Studio Intensive Curriculum 2018-2019
Curriculum is offered on a 2 year rotating schedule in order to satisfy a variety of content. A student could potentially participate in the Foundations/Intensive program for 6 years, and only see the same content in areas where there are intentionally multiple levels of study. This allows a student to further their in depth study, without feeling that the experience is repetitive from year to year. Additional specialty curriculum may be offered as one day workshops throughout the year. Outlined below are the content areas as broken down by skill levels and the 2 year curriculum rotation. Each year the spring session will focus on integrating learning into a production like showcase in which students of all skill levels will work together.
Fall 2018 Instructors: Click on names below for bios.
Kim Douthit – Acting
Anglea Snyder – Dance
Corrina Munter – Voice
|Fall||Character Development||Script Analysis||Acting Exercises|
|Jazz 1||Jazz 2||Dance Styles|
|Basic Voice Technique||Music Theory||Storytelling Through Song|
|Winter||Improv||Dialects||Auition Book- Monologues|
|Musical Theater Dance||Musical Theater Combinations||Choreography|
|Reading Music||Sight Singing||Voice/Speech for Actors|
|Tap 1||Tap 2||Partner Dance|
|Harmony/Ear Training||Lyrics as Text||Musical Theater Styles & History|
|Movement for the Actor||Physical Theater||Stage Combat|
|Breath Technique||Audition Book-Songs||Lyrics as Text 2.0|
Character Development: Students will begin with one of the most foundational acting skills for theater: Character Development. Students will learn how to create dynamic and interesting characters for the stage based on text from scripts and descriptions, and then learn how to physicalize the characters for performance. Students will be challenged by the teaching artist to make atypical and different choices to help students develop a wider range of character options for future performance opportunities and auditions.
Improv: Students will learn another foundation skill of theater: improv. The art of creating theater without a script. Students will learn how to work together as an ensemble to create scenes from suggestions in the moment. Improv helps students gain confidence in themselves as performers and emphasizes problem solving, character creation, creativity, and storytelling. The ensemble will work with the teaching artist to create a unified vocabulary to help the student be successful at improv in the classroom and on and off the stage.
Storytelling: Storytelling is one of the most essential theater practices because it’s how theater got its start. In this class we will learn the art of telling stories clearly and in a way that communicates directly with the audience. Students should be ready to talk about their favorite stories and stories from their own life. They will work with the teaching artist on different storytelling strategies and practices to help make the student the best storyteller possible.
Playwriting: In helping students find their passion in theater, the Intensive will give students practice with different skill sets in each discipline. For example, playwriting, the art of creating scripts and stories specifically for the stage. Students will work with the teaching artist to learn how to write scripts for stage and/or screen in various styles.
Script Analysis: Students in this quarter will learn the art of script analysis, which is looking for key themes, ideas, moments, and story within a script. Students will work with the teaching artist to learn how to study a script in depth to harvest all the nuggets of information they can so that they can be informed as a theater artist tackling a script.
Dialects: Hola mis amigos. G’day mate. ‘Ello guvna. Bonjour! In this quarter, students will learn how to do different accents from around the world. As actors, we have to develop many tools for performance of characters, and our voice and ability to do dialects is one of the most important tools for an actor to possess. It will set them apart as actors in the theater community to be able to accurately speak a dialect and represent a part of the world in their performance of different characters. Students will work with the teaching artist to practice different dialects and create a journal full of tools to be able to jump in and out of any dialect they learn.
Shakespeare: As one of the most prolific and groundbreaking playwrights in history, it it important that we study William Shakespeare’s work and how to perform it. Students will learn the specific strategies and challenges of performing Shakespeare in this quarter. Students will be performing a monologue or scene by the end of the quarter and have a better understanding of how to be a quality Shakespearean actor.
Short Form- Improv: Now that we know Improv basics, it’s time to learn some Short Form Improv. Students will still be doing some short scenes, but will also be challenged to perform games and scenes in the style of “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” and The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and ComedySportz. Students will be challenged to define and understand what makes improv comedy work and what entertains the audience. This is a skill not just for the stage, but also for creativity and ensemble work. Come prepared to laugh and try some new things in improv that you may never have done before.
Acting Exercises: As advanced actors, it is important to know certain tools, exercises, and strategies for always being prepared as a theater artist and actor. This quarter, students will focus on ways to be prepared for auditions, rehearsals, performances, and everything in between. Additionally, students will learn different strategies to take their scene analysis and character creation to the next level and how to do these things independently. This quarter is about how to truly become a professional actor beyond the classroom, so expect some homework!
Audition Book- Monologues: One of the most basic skills for the working actor, but often overlooked or under studied, is how to find and prepare monologues for auditions and your audition binder. Students often rely on teachers to give them monologues, but now students will be equipped with the tools to find their own monologues and prepare them independently for their audition books and auditions. Students will work with the teaching artist to guide and refine throughout the quarter. Homework will be assigned throughout this quarter, so come ready to do some major work in your acting practice.
Acting Techniques: As theater artists, we have to learn what works best for us as actors. Throughout history, different acting teachers have created different styles of acting to help each actor find their own path. From Stanislavski to Bogart to Suzuki to Meisner to Rasa Boxes, all these strategies are valid in their own way and students will explore and identify the style that works best for them and why. Students should be prepared to do a lot of independent work at home to get the most out of this semester.
Directing: As part of the advanced track and helping students find whatever passion they may have, students will spend a quarter learning and practicing the art of directing. Students will learn how to work with actors and how to be an effective and quality director and storyteller. Teaching Artist will be there to facilitate discussions and help guide the students to refine directing practices. Students should be prepared to act and direct this quarter, which means independent work outside of the classroom.
Basic Voice Technique: Students will learn how to make their voices stronger and improve the quality of their vocal performance. Students should be prepared to unlearn old voice habits and learn about proper placement and how to adjust depending on the environment and material presented. The teaching artist will guide the student through exercises and activities to grow their vocal quality and work.
Reading Music: Students will take their learning to the next level and learn the valuable skill of reading music. As singers in musical theater, actors have to be able to look at a sheet of music and identify key elements and notations to successfully work in rehearsals. Students will learn with the teaching artist the steps of analyzing a piece of music and identifying the things they need to know when singing through it. This skill is invaluable and will help the students succeed in musical theater.
Harmony Ear Training: Another important skill for actors and singers alike to have is harmony ear training. In this class, students will learn how to hear harmonies and sing them with more confidence. Harmony is hard, there is no way to avoid it in musical theater, so we are going to challenge the students to step up and challenge themselves to listen and sing harmonies independently and not just in a group. This will help the students succeed beyond the classroom and on the stage.
Breath Technique: One of the most foundational skills of singing is breathing. This is a technique used across the board as it is impossible to sing without breath. Students will have encountered this before, but in this class, students will be challenged to really take their breathing to the next level and use it to enhance their singing and speaking abilities. Students will learn about breath and the body and breath with singing and in theater. This may seem like an obvious thing, but students will feel much more confident as a performer after working with the teaching artist to really understand why breath is important.
Music Theory: *Cue Scary Music* It’s time for Music Theory! Just kidding, it’s not scary, especially after students spend a quarter with the teaching artist really understanding what music theory is and how useful it is to the performing artist. Students will learn all the necessary skills of music theory analysis and application and be able to confidently speak knowledgeably about music. It’s not scary when you take the time to learn it, so be ready for a challenging, but rewarding semester.
Sight Reading: Sight reading is what separates the amateurs from the pros. Students will spend a semester learning how to take a sheet of music they have never seen before and confidently perform it, like what often happens at callbacks. The teaching artist will guide the students in simple strategies to feel more confident in reading music on the spot and as the actor prepares for auditions independently. The value of this class is incredible and students should come prepared to work hard, make mistakes, and get better throughout the quarter.
Lyrics as Text: Students in this quarter will learn a valuable and often over-looked skill in the musical theater world- lyrics as text. Often, lyrics are treated as surface level words that the actor sings as part of the job. In this quarter, students will learn how to expertly and professionally analyze lyrics as text, identifying phrasings, key words, and the arch of a song. Students should be prepared to do some research work at home when assigned a song to research the story to fully understand the text. This is a class for the actor who wishes to be more than just a good singer.
Audition Book- Songs: This is a class in how to assemble the actor’s audition book, specifically for songs. Students will learn what makes a good audition cut, how to properly notate and mark sheet music for an accompanist, and put together a professional actor audition book. Students should be prepared to do lots of homework in this quarter and not rely on the teacher to provide all the music. Students will learn where to look and how to pick songs for an audition book and the teaching artist will help them refine and clarify their choices to make them the strongest audition-er possible.
Storytelling Through Song: What is the difference between a musical theater performer and just a really good singer? The ability to take a song and tell a story with it. Students in this class will learn how to take the lyrics and notes of a song and turn it into a compelling performance that has character, story, and depth… all things that a musical theater performer needs to do. Students should be prepared to memorize songs on a weekly basis and perform them in this Master Class style quarter. The teaching artist will expect you to make bold choices and communicate them through your performance as an actor and singer.
Voice/Speech for Actors: This class is not your typical voice class because this class focuses on unifying the skills the student has learned in singing and in acting to create 1 dynamic performer. Students will learn how to speak with clarity and take their enunciation and projection skills to the next level. Students shouldn’t expect this is be like any class they have taken in previous quarters because you will be challenged to use your voice to it’s highest potential through songs and monologues and speeches. This class will develop confident performers, sure, but will also develop confidence in public speaking and other important vocal professions. Students should come ready to have homework to memorize and be challenged every week to take their skills to the next level.
Musical Theater Styles & History: Ever wonder where musical theater came from and how it has come to be one of the most famous and accessible forms of theater? This class will guide the students through the history of musical theater, but it will be done in a way that engages the performer. This is not a lecture class. On the contrary, students should come prepared to sight read and perform pieces of music from across the spectrum of musical theater history. From Italian Opera to Rogers and Hammerstein to Hamilton, students will be challenged to learn a condensed and concentrated history of musical theater.
Lyrics as Text 2.0: For the culminating class of the Voice section of the Studio East Intensive, students will be challenged to take their understanding of lyrics as text to the next level. Applying previous classes key skills, students will become a dynamic and compelling performer. Students should come prepared to do homework and memorizing independently to get the most out of this class as the teaching artist will be challenging the students to be truly dynamic performers.
Jazz 1: Jazz is at the core of all musical theater dance. Students will learn how to use their bodies to dance and learn basic moves, sequences, and techniques. Students should be ready to learn choreography throughout the quarter to help master these dance skills.
Musical Theater Dance: And a 5, 6, 7, 8! In this class, students will learn the basics of dance in direct correlation with musical theater. Using skills learned in Jazz, students will be able to tell stories through their dance and execute choreography centered in storytelling and the specific musical theater style made famous in Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Wicked, Guys and Dolls, Footloose, and many more. Students should come ready to learn dynamic and challenging choreography.
Tap 1: One of the most classic and specialized forms of musical theater dance is Tap. Students should come ready to dance and learn the nuances and specialized technique of tap dance. Be prepared to practice at home. Studio has tap shoes available for your use, however, it is the Studio’s recommendation to get your own pair that you are comfortable in and are specifically yours.
Movement for the Actor: As actors, one of our primary tools is our body. Actors will often be asked to do basic choreography or movement for various shows that would not technically be “dance.” Actors need to use their body to tell story through movement. In this class, students will learn different techniques and styles of acting and movement specifically geared to connecting the body to the story and character. Students should come prepared to work in and out of the classroom on the exercises and materials given by the teaching artist.
Jazz 2: Continuing to refine the dancer in all performers, Jazz 2 will challenge the students to take their technique to the next level. Students will be challenged by the teaching artist to refine and demonstrate more accurate and specific technique. This is a challenging class and students should be prepared to be pushed so that they may grow into being the strongest dancers they can be.
Musical Theater Combinations: This is a class that challenges the student to create and perform dances that tell a story or further character development. Students will be challenged to choreograph and perform short sequences of songs that demonstrate the connection between dance and storytelling/character work. Students should be prepared to work in and out of the classroom and practice choreography from the teaching artist.
Tap 2: Tap 2 is a class that will challenge the student to become a stronger tapper with more accuracy and complexity. Students will learn sequences and choreography that push the student to be proficient at tap on a more advanced level. Students should be prepared to practice and home and perform choreography throughout the quarter.
Physical Theater: Students should come prepared to try their hand at Viewpoints, Suzuki, Meisner, Rasa Boxes, and other styles at the discretion of the teaching artist. This class is for the actor and mover who strive to use movement as a primary investigation tool of story and character. Every actor should have these skills in their repertoire before pursuing an advanced education in theater or professional work. Students should bring a notebook to practice and write down notes about the styles for practice and use outside of the classroom.
Dance Styles: In the Modern Musical Theater, choreographers incorporate other styles of dance like Modern, Hip-Hop, and Ballroom. Students should have a working knowledge of these and other styles, and that’s what this class is for. Students should come prepared to do a lot of in class work and out of class practice.
Choreography: This is the next level for a dancer, to be able to create sequences and choreography to music in a style of their choosing and interest. Students should come prepared to learn other students choreography, but also to choreograph and teach their own. By the end of the quarter, students will choreograph short dances and will receive feedback from the teaching artist and other students. Students should be prepared to do a lot of work in and out of the classroom.
Partner Dance: Another often overlooked skill in musical theater dance is the ability to partner dance. From Ballroom to Swing to Modern Musical Theater movement, actors have to be able to be strong and independent dancers, and reliable and consistent dance partners. Students will be challenged to learn how to do various styles of partner dancing, but also have the vocabulary and ability to dance with any other partner in the class.
Stage Combat: Students will learn how to be proficient stage combat actors and how to do so safely and professionally. This is a very specific and challenging skill set because actors have to be practiced, proficient, and purposeful with their stage combat work. Students will learn the specific terminology and technique from a proficient and certified stage combat teacher and will be challenged to choreograph and perform combat sequences. Students should come prepared to move and be challenged by the teaching artist.