Shakespeare Basics (Jackson Moran)

Presented by: Jackson Moran

Held in-person (review in-person requirements): 

In this workshop, we will explore the fundamental tools and concepts necessary for rehearsing and performing a Shakespeare play. We will begin with two assumptions. First, even if you don’t realize it, you already have everything you need to perform Shakespeare. And second, the best way to understand Shakespeare’s work is to engage with the text actively. His work is meant to be spoken out loud, shared, and performed. His language cries out to exist in the here and now, and an actor’s job is to bring these words out into this moment and time.

We will explore a series of speeches and scenes as a group, utilizing the tools that allow an actor to unlock the text and take ownership over the language. Each actor will also be invited to bring in a speech of their own to work on individually in front of the group. Finally, we will spend some time exploring how these tools can be applied to any text, classical or contemporary. By the end of this workshop you will have gained practical experience working on heightened language, a basic understanding of an actor’s main tools for rehearsing Shakespeare’s plays, including verse, prose, rhythm, antithesis, imagery, rhyme, rhetoric, and argument, and begun the foundational work on a new classical monologue to add to your repertoire.

For the first day of class:

– Watch this TedTalk by Akala: https://youtu.be/DSbtkLA3GrY
– Bring a speech that you want to work on from any Shakespeare play. Please be sure to read the full play.

Hagen Exercises Applied To Scenes & Monologues (Brian Mulligan)

Presented by Brian Mulligan – 

Held online

This is an intensive 3-session, 3-week workshop on Uta Hagen’s Exercises from A Challenge for the Actor, taught online by Brian Mulligan, who studied with Uta Hagen and Carol Rosenfeld.

“You change your sense of self a hundred times a day as you are influenced by circumstances, your relationships to others, the nature of the event, and your clothing.” – Uta Hagen

“I don’t know what is better than the work that is given to the actor—to teach the human heart the knowledge of itself.” – Sir Laurence Olivier

“Words are the messengers of our wishes.” – Herbert Berghof

Uta Hagen’s lifelong curiosity, explorations, and innovations in the craft of acting and their codification in her momentous books A CHALLENGE FOR THE ACTOR and RESPECT FOR ACTING continue to influence actors around the globe who seek to infuse the characters they play with truth, beauty, and the entire range of behaviors and emotions within every human being. 

At the heart of Hagen’s books is her enduring legacy – The Exercises –  through which you, the actor, observe and explore your own behaviors under life’s ordinary and extraordinary circumstances, repeat them as if they are happening for the first time, and present them in two to three rehearsed minutes of your life lived in front of your teacher and peers in the acting studio. 

In Hagen’s class, actors worked on the Exercises and scenes concurrently, so that their simultaneous explorations of character and self would allow them to achieve what Hagen demanded of herself when acting: “I must find myself in the role!”

When actor training moved online in 2020, Hagen’s Exercises proved to be most adaptable to the virtual acting studio. Brian Mulligan, like many other teachers of Hagen’s approach, discovered unexpected advantages to working with actors Zooming in from their home ‘studios’. Thankfully, in-person actor training has resumed, while the benefits of the online training experience have provided actors and teachers with the opportunity to continue to connect with one another across great distances.

Calling upon his personal experiences in Uta Hagen’s and Carol Rosenfeld’s classes and his 30+ years teaching actors, Mulligan developed this workshop to guide you through Hagen’s Exercises in A Challenge for the Actor and their direct application to work on characters in scenes and monologues. The goal of the workshop is to add skills and techniques to your actor’s ‘toolbox’, so that you can call upon the hundreds of distinct ‘selves’ within to select the alive, truthful, human behavior required to breathe life into the many characters you will play on the stage, the set, and the soundstage. 

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Creating Solo Performance (David Deblinger)

Presented by David Deblinger

Held in person (please review requirements for in-person activities):

Are you an actor or writer wanting to learn to create and perform your own work? This six-part workshop helps you build compelling, authentic and theatrical solo performance. First forming a tight ensemble, classes will use a combination of improvisation – storytelling (written and verbal, offering participants the opportunity to bring in moments), characters, stand up comedy, song or movement – to create new material based on stories that, for this particular group, matter most. The group will be led in a unique process designed to build trust, in order to create an atmosphere where ensemble members become more and more willing to dare to share the truth, be it autobiographical or from the imagination. It is extremely important that each student helps create an environment of support and respect.

David Deblinger, co-founder of Labyrinth Theater Company, and an award-winning actor/writer/director has appeared in numerous plays, films and on television in BROAD CITY, BLUE BLOODS, THE SOPRANOS, SEX AND THE CITY, LAW AND ORDER SVU, and more. He has toured his own critically acclaimed solo performance piece LUCKY PENNY to venues around the country.

“High voltage energy…. moving…Mr. Deblinger has a seemingly effortless ability to slip into the voices of other people…” – Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

“His body morphs… he makes you laugh. And… just when you think you’ve escaped the tears, Mr. Deblinger makes you cry.” – Helene Stapinski, The New York Times