The Darien Arts Center is expanding its theatrical offerings in the fall to include Saturday workshops featuring experts from many areas of professional theater.
The workshops welcome actors in many age groups and of all experience levels to learn in specialized environments. Topics include the fundamentals of acting, Shakespearean studies, improvisation, fight choreography and stage makeup.
Among the offerings are:
Sept. 13 and 20, Yes, Anyone Can Act: Those new to acting can join Donna Wyant, professional actress of stage and television, in an introduction to performance presented through the techniques of Uta Hagen, with whom Wyant studied. Classes, for all ages, take place from 10 to 11 a.m.
Don't Be Shy: Donna Wyant and Jeff Wyant, professional videographer and photographer, will use video replay to help students identify body language and facial expressions to ace the audition. The workshop is helpful for anyone who wants to improve their ability to speak in front of an audience. Classes, for age 13 and up, take place from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sept. 27, Advanced Shakespeare for Actors: Extra tips and insights from Actors' Equity Association member and Shakespearean actor Jeremy Funke. Students will build upon prior knowledge for a deeper understanding of metaphor and modern interpretation, and increased success at auditions and in performance. Classes, for age 18 and up, take place from 10 a.m. to noon.
Stage and Special Effects Makeup: Maggie Pangrazio will teach makeup artists of all levels about everything from foundation to false eyelashes, and from aging to monsters. Pangrazio is a certified special effects and theatrical makeup artist with a variety of expertise ranging from horror-movie kill gags to gender-bending and aging makeups for the stage. Classes, for age 13 and up, take place from noon to 2 p.m.
Oct. 4, Improv: Mat Young, founder of several improvisation troupes, will use improvisation to improve students' understanding of relationships and partnership on stage. Actors will acquire skills in listening, thinking on their feet and problem solving to expand their overall skills as performers. Classes, for age 13 and up, take place from 10 a.m. to noon.
Stage Combat: Veteran stage actor Geoff Gilbert will teach students to safely execute fight choreography and physicality on stage. From swordplay to face slaps, students will learn tricks to communicate with their scene partners and elude the audience. Classes, for age 12 and up, take place from noon to 2 p.m.
Oct. 11, Introduction to Shakespeare: Jeremy Funke will introduce first-time students to The Bard. He will teach students how to read iambic pentameter, interpret metaphor and perform Shakespeare's works with sincerity. Classes, for students in grades 7 to 9, take place from 10 a.m. to noon.
Shakespeare for Students: Jeremy Funke will build upon a foundation of academic learning to teach young actors modern interpretation of Shakespeare's works. From soliloquies to tragedies, the class will take actors to the next level of performance. Classes, for students in grades 10 to 12, take place from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information or registration, visit darienarts.org or call 203-655-8683.