Masterclasses will focus on playwriting, acting, stage management and design. Geared for adults, each class is two to three hours long twice per week on Wednesdays and Fridays. In an intimate setting of 10-16 people per class, it is an exciting opportunity for community members to connect with experts in the field to hone their craft or be inspired to learn a new skill.
Due to the overwhelming demand, we are requesting that students sign up for only one masterclass each.
If you would like to be put on the waitlist for one of the masterclasses, please email your name, phone number, and the class you would like to be waitlisted for to Olivia Jones at email@example.com.
Playwriting: Nuts and Bolts with Craig Lucas
June 24 and 26 from 5 – 8 p.m.
Taught by the award-winning Craig Lucas, emerging playwrights will discover the nuts and bolts of conceiving a new play, strategies for mapping out the work, helpful tools for compressing and focusing the action.
For: Emerging Playwrights
Preparation: Registered participants will receive a comprehensive reading list to prepare for the first meetingCraig Lucas' plays include Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss, Ode To Joy and I Was Most Alive With You. He wrote libretti for The Light in the Piazza, An American in Paris and Two Boys (opera). He directed the world premiere of The Light in the Piazza, Harry Kondoleon’s Saved Or Destroyed and Play Yourself, as well as the films The Dying Gaul and Birds of America. Awards include NY Film Critics Best Screenplay, Sundance Audience Award, Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters as well as three Obie Awards.
From Page to Stage with Arena Stage Properties Director Jenn Sheetz
July 8 and 10 from 5 – 7 p.m.
Have you ever wondered how a prop gets to stage? We will follow the properties design from the initial reading of the script to the final product for Opening Night. This class will consist of a discussion about the main aspects of Properties Direction: making a prop list from the script, researching the time period, creating conversations with designers, director and choreographer, attending production meetings, purchasing/construction/upholstery for each prop and finally, bringing the final prop design to Opening Night.
There will be a show and tell of select properties from Arena productions, and quick overview of how we created them.
For: College students interested in Properties Design or Set Design; anyone interested in an introduction to props.
Preparation: Registered participants will receive materials to read and reviewJenn Sheetz has been Arena Stage’s Properties Director for the past 2 seasons after twelve seasons as Properties Director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. She began her theatrical career at Arena Stage, working as a Properties Assistant for 9 seasons in the Kreeger Theatre. She has also designed properties for Norwegian Cruise Line (Rock of Ages, Legally Blonde, Million Dollar Quartet), Comedy Central, and Showtime.
ZOOM-o-logues: Acting for the Virtual Space with Edward Gero
July 15 and 17 from 5 – 8 p.m.
As Zoom Theater becomes the platform for presenting live works for the foreseeable future, this master class focuses on the work of adjusting stage technique for this particular Hollywood Squares playing environment identifying the obstacles and opportunities of the virtual stage on screen.
For: Working professional actors
Preparation: Registered participants should prepare a two-minute monologueA Washington theater community veteran, Edward Gero, is a sixteen-time nominee and four-time recipient of the prestigious Helen Hayes Award. His most recent work includes a ZOOM theater reunion reading of King Lear with Stacy Keach, Falstaff in 1HenryIV at The Folger Theatre and as Pulitzer in Newsies at Arena Stage. In 2015, he created the role of Justice Antonin Scalia in the world premiere of Molly Smith’s acclaimed production of John Strand’s play The Originalist and toured with it in 2017 and 2018 to Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Florida, The Pasadena Playhouse, Chicago’s Court Theatre, and 59E59 Theatres in New York Off-Broadway. He is Professor of Theater and Head of Performance for the School of Theater at George Mason University and a faculty member of The Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University.
Stage Management: Behind the Scenes with Kurt Hall
July 22 and 24 from 5-7 p.m.
This two-part course will immerse the emerging stage manager into the professional world of stage management. This master class will give students the opportunity to ask questions as well as learn about the day to day realities of stage management. Topics to be discussed are Actors Equity Association, working at regional theaters, Broadway, national tours, and corporate events, as well as other relevant issues. Arena Stage’s Kurt Hall will lead the course, drawing on his many years of experience and will also involve other established stage managers to discuss the rewards and pitfalls of this challenging career. Special Guests include Cheryl Mintz (Resident Production Stage Manager at McCarter Theatre. Broadway’s Anna and the Tropics, The Road to Mecca and others), Michael J. Passaro (Broadway’s Moulin Rouge, The Cher Show, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many others.), Amber Dickerson (Broadway’s Motown. National Tours – Dreamgirls, Kinky Boots, Falsettos. Additional regional theater work, including over 15 years at Arena Stage.) and Kathryn L. McKee (Broadway’s Hello Dolly, The Crucible, 9 to 5 and many others). This master class will leave participants with a better appreciation and understanding of the special skillset needed for an integral aspect of theater production – stage management.
For: Early-career stage managers and college stage managers
Preparation: Registered participants will be asked for a resume of their stage management experience
Kurt Hall has been an Equity Stage Manager in the DC area for almost 20 years and has managed over 50 productions at Arena Stage. In addition, he has worked in numerous theaters across the country including Roundabout Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, Kansas City Rep and others. Selected credits include Next to Normal, Sweat, Looped, Born for This, All the Way and The Normal Heart. Some of the artists he has collaborated with over the years include Phylicia Rashad, Kathleen Turner, Valerie Harper, Bebe Winans, Kenny Leon, Maurice Hines, Charles Randolph-Wright, Jeff Calhoun, Bill Rausch, Jackie Maxwell, and Seema Sueko.
Playwriting: Dialogue with Eduardo Machado
July 29 from 5 – 7 p.m. & July 31 from 5 – 8 p.m.
A writing workshop focusing on developing your dramatic voice and style through exploration of characters, dramatic needs, using sense memory, emotional recall and other theatrical and psychological techniques. Exercises will be given and you will write during the class time. You do not need bring already written material to the class- all you need is to bring an idea, a notebook and pens.
For: Anyone who wants to write, a play, TV pilot, or screenplay
Preparation: Participants need notebook and pen
Eduardo Machado (Playwright) was born in Cuba and came to the United States when he was nine. He is the author of over 40 plays, including The Cook, Havana is Waiting, The Modern Ladies of Guanabacoa, Fabiola, Broken Eggs and Stevie Wants to Play the Blues. His plays have been produced at Seattle Repertory, The Goodman, Hartford Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf, Hampstead Theatre in London, The Cherry Lane Theatre, Theater for the New City and Repertorio Español, among many others. He was formerly artistic director of INTAR Theatre in NY and has been a Professor of Playwriting at NYU Tisch and Columbia. He is the co-author of Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile’s Hunger for Home and his plays are published by Samuel French and TCG.
Costume Design: The Journey of a Designer with Alejo Vietti
August 5 and 7 from 6 – 7 p.m.
Costume designer Alejo Vietti designs for theater and opera all over the world. For Arena Stage his design credits include Anything Goes, Newsies and The Pajama Game. In this two-part class you can learn about Alejo’s journey as a costume designer, and how he has developed a career that spans resident theater, Broadway, and opera. Learn about the life of a professional costume designer and how to develop a viable career in the field.
For: Anyone interested in learning more about costume design
Alejo Vietti’s Arena Stage credits include: Ella, The Pajama Game, Anything Goes (Helen Hayes Award) and Disney’s Newsies. New York credits include: Broadway’s Holiday Inn, Allegiance (Drama Desk nomination) and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (U.S. tour, West End – Olivier Award nomination, Australia, Japan and UK tour). He has designed for City Center Encores!, Radio City Rockettes, Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theatre, among others. Opera credits include: New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and Donesk Opera (Ukraine). Selected regional work includes: Alley Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Ford’s, Signature, Goodspeed, Guthrie, Hartford Stage, Paper Mill Playhouse and The Old Globe. Other credits include: Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Award recipient.
Costume Design and Technology: The Business of “the Business” with Joseph Salasovich
August 12 and 14 from 5 – 8 p.m.
Ready to up your game with virtual portfolios, websites, interviews, and resumes? This is the class you have been waiting for. Spend two 3 hour sessions with Joe Salasovich, Costume Director at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater as he takes you through how to put your best foot forward as an emerging artist or technician in a professional costume shop setting. We will take a deep dive that investigates your personal brand, how to concentrate the presentation of your work to make it memorable, and all of the common mistakes to avoid on paper and in interviews. By the end of the class you will have a better idea of confidently and clearly marketing your work for the types of jobs
For: Junior or Senior undergraduates or recent graduates of colleges and universities who study any discipline within costume design, technology, or both.
Preparation: Must have a resume and or website that attendant is comfortable sharing within a small closed group of students, must review advance materials packet
Arena Stage Costume Director Joseph P. Salasovich has worked for 20 seasons in various capacities on over 150 productions. He most recently designed costumes for Molly Smith's Snow Child as well as Mother Courage and Her Children and the world premiere of The Originalist.
Playwriting Inspiration: Honing in on your voice with Karen Zacarías
August 19 and 21 from 5 – 7 p.m.
Do you want to write but feel unable to get started? Or you can't find the grist? Are you writing, but feel stuck? Is inspiration eluding you? For beginner to experienced writers alike, this hands-on workshop shares some tools to "make something out of nothing" by mining your imagination and voice. So bring a pen, and paper, (or a cheap drugstore notebook) and be prepared to write and participate in real time.
For: Beginning to experienced writers
Preparation: Participants need notebook and penKaren Zacarías has been named by American Theater Magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S. Her plays at Arena Stage includeDestiny of Desire, Native Gardens, The Book Club Play and Legacy of Light(directed by Molly Smith). Karen is a core-founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons; She is a 2019 Washingtonian of the Year; 2019 Sine Fellow for Policy Innovation.
Directing Snapshot with Seema Sueko
August 26 and 28 from 5 – 7 p.m
This snapshot of stage directing is for beginning directors and other interested adults. The only prerequisite is a love of theater. The first session will focus on the components and skills of directing. Seema will take us through her process, from first idea to opening night, using the play RASHOMON as the example. If you wish to read this script before the class, you may purchase it here or here. Homework after the first session will be to write first rehearsal remarks for a hypothetical play you’d direct. Students will share those remarks and talk about the play you selected in the second session of this class. Learn more about the Seema Sueko at seemasueko.com.
For: Beginning directors and others interested in the directing process
Preparation: Registered participants are encouraged to read RASHOMON before the first meetingSeema Sueko currently serves as Deputy Artistic Director where she drives the season planning process, directs plays, and oversees artistic programs. Her R&D work includes developing the Consensus Organizing for Theater methodology, creating the Green Theater Choices Toolkit, and researching the neuroscience of theater. Prior, she was Associate Artistic Director at Pasadena Playhouse and Executive Artistic Director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, which she co-founded in San Diego. She has directed and acted at theaters across the U.S. including Arena Stage, Denver Center, Ford’s Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, People’s Light, The Old Globe, Yale Rep, 5th Avenue Theatre, Native Voices, and Mo`olelo, among others.