Westchester Collaborative Theater Launches Program of Spring/Summer Theater Classes

Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT) is launching a full program of theater classes in Scene Study, Improv and Playwriting for the spring and summer.

Says WCT Executive Director Alan Lutwin, “We are delighted to be able to resume in-person classes featuring a trio of highly talented veteran actors and writers who are planning truly innovative methods of instruction sure to spark students’ creative impulses.”

Each of the classes will culminate in a performance or staged reading open to the public.

Scene Study with Actor/Director/Playwright Susan Ward

Actor/director/playwright Susan Ward of Ossining is hosting an eight-week Scene Study class designed to showcase students’ work and take a deep dive into some of the most significant plays of our time.

Susan Ward

Ward notes that Stella Adler, actress/teacher and founder of the esteemed acting studio once said, “The success of an actor’s work depends a great deal on how deeply [the actor] can penetrate into the culture …The play comes out of a unique time and place, which the actor has to know.”

The first four weeks will focus on a playwright and play per week (Henrik Ibsen, Tennessee Williams, Lynn Nottage and Paula Vogel). Students will read a scene or monologue from the play followed by a discussion of the playwright, the play, and the period when it was written.

For weeks five through eight, students will choose scenes from a play written by one of the four playwrights studied. Ward will lead students through exercises followed by scene rehearsals in class to help them connect to the character and find freedom and ease in their expression as an actor.

Classes run Tuesdays May 11,18,25; June 7,14,21,28; and July 5 from 6-8pm live at Westchester Collaborative Theater. A public performance of student scenes will be held at WCT on Friday, July 8.

Michael Short Improv Class

Michael Short

Michael Short’s Improv class will enable students to have fun while learning the fundamentals of scenic improv including initiating scenes, exploring characters and relationships, and establishing an environment. Students will put the tools together to create a single full-length improvised performance piece.

Says Short of Cortlandt Manor, “Students will see how empowering improv can be when we make bold choices and trust our instincts. I try to give students the confidence to improvise from a place of strength by finding the tactics and techniques that work best for them.” All students will receive individual, personalized feedback.

Short has been performing improv for over 20 years. He has trained with famed improv theaters The Second City, Magnet, UCB, and Annoyance and performed for Second City as part of their Norwegian Cruise Line sketch and improv shows.

Classes run live for eight weeks, Wednesdays May 12,19,26; June 8,15,22,29; and July 6 from 8:15-10:15 at Westchester Collaborative Theater.

The class will culminate in a student showcase at WCT on Sunday, July 10.

Serena Norr’s Playwriting Classes

Serena Norr

Serena Norr of Mount Kisco, playwright, director, and founder of Let’s Make a Play, will host a five-week immersive playwriting workshop. Starting from an idea and progressing to a full production, the class will include a discussion about the structural components of developing plays as well as character development, tone, and setting. Classes will include readings and analysis of text, group sharing, and one-on-one meetings through the development of students’ drafts. Following the last class, there will be a staged reading of students’ 10-minute plays.

No experience is necessary; the program is open to all creatives.

Norr is a writer, editor and playwright. Her plays have been performed at the Omaha Fringe Festival, White Plains Performing Arts Center, the New Deal Creative Arts Center, NYC at the Players Theater with the Rogue Theater Festival, the Tank, the Short Play Festival, and University of Alabama as well as 15 Zoom productions during COVID.

Classes run live for five weeks Wednesdays May 12,19,26 and June 8 and 22 from 6:00-8:00pm at WCT. This class will culminate in a staged reading of student’s work at WCT on Friday, June 24.

For more information go to the WCT website: www.wctheater.org

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