The High School Actors Workshop offers a dynamic curriculum designed to build versatile, confident actors. Students start each day with a physical and vocal warm-up, followed by games and exercises aimed at honing their voice, body, and instinctual abilities. Through exploration and play, they learn to become stronger, more nimble, and expressive storytellers. The Scene Study class focuses on contemporary plays and films, pairing students to analyze, rehearse, and perform assigned scenes. Drawing from various acting techniques such as Stanislavsky, Hagen, Shurtleff, and Donnellan, the course helps students understand the basic building blocks of realistic acting: relationship, objective, obstacles, and actions. The program is tailored to individual students' needs, offering both an introduction and deepening of their acting skills. By the end of the workshop, students will have grown in their craft and gained the confidence and tools to pursue their passion for acting.
Students learn valuable techniques and practice exercises designed to increase their range, projection, articulation, and character development. Our expert instructors will guide them through the building blocks of realistic acting, including playing objectives (what the character wants), obstacles (what stands in the way), and tactics (how the character tries to overcome those obstacles to accomplish their objectives). In the final monologue showcase, they will have the opportunity to perform for fellow campers, families, and friends, showcasing the skills and techniques they have learned throughout the program.
Ensemble Scene Work
Theater is a collaborative process, and working effectively in an ensemble requires a set of unique skills. Students will learn how to shine when the spotlight is on them, while also supporting their fellow actors when it's their turn to take center stage. Our expert instructors will guide them through a series of exercises designed to help them vocally project, physically tell stories, and emotionally and intellectually connect with other characters on stage. They will work with your peers to analyze, rehearse, and perform scenes from contemporary plays or movies, learning how to work together as a cohesive ensemble. The program will culminate in a final performance showcasing the skills they have learned and the ensemble they have built.
Electives are offered to high school students in the Actors Workshop based on their interests and the expertise of the acting faculty. Past electives include
Audition Technique: Gain confidence and poise for any audition with this elective. Students will learn the necessary tools for success, including how to choose material, present headshots and resumes, perform monologues and cold reads, and dress appropriately. They will also receive tips for managing nerves and improving overall audition etiquette.
Solo Performance: Develop the skills necessary to research, write, direct, and perform a one-person show. This elective will guide students through the process of creating compelling characters, writing exercises, and the critique and development process. Students will emerge with a newfound sense of creativity and self-expression.
Shadow Puppetry: Experience the fascinating history of "paper theatre" and bring it to life by creating your own shadow puppet shows. This class provides the opportunity to explore various elements of theatre such as direction and playwriting. Students will have the chance to unleash their inner creativity and try on new hats.
Musical Theatre: Explore the exciting world of musical theatre by learning to sing, dance, and act in this engaging elective. Students will acquire a range of skills, from song interpretation to choreography, and develop the confidence and technique to perform on stage. This class provides a unique opportunity to experience the thrill of musical theatre.
Introduction to Design: From foley sound effects to costume design, this elective introduces students to the fascinating world of theatrical design. Students will work together to create an imaginary play on a budget and learn how design elements contribute to the overall production. This class provides a hands-on approach to understanding the visual and auditory aspects of theatre.
Improvisation: This class provides a fun and supportive environment for students to explore the exciting world of improvisation. Through games and exercises, students will learn essential skills such as building a shared environment, saying "yes and," heightening, and taking focus. This class will develop students' confidence, spontaneity, and creativity.
Stage Combat: Learn how to create realistic violence on stage without injuring yourself or others in this thrilling elective. Students will work with partners to learn and perform unarmed combinations of punches, slaps, kicks, holds, throws, and falls. This class provides a unique opportunity to experience the exciting world of stage combat.
Shakespeare: Discover the rich language and complexity of Shakespeare's plays while preparing an audition-ready monologue. This elective will introduce students to the Bard's works and explore the techniques necessary to deliver them with skill and passion. Students will emerge with a newfound appreciation for the beauty and power of Shakespeare's language.
The final production is a culmination of the Workshop where all actors get the opportunity to shine on stage. Short plays and scene work are carefully selected to showcase the unique talents and ensemble of each year's group. The rehearsal process is intense and condensed, allowing actors to trust their instincts and rely on the support of their fellow artists to create a one-of-a-kind piece of theatre. Friends and family are invited to attend the live final performance on Saturday morning to witness the hard work and creativity that went into the production.