With schools all over the country closed, some for the rest of the school year, many parents are looking for new ways to keep their children occupied. And even though many schools are offering online classes with video chats between teachers and students, your child may be missing the more engaging and social aspects of school.
To help fill this deficit, many theatres are offering classes online. Amid the shelter-at-home and social distancing orders, performing arts organizations have been particularly susceptible to financial loss and were among the first institutions to close their doors. But even though times are tough, they are finding new and inventive ways to connect with the youth. Because their usual acting classes have been canceled, they have moved online, offering everything from monologue preparation, to dance classes, to vocal lessons.
By signing up your child for one of these classes, not only are you providing them with a creative and social outlet, but you’re also supporting these Greater Seattle Area and San Francisco Bay Area theatres during their most vulnerable time. Registration is now open for classes that begin as soon as next week, so take a look at the wide variety of offerings for kindergarteners to high schoolers.
A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory
American Conservatory Theater is offering virtual classes for ages 8 to 19 through their Young Conservatory, an internationally recognized professional theatre training program.
Options include private coaching or group classes, which are divided by age range. The courses include workshops focusing on acting, movement, monologues and more. Classes meet twice a week for four weeks via Zoom.
Spring classes: April 13–May 8; $175
Private coaching: Start anytime; $115 per hour
Berkeley Rep School of Theatre
Berkeley Repertory Theatre is offering online theatre classes for young adults in grades 6 to 12 taught by reputable theatre artists, many of whom have performed on Berkeley Rep’s stage or worked behind the scenes. Available for grades 6–8 is an on-camera acting class. For grades 9–12 they offer musical theatre audition prep, play analysis, and a monologue workshop. Each course is taught once a week for five weeks.
Also available from Berkeley Rep is Family Comedy Zoom: A Long Distance Variety Show. Together with the whole family, learn a new technique and make a performance piece. Use items from your closet, kitchen and garage to create a fun and inventive performance. All the pieces will be put together to create the variety show “Funny Comedy Zoom!” The performance will be Zoomed live by Berkeley Rep to family and friends and all families will have their own recording for future family functions. This is a weekly course for five weeks.
Youth On-Camera Acting: April 14–May 12; $110
Teen Monologue Workshop: April 14–May 12; $110
Teen Play Analysis: What Makes a New Play “Good”?: April 15–May 13; $110
Teen Musical Theatre Audition Preparation: April 16–May 14; $110
Family Comedy Zoom: A Long Distance Variety Show: April 11–May 9; $140 per family
Studio East’s Remote Learning
Studio East’s Remote Learning programming will connect students and teachers through video conferencing and other digital materials. Classes are available for grades K to 12. Course subjects include: play creation, creative movement, playwriting, vocal lessons, character development, radio drama, musical auditions, understanding Shakespeare, dance workshops, and drama book club.
Tap Dance Workshop: Thursday, April 16; $10
Combinations Dance Workshop: Thursday, April 23; $10
Drama Book Club: Wednesdays, join anytime through June 17; $150
All other classes: Monday–Friday, April 13–17 OR April 20–24; $75–100
Fridays @ The 5th
The 5th Avenue Theatre is hosting a weekly online event for high school students. Workshops are taught by a range of musical theatre actors and artists, and discuss topics such as comedic relief, building blocks for healthy singing, and pursuing theatre in college.
Fridays @ The 5th: Every Friday; Free, but please consider donating