BERG STUDIOS WORKSHOPS
Our workshops are designed to both stand on their own and to compliment the classes and technique taught at the studio. The lessons taught in the workshops are immediately implemented and expanded on in classes. Workshops are either taught by Berg Studios instructors, or guest artist teachers invited to host workshops for our students.
Accent and Dialect Workshop: February 2021 with Tessa Auberjonois
The studio is delighted to welcome back Tessa Auberjonois to lead her popular online workshop, Mastering Accents and Dialects, in February 2021!
When it comes to characters with an accent or dialect, do you usually just wing it. . . or even pass up the opportunity? What if you were able to identify a few key elements that would unlock your ability to reliably learn a wide variety of accents?
In this workshop, we will break down the technique of learning an accent or dialect. You will learn how to research an accent, focusing on one accent in particular, and develop a set of tools to apply to any accent or dialect as you learn. You will also have the opportunity to observe the other students work on many different accents. You’ll get to experience how accent and dialect work adds to the specificity of character and scene work as you use your new accent with text.
This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an essential skill that you will use over and over again as an actor. Don’t miss out!
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Tessa Auberjonois
Tessa has appeared on The Affair, Shameless, Lucifer, I’m Dying Up Here, Modern Family, Law & Order(s), ER, and many other shows as well as feature and short films. On stage, she has originated roles and helped develop new works in numerous new American plays and worked closely with playwrights such as Rajiv Joseph, Annie Weisman, Neil LaBute, Lucas Hnath, Melissa Ross, Jessica Goldberg, Richard Greenberg, Lucy Thurber, Noah Haidle, etc. and has performed in many classical and contemporary plays Off-Broadway and at theatres across the country such as the Kirk Douglas and South Coast Repertory, Hartford Stage, Yale Rep and The Shakespeare Theatre of D.C. among others.
Her voice-over work is extensive and includes Cartoon Network and The Simpsons, audiobooks, videogames, and re-voicing lead roles in feature films. Awards & Nominations include the 2018 Lunt-Fontanne Award, Best Actress in a play 2017 OC Weekly, Nominated for Best Female Guest Star for a TV Voiced Performance 2018 from Behind the Voice Actors, Sermoonjoy Fund and Fox Foundation Fellowships, and the Oliver Thorndike Award for excellence in acting upon graduation from Yale Drama, where she trained as well as LAMDA. She has taught and coached voice and speech, dialect and accent work, and voiceover to actors at many programs in LA and privately as well as being currently on faculty at AMDA.
Sessions: 4 Friday classes, 3hours per class.
Dates: February 12th, 19th, 26th, March 5th.
Time: 1pm – 4pm
FEE: $250 students / $300 non-students*
*Please note: In order to receive the student price, you must be enrolled in a scene study class during the October session.
An Exploration of Shakespeare’s Language with Daniela Varon of the Yale School of Drama
Berg Studios is very excited to announce that Daniela Varon, acting faculty at the Yale School of Drama, is returning to the studio to give her workshop “From The Table To The Heart: An Exploration of Shakespeare’s Language” online, in February!
“It’s all in the text.” This is often said about playing Shakespeare, but what does it mean to the contemporary actor?
The clues embedded in Shakespeare’s text are keys to character and action, unlocking the door for actors to have passionate, imaginative, clear, embodied relationships with Shakespeare, his people, and his world. More than four centuries after Shakespeare’s death, these clues remain for his collaborators and interpreters; they can also inform actors’ approaches both to other classical plays and to heightened language in modern and contemporary plays.
We will delve deeply into the structure of the verse, figures of speech, and elements of rhetoric. Through lecture, group table work, in-class and take-home exercises, and lots of questions and discussion, the class aims to build the actor’s comprehension and confidence in Shakespeare’s language, laying a foundation for emotional, intellectual, and imaginative responsiveness to the demands and joys of playing Shakespeare.
For actors, directors, dramaturgs, and other theater makers interested in an expanded relationship with Shakespeare.
Daniela Varon is a Lecturer in Acting at the Yale School of Drama, where she specializes in teaching Shakespeare, and is on the faculty of the Linklater Center for Voice and Language, and is a Shakespeare specialist with Lincoln Center Theater’s Education department. She is a New York-based director and acting teacher, and a long-time member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. She was Associate Director and co-founder, with Kristin Linklater, of The Company of Women, which presented all-female Shakespeare productions and workshops for women and girls, and co-producer, director and moderator of Conversations with Shakespeare, which played three seasons at Symphony Space. Daniela’s productions of Shakespeare, contemporary, and new work have been seen at some 25 theaters around the country, including The Winter’s Tale at the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company,and she has developed new work with another 25 companies. She has taught and guest-directed at Barnard, Bennington, Dartmouth, Emerson, Purchase, and Smith Colleges, Columbia University, NYU/Stella Adler, and U. Conn., and taught Shakespeare workshops in Bulgaria at the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory and the Plovdiv National Drama Theatre. She is also a private coach and Shakespeare Whisperer to actors ranging from high schoolers auditioning for acting programs to Broadway veterans.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays
February 9th, 11th, 16th, 18th, 23rd, 25th.
12:30 PM to 3:30 PM PST
Cost: Student Price: $300 / Non-Student Price: $350
Please note, to qualify for the student price you must be enrolled in a Studio Technique (scene study) class for the whole month of February.
Intro to Voice & Speech is Back! January at the Berg Studios!
We are pleased to announce that another session of Intro to Voice & Speech with Tessa Auberjonois begins in January 2021! Tessa Auberjonois has created an eight-class, four-week format that we feel will give our students a great degree of noticeable progress and an even stronger vocal foundation.
Voice and Speech production is a technique that takes time to learn and integrate. Our everyday, habitual patterns of breathing and speaking tend to be very sensitive to factors such as nerves and personal inhibitions.
Over time and with practice, we can use vocal technique to find awareness and learn to use breath, voice, and articulation in a way that can be relied upon to communicate the versatile character choices we make as actors instead of being trapped by the limitations of our own habitual vocal patterns.
This process is akin to building new muscles at the gym or learning to play an instrument. It takes time and practice before results can be felt and utilized effectively. Therefore, each session builds upon the last as students integrate the technique into new and specific use of the voice, body, and speech. This twice-weekly foundation course will teach a voice and speech warm-up, give you an excellent understanding of the mechanics of vocal production (essential for accent work), as well as how to explore text vocally.
Class 1: Relaxation, body awareness, and breathwork. Identifying the proper use of articulators. Speech drills.
Class 2: Adding vocalization to diaphragmatic breathing. Integrating movement to breath and voice and releasing lip and neck tension. Speech drills.
Class 3: Opening the channel: jaw, tongue, and soft palate. Speech drills. Students will begin to explore a new piece of text, reading text out loud before memorization.
Class 4: Review of vocal warm-up and speech drills. Beginning to drop text in using sounds and imagery.
Class 5: Using the resonators: chest, mouth, and teeth. Speech drills. Exploring the text through articulation and movement.
Class 6: Review of vocal warm-up and speech drills. Speaking memorized text.
Class 7: Nasal and Head Resonators. Speech drills. Slating and speaking “on voice.”
Class 8: Review of Vocal warm-up and Speech drills. Performing Text.
For a long while now, Berg and the instructors here at the studio have worried about a serious lack of vocal training among our students. This lack of training is not just about volume, to be sure. Without the ability to fully utilize their voice, no actor can be counted on to express themselves in the dynamic, creative way our industry demands.
Indeed, the purpose of vocal training, a standard element of all conservatory acting programs throughout the world, is to free the actor’s habitual patterns of tension. This allows the vocal instrument to express character via the actor’s imagination and engage the listener with language written by another but spoken as our own. Similar to building new muscles at the gym, vocal work takes sustained and intentional practice, which gradually leads to a shift in the actor’s use of their voice as the vehicle of emotion. This class will primarily teach the technique developed by Kristin Linklater, as described in her book Freeing the Natural Voice, and will consist of very active exercise work.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Tessa Auberjonois has appeared on The Affair, Shameless, Lucifer, I’m Dying Up Here, Modern Family, Law & Order(s), ER, and many other shows as well as feature and short films. On stage she has originated roles and helped develop new works in numerous new American plays and worked closely with playwrights such as Rajiv Joseph, Annie Weisman, Neil LaBute, Lucas Hnath, Melissa Ross, Jessica Goldberg, Richard Greenberg, Lucy Thurber, Noah Haidle etc. and has performed in many classical and contemporary plays Off-Broadway and at theatres across the country such as the Kirk Douglas and South Coast Repertory, Hartford Stage, Yale Rep and The Shakespeare Theatre of D.C. among others. Her voice-over work is extensive and includes Cartoon Network and The Simpsons, audiobooks, videogames, and re-voicing lead roles in feature films. Awards & Nominations include the 2018 Lunt-Fontanne Award, Best Actress in a play 2017 OC Weekly, Nominated for Best Female Guest Star for a TV Voiced Performance 2018 from Behind the Voice Actors, Sermoonjoy Fund and Fox Foundation Fellowships, and the Oliver Thorndike award for excellence in acting upon graduation from The Yale School Drama, where she trained, as well as LAMDA. She has taught and coached voice and speech, dialect and accent work and voiceover to actors at many programs in LA and privately as well as being currently on faculty at AMDA. For more information, you can find Tessa’s bio on our website.
When: Tuesdays and Fridays, 1 PM to 3 PM PST
January 12th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, 25th, 29th.
February 2nd, 5th.
Cost: $280 for 8 classes**
Alexander Technique in Acting with Kristof Konrad: Berg Studios January
WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: Alexander Technique in Acting
All communication starts with the body. It is the point of origin for the voice, emotional life, and physical activity. It also creates and communicates meaning to the audience – our physical actions and responses are interpreted by the onlooker –and performers need to be in charge of this process.
In this workshop, actors develop an awareness of their psychophysical habits that cause tension and interfere with performance. By using principles of the Alexander Technique you will deepen the connections between your body, breath, and voice. Movement inspires this dynamic relationship by integrating all the parts of the actor’s instrument.
Connecting to the body through awareness with the Alexander Technique (getting out of your head)
Freeing impulse and response patterns
Finding the breath and rhythm of the character
Recognizing the force of habit
Improving breath coordination and vocal quality
Improving our movement by learning to organize body relationships
Understanding Means and Ends
Making clear choices of intention
Infusing direction in our thinking and movement
Applying the Alexander Technique to monologues, sonnets, songs, and scenes
Learning to develop characters physically (if I believe your body, I’ll believe your character)
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: KRISTOF KONRAD
was born in Poland, trained as an actor at the National Dramatic Academy in Warsaw, Poland, the Fersen Studio in Rome, Italy, and Larry Moss in the U.S. While in Poland, he studied and worked with theater and film masters JERZY GROTOWSKI and ANDRZEJ WAJDA. In the USA he worked with directors FRANCIS LAWRENCE, KENNETH BRANAGH, RON HOWARD and ROLAND EMMERICH. His credits include HOMECOMING, HOUSE OF CARDS, RED SPARROW, INTELLIGENCE, ANGELS AND DEMONS, HOTEL CALIFORNIA, INDEPENDENCE DAY, SCORPION, NIKITA, SCANDAL, BURN NOTICE, OPERATION SAMUM, ALIAS, THE AGENCY, JAG, E- RING and many others. Kristof has taught for the BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, GENERATION CAMPUS – MOSCOW, VERBIER FESTIVAL& ACADEMY in Switzerland and UBS VERBIER ORCHESTRA. He is teaching Intensive Acting in Film and Alexander Technique Workshops in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Berlin, Toronto, and Vancouver. In the U.S., he has taught with Jean-Louis at the LARRY MOSS STUDIO, HOWARD FINE STUDIO, LA and Melbourne, Australia, and recently worked with the artists of the ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY and the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL. Past and current students include FOREST WITAKER, KENNETH BRANAGH, COBIE SMULDERS, JOBETH WILLIAMS, ERIC DANE, and SHARON LAWRENCE.
When: January 14th, 21st, 28th / February 4th, 11th, 18th
Thursdays 11 AM to 1 PM PST
Cost: $250 student price (you must be currently enrolled in a scene study class to receive the student discount) / $300 non-student price
Acting and Audition Technique for the Camera w/ Gregory Berger: January!
Berg Studios is excited to announce a 3-day intensive workshop (January 15th, 16th, and 17th, 2021) Acting and Audition Technique for the Camera, online, with Gregory Berger, former faculty member of The Yale School of Drama, and private coach to Lupita Nyong’o (Oscar Winner), Riz Ahmed (Emmy Winner), Winston Duke, and many others.
Gregory will lead you on an exploration of the practical application of on-camera acting and audition technique using the same technique and experience that he brought to his on-camera acting class at The Yale School of Drama. Mr. Berger will help you reveal your own powerful imagination and make it palpable, visceral and transferrable to the rigors and restrictions of film and television.
All three days will include practical “dos and don’ts,” the technical requirements of working scenes and auditions in front of the camera, as well as rigorous and creative script analysis with all work being coached and filmed twice.
The objective of this workshop is to release the actor’s imagination through technique, cultivating authentic behavior on camera. Gregory encourages the actor to illuminate the text with bold provocative choices rather than illustrating the mundane, or predictable. Working this way allows the actor to move past any blocks, or fears, enabling the actor to truly reveal their private selves on film.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Gregory Berger-Sobeck is a graduate and former acting faculty member at the Yale School of Drama, in addition to teaching bi-coastally both in Los Angeles and New York. Additionally, he has taught workshops all over the world including in London, Paris, Sydney, and Tahiti.
Gregory’s many regular private coaching clients include Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (Us, Black Panther), Emmy winner Riz Ahmed (The Night Of), Winston Duke (Us, Black Panther), and Portia Doubleday (Mr. Robot) among many others.
Mr. Berger opened The Berg Studios in Los Angeles in 1998, where he is the artistic director and master acting teacher. Berg Studios alumni have been Emmy Award Winners, Emmy Award Nominees, acted on Broadway and have had multiple series regular and guest star roles on television. Mr. Berger has also been voted Best Acting Class, Best Classical Class, Best Monologue Coach and Private Coach by Backstage Magazine.
Prior to Yale he trained at The Circle in the Square Theatre in New York City. He has studied with such legendary teachers as Paul Mann, Michael Howard, Kim Stanley, Nikos Psacharopoulos and Earle R. Gister. His New York stage credits include Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, The Flowing Peach, Romeo and Juliet, The Admiral Bashful, The Shrewing of Blanco Posnet, Molly, Andrew After Dark, Much Ado About Nothing, Faust, and The Colonization. Regional credits include work at the Yale Repertory Theater and The Yale School of Drama: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, King John, Measure for Measure, Three Sisters, and A Ride Across Lake Constance, to name a few. Among his directing credits are Dolores and Sisters at the Company of Angels and the west coast premiere of John Ford Noonan’s POPPS.
To find out more about Berg and Berg Studios please visit our website.
When: January 15th, 16th, 17th, 2021
1/15 (11am – 3pm PST) Friday
1/16 (11am – 4pm PST) Saturday
1/17 (11am – 3pm PST) Sunday
Where: Online! (Zoom)
Cost: Students : $300 / Non-Students : $400
To receive the student discount, you must be enrolled in a Studio Technique (scene study) class at Berg Studios for the month of January 2020
In order to secure a spot in this amazing workshop, contact the office (M-F 10am to 5pm PST) to put down a deposit (50% of tuition) today. Due to the nature of this workshop, deposits are non-refundable. Based on the structure of this workshop, the purchase of individual days is not possible.
Acting the Song: A workshop for singers and non-singers alike
Berg Studios is very excited to announce the return of the incredible workshop with celebrated Broadway actress Joanna Glushak called Acting the Song: A workshop for singers and non-singers alike.
In today’s market, performers who are not primarily considered singers are often hired because they can act the lyric and convey the emotional quality of a song.Starting in September, this 6-week course will meet twice a week, and focus on interpretation of a song and storytelling. It will build confidence and audition techniques, which will broaden your marketability.
This class is not about singing notes. It is designed to teach people, of any level of confidence, how to perform a song.Each student will receive one-on-one attention in bi-weekly, 3 hours sessions for a total of 36 hours!At the end of the course you will leave with a warm-up, an audition song, and a great sense of confidence and accomplishment!Prior to the first class, the students will receive a class by class breakdown, an outline of the techniques use in the class, and resources for finding songs and the recorded music to accompany you!
Over the course of the six weeks you will have Joanna’s personal attention and guidance while she provides you with following:
Overview of the course:
Explanation of the techniques used.
Video examples of famous “non-singers” in action.
Evaluation of your vocal range.
A comprehensive warm-up.
Help choosing a song and how to interpret it with imagination and a focus on storytelling.
A safe space to build your confidence and sing your heart out!!
“I am incredibly thankful that my first foray into singing was through Joanna’s Acting the Song. I was someone who never sang before, who was horribly self-conscious about her voice and singing, and who bought into the myth that you needed to have natural talent and hit all the right notes to sing a song half decently; Joanna coaxed me out of my shell and reoriented me away from the crushing paralysis of worrying over the notes and my vocal limitations and directed my focus and attention instead to why I wanted to sing a song. She showed me how to ask useful questions about the character, making my character’s point of view vivid and specific and reengaging my imagination into telling the story. To my utter surprise and astonishment, my voice followed to places I never knew it could go”! – Rumana
“Joanna created such a wonderful and safe environment for actors and singers alike to come together and learn to not only be confident in their own skin but to also fully embrace their voice and be proud of their instrument. I I highly recommend Joanna to anyone who needs that extra push if they need guidance and direction if they feel lost about where to take their audience in their song. When it comes to crafting and storytelling, Joanna will 100% absolutely be able to get you to where it is you need to go.
Thank you so much Joanna! It was such an amazing class :)” – Crystal
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Joanna Glushak has had a long and celebrated career on and off Broadway, as well as countless appearances in TV and film. Most recently she can be seen as Mrs. O’Tool in the Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. BROADWAY: All Leading Roles in“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love And Murder”, “War Paint”, “Sunday In The Park With George”,“Les Miserables”,“Hairspray”,”Urinetown” ”Rags”,”Welcome To The Club”,“Conversations With My Father”,”The Sweet Smell Of Success”.
OFF BROADWAY, Joanna just finished a sold out run of “Gloria: A Life” about the life of Gloria Steinem, directed by Diane Paulus, Joanna has work at many of the best off broadway theatexrs including Manhattan Theater Club, NY Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizons, and Circle in the Square
NEW YORK CITY OPERA: Petra in “A Little Night Music”, Cleo in ”The Most Happy Fella”.
NATIONAL TOURS: Mrs.Dumaurier in “Finding Neverland” Frau Blucher in “Young
Frankenstein The Musical”,”Xanadu,The Musical”,”Evita””Fiddler On The Roof” Joanna has performed all over the country in many of the best regional theaters. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.