Local actors seeking to brush up their skills or acquire new ones will have a unique opportunity this spring at Long Wharf Theatre’s Studio School to work with some of the American theatre’s most innovative artists.
Leigh Fondakowski, an Emmy Award nominated head writer of The Laramie Project, and Daniel Passer, a Cirque du Soleil lead clown, will be offering adult classes through the Studio School this spring. Fondakowski’s workshop, taking place on Saturday, April 11, will focus on Moment Work, a simple technique devised by Tectonic Theater Project to actively engage different theatrical elements to their fullest potential. Passer, whose master class will take place May 30-31, will explore elements of clowning and Commedia Dell’Arte. Beth F. Milles, Long Wharf Theatre’s new director of education and an accomplished theatre artist who has spent her career building new work on Broadway and regionally, will offer a scene study class using the plays of Anton Chekhov on June 13.
“I am so thrilled to share the work of both Leigh and Daniel with our community in spring’s Studio School offerings,” Milles said. “Their artistry and creativity I hope will inspire and infuse and I am looking forward to the conversations which will ensue from their work and teaching.” Classes start at $75 and take place at 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven. For more information about Long Wharf Theatre’s education offerings, visit www.longwharf.org or call Mallory Pellegrino at 203-772-8272.
STUDIO SCHOOL COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Moment Work with Leigh Fondakowski Saturday, April 11 from 11am-2pm Ages 18+; Cost: $75 Leigh Fondakowski is a playwright, director, and a long-time member of Tectonic Theater Project. She was the head writer of The Laramie Project, a co-writer of Laramie: Ten Years Later, and an Emmy-nominated co-screenwriter for the adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO. Her other original plays include The People’s Temple, Casa Cushman, I Think I Like Girls, and her latest, Spill. Participants will use a simple technique developed by Tectonic Theater Project to actively engage with the elements of the stage – exploring lights, sound, costumes, movement, character, and architecture – to discover their full theatrical potential and inherent poetry. This master class will encourage participants to think theatrically in practical and theoretical ways, and to discover the multitude of ways that the elements of the stage can communicate without text. The pressure to create or to be clever is replaced by a deep understanding that the elements will speak to us if we listen to them. The participants will have a unique opportunity to learn how to create moments of magic on stage.
Clowning and Commedia with Daniel Passer Saturday, May 30 from 10am-1pm and Sunday, May 31 from 1pm-4pm Ages 18+; Cost: $125
Daniel Passer is an acclaimed Cirque du Soleil Clown, Comedy Conceptor and Master Teacher at CalArts, Harvard, Brown University, The Second City and The Moscow Art Theatre. Most recently, Daniel played the lead clown in the world tour of Cirque du Soleil’s latest spectacle Zarkana directed by Francois Girard. You can find out more about Daniel’s extensive body of work by visiting his website: www.danielpasser.com. In this two day master class, participants will explore the elements of clowning and Commedia dell’Arte. There is no need to be physically fit—or need to have any previous experience with clowning—this is a place to explore further or start anew. Exercises will be customized to each player as we investigate playing and playing hard. Discover, surprise and offend your senses! When was the last time you let loose?
Scene Study with Beth F. Milles June 13 from 10am-1pm Ages 18+; Cost $75 Beth F. Milles is Long Wharf Theatre’s new Director of Education. Beth has had a prolific career developing and directing new work at many regional theaters, on Broadway and in Los Angeles. She is a member of the faculty at Cornell University, and has lectured at many Universities including Harvard University, Loyola Marymount and The University of Texas at Austin. While on leave from Cornell, Beth served as the head of the directing program at Brown University and as associate director for Trinity Repertory Company. Beth is a graduate of Cornell University and the ART Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. This scene-based workshop will explore the plays of Russian Playwright Anton Chekhov. What exists between his words? How do we break into the moments with the emotional charge by the character stakes? In this class, explore and discover these moments in scenes taken from Chekhov’s master works The Three Sisters, The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard. This class is geared toward those students with previous acting experience. Specific scenes will be selected based on enrollment, and participants will be requested to read one of these plays prior to attending the workshop. ##