virtuosity with this in-depth look at clowning and physical comedy. Clown exercises will help you develop a stronger awareness of your embodied stage presence, while building the tools to express an authentic character through physicality and movement. You’ll learn slapstick, partner lifts, and knockabout techniques; and we’ll explore the structures of physical comedy. By the end of this class, you’ll be prepared to create your own physical comedy sequences on the fly or as part of a scripted performance. All levels welcome.

TUE 7–10pm · 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22 · $260

Hannah Gaff is a movement theatre creator, acrobatic clown, and teaching artist based in San Francisco and a core member of UpLift Physical Theatre. She received a MFA in ensemble-based physical theatre from Dell’Arte International in 2015. Compelled by the transformative power of performance, Hannah seeks to disarm the world through joyful play, physical engagement, and authentic connection. In San Francisco, Hannah works as a hospital clown with the Medical Clown Project, teaches at the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco, manages the youth circus performance program at AcroSports, and performs with Clowns Without Borders, providing entertainment in crisis situations as a means of psychological support to communities who have suffered trauma.

Joan Howard is a physical theatre creator, slapstick acrobat, and clown. She is a graduate of Flying Actor Studio’s Physical Theatre Conservatory and a student of red nose clown and pedagogy with master teacher Giovanni Fusetti. Joan is core faculty at SF Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, is a slapstick choreographer and props designer for Bay Area Children’s Theatre, and works as a hospital clown with the Medical Clown Project. She is co-creator of Idiot String, an ensemble theatre company devoted to inciting delight and activating meaningful human connection through play.

Movement Improvisation Lab

How can we train to feel at home in our bodies, onstage and off? How can we train to keep evolving our range of physical possibilities and deepening our presence? In this workshop we will play with a range of approaches to improvisation, including Viewpoints, Contact Improv, and musically oriented Free Improvisation. We will learn a warm-up that draws on postmodern dance and somatic disciplines including Body-Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, and Laban work.

SAT 1–4pm · 10/12 · $65

Nina Galin is a dance-theatre artist, educator, and a somatic therapist. She grew up doing a range of theatre practices, from Marlowe to The Music Man. Her passion for movement and performance as research led her into modern and postmodern dance and choreography. In recent years her love for text and movement has included experimental productions based on Shakespeare, Melville, and Beckett as well as original autobiographical words, verbatim interviews, and historical research. She did extensive study of dance history, theory, and experimental choreography at UC Riverside and received her MFA in choreography and doctorate in performance studies from UC Davis. As a somatic therapist and educator, she draws on Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Body-Mind Centering, Pilates, yoga, and connective tissue massage. She lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and dogs.

Enter the Clown

An acting class for people who hate clowns, and a clowning class for people who love acting

“The clown is a poet who is also an orangutan.” What insights can actors who seek to deepen their practice and propel their work to a higher level learn from the world of the clown, where the tender and the grotesque, the raucous and the whimsical live side by side? What can the lessons from the work of Stanislavski, Mikhail Chekhov, and others do to inform and enrich the work of your average buffoon, a poet that hides behind the smallest of masks—the red nose? Join renowned Shakespearean actor, one-man showmaster, and Cirque du Soleil clown Ron Campbell for a fun-filled day with movement, masks, mirth, and buckets of fun. Enter the Clown and exit a slightly more dangerous, perhaps less rational, but certainly more compelling actor.

SAT 12:30–4:30pm · 10/26 · $85

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.

Alexander Technique for Mind/Body Balance

Alexander Technique is a time-honored method used by actors to improve posture, breath, and movement. Effective movement liberates your acting skills and enriches your life. As you stop responding to the world in a habitual manner, new avenues of physical ease and creativity open up. Discover the Alexander Technique for mind/body balance. Let your body’s physical genius emerge!

SAT 1–4pm · 11/16 · $65

Elyse Shafarman holds a Master’s degree in Physiological Psychology and Alexander Technique Teacher Certification from Frank Ottiwell (2003). Elyse is on the faculty of American Conservatory Theater’s MFA program and maintains a private Alexander Technique practice in San Francisco and Berkeley. Her background as a modern dancer and training in psychology, yoga, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction influence her approach to teaching.

Stage Combat Certification: Broadsword–Level 1

Ages 16 and up · Broadsword: weapon of choice in the Middle Ages. This certification course will prepare you for great steel slinging roles like Richard III, Macbeth, Beowulf, Robin Hood, and Joan of Arc. This class will stress safety, partnership, and telling the story of the fight while covering basic sword fighting history and terminology. Additionally, students will learn the skills necessary to perform realistic broadsword fights. All students will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform scenes that include stage combat and take a “Skills Proficiency Test” for recognition as a Theatrical Combatant with Dueling Arts International. Full fingered gloves are required. Class size is limited to 10. Open to all levels.

Class is held at Berkeley Rep’s rehearsal studio at 999 Harrison St, Berkeley CA 94710.

MON 7–10pm · 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18 · $300

Dave Maier is the resident fight director at San Francisco Opera, California Shakespeare Theater, and a company member with Shotgun Players. He has won several awards for Fight Direction and has choreographed violence for several Berkeley Rep productions, including Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. His work has been seen at ACT, La Jolla Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Magic Theatre, and Aurora Theatre Company, among others. He is a Full Instructor of Theatrical Combat with Dueling Arts.

Voice / Dialects

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Voice for Performance: On the Stage and in Daily Life

Free your natural speaking voice! This class will enable students to gradually and safely build vocal strength while continually aiming to reach full vocal potential. 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 7–10pm · 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 12/5 · $245

Susan-Jane Harrison is a British-American playwright, performer, and teacher. She trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, with a MFA from the University of California at Davis. Unusual collaborations in Harrison’s artistic work have allowed her to develop across disciplines (acting, writing, and dance). As performer and playwright, she continues to work internationally (the UK, USA, NZ, and AU). Most notably she has worked with BBC Radio and A&BC Theatre Co in the UK. In the USA, she has worked with Berkeley Rep, Aurora Theatre Company, Woman’s Will, American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, and A Traveling Jewish Theatre. She has performed on Theatre Row in NYC at United Solo Festival, and her work as a playwright has been produced as part of the RADA Festival and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Musical Theatre Acting

Using improv and physical theatre exercises, as well as character and script analysis, we will mine new, audacious, and vulnerable ways to bring our musical stories to life! Tailored to each student’s experience level, the class is a creative and supportive space for beginners, while also challenging the more seasoned performers and giving concrete tools to use in the future. Each class includes piano accompaniment by accomplished Musical Director Eryn Allen, and will culminate in a showcase-style performance of songs of the student’s and teacher’s choosing that show a range of character and emotion. Students are expected bring at least one memorized song that they feel comfortable with for the first class (and the instructor will reach out to help with any questions or music suggestions you may have).

MON 7–10pm · 11/11, 11/18, 11/25, 12/2, 12/9 · $330

Ariela Morgenstern spent nearly a decade working as a professional actor and singer in New York after spending a decade in the classical music and theatre world in San Francisco. Now that she’s back home in California, she performs regularly and was seen last summer in the world premiere of the new musical A Walk on the Moon at American Conservatory Theater, as well as at her sold-out cabaret show at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. She has performed throughout California and New York City, including as a soloist in Imant Raminsh’s Symphony of Psalms at Carnegie Hall. A longtime fan of Kurt Weill’s music, she won second place in the International Lotte Lenya Competition. Favorite roles include Mrs. One & Two u/s in Adding Machine (off Broadway), Ms. Wilde in Flashdance the Musical (first national tour), Franca in The Light in the Piazza (Arena Stage and TheatreWorks), Aldonza in Man of La Mancha (Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina), Jenny in The Threepenny Opera (Marvel Rep, New York, Drama Desk nominated), and the title role of Carmen (San Francisco Lyric Opera).

Eryn Allen is an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area-based music director and pianist. Recent musical director/conducting credits include Once (42nd Street Moon), Matilda and Billy Elliot (CCMT), Mamma Mia (Center Rep), and Broadway Cares Cabaret at Feinstein’s (ft. the cast of Aladdin, 2019 National Tour). National tour credits: Les Misérables (2018), Miss Saigon (2019), A Bronx Tale (2018). She recently won a Shellie Award for Outstanding Music Direction on Billy Elliot. In addition, she teaches private piano out of her home and plays piano for Martuni’s Piano Bar in San Francisco.

Beginning Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class introduces and establishes the skills required to perform different genres of voice acting. Beginning and professional actors learn the techniques and artistry of reading commercial, narration, and character copy. Students also learn professional microphone techniques, home-recording tips, and how to read authentically, as well as how to launch a freelance voice-over career. Students will also get to work with a professional sound engineer. Lessons will be recorded for students to keep for their records.

MON 7–10pm · 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2 · $420

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.

Jim Edgar has been captivated by voice-over and recording his whole life. As a full-time VO, he has voiced a Star Wars Stormtrooper ornament warning kids to stay away from presents, the Levi’s Stadium Talking Scoreboard campaign, and appeared as an ongoing voice for John Muir Health. He works across all areas of voice-over with commercial, narrative, eLearning clients including Adobe, Exploratorium, Samsung, Visa International, Oracle, Cisco, and Eisenhower Healthcare. You may have heard him as Captain Thorn and the Evil Dr. Houser in the Deadwood Mansion VR Escape Room, Blackfeather the Assassin in VainGlory, Quigley the Robot in Leapfrog’s Letter Machine Rescue Team, The Birdman of Alcatraz in 1954 Alcatraz, or the laconic (and holographic) Bartender in Emerald Theater. Jim also works as an audio consultant to voice actors setting up home studios and is on the faculty at Voicetrax SF.

Advanced II Voice-Over Acting

This voice-over class focuses on establishing the student’s home studio for recordings and auditions, as well as shaping, refining, and individualizing each student’s singular voice. Students will be allowed to focus on their preferred type of copy, and will be required to record assignments outside of class. Students without a home studio can record assignments on their phone or other device that creates MP3s. Class size is limited.

Prerequisite: Intermediate skills, or permission from the instructor, are required to take this class.

WED 7–10pm · 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13 · $340

Jim Edgar has been captivated by voice-over and recording his whole life. As a full-time VO, he has voiced a Star Wars Stormtrooper ornament warning kids to stay away from presents, the Levi’s Stadium Talking Scoreboard campaign, and appeared as an ongoing voice for John Muir Health. He works across all areas of voice-over with commercial, narrative, eLearning clients including Adobe, Exploratorium, Samsung, Visa International, Oracle, Cisco, and Eisenhower Healthcare. You may have heard him as Captain Thorn and the Evil Dr. Houser in the Deadwood Mansion VR Escape Room, Blackfeather the Assassin in VainGlory, Quigley the Robot in Leapfrog’s Letter Machine Rescue Team, The Birdman of Alcatraz in 1954 Alcatraz, or the laconic (and holographic) Bartender in Emerald Theater. Jim also works as an audio consultant to voice actors setting up home studios and is on the faculty at Voicetrax SF.

Advanced Long Form Improvisation: Genre—Charles Dickens

This class will have a threefold approach: narrative improvisation, dialects and language, and movement. We will be learning storytelling techniques as well as advanced improvisation skills so that the ensemble can develop a group mind and a sense of “what happens next” in a story. We will be learning Standard British for the upper-class characters, and Cockney and Irish for the lower-class characters. The dialects will be approached in a multi-sensorial way, with a focus on the physical changes, the phonetic sound changes, and with immersion (listening to primary sources of the dialect). We will do studies of Dickens characters, such as the Artful Dodger, Ebenezer Scrooge, Miss Havisham, Uriah Heep, Mr. Micawber, and Rosa Bud, so that we may understand how best to create the language and physicality of these larger-than-life characters in our improvisational stories. The class will also study the movement and manners of the upper- and lower-class characters of the Victorian period. The class will culminate in a full-length improvised play based on the style of Charles Dickens’ books.

TUE 7–10pm · 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3 · $360

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.

Erica Blue is an international performance art, dance, and theatre maker. She has a BA in performance studies from Sarah Lawrence College and has done Master’s work at Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre and Wesleyan University. After founding The Raw Material Performance Ensemble in Amsterdam, she then traveled and studied dance extensively in Southern Asia. Once arriving in the Bay Area she began teaching, directing, and performing with her ensemble, Teatro Auzzura. Her solo work has been performed at La Mama in New York, the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, and has won Best of the Fringe in San Francisco and Seattle. She also received a Goldie award in 2000 for her role as Salvador Dali’s wife, Gala. Blue’s company has received critical acclaim for their dance theatre work around the US and in Europe.

Private Voice

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.

MON between 10am–noon · $80/hour
To schedule a voice session email rcastelli@berkeleyrep.org

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.

Playwriting

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Playwriting

This class is for anyone who has ever wanted to write a play, and those who have already written one and want to develop it further with a writers group. Areas of focus include character development, dramatic structure, writing dialogue, and effective exposition. The course provides a structured writing program, deadlines for presenting work, and a supportive group of writers with which to share and discuss projects. Students present portions of the developing work to the class and submit a draft of the final project to the instructor for written feedback at the end of the course.

TUE 7–10pm · 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3 · $360

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.

Storytelling: Find Your Voice

In this six-week course, we will dive into the art of storytelling and solo performance. Storytelling is an art form as old as human civilization. Personal stories from the heart keep us connected to one another and to our compassion, a vital need in our world today. Whether you have a solo show you are working on or you want to hone your performance skills for professional reasons, this class will help you harness your creativity, trust your instincts, quiet your inner critic, find your unique voice, and develop presence and ease in front of an audience. Through acting, improv, and writing exercises, we will get that story out of your head and onto the stage. The class will culminate in a student performance at the School of Theatre.

THU 7–10pm · 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31 (showing) · $280

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.

 

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2025 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704

Roda Theatre
2015 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704

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