January 3, 2008


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A little confidence
Adults can study acting or find a crash course in public speaking this winter
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

It’s the new year, time to try something new or at least find a reason to get off the couch on a regular basis. There are opportunities to try acting, singing, dance, directing or playwriting throughout the region. They range from a $15 workshop on stage combat to a $150 eight-week session on directing contemporary theater.

• En garde! Learn basic unarmed and quarterstaff stage combat techniques as part of a master class series from Middlesex Community College Theatre Company. Kimberly Davis Basso, artistic director of Atlantis Playmakers leads this six-hour workshop that includes safety techniques, partner work and acting the fight. Basso is a fight choreographer, playwright and performer who has worked with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Dublin Theatre Company and California Shakespeare Festival. The workshop is Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MCC Theatre, 5 East Merrimack St., Lowell, Mass. The fee is $15 for the general public. Call (781) 280-3939 or e-mail osterk@middlesex.mass.edu to reserve space.

• Imagine them in their underwear: The professional New Hampshire Theatre Project expanded its adult workshop series this year. Work on public speaking skills, stage presence and confidence with NHTP artistic director Genevieve Aichele in “Let Your Light Shine,” Jan. 10. Aichele adds acting techniques in “Let Your Light Shine II,” Jan. 17. Paul Mroczka teaches an introduction to playwriting March 13. Producing director Blair Hundertmark covers audition techniques May 22. Workshops are Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at 959 Islington St., Portsmouth, 431-6644, www.nhtheatreproject.org. Fees are $25 for one workshop, $20 each for two or more.

• Song and dance and more: The new All Access Productions education complex at 25 Front St. in Nashua is offering adult classes for ages 18 and up. Director Brandon Mallard offers “Acting Techniques for Adults” Tuesdays from 8 to 9 p.m. and “Direction for the Stage,” Tuesdays from 9 to 10 p.m. starting Jan. 8. The fee is $45 per month. Choreographer Bethany Cassidy teaches “Combination Jazz/Tap” Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fee is $60 per month. Her “Jazz Lunch for Adults” runs Tuesdays from noon to 12:45 p.m. for $40 per month. Call 886-2768 to register or e-mail aap@allaccessnh.com.

• What’s your motivation? Professional Yellow Taxi Productions in Nashua offers eight-week sessions starting in February with professional guest instructors. Clayton Phillips, artistic director of the professional summer stock Barnstormers Theatre, will teach “Scene Study for Adults” at 4 p.m. and “Directing for Musical Theatre” at 6 p.m. on Sundays. Equity actor Scott Severance, former head of the Peacock Players, offers “Advanced Acting” for adults at 7:30 p.m. Mondays. YTP’s artistic director, Suzanne Dell, teaches “Directing for Contemporary Theatre” at 6 p.m. Thursdays, and Lowell Williams, YTP’s playwright in residence, teaches playwriting at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. Classes are 90 minutes long. Cost is $150 per session, and there’s a one-time $10 registration fee. Classes will be held at YTP’s office on the second floor of 92 Main St. in Nashua, 791-4558. Details and a registration form are at www.yellowtaxiproductions.org.

• Get your feet wet: Acting Loft Academy of Performing Arts is offering an intro to acting for adults taught by Larry Pizza from Jan. 30 through March 26, Wednesdays at 6 p.m. The session is geared for folks who always wanted to try acting or want to get back into it. The class will focus on creativity, thinking outside the box, vocalization, public speaking and self-confidence. Pizza teaches an advanced acting course for adults at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, which will focus on character and text analysis and performance. Meegan Gagnon teaches an adult vocal class for people who want to gain confidence as singers Mondays at 6:30 p.m. from Jan. 28 through April 7. Each session costs $150. The community studio is at 516 Pine St. in Manchester, 666-5999, actingloft.org.