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From the Alumni

Maura Matarese

Maura Matarese

I attend at least one workshop at Shakespeare & Company each year as it always allows me an opportunity to grow as actor, to continue to free my actor’s instrument, to meet exciting new artists from around the world, and to spend time in an environment I love, with a faculty whom I deeply respect. moreI attend at least one workshop at Shakespeare & Company each year as it always allows me an opportunity to grow as actor, to continue to free my actor’s instrument, to meet exciting new artists from around the world, and to spend time in an environment I love, with a faculty whom I deeply respect.

Lulu Fogarty

Lulu Fogarty

My experience at the 2007 Summer Training Institute was absolutely priceless….I learned to bring a sense of play to everything I do. Play might be the most important tool for an actor but it’s surprising how quickly we forget to play because we try to be ‘right.’ There is no such thing as ‘right.’ To me, this is what the moreMy experience at the 2007 Summer Training Institute was absolutely priceless….I learned to bring a sense of play to everything I do. Play might be the most important tool for an actor but it’s surprising how quickly we forget to play because we try to be ‘right.’ There is no such thing as ‘right.’ To me, this is what the training at STI is all about. These lessons??"play, trust, and be ‘wrong’??"are the most important tools an actor can ever have….Words cannot express how lucky I feel to have gotten the opportunity to train at S&Co and become part of this community.

Jenna Hoff

Jenna Hoff

All of the vocal and physical training we did enabled me to see how much freedom and availability are possible, which raised my expectations of myself. But for the first time I felt that I had the tools to move forward with those expectations. I can hone, clarify and broaden my Shakespeare monologues (and other pieces, too!), and I gained moreAll of the vocal and physical training we did enabled me to see how much freedom and availability are possible, which raised my expectations of myself. But for the first time I felt that I had the tools to move forward with those expectations. I can hone, clarify and broaden my Shakespeare monologues (and other pieces, too!), and I gained so much confidence, which is perhaps the most important thing. People have asked me where I ‘got so good at Shakespeare’ and I happily recommend the training programs at S&Co because I honestly think that they are some of the best training available in this country

Halima Henderson

Halima Henderson

I’ve kept busy over the past year, and I have to say that weekend intensive has proven to be very effective! Everyone always asks about it when they see it on my resume and I love waxing poetically about it! Not only that, friendships that I made during my weekend have been long-lasting, I love running into folks at auditions moreI’ve kept busy over the past year, and I have to say that weekend intensive has proven to be very effective! Everyone always asks about it when they see it on my resume and I love waxing poetically about it! Not only that, friendships that I made during my weekend have been long-lasting, I love running into folks at auditions and have coffee with folks in the city and one friend even helped to book me in my first fully compensated theater job! Those three days were successful in so many ways I hadn’t even planned on!

Teresa Spencer

Teresa Spencer

The most important thing I’ve taken from the Conservatory has been a sense of professionalism. I used to consistently walk into auditions feeling the terror of unpreparedness: even if I’d rehearsed my monologue or sides forwards and backwards, I would arrive at an audition and suddenly feel overtaken with a sense of not knowing what the hell I was doing, moreThe most important thing I’ve taken from the Conservatory has been a sense of professionalism. I used to consistently walk into auditions feeling the terror of unpreparedness: even if I’d rehearsed my monologue or sides forwards and backwards, I would arrive at an audition and suddenly feel overtaken with a sense of not knowing what the hell I was doing, and I’m sure that this came through in my demeanor and performance. Since doing the Conservatory, I’ve noticed a marked difference in my confidence. I know my way around my craft, and this changes everything about an audition situation. My pieces are well chosen and well prepared; I know how to center my breath and body; I walk in feeling relaxed and happy to be there. I feel like I belong in the room, and this significant shift in perspective has made an enormous difference for me professionally. I’m getting twice as many callbacks and jobs (yes, jobs!) as I used to. Since returning from the Conservatory, some of the accomplishments I’ve been most proud of have been a callback for Viola in Twelfth Night at an Equity theatre in Baltimore, the title role in a children’s show with Classika Theater (which I’m rehearsing right now), and an invitation to train for a month with a dance theatre company in Virginia. I’ll also be going back to Massachusetts in July to rehearse and perform two one-acts in the KO Festival. I think the best way to summarize what I learned at the Conservatory is that I went from thinking, ‘I want to be an actor,’ to knowing, ‘I am an actor.’ I feel confident in my abilities, and this changes everything about the way that I pursue work. I have a physical and vocal warm-up that works well for me and that I use to prepare for auditions, rehearsals, and performances. I know now how to prepare and how to keep text fresh and alive once I’ve “nailed it” once. All of this has made the process of auditioning so much less of a mystery… I’d recommend the Conservatory to any young actor who’s serious and passionate.

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Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, and is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program.

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