Youth classes

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Performance Workshop: Create Your Own Play

Grades 2–4 · Students will become part of an acting/improv ensemble and create a performance piece, with movement, dialogue, music, improvisation, and character work, based on Berkeley Rep’s new holiday musical The Tale of Despereaux. Knights come in all shapes and sizes, even in the form of a tiny mouse like Despereaux! In this class, students will create their own knightly stance and story of adventure. Dragons will be slain, people will be rescued, and quests will be conquered! This class will conclude with a final performance for family and friends. May be repeated.

SAT 9–10:15am · 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9 (performance) · $180

Si Mon’ Emmett is a native of Dallas who graduated with a BFA in the UTeach Theatre program at the University of Texas at Austin. Now a certified educator for theatre arts, she works both in classrooms and in administration for the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre as the Education and Youth Programs Associate. Her background in TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) spans from acting to directing and devising. Previously, she has worked with Dallas Children’s Theater, Victory Gardens Theater (Chicago), and VORTEX Repertory Company and Teatro Vivo (Austin).

Harry Potter and the…

Grades 4–6 · Harry Potter is back…and just waiting for you to fill in the title of his newest adventure! Using characters from the world of Harry Potter, The Fantastic Beasts, The Cursed Child, and your imagination, come and create his next adventure. Learning skills in acting, playwriting, improvisation, set design, sound design, costumes, and physical character, we will create a live theatre piece and share this new adventure with family and friends during the last class. Whether this is your first time in the world of Harry Potter or you are already a wizard, muggle, or magical beast—join this next adventure now!

SAT 10:30am–12:30pm · 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/15 (dress rehearsal), 11/16 (performance) · $290
SOLD OUT—Please call 510 647–2996 for wait list

Nancy Gold is a multifaceted performing artist, director, teacher, and author of Finding Your Funny Bone! The Actor’s Guide to Physical Comedy and Characters. She has studied physical theatre in Paris with Jacques LeCoq, mime with Claude Kipnis, and clowning with Ctibor Turba. She has a BFA from the University of Illinois and a Master’s equivalence. She teaches at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, ACT Young Conservatory, Academy of Art University, California Shakespeare Theater, Marin Theatre, UCLA, and public and private schools throughout the country. Directing credits include A Servant of Two Masters, Pippi Longstocking, Madeline and the Gypsies, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, as well as numerous original plays about empowering women for young audiences and adaptations based on literature. Nancy performs comedy and vaudeville with her partner, Lol Levy.

Play Creation: Collaborating with a Professional Playwright/Director

Grades 6–8 · Helmed by a professional playwright and director, this class gives students the opportunity to experience the thrill of collaborating on and performing in an original play! Students will explore their own voice and vision, discuss ideas that are moving to them with the playwright and the director, and as a team will dream up and fully realize a play, especially for the individuals in the class, together.

SAT 10:30am–12:30pm · 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 12/6 (dress rehearsal), 12/7 (performance) · $315

Alex Moggridge is an actor/playwright based in New York City. He has appeared on Berkeley Rep’s mainstage multiple times, including the recent production of Metamorphoses. He has also acted with such companies as American Conservatory Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Rep, Long Wharf Theatre, and many more. Alex’s plays have appeared off Broadway and regionally. His most recent production, The Boatman (an adaptation of a Greek myth, which he wrote for Berkeley Rep School of Theatre’s Summer Intensive), recently opened to critical acclaim at Flint Repertory Theatre. Alex holds an MFA in acting from ACT.

Maya Herbsman is a Bay Area-raised director, playwright, teaching artist, and arts administrator. She is currently serving as the associate artistic director and education coordinator at Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco. Maya received her BA in theater from Wesleyan University, where she was awarded the Rachel Henderson Memorial Prize for Excellence in Directing. Locally, she has worked with Shotgun Players, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Z Space, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, We Players, Spotlight: Girls, and Idiot String. Maya teaches acting, theatre creation, movement, musical theatre, improv, creative writing, and self-empowerment through theatre to children and teens across the Bay.

Musical Theatre Scene Study: …Spelling Bee

Grades 6–8 · A group of sixth-graders arrives at The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, each eager to win for different reasons. Sweet and shy Olive brings only her best friend (the dictionary) with her to the bee; bold and hyperallergic speller William Barfee uses his “magic foot” to propel him to greatness; former champion Chip is struggling with his burgeoning puberty; easily distracted Leaf is unconvinced that he’s smart enough to be a challenger; overachiever Marcy is disappointed by her consistent success; and politically aware Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre only wants to impress her gay dads. Each speller reveals their hopes, struggles, and passions as they make their way through the competition. As an ensemble, the students will work on a group musical scene. Individually, each student will work on the singing and acting of a 16-bar selection from the musical score. In addition, each student will be paired with a scene partner, and will be taught the acting process for developing a scene. The final performance will include their solos, an ensemble musical number, and prepared scenes.

WED 4–6:30pm · 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4 (performance) · $320

Richard Hayes holds an AA in vocal performance as well as completing his BAs in music education and musical theatre. He has spent the last 10 years performing and educating young performers across the Bay Area. He has had the opportunity to perform in such productions as Rent and In the Heights and co-direct and musical direct such shows as Mary Poppins and Ruined. With a passion for education and authentic expression, Richard is thrilled to be working with the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre.

Improvisation

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

THU 4:30–6:30pm · 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 12/5 (showing) · $290

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

Acting Intensive: Levels 1 and 2

Grades 6–8 · This class is designed for serious young actors who want to take their performance to the next level and are interested in searching for ways to make authentic work. Examine the same techniques professionals use: learn to analyze scripts, play an action in a scene, identify your objective, overcome your obstacles, and focus your energy. Work with other serious young actors who want to hone their craft! Can be repeated.

MON 4:30–6pm · 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21 · $160 (Level 1 · Vergez)
MON 4:30–6pm · 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2 · $160 (Level 2 · Curry)

Gabriel Vergez initially came to theatre through singing, first with San Francisco Boys Chorus, and then with Kairos Youth Choir. This led to an audition for Berkeley Rep’s Brundibar. The wonderful creation, direction, and ensemble and excitement of a world premiere ensured that Gabriel was bitten by the theatre bug. He was later cast as The Boy in The Pillowman, and served as understudy in Troublemaker, also with Berkeley Rep. After acting in numerous high school projects and participating in independent theatre productions in Berkeley as well, Gabriel continued at University of Puget Sound as both a performing actor and theatre arts and French major. Gabriel is a practitioner of capoeira and an avid basketball player in addition to being a fluent French speaker. Recently graduated, Gabriel has worked as both assistant and teaching staff with Berkeley Rep School of Theatre for over seven years and is happy to be back at his second home.

Michael Curry is a local actor/writer. He recently played Malachai in Cal Shakes’ production of black odyssey. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Michael graduated from Morehouse College in 2016 with a BA in Drama. He recently completed a year-long education fellowship with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Private Voice

Grades 6–8 · Learn to sing with ease and confidence, eliminating vocal pain and fatigue while improving your range and breath control. Each session includes breathing and relaxation exercises, vocal exercises and technique, and vocal coaching on songs, including how to act a song and how to prepare a musical theatre audition.

MON between 10am–noon · $75/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.

One-on-One Audition Coaching

Grades 6–8 · 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 · $75/hour
Please call 510 647–2996 to schedule a coaching session

 

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