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Class Catalog

 
Freehold has been offering acting classes in Seattle since the summer of 1991. All Freehold faculty are working professionals whose credentials include recognized work in regional, national, and international theatre venues, in motion pictures, on television, and in Voice Over.

core acting progression

These fundamental offerings are our progression of core acting classes which provide a structured learning experience in which you can begin to build your skill set as an actor.

Curious about acting? Or, do you have experience performing, but are just feeling a little rusty? Maybe you just want to get to know your authentic self a little better? If so, our Step I Acting course is a great place to explore. You will develop or deepen the fundamental acting tools we use as the foundation for all of our acting classes at Freehold: living truthfully under imaginary circumstances, connecting to your own personal material, investing in playing an action, and working with a partner. If you are coming to the table with more experience, this class will provide an opportunity to dive deeper into some of the tools of your craft. If you are trying this out for the first time, this class will be an entry in an exciting and safe environment.

Intro to Acting is the first class in our three-step acting progression, introducing you to a vocabulary and approach that will form the basis of Step II: Acting with Text and Step III: Basic Scene Study.

Acting with Text is about how to approach playing action when working on a short scene from a play. We apply all of the foundational tools introduced in Step I to our work with text. Students will begin to deepen their experience with given circumstances, will begin to understand how to recognize action in the text, and will explore how to connect this new understanding with the tools explored in step I. We will explore with the sense of play and creativity required to begin to bring an actual scene to life.

Prerequisite: Step I: Intro to Acting or instructor permission.

Please note:

  • This class requires you to be able to meet with your scene partner outside of regularly scheduled class time.
  • If you have not taken Step I: Intro to Acting but have received equivalent training elsewhere, you will be asked to meet with a faculty member to evaluate your eligibility for the class. We accept only a limited number of students who have not taken Step I into each Step II section each quarter. Instructor permission is necessary if you have not completed Step I: Intro to Acting.

In Basic Scene Study, students will bring longer scenes to life through textual analysis and improvisation. You’ll broaden and deepen your understanding of rehearsal techniques and hone your understanding of playing action to really affect a change in your scene partner, enough to compel you to both act and react authentically. You will explore ways to create work with your own imagination that is rich, creative and exciting.

Prerequisite: Step II: Acting with Text or instructor permission.

Please note:

  • This class requires you to be able to meet with your scene partner at least once per week outside of regularly scheduled class time.
  • If you have not taken Step II: Acting with Text but have received equivalent training elsewhere, you will be asked to meet with a faculty member to evaluate your eligibility for the class. We accept only a limited number of students who have not taken Step II into each Step III section each quarter.
In R&P, students will rehearse and then perform a play. This process will include casting, read-throughs, text discussions, contextual research, and the practical work of translating the drama from the page to the stage. The instructor will lead the student-actors through the process of making choices that support both the playwright’s and the director’s intent, creating characters that are physically and vocally distinct, and working with the complexity of multi-character scenes. Each student-actor will participate in all aspects of production, including costumes, makeup, sets & props, music, and tech rehearsals. The class culminates in a weekend of performances in Freehold’s Black Box Theatre. (Note: performance text will be chosen by the instructor based on the enrolled ensemble).

Advanced Acting Classes

The Meisner Progression at Freehold is based on the work of Constantin Stanislavski, Joseph Chaikin, and Sanford Meisner.

Through cumulative exercises based on the work of Sanford Meisner, the actor learns to be habitually available to and affected by life that is actually happening in the moment, and to fully release instinctive, uninhibited responses. The class culminates in a work with text.

Through cumulative exercises based on the work of Sanford Meisner, the actor learns to be habitually available to and affected by life that is actually happening in the moment, and to fully release instinctive, uninhibited responses. The class culminates in a work with text.

Prerequisites: Step III: Basic Scene Study, Rehearsal and Performance

Students continue the exercises from Foundation, supplementing them with work in personalization, preparation, and other tools in order to access a meaningful inner life and “make real” the text and imaginary circumstances.

Prerequisites: Meisner I: Foundation

Applying the work from Foundation and Instrument to scenes, students focus on detailed, in-depth text and character work — analysis, subtext, particularization, and moment-to-moment process work on scenes.

Playwriting Progression Classes

Theatre tells stories through actors using scripts that are armed with powerful themes, context and objectives and live at a specific moment in time. Explore the many ways playwrights create compelling, truthful characters, and dynamic monologues, scenes and short plays using the language of the stage: words, movement, light, sound, and silence. This interactive class includes both real time writing exercises and some “on your feet” work, so please dress comfortably.

Prerequisites: none

In a play, the story and the vessel you use to tell it are inexorably connected. Change one thing and you automatically effect the other. Force a full-length story into a 10-minute structure and every short bit of it will sound trite. By exploring established works written in 5 different theatrical genres (naturalism, magic realism, absurdism, comedy, and docudrama) we will explore classic dramatic vessels and discover how modern dramatists find ways to blend these styles to match the specific needs of their stories. Using prompts that spring from these genres, you will generate several short scenes and two wildly different one-act plays by the end of the session.

Take the opportunity to go for broke and work to finish a full-length or one-act play in 8 short weeks! Start from scratch on Week 1 (or from something you’ve already started but still have much to do) and build weekly from there. This ONLINE interactive class will explore a variety of useful structural forms and writing techniques designed to keep your work alive and moving forward towards a satisfying conclusion.

Expect to write at least 5-10 pages per week! This class is meant for writers who have taken Freehold’s Playwriting I and/or II (or have other playwriting experience).

Prerequisites: Playwriting I or Playwriting II, or instructor permission

This dynamic class is designed for eight writers who have finished, or are close to finishing, the first draft of a play or one-act, and are ready to explore the rewrite and rehearsal process. Working with a produced playwright throughout the course, you’ll shape, rewrite and refine the story you’re telling. Then you’ll meet with an experienced director and actors for six hours of intensive rehearsal, culminating in a public staged reading of a portion of your play, as a part of Freehold’s Play Lab Showcase.

Craft and Instrument Classes

The work we do here strives to integrate organic, truthful roots and an empathic connection to the life around you with extraordinary expression. The training for such work is focused on developing in each artist an expanded imagination, a rigorous sense of truth, an open heart, and a resonant and expressive voice and body.
From Saturday Night Live to Almost Live, improvisation can be a fundamental building block for not just making people laugh, but also making people think. Improv is a system of communication, and students in our Improv course will learn the keys to spontaneous storytelling via games, exercises, lecture and open scene work. You’ll also learn to be a better listener, trust your own authentic responses, and begin to see failure as a path to success. In other words, you’ll learn to get out of your own way and find your spontaneous voice. (No experience required).
Take what you’ve learned from the basics of improv to the next level. We will delve further into scene-building through games & open scenes, learn new long forms like “Harold”, & explore creating narrative & monologues through developed characters. This class is for anyone who’s had some previous improvisational experience. It works great for actors, writers & directors alike.
An introductory course in presence, mask, mime, and movement. Come learn the powerful language of the body. We will dive into Neutral Mask to discover our own personal movement signature; Laban Movement Analysis to explore movement qualities; Mime to focus articulation; Character Mask to connect the body to expression and Viewpoints to explore composition.
In each of us there lives a clown who is profoundly comical and comically profound. Our approach to discovering this clown involves taking the part of ourselves that is revealed in the moment when everything falls apart… and expanding it to the ridiculous. We will be playing with tools and techniques to extend this moment, and to expand and transform ourselves physically and vocally. To play freely. The heart of the work is the courage to be completely present in front of an audience just as we are, and the freedom and availability of spirit to laugh at the strange ways in which we dance with our humanity.
Access your imagination, stories, and secret talents to create a short solo performance. In a strong, supportive, and trusting ensemble atmosphere, you will develop your physical presence and storytelling skills,and use writing exercises, improvisation, and a variety of performance techniques to develop and stage your show. This class is perfect for actors, artists and writers of all levels who have a story to tell, an idea to passionately explore, or a hunger for a new look at the creative process. We culminate in an invited performance of our works-in-progress, and you will leave the class with a repeatable technique of how to conceive and develop a solo performance.
Quarterstaff – an exploration of the theater combat style of stick fighting. We will focus on dexterity and finesse with the staff through a variety of styles, Eastern, European, spear, and pole arm. Certification will be offered through The Society of American Fight Directors.
 
Prerequisites: n/a

Your voice is unique, and it’s an essential component of fulfilling your artistic potential. In this course, students will move through a series of voice/mind/body exercises based on Fitzmaurice Voicework®, aimed at strengthening vocal flexibility and dynamism. Class exercises will also give you tools for self-regulation of your nervous system through breathwork and meditation.

Games, text work (memorized and cold readings), discussion, and a greater understanding of human anatomy, students will enhance students’ vocal self-expression in all areas of life, including stage & film acting, job interviews, public speaking, voice-over, and more.

This class is physical, and you will need a yoga mat, movement clothes, water, and writing materials. You will also need to memorize a piece of text between 1 – 2 minutes in length.

Self-taped auditions are the future of casting and we better get good at them now. 

The way agents and casting directors do business has changed for the foreseeable future, so the ability to do a great self-taped audition and self-submit is as important today as a great head shot and resume. Knowing how to put together a great “self-tape” as your audition tape is thus more important than ever and an essential skill to communicate with industry professionals. 

Learn how to prepare, shoot and submit theatre, film and TV auditions using your cell phone, tablet, or laptop, practice again and again how to do them well by learning what is the best camera, backdrop, lighting, and microphone to get, how to set up your home studio, and how to edit your audition.

We’ll examine how to communicate with casting directors, how to get and work with an agent rather than waiting for the phone to ring, how to promote yourself the right way, how to know your brand and the best way to champion your talent, and how to use social media to get your name, face, and talent out there.

Plus, we will focus on how to get comfortable in front of the camera, the do’s and don’ts of auditioning especially when self taping, how to slate, how to frame, where to look, and, most important, how to deliver an honest and fully committed performances for films, commercials, and corporate that will get you callbacks and cast.  

This class is geared to beginners as well as more experience actors and requires at the very least a camera to film your auditions.

Prerequisites: n/a

This on-camera course focuses on film and television scripts and specific tools used in the medium. This hands-on workshop highlights quick and powerful ways to make your performance more natural and spontaneous.

Develop an awareness of the special needs of the camera and focus on your ability to be free in front of it. Work on new scenes with new scene partners every week in front of the camera, watching play back constantly for supportive and helpful feedback. Learn the importance of technique, remove self-conscious behavior, and use yourself to fill a character.

Taught by John Jacobsen, Emmy award winning director. 

Please note: This class does involve scene work with a scene partner with the expectation that you will be available to rehearse outside of the scheduled class time.

A study of 18th century swordplay. The evolutionary result of over 300 years of civilian sword technique adopted to theatrical training for the actor. Think Les Liaison Dangerous, and the works of Richard Brinesley Sheridan. The fencing Salon vs. the reality of the duel, with a little ballet footwork thrown in. 

This is an intensive as opposed to certification test. It can be used to re-cert. People will receive credit for hours toward certification. 

Prerequisites: Single sword certification/experience

Students who have already taken an introductory voiceover class or who have some voiceover training under their belt may take this class to further their skills and begin to prepare for cutting a demo.

Each week students will spend a short time looking at the more advanced aspects of the voiceover industry including quick-paced legal, effort noises, and technical jargon. Then they will move on for more intensive coaching on ads that best suit their voice and would be appropriate to record on a demo.

If needed, editing skills for auditions will be revisited and looked into with more depth. This is a great option for students who feel they need a bit more coaching before cutting a demo but would like to ultimately pursue a career in the voiceover industry.

Note: this class does not include the actually creation of a demo. Students will be required to do homework each week.

Now is a perfect time to be developing the tools in your Actor’s Toolkit. Whether you are at the beginning of your actor’s training or a seasoned professional, we are all life-long learners as artists, and taking care of your instrument today will put you in great shape for the work to come, whether that work is an online class, a virtual staged reading, a Zoom meeting, or the in-person work that we all look forward to getting back to.

 

Voice is one of the actor’s greatest tools, but it is often overlooked when we are prepping for auditions or rehearsals. Knowing how to prepare your voice for anything that might happen in the room will give you more confidence, both in your ability to nail the audition and also in the dynamics you can bring to your characters when you book the role.

This class will give you practical tools to understand how the voice works so that you can make it work for you. We will develop a basic warm-up practice that involves body, breath, mind, and voice, creating specific awareness of the physical nature of the voice, and then we will apply these tools to spoken text. An overview of basic vocal health practices will connect with specific exercises and tools that can be used for warming up, cooling down, and everyday maintenance and strengthening of the voice. We will engage in discussions as a group about various vocal qualities and their impact (intentional or not) on the listener, and we will also use Zoom Breakout Rooms for smaller discussions, practice sessions, and one-on-one work with each student and the instructor. 

An actor’s inquiry from in studio learning to online learning. Dive into the deep world of physicality and translate it into the tiny screen of Zoom.

Sharpen your actor’s instrument  – your body! Develop awareness of the impact of emotion, gesture, alignment, intention and body language on the stories we tell. Each class will consist of warm ups, games, a targeted exploration, breakout rooms for solo and group compositions and sharings. 

Explore how to be human in this time of technology connecting and disconnecting us at the same time. Keep your stories authentic and honest as we take theatre out of the box and into another box.

Prerequisites: N/A

Specialty Classes

Speciality classes are designed to expand and explore your range as a performer/deviser.

Discover the “art of the tease” as you explore the power, confidence and creativity of performing Neo-Burlesque! Learn the tools and techniques specific to this genre as we get you in touch with your inner-sexy and guide you through the creation of your own original burlesque solo act. Course includes group exercises to increase your body-positivity and expression, burlesque acting techniques for captivating an audience, plus generative techniques to develop characterization and creativity. We’ll get glamorous in a hair & make-up workshop, explore working with boas, gloves and stockings, and learn choreography for a sultry chair dance! Everyone receives a half hour private act coaching session with the instructor (in addition to in-class feedback), plus there is the option to participate in an Add-On experience of an Pin-Up Photoshoot with a professional burlesque photographer (discounted price of $75 for on-camera session, coaching and 2 digital images; separate enrollment through instructor, date/time TBD) This 8 week course culminates in a fabulous showcase on Sat. June 20, where you can feel the thrill of an adoring audience! No previous dance or acting training required; any nudity (pasties/gstring) is optional. All genders are welcome!

Prerequisites: n/a

“I speak to faeries who have forgotten the pouches of pixie dust in their possession…I encourage these children to craft limbering language out of lofty aspirations.”
– Mission Statement by Daemond Arrindell

Spoken Word is the writing craft of poetry brought to life through the art of performance. And while its origins go back to the ancient aAfrican griots its prevalence in today’s society is prolific. From commercials for beer and soda to YouTube videos to speeches made to Congress, you can find Spoken Word anywhere and everywhere, for numerous reasons: its level of accessibility and the simple fact that everyone has a story worth sharing. What will be yours?

In this course we will explore the art of Spoken Word performance poetry, engage in critique/analysis of past and present performers and poetic styles through text, video and audio samplings, find/develop/refine our own voices through writing exercises and take written poems on the journey to become engaging and dynamic performance pieces.

No prior writing experience necessary. All levels welcome.

Self-taped auditions are the future of casting and we better get good at them now. 

The way agents and casting directors do business has changed for the foreseeable future, so the ability to do a great self-taped audition and self-submit is as important today as a great head shot and resume. Knowing how to put together a great “self-tape” as your audition tape is thus more important than ever and an essential skill to communicate with industry professionals. 

Learn how to prepare, shoot and submit theatre, film and TV auditions using your cell phone, tablet, or laptop, practice again and again how to do them well by learning what is the best camera, backdrop, lighting, and microphone to get, how to set up your home studio, and how to edit your audition.

We’ll examine how to communicate with casting directors, how to get and work with an agent rather than waiting for the phone to ring, how to promote yourself the right way, how to know your brand and the best way to champion your talent, and how to use social media to get your name, face, and talent out there.

Plus, we will focus on how to get comfortable in front of the camera, the do’s and don’ts of auditioning especially when self taping, how to slate, how to frame, where to look, and, most important, how to deliver an honest and fully committed performances for films, commercials, and corporate that will get you callbacks and cast.  

This class is geared to beginners as well as more experience actors and requires at the very least a camera to film your auditions.

Prerequisites: n/a

Have you ever wanted to start a podcast but don’t know where to start? Then this workshop is the place for you. Led by Kira Dorrian, producer and co-host of the successful podcast Raising Adults and host of The Edge Conservation Podcast, this class will cover all the steps you will need to consider before starting your own show.

Topics covered on the first day include podcast editing, creating your show’s formula, the pros and cons to being a “guest heavy” show, how to market your show, steps for releasing your show to all of the podcast platforms and more.

On the second day, students will have the opportunity for a private 15 minutes virtual meeting with Kira to talk about your ideas and work through the various details which may be unique to your show.

This course is both a beginning and brush up course on textual analysis for Shakespeare. It will be detective work on what the elements of the language are, how the language is structured, what clues this gives us to the character speaking and how to speak the language based on is structure and clues using all of the acting information from both a modern and Elizabethan point of view.

Through discussion, games, word play, reading plays memorization and presentation of monologues we will explore the world of text given to us by Shakespeare and put it into action.

Classes will be held on Zoom, students will be required to have a good copy of the complete works of Shakespeare, be able to be on line for class without interruption. Do the assigned work outside of class which will include memorization, participate in the class discussions and activities. Materials in the form of pdf’s will be sent pre and post class to review and cover the material taken up in each class.