Adult Classes

The Little Theatre is excited to offer a new workshop for adult actors. Please see below for details and we hope you’ll join us!

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Acting on the Stage: Practical Techniques for the Rehearsal Process

May 20-June 24, 2017

Time: Saturdays 9 am - 12 pm
Instructor: Suzy Newman
Cost: $175 for six week session
Class Details


Acting on the Stage: Practical Techniques for the Rehearsal Process

A Six-Week Class Led by Actress and Director Suzy Newman

You’ve landed the part. You’ve got the script. Now what?

Learn hands-on application of acting fundamentals while going through a rehearsal process. You’ll be guided through character development and creating a dynamic scene using basic acting techniques, as well as learning practical components of collaborating with a director and other actors. This class will be valuable for both the beginning and the experienced actor. Be prepared to work during each class and to do a little homework.

The class will mirror the rehearsal process; you’ll spend some time outside of class learning your lines and reading the play from which the scene is extracted, reviewing your personal notes from the previous classes and, ideally, an hour or two per week rehearsing with your scene partner. Being prepared to perform in class is extremely important. Observation is also a major part of the class. Wear comfortable clothes that allow for flexibility, and closed-toes shoes.

Week 1 – Receiving the Script

• How to read the script.
• Looking for clues to character.
• Exercises to prepare concentration, acting on impulses and being open to other actors.
• Discussion of memorization and the practical realities of embarking on the rehearsal process.

The student will receive a scene from a published script. This will be the scene worked on for the duration of the course.

Week 2 – Blocking the scene

• Learning to understand the essential elements of a director’s blocking notes.
• Fulfilling your responsibilities in the early rehearsal process.
• Identifying the action and the conflict.
• Acting on impulses during collaboration.
• Awareness of your place in the visual story.

The instructor will block the scene. The student will have their script in hand for this class and notate the blocking and other pertinent information. All students will observe.

Week 3 – Working the moment to moment action

• Building the foundation of a sustainable performance.
• Development of relationship and the individual character arc.
• Using tactics to make dynamic acting choices.
• How physicality affects emotion and perception.

The student will have memorized the scene for this class and work with the director to convey specific meaning for each line and action in the script. All students will observe.

Week 4 – Mining the script for more

• Continuing moment to moment work with a deeper understanding of the text.
• More tools for releasing inhibitions.
• How to be playful while on-task in the rehearsal room.
• Continued application of basic acting tools and professional responsibilities.

The student will continue to work through the scene with notes and suggestions from the instructor. All students will observe.

Week 5 – Pushing the boundaries

• Experimenting with heightened emotion and physicality.
• Learning the effects of timing, pace and size.
• Maintaining energy and consistency.
• Discussing how to physically and mentally prepare for performance.

The student will perform the scene multiple times with conditions imposed by the instructor. All students will observe.

Week 6 – Performance and Post-mortem

• Assembling an overview of your process.
• Discussion of emotion, technique and professionalism.

The student will do a single final performance of the scene and observe other class scenes. All students will evaluate and share their personal discoveries and questions raised with feedback from the instructor.

About Suzy Newman

Suzy Newman received her MFA in Acting from the University of Alabama and has worked with the Texas, Virginia and Southwest Shakespeare Festivals, Willamette University, and PCPA Theaterfest. Suzy’s directing credits include Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Independence, The Foreigner The Drowsy Chaperone and The Nerd here at the Little Theatre, The Two Gentlemen of Verona for Central Coast Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 Summer Season, and several recent shows at The Great American Melodrama in Oceano, including this year’s Holiday Extravaganza. Suzy spent many years at the Melodrama as part of the acting company, as a director and as company manager. Recent acting credits include playing Violet in 9 to 5: The Musical at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre and the one-woman-show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe at the Little Theatre.

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Body Talk: A Five Week Movement Lab

July 1-29, 2017

Time: Saturdays, 9 am - 12 pm
Instructor: Gale McNeeley
Cost: $145
Class Details

Body Talk: A Five-Week Body Movement Lab
Taught by Gale McNeeley

Do you wonder what your body says to the audience as it moves across the stage? When you enter and when you exit? What language does it speak?

Body Talk is a movement theatre lab that explores your physical communication with your actor partners, and with your most important partner, the audience.

Understanding the language of movement relaxes you and allows you to be whoever you need to be in the moment? It all begins with play.

Come and play, and let your Body Talk.

Together we will explore:

  • Groundedness, Relaxation, Balance & Counterbalance!
  • The difference between Tension & Extension!
  • Our potential for unlimited characters through the use of masks.
  • Creating a character from the inside out and the outside in.
  • How our body can tell the story we want to tell.
  • How the movement of our bodies reveals what’s happening on the inside, and how our words ride on that movement?

The methods we will use go back to the Greeks and Romans. The roots of our play together are the base of a strong tree of theatre knowledge. We stand on the shoulders of Etienne Decroux, Jean Louis Barrault, Jacques Lecoq, Carlo Mazzone Clementi, Avner Eisenberg, Antonio Fava and Giovanni Fusetti.

Because we only learn from memorable experiences, lets create them together in a safe and supportive environment, and lets enjoy the ride.

Gale McNeeley

(Wear comfortable clothes that allow for flexibility. Be ready to work in bare feet or flexible shoes.)