To enroll, please contact: Sandy Hawkins (925) 788-9124 or firstname.lastname@example.org or place check payable to DAOR in DAOR mailbox in Gateway. Please mark envelope to Sandy's attention and include your name, phone/email, and class title.
NOTE: Performing Arts Studio will be closed for refurbishment for several weeks in January and February. See descriptions for locations of events and performances during this time. All events take place at Hillside Performing Arts Studio (PAS) (Las Trampas), unless otherwise noted.
WHY GOOD PLAYS WORK (and other plays don’t!) Instructor: Rod McFadden Tuesdays, January 21 - February 25, 2:30 - 4:30 PM Multi-Purpose Room #1 Fee: $45 Rod will guide participants in recognizing core elements of play structure that are essential in creating strong audience engagement and interest. The class is valuable for those who write plays (or want to) or who have no interest in writing a play but want a fuller understanding of how good plays affect an audience.
No writing is required, but is encouraged. After reading scenes in class, students will discuss the enhanced audience response created by dramatic questions, “Egri’s Premise,” character objectives, stakes, “Choice and Change,” and consistency of action.
Playwrights will be encouraged to bring a scene from their own work to study; non-playwrights can bring in a scene from their favorite play.
Theater History - The Plays of Tennessee Williams Instructor: Don Kaplan 8 Wednesdays, January 22 - March 11, 1 PM - 3 PM Multi-Purpose Room 1 Fee: $57
“Sexual malnutrition” are the words Tennessee Williams used to describe characters in Battle of Angels, the first play to be studied. Kaplan states that Williams is very likely the creator of more memorable dramatic scenes in the history of both the Broadway stage and the movie studios of Hollywood than any other playwright. None of his plots are complicated, as they are sharply focused on the near universality of his subject matter: the hunger described in his first commercially produced work, Battle of Angels.
It is the subject he never ignored in the key scenes that came from his pen in seven successful Broadway productions plus innumerable revivals. Tennessee’s plays won two Pulitzer Prizes, three New York Critics Circle Awards, a Tony and generous royalties from many popular movie versions. Who does not know Marlon Brando’s call in A Streetcar Named Desire and Blanche’s reliance on . . . You can fill it in I’m sure.
Students in the course will be given scripts and background materials. Volunteers will read aloud excerpts from Battle of Angels, The Glass Menagerie,A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as other selected scenes from Williams’ canon. No one is compelled to read aloud, but most students want to.
Erin Merrit, theater maker and coach, will discuss the state of language in Shakespeare’s time and introduce participants to the how and why of verse and rhythm in his plays, as well as how we can find notes for the actors the playwright placed within the verse. We will also learn how Shakespeare incorporated vibrant sound into his language to move us as actors and as audience.
First studying Shakespeare as a 15-year old, Erin was a member of the California Shakespeare Theater’s Acting Company in the Bruns 1991 inaugural season. Now an award-wining director, producer and dramaturge, Erin was founder of the Bay Area’s all female Shakespeare Company, Woman’s Will (1998 – 2011). In 12 seasons there, Ms. Merritt directed 13 plays.
Scene Study Class - FILLED Instructor: Gary Green 10 Tuesdays, January 14 - March 24, 12:15- 2:15 PM (No class Feb. 11) 1/14, 3/3, 10, 17, 24 - Performing Arts Studio 1/21, 28, 2/4, 18, 25 - Diablo Room (Hillside) $60 plus $7 materials fee
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a riveting story of mystery, love, betrayal, and the courage to overcome limitations. There is a wealth of material for interesting and unusual scene exploration. For example, actors normally strive to engage with each other. How does that work when one character is autistic and has a disengaged style? Other intriguing aspects for actors, the lead character is a teenage boy (and what if we changed that to a girl?), and the cultural and language setting is distinctly British.
The students will read from scripts, but partial memorization could allow the actors more freedom in speaking and moving about. This is a realistic and surrealistic ensemble piece with everyone always on stage. We’ll use sound effects. Maybe even a dog! The group can playfully explore ways to enhance the drama, with the instructor offering feedback and suggestions. Participants might change roles in different scenes. We will work with three layers of narration within the play, and we might use even more narration to weave our scenes into showcase form.
Gary Green has directed multi-age casts and has special experience with very talented senior actors at Stagebridge. He directed Peggy Dougherty’s News for DAOR in early 2019, and will direct David Auburn’s Proof for DAOR’s Naked Stage in 2020. He is in his 40th year as an adult education teacher and recently has been offering an acting class for intermediate English language learners.
Questions are welcome! Contact Gary Green, email@example.com
Theater Appreciation:The Cherry Orchard FILLED Instructor: David Wilcox Begins January 27, 1 PM - 3 PM Place to be announced Fee: $47
“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