CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Classes Are Offered In The Following Dramatic Arts Programs:



THE ACTING PROGRAM

Open to Adults and Teens (Ages 16+)

LEVEL 1: Intro to Acting
Discover the actor inside of you! By using theatre games and improvisation, students will learn basic theatre skills in a supportive, creative and fun environment. Learn how to answer the questions all actors must ask before they even pick up a script: Who? Where? What? Why? How? This class is the first step to building a solid foundation in the art of acting.

LEVEL 2: An Actor Prepares
Students will work on monologues while learning how to analyze a script, identify a character's problems and solve those problems. Advanced theatre games are used to deepen basic skills. In addition, there will be further development of the actor's physical resources of voice and movement. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of an introductory acting class or an interview.

LEVEL 3: Scene Study
Explore characters and relationships on a deeper level. In this class, students will track a character's journey through a scene and learn to further articulate the essential elements of a character's objectives, obstacles, conflicts and relationships. Rehearsal with a scene partner outside of class is required. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 2 or by audition.

LEVEL 4: Building A Character (Parts I and II)
Part I: Through the use of theater games and generic scenes and/or monologues, students discover how action and behavior shape characterization and thus learn how to create a distinct physical and emotional personality for a character. Part II: Students now apply the skills developed in Part I by working on monologues and scenes. The class will culminate in a performance to the public. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 3 or by audition.

LEVEL 5: Advanced Acting
Students will now explore advanced material, focusing on classic playwrights and their styles. Works by playwrights such as Miller, Mamet, Chekhov, Williams, Pinter, Ionesco and Shakespeare will be used. The class will culminate in a performance open to the public. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 4 or by audition.

LEVEL 6: The Professional Showcase -CLASS ACTS
Students will apply all of the skills they've learned by rehearsing and performing in a professional production of one act plays on the stage at the Westminster Arts Center at Bloomfield College. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of: Level 5, Speech for the Actor and Movement for the Actor.

THE MASTER CLASS: TECHNIQUE WORKSHOP
An ongoing class for advanced students and working actors to continue to hone their skills and technique. Students may work on monologues, scenes, exercises or any project of their choice. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 5 or by audition only.

THE BLACK BOX THEATER PROJECT
Students will choose a full-length play (with the guidance of the director) as a class project and then collaborate on all aspects of a production. Extensive work on telling the story, tracking a character and understanding the playwright's point of view will be explored. Students will also use the class as a rehearsal workshop culminating in a weekend of 3 performances of the project at the NJSDA Theater. This workshop is designed for advanced actors who want to keep skills sharp and gain deeper experience in developing a character and creating a play. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 6 (Class Acts) or by audition.



SPECIALTY CLASSES

Accents for Actors
Students will learn the basics of Standard British, Irish, and American Southern.  First you will use the international phonetic alphabet to analyze specific vowel and consonant changes; and then focus on the placement and musicality of different dialects.  By the end of the course, students will master three accents, and train their ear to recognize and annotate dialectical differences, so as to teach themselves other accents.

Audition Technique
By the end of this course you will be set for your next audition and will have two "ready to go" monologues. Students will also learn how to prepare and perform "cold" readings and how to ace the agent/casting director interview. The final session will feature a mock audition with NYC casting director, Paul Russell. *Prerequisite: Completion of Level 3 or by permission of the instructor.

Shakespeare
This class will introduce students to the thrilling challenge of acting Shakespeare. Unlock the passions of Shakespeare's characters by cracking the secret code he left in the text. By analyzing the verse structure, students will learn to "score" the copy for pace and breath. More importantly, students will begin to learn the technical foundations (voice, speech, scansion, rhetoric) all actors need to unlock the text, as well as explore the artistic depth and richness these plays provide through "letting in", personalization, humor, and character. Culminates in students performing monologues. Come conquer your fear of the Bard, and find out why he's everyone's favorite playwright! Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 3 or by permission of a director.

Speech for the Actor
A must for actors interested in increasing their vocal richness and emotional range in order to maximize their individual potential. This process based course will consist of voice, speech and language. Voice includes breath and body placement, and breath support. Speech includes vowel placement, accent reduction and recognizing personal patterns. Language will include work on Shakespeare and learning to use language as a tool for defining character in performance and auditioning.

Movement for the Actor
Discover the tools an actor uses to create, project and maintain a character. This lively and energetic class teaches the art and techniques of using one's body on stage. The class will first focus on how to execute basic, universal human action on stage: simply, truthfully and without effort. Next you will play, explore and create content that is emotional, fantastic, comedic, absurd and above all imaginative. Finally, after developing these basic skills, you will engage in storytelling by exploring various theatrical and cinematic genres.

PRIVATE LESSONS
Students may schedule one on one coaching sessions with a director to prepare for auditions, college admissions or for special projects or needs. Please call for an appointment

 

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ACTING WORKSHOPS

Open to Adults and Teens (Ages 16+)

Auditioning Workshop: The Cold Reading
In this special 4 week workshop, students will learn how to prepare and perform "cold" readings and how to ace the agent/casting director interview. *Prerequisite: Completion of Level 3 or by permission of the instructor.

The Business of "The Business" : A Showbiz Seminar
This seminar will give you all the basic information you need to get started in Show-biz. Learn about agents, managers, unions, resumes and headshots, plus information on commercials, film, print and theatre. Discover how to spot scams that want you to invest large amounts of money with no guarantees. Find out where the auditions are and what it takes to succeed. If you are interested in starting a career in show business or have a child with a passion for acting, singing or modeling, this seminar will be an invaluable aid in understanding the ins and outs of the industry.

 

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FILM AND TV PROGRAM

Open to Adults and Teens (Ages 16+)

The TV Commercial Industry
Everything you wanted to know about the TV commercial industry is included in this class. Photos, resumes, how and where to look for work, union vs. non-union jobs, agents, and casting directors are discussed. You will learn how to prepare for the commercial audition by working on camera each week. By the end of this class, students are ready to start their career!

The TV Commercial Industry : Level 2
This class focuses on auditioning for commercials of various styles, identifying these styles and knowing what approach to take. The class offers a more analytical study of commercials and commercial performance technique than level I. The goal is to give two or more excellent and unique takes at every audition. Upon completion, the participant should have a comfort level that will allow him/her to book the spot! *Prerequisite: Completion of Level I

Acting For Film and Television
This course will teach actors how to approach written material for TV and Film by exploring choice, size and physicality in front of the camera. Learn the differences between reading stage scenes and film scripts, and between preparing and developing a character for film versus the stage. Auditioning for the camera will also be covered. The class is appropriate for theater actors adjusting to the camera, and seasoned professionals looking to improve their craft. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Acting Level 3-Scene Study or by permission of a director.

Acting For Film and Television : Level 2
Building on the tools learned in Level 1, students will now concentrate specifically on ways to build a character for the camera. The class will include techniques that are designed to further develop and translate a character to film. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Film & TV : Level 1 and Acting Level 4 or by permission of a director.

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IMPROV PROGRAM

Open to Adults and Teens (Ages 16+)

Introduction to Improv
Give your imagination a blast of spontaneity! Learn how to better use your observation, concentration, creativity and quick thinking skills. Plus, learn how to use improvisation during theatre rehearsals and while performing on stage. A fun and funny course!

Advanced Improv
Students will now build on the fundamental rules of improvisation. In the first half of this course, you will learn the basics of improvising a scene and how to keep it afloat. In the second half, we will incorporate all of the rules of improv by working on performance games. The last session is an open class which will give students a chance to be put "on the spot" by performing in front of an invited audience! *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Intro to Improv or by permission of the instructor.

The Improv Performance Workshop
Students will apply all of the skills they've learned by rehearsing and performing in a professional evening of improv comedy similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway? on the stage at our theatre! All students who successfully complete this workshop are eligible to audition for our improv troupe, On The Spot! *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Advanced Improv or by permission of the instructor.

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MUSICAL THEATER PROGRAM

Open to Adults and Teens (Ages 16+)

Singing 101
Love musical theater? Always wanted to learn how to sing? Learn about the most essential element of musical theater: the voice! Students will work on vocal techniques, proper breathing, diction, projection and best of all, singing. Outside practice is recommended.

Musical Theater
At this level, the performance elements of musical theater are introduced. Students continue to develop vocal skills while learning how to act through a song. Group numbers, duets and solos will be used. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Voice 101 or similar training.

Musical Theater Performance Workshop:
This workshop, taught by Drama Desk Award winner Toni DiBuono, is designed for singers who want to keep their skills sharp and gain a deeper understanding of song interpretation. Students will work on solos, duets and group numbers. The class culminates in a production, open to the public, at the NJSDA Theater.

Private Voice Coaching
For students looking for uniquely personal instruction. Individually scheduled sessions may be used to improve technique, find new material, prepare for auditions, etc.



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CHILDREN & TEEN CLASSES

CLASSES FOR KIDS


Ready, Set, ACT! (Grades 1 - 3)
The first step to understanding what acting is all about! In this fun and supportive class, children use theatre games, storytelling and role-playing to stretch their imaginations and discover the endless creativity in themselves. Each semester ends in a final informal performance open to family and friends.

Broadway Juniors (Grades 1 - 3)
Using familiar songs and scenes from classic Broadway shows and films such as The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz and Suessical, students will learn the basics of musical theater performance. Vocal technique, beginning acting skills and basic choreography will be developed as students "put it all together" in this fun-filled class. The last session includes a final informal performance.

Young Actors Workshop (Grades 4 -5)
Kids learn the fundamentals of acting in a fun, supportive and creative atmosphere. Through theatre games and improvisation, students concentrate on the basics of acting: the who, where, why and how. Students will then apply these concepts to basic scene work. The last session includes an open class for family and friends.

Musical Theater for Kids (Grades 4 - 5)
Using familiar songs and scenes from classic Broadway shows and films such as The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz and Suessical, students will learn the basics of musical theater performance. Vocal technique, beginning acting skills and basic choreography will be developed as students "put it all together" in this fun-filled class. The last session includes a final informal performance.


CLASSES FOR TWEENS / TEENS

The Tween (Grades 6 - 8) Acting Program

Level 1
By using theatre games and improvisation, students will learn basic theatre skills in a supportive, creative and fun atmosphere. The second half of the semester emphasizes learning to understand a script, identifying the character's problems and discovering how to solve them. Students will work on a monologue or scene for the final open class project.

Level 2
In this level characters and relationships are explored on a deeper level. Students discover how action and behavior shape characterization. Students continue to track their character's journey through scenes and monologues; articulating the essential elements of building a character, playing objectives, fighting through obstacles and trying to resolve the conflict in the scene. As always, instructors continue to encourage the unique creativity of each student. The session culminates in a final open class project. Please Note: Most students are required to complete two semesters of Level 2 before moving onto Level 3. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 1 or by interview and audition.

Level 3
Level 3 students will continue to hone their acting technique by working on material individualized for their specific growth. Work can include monologues, scene study, acting exercises, or other projects of the teacher's choosing. Continued development of the actor's physical resources will be included. The semester will culminate in a complete staging of theater pieces performed at our theater! Prerequisite: Completion of two semesters of Level 2 AND permission of a director. Students entering our program for the first time must audition for placement in this program.

Acting for Film & TV
This on camera course will teach students about the TV commercial and the TV / film industry.  By working on camera each week, students will learn how to prepare for the commercial audition and how to approach written material for TV and Film (while also exploring choice, size and physicality in front of the camera). Prerequisite: Enrollment in or completion of Tween Acting I (or an equivalent).

Improv Comedy Workshop
Give your imagination a blast of spontaneity! Learn the basic rules of improvisational comedy and then put them to use playing performance games (similar to "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"). The last class will include a comedy showcase for family and friends.
 
ENCORE! YOUTH THEATER (Grades 8 - 12) - By Audition Only. This semester's production TBA


The Teen (Grades 9 -12) Acting Program

Level 1
This level is for students entering our program for the first time. The class emphasizes the development of a strong acting technique through the use of theater games, improvisation and scripted material. Students learn how to answer the questions all actors must ask in order to successfully approach a script: Who? Where? What? Why? How? Exploration of the actor's physical resources of voice and movement will also be used. The last class will be open to invited guests.

Level 2
In this level we explore characters and relationships on a deeper level. Students discover how action and behavior shape characterization. They continue to track their character's journey through scenes and monologues; articulating the essential elements of building a character, playing objectives, fighting through obstacles and trying to resolve the conflict in the scene. As always, instructors continue to encourage the unique creativity of each student. The session culminates in a final open class. Please Note: Most students are required to complete two semesters of Level 2 before moving onto Level 3. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 1 or by interview and audition.

Level 3 : The Master Class
Level 3 students will continue to hone their acting technique by working on material individualized for their specific growth. Work can include monologues, scene study, acting exercises or other projects of the instructor's choosing. Continued development of the actor's physical resources will be included. The semester will culminate in a complete staging of theater pieces performed at our theater! Prerequisite: Completion of two semesters of Level 2 AND permission of a director. Students entering our program for the first time must audition for placement in this program.

Acting for Film & TV
This on camera course will teach students about the TV commercial and the TV / film industry.  By working on camera each week, students will learn how to prepare for the commercial audition and how to approach written material for TV and Film (while also exploring choice, size and physicality in front of the camera). Prerequisite: Enrollment in or completion of Teen Acting I (or an equivalent).

Improv Comedy Workshop
Give your imagination a blast of spontaneity! Learn the basic rules of improvisational comedy and then put them to use playing performance games (similar to "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"). The last class will include a comedy showcase for family and friends.

ENCORE! YOUTH THEATER (Grades 8 - 12) - By Audition Only. This semester's production


The Tweens and Teens Musical Theater Program

TWEEN Musical Theater
In this fun, non-competitive class, students learn the skills of preparing to enter the exciting genre of Musical Theatre. Through weekly instruction with guest master teachers, you will be introduced to the principles and techniques that will help you piece together your lyrics, script, and choreography. Using an introduction to standard and contemporary musical theatre repertoire students will receive group voice lessons, sight-singing company/group numbers, scene/duet studies, and begin to build their portfolio of solo works. The last session will be an open class for family and friends.

TWEEN Musical Theater II
Students will continue to develop vocal skills and further develop the technique of acting through a song by exploring and interpreting the lyrics of the song. Group numbers, duets and solos will be used. As always, instructors encourage the unique abilities of each student. The last session will be an open class for family and friends. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 1 or by permission of instructor.

TEEN Musical Theater
In this fun, non-competitive class, students are introduced to the most important element of Musical Theater: the Voice! By using group numbers and solos, students will learn about vocal technique, proper breathing, diction, projection, the basics of reading music and best of all, the joy of singing! At the same time, students will be introduced to acting through a song" by exploring and interpreting the lyrics of the song. The last session will be an open class for family and friends.

TEEN Musical Theater II
Students will continue to develop vocal skills and further develop the technique of acting through a song by exploring and interpreting the lyrics of the song. Group numbers, duets and solos will be used. As always, instructors encourage the unique abilities of each student. The semester will culminate in a complete staging of musical theater pieces performed in a final class project in the NJSDA Theater!  Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 1 or by permission of instructor.



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NUTTY BY NATURE
IMPOV COMEDY

Nutty By Nature Improv Comedy

SPARKS OF INSANITY
TEEN IMPROV

Sparks of Insanity - Teen Improv

ON THE SPOT
On the Spot Improv