Opening exercises assist participants in discovering their rich stories buried within. One does not need to know the story in advance. Early classes use warmups and improvisation to free the body, voice and imagination. Classes are devoted to finding one’s stories through lively group storytelling and/or improvisations. There is a great variety of subjects welcomed, memories and experiences people write about make attending the class and sharing in feedback interesting.
Next, the stories are edited to become dramatic monologues or scenes. One gets support to learn to rewrite for drama rather than literature.
Finally, participants get coaching to act their scenes. One free private coaching class is offered.
Participants are provided the opportunity, if they wish, to present their story as part of a well-attended showcase, performed with visuals, at the final class showing. Participants also may wish to be presented in the showcase on Channel 28.
The class celebrates the students who have taken their collection of stories into one-person shows. Cecelia Wambach did one performance as a fundraiser for REAL, an organization working with refugee education. Elliott Tertes gave his one-man show in August privately, for family and friends. Upcoming, Tancred Agius is now preparing his collection of stories and scenes for a future performance.
Recent stories included a marriage proposal, overcoming embarrassment at using a cane, love song to a tree, winning song at a Christmas celebration, making a wedding cake, fight to go to college, coming out to a loving but homophobic father, an abortion, and more.
Bobbi Ausubel, the instructor, is a professional theater director and acting coach. Also, she taught acting at the The Boston Conservatory for 20 years. All are invited to attend the first class free and see if it’s a fit for you.
“Shakespeare’s Sinners” on Zoom
Instructor: Philippa Kelley, Cal Shakes dramaturg 5 Tuesdays, Sept. 6 to Oct. 4, 2 pm to 3 pm Fee: $69.50.
All lectures will be recorded for those who can’t make live sessions.
Course topics include: “The Meaning of Sin,” “The Id,” “Virtue/Vengeance,” “Reshaping History through the Drama of Sin,” and “Sin and the Human Body.”
In addition to discussions of Macbeth, The Tempest and Richard III, there will be many references to King Lear, which is being performed at Cal Shakes in Orinda from Sept. 7 to Oct. 2.
For more information or to enroll, email Philippa Kelley: email@example.com
Tuition check for $69.50 should be payable to: “Philippa Kelley” and mailed to: Philippa Kelley 51 Avenida Drive, Berkeley, CA 94708
Saturday / Sunday, July 30 / 31 9:30 - noon Free Second City member Shulie Cowen is coming to Rossmoor for a two-day Improvisation workshop, which will fill up quickly, so reserve your place now.
Call Cynthia Wilson’s phone machine, 925-949-8498, and leave a message: 1) your name, 2) phone number, and 3) what would you like to learn in an improv workshop (because Shulie would like to tailor the workshop to our needs).
Women's Monologues with Alan Bennett Session Ended
Wednesdays, June 29 - August 3, 10 am Performing Arts Studio, Hillside Tuition: $45 plus $7 for materials Facilitator: Jean Wilcox
To register, contact Roanne Butier: firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 930-7356
Reprising the program first offered in April 2019, this 6-part video series will look at the women’s monologues for which Bennett is famous.
Although best known in this country as the writer of “The Lady in the Van,” with Maggie Smith, the program’s facilitator, Jean Wilcox, feels his monologues are better reflections of the human condition, each in a different way. These pieces are of such power as to have attracted such prominent actors as Maggie Smith, Patricia Routledge (Mrs. Bouquet) and Penelope Wilton (Mrs. Crawley in "Downton Abbey"), among others. Alan Bennett even performs one himself.
According to the LA Times, “In the hands of Alan Bennett, the tragic and painful are close bedfellows with the funny and the sexual . . . We laugh at the situations presented and then feel a twinge of guilt.”
We'll begin by taking turns reading the monologue (a different one each week), discussing it, and then watching the video. Men as well as women find these pieces engaging and compelling, so all are invited to participate.
For more information, contact: Jean Wilcox, (925) 937-6524 or email@example.com
Intermediate Acting Class: Building a Character
7 Mondays, April 11 – May 23, 10 to noon Instructors: Linda Kelp and Gail Wetherbee Fee: $45, DAOR members $65, non-members, which includes DAOR membership Minimum enrollment is 6; maximum is 12
Students choose a character from dramatic literature and explore external qualities (movement, speech, mannerisms, etc.) and subjective qualities (emotions and thoughts), and how to combine the two to produce a fully developed character. The class will include exercises on major principles of acting and how to apply them to the character.
Instructors Linda Kelp and Gail Wetherbee have extensive experience as actors and director in DAOR and other community settings.
To reserve your place in the class, contact: DAOR Academy Facilitator, Cynthia Wilson 925-949-8498.
Make checks payable to DAOR and send to: Roanne Butier 2516 Ptarmigan Dr. #2 Walnut Creek, CA. 94595 or place your check in DAOR box in Gateway Administration Office
Third Monday each month, 10 am Garden & Eisenhower Rooms, Dollar Clubhouse Facilitator: Tancred Agius No fee
The Play Reading group welcomes actors and non-actors. If interested, just show up at a meeting. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun. A new play for the group is offered. Those present at meetings are each given a character at the beginning of the gathering and the newly chosen play is read aloud. Enjoyable discussions follow.
The group will read a variety of plays, some comedies, new and contemporary plays, and older plays. Members will have an opportunity to choose a play.
Session Ended Instructor: Jean Wilcox Where: Performing Arts Studio Cost: $45, plus $7 materials fee To register, call Jean (925-937-6524) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the first session, each student will be assigned a partner and a comedy scene. The paired students will then study and rehearse the scene in depth for the remainder of the course. Commitment to minimum homework will yield optimum results but no memorization will be required.
Shakespeare:Power and Politics in "As You Like It"
This class will meet in person, (please be vaccinated) 8 Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fee: $50 plus $7 copying fees
All levels welcome. Here is how instructor Erin Merritt, founding member of Woman’s Will, an all-female Theater Collective, describes her class:
“What shall I call thee when thou art a man?” Performing Gender in Shakespeare’s Plays.
Explore Shakespeare’s take on gender roles in his master comedy, "As You Like It."
Through games, text-work, monologues and scene work, we will delve deeply into the myriad ways Shakespeare highlighted and subverted his era’s gender roles, examining how all-male casts playing gendered characters affected what he wrote, and how their interpretations play out in modern performance. Class assignments will be tailored to individual students, so all experience levels are welcome.
Don’t miss this rare and wonderful opportunity to participate in the study of one of the greatest writers of all time, with Shakespearean scholar, Erin Merritt, beloved by her former students.
Please send check, payable to DAOR, to: Roanne Butier, 2516 Ptarmigan #2, Walnut Creek, CA 94595 You may pay at first class meeting.
Questions? email Cynthia Wilson, Academy Coordinator: N2zazm52@yahoo.com or phone, 925-949-8498
“The knowledge that every day there is something more to learn, something higher to reach for, something new to make for others, makes each day infinitely precious” - Uta Hagen -