Students of all ages can sign up for a summer of fun at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Classes abound in expanded offerings for kids and adults during the School of Theatre's summer session – plus, teens have a special opportunity to spend part of their break in a four-week Summer Intensive or the new Teen Actors Studio. Activities begin July 2 at the Theatre's performing-arts complex in downtown Berkeley.
"We're excited to continue celebrating the 10th anniversary of Berkeley Rep's School of Theatre with a thrilling variety of classes," says Rachel Fink, the School's director. "On top of our extensive acting fare, new courses with pros from our costume shop or Patricia Miller's deep dive into directing spice up our summer curriculum. To top it off, we're offering two amazing opportunities for youth with the Summer Intensive and the Teen Actors Studio."
The summer session features the following classes, which meet weekly for two to three hours with instructors who are nationally recognized artists and teachers:
· Students beginning grades K-2: Acting Up… Make 'em Laugh, Make 'em Cry encourages kids to learn to play and play to learn through a myriad of art forms.
· Students beginning grades 3-5: A workshop led by Nancy Gold brings Harry Potter to life. Children develop a performance piece based on the well-known wizard using movement, music, improvisation, and character work.
· Acting classes for adults: Thespians of all levels are encouraged to challenge themselves with an array of classes including Acting (beginning through advanced), Acting Shakespeare with Julian López-Morillas, On-Camera Acting with Michael Navarra, and Voice-over Acting with Sally Clawson. Dave Maier also teaches a stage combat class called Acting Violence: Theatrical Combatant Certification (Level 1 Unarmed).
· Improv and comedy classes for adults: Diane Rachel leads two classes that explore the spontaneous expression of creative impulses: Beginning/Intermediate Improvisation and Advanced Improvisation: Four Favorite Genres. Students can also prepare for laughs with a Comedy Scene Study led by Deborah Eubanks or Physical Comedy taught by Ben Johnson.
· Writing, directing, and production classes for adults: Maggi Yule and Amy Bobeda from Berkeley Rep's costume shop team up to offer Beginning Sewing and Intermediate Sewing: Costume Construction. Other behind-the-scenes seminars include Directing: A Deeper Alchemy with Patricia Miller, Make a Short Film with Christopher Morrison, and a Summer Playwriting Workshop with Gary Graves.
· Special workshops for adults: Finally, fine tune your instrument with Alexander Technique, Movement for Actors: Creating Physical Language, or Voice for Business Professionals.
Plus, the Summer Theatre Intensive provides a fun-filled, enriching, affordable camp for teens – right here in Berkeley. Participants work with master teachers to learn basic theatrical techniques such as acting and improvisation. They also select their own specialties with electives in topics such as hip-hop, musical theatre, and playwriting. In a process that mirrors the professional method that Berkeley Rep applies to develop new plays, students work with professional playwrights such as Gary Graves, Krista Knight, Alex Moggridge, and Dael Orlandersmith to adapt their own original work. These shows are then performed for an invited audience of family and friends on one of the Theatre's renowned stages.
With different sessions for different ages, the Summer Theatre Intensive offers a rare opportunity for youth to open their imaginations:
· The first session, for students entering grades 6-8, takes place on weekdays from June 18 through July 13.
· The second session, for teens in grades 9-12, is held July 17 through August 10.
Tuition is $1,150 for session 1 and $1,250 for session 2. A limited number of financial-aid scholarships are available. The only requirements are an open mind, an imagination, and a desire to collaborate, work hard, and, of course, have fun.