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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: May ::
Re: Training
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0903  Wednesday, 26 May 1999.

From:           Tal Carawan, Jr. <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 May 1999 14:22:19 -0400
Subject: 10.0894 Training
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0894 Training

Hello, Sarah (and all, as this be my first message on the forum)....

An interesting question! I suspect there will be some disagreement (I'm
hoping for some so I can learn as well), but I'll venture a humble
opinion from my perspective as a working actor in the US. (and sometimes
I'm even paid....but not to digress...)

If I could venture out at your age from your part of the world, willing
to travel round the world, and I were full tilt on classical acting
education, I'd look into what Oxford and the Royal Shakespeare Company
might offer.  This may seem obvious, but why not start there?  I just
met a young actress at an audition last night who just returned from
spending some time in London.  She said it was quite affordable to see a
variety of plays, especially at student rates, but there was a lot of
bad stuff in with a lot of good stuff.  Anyway, I'm sure there are
several good sources of classical training there, and what better place
to learn about the Bard?

As I'm a tad older, and in N. Virginia, I look to what courses the
Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, will have.  This is a working
professional theater with outstanding productions, and many classes are
taught by the resident actors. I recently completed a workshop with
Edward Gero (who also teaches at a local university) and learned quite a
lot.  I hope to study further, both at the Shakespeare Theater, and with
Prof. Gero.

I favor classes and workshops taught by working actors and directors,
vs. those from a more academic setting.  In the US, there are groups
such as Shakespeare and Company that offer full time study, and the
Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, which offers a total one year immersion
by performing many parts in many plays as part of a travelling company.
Ah, but to be in my early 20s once again, I'd pursue this latter route!
There seems to be nothing better to experiencing the full time Ren
actor's life.  Little money, food and lodging as they come, but lots and
lots of performances!    I love to learn by doing-auditioning,
rehearsing, and performing.  I like to think of my directors as my best
instructors; along with the text itself...

There are many good programs of acting instruction I've not gone into; I
haven't even mentioned my alma mater, Florida State University...well,
now I have! Perhaps others will volunteer info?  What is PTTP? And keep
us posted, Sarah...break a leg!

Tal Carawan, Jr.

[Editor's Note: There is also the new MFA Program in Classical Acting
offered jointly by the Shakespeare Theatre and George Washington
University.  -Hardy]
 

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