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In-Person Specialized Workshops

The Center for Actor Training typically offers a variety of specialized workshops throughout the year exploring a full range of disciplines including rhetoric, wit, clown, fight, voice, movement, public speaking, and more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some programming is currently being offered online.

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Juggling Language: Playing with Wit & Wordplay in Shakespeare

One of the delights of working with Shakespeare is encountering the full-blown pleasure and dexterity in all sorts of wit and wordplay — Shakespeare’s language often soars, opening up meaning and amplifying themes and character. The love of wit was an essential component of the Elizabethan age, and Shakespeare was a titan of the witty writers.

This workshop will start from the understanding that playing with language is a basic human activity, that we develop our language skills through the pleasure of sounds and puns and confusions, and that this can easily be diminished as we grow older, when language becomes a mere conveyance for sense. Working in the workshop atmosphere of delight with a progression of games, we will re-kindle our own love and the audacity of using wit and wordplay, and then bring that to meet the language of Shakespeare in text work. We will explore Shakespeare’s text to discover the enjoyment and agility that is very palpable and contagious in the playing of it; and that ultimately is what allows an audience to experience and enjoy the language themselves. This workshop will also include Linklater voice, movement, and dance work.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants are required to have completed a COVID-19 vaccine regimen and will be tested weekly for COVID-19.

DATES: January 24 to February 5, 2022

TUITION: $2,500 USD**

LOCATION: Shakespeare & Company campus, Lenox, MA

HOUSING: Housing is included.***

FACULTY: Merry Conway, Cecil MacKinnon, Julie Nelson, Susan Dibble, Alyssa Ciccarello

TRAVEL: Shuttle service is available from local airports, train stations, and bus stops. Email training@shakespeare.org for details.

**Alumni and union discounts available. Scholarships available for People of the Global Majority. Scholarships include tuition and housing. Email training@shakespeare.org for details.

***Housing is single occupancy with shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

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Clowning for Actors with Michael F. Toomey

An exploration of Glorious Failures and Epic Imbalances. Being funny is not a requirement.

Throughout history, the Clown has played a vital role in our communities. Cross-culturally, the Clown has been looked to in order to reveal what is most human about us all and asks us to laugh about it. In these three days, actors will explore what is most human about themselves–revealing it and celebrating it publicly. This is a workshop in Clowning, an exploration of the Red Nose, Play, Complicity and how each of these are vital to the actor’s training.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants and workshop staff are required to have completed a COVID-19 vaccine regimen and will be tested upon arrival for COVID-19.

DATES: March 25-27, 2022

SCHEDULE: Friday, 7pm-10pm; Saturday, 10am-7pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm

TUITION: $380 USD**

LOCATION: Shakespeare & Company campus, Lenox, MA

HOUSING: We have a dorm rooms available on campus for $45 per night.***

FACULTY: Michael F. Toomey

Michael has been performing and teaching Clown for over twenty years. He has worked and studied with numerous master teachers in Clown including Giovanni Fusetti and Philippe Gaulier.

TRAVEL: Shuttle service is available from local airports, train stations, and bus stops. Email training@shakespeare.org for details.

**Alumni and union discounts available. Scholarships available for People of the Global Majority. Scholarships include tuition and housing. Email training@shakespeare.org for details.

***Housing is single occupancy with shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

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.

Crown

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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