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.

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The studio is extremely fortunate to have Rob Clare, an internationally recognized Shakespeare specialist and former member of the Royal Shakespeare Theater (RSC), return to the studio to lead a highly practical Shakespeare workshop over six Sundays during April and May.

This class is for committed actors, with or without previous experience of Shakespeare. Whether preparing for auditions, to get over any inhibitions, or whatever your interest, get up on your feet – get creative. Breathe new life into old verse! Pick up on key strategies and fundamentally practical approaches to help and empower you, in bringing Shakespeare’s text to vivid, fresh, confident and flexible life onstage. You are actors. These plays are for you.

Broad-ranging, eclectic, and always tied into the actor’s process, the workshops will focus on in-depth rehearsal of scenes and monologues. We will show that verse, heightened vocabulary and other potentially daunting aspects of these complex texts are in fact invitations to be individually creative and spontaneously responsive, to give them new dynamism and life.

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Participants will initially prepare a Shakespeare speech of their own choice, or (with an agreed scene partner) a short dialogue, or section of a scene. All will then work on selected scenes and speeches, as agreed and as appropriate. During our weekends together, we will survey a range of Shakespeare texts, and differing approaches to them, and especially to working with verse. We will demystify, and take away any fear. We will explore both the issues and the opportunities inherent in highly figured language, imagery, and formal elements such as rhyme. We will also consider the challenges and special opportunities of direct audience address, and in using Shakespeare speeches in auditions.
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ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Rob Clare was originally an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), then a Staff Director at the UK National Theatre, and Associate Artistic Director of the major UK touring company, Compass, for whom he directed the first major revival of Amadeus. He was also one of the pioneers of using drama to work creatively with inmates in the UK prison system. Becoming increasingly interested in differing approaches to working with Shakespeare, he completed a doctorate in the subject at Oxford University and has since become an internationally recognized Shakespeare specialist. He has worked in numerous training institutions within the UK, and established the MA Classical Acting course at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, which he also led for its first three years, as well as also teaching at the Globe. Since resuming his freelance career he has directed and/or taught Shakespeare in Ireland, Austria, Germany, Australia, China, and the USA. In India, he directed Hindi productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. Before moving to the US, he worked regularly for almost a decade as a freelance specialist verse and text coach with the RSC’s core acting ensemble, leading annual workshops, and working in and alongside rehearsals for productions of Richard III, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V and Hamlet. In the US he has worked as visiting faculty at The Juilliard School, Brown, USC Los Angeles, CSU Long Beach and NYU Tisch (both graduate and undergraduate acting). He has also directed productions of As You Like It (Antaeus Theatre Company, Los Angeles), Cymbeline (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival), Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor (American Shakespeare Center, Staunton VA), Love’s Labour’s Lost and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Marin Shakespeare Company), King Lear (Luna Stage, Orange NJ), The Winter’s Tale (Hang A Tale Productions, NYC), As You Like It (Kentucky Shakespeare), Richard III (Idaho Shakespeare Festival), Pericles (USC Los Angeles), and The Duchess of Malfi (CSU Long Beach). He has worked regularly at the NYC Actors Center, the Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC, and with the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company, Chicago, for whose ensemble he led Shakespeare workshops, and also provided specialized verse and text work for Tina Landau’s production of The Tempest. Current projects include directing Richard III for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles. He is married to the actress Reiko Aylesworth, and they now live in Pasadena CA, with their son, Andre.

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Six Sundays in April and May. 2 PM – 6 PM

April 21st and 28th, May 5th,12th,19th, and 26th

The Berg Studios

3245 Casitas Ave, Suite 104

Los Angeles, CA 90039

$350 students,  $425 non-students

If you would like to sign up for the workshop, please email or call the office.

With the best of intentions, the job of acting can become a display of accumulated bad habits, trapped instincts and blocked energies. Working with the Alexander Technique to untangle the wires has given me sightings of another way; mind and body, work and life together. Real imaginative freedom.
– Alan Rickman

In March we will be offering the opportunity to study with one of the foremost instructors of the Alexander Technique, Jessica Wolf. The study of the Alexander Technique is required at the finest drama conservatories around the world, including the Juilliard School, ACT, Yale, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

The Alexander technique is a gentle approach that aims to re-educate the mind and the body through a series of movements so the body uses muscles more efficiently. Actors trained in the Alexander Technique consistently feel more confident and free — physically, vocally and creatively — to do their best work. The physical and imaginative freedom that can be discovered through the Alexander work can be a vital part of the actor’s craft.

Below you’ll find more about the workshop and the Alexander technique. Also attached is an article written by Jessica detailing her work with two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest. Please read this article for a very good description of the practical applications of Alexander for the actor.

There are very limited spots for this particular workshop. Signups are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alexander Technique with Jessica Wolf: The Actor’s Instrument

Transformation is fueled by the actor’s body. Jessica’s work provides a visceral experience through which actors learn to live out their characters’ stories moment-to-moment. In this workshop, actors develop awareness of their psychophysical habits that cause tension and interfere with performance. Through the exploration of our proprioceptive and kinesthetic senses, we improve efficiency and translate intellect into physical expression. By using principles of the Alexander Technique and Art of Breathing, we deepen the connections between our body, breath, and voice. Movement inspires this dynamic relationship by integrating all the parts of the actor’s instrument.

Matthias Alexander said, “we can throw away the habit of a lifetime in a few minutes if we use our brains.” Finding physical freedom through a simple thought is the cornerstone of the Alexander Technique. In this workshop, you will first develop an increased awareness of the physical choices you make — either conscious or unconscious — about how you embody yourself and how you present yourself to the world. Ultimately, an actor brings to their work what they know — AND what they don’t know — about themselves. Developing a process to release your physical habits will lead to greater vulnerability while giving you the physical and mental agility to direct yourself into the character’s physical, mental, and emotional life.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Jessica Wolf has been teaching the Alexander Technique for almost 40 years and created the Alexander Technique program at Yale School of Drama in 1998. She is also the founder and director of Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing, a postgraduate training program for Alexander teachers that combines principles of the Alexander Technique and Breathing Coordination. She is also a certified Laban Movement Analyst. In 2013, Jessica published Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing: Collected Articles and created the first three‐dimensional animated film of the respiratory system, which has since been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and German. Other faculty appointments include the Aspen Music Festival, The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, Circle in the Square Theater School, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Verbier Music Festival. Jessica coaches many performing artists who appear on‐ and off‐Broadway, and in films and television. Her work is recognized internationally and she travels extensively, giving workshops to performers, teachers, and healthcare providers.

WORKSHOP DETAILS

March 16th and 17th, 10:00AM – 4:30PM

The Berg Studios

3245 Casitas Ave, Suite 104

Los Angeles, CA 90039

$400 students,  $450 non-students

If you would like to sign up for the workshop, please email or call the office.

3 Day On-Camera Audition Workshop in New York City – February 2019

Just in time for pilot season, Berg Studios is excited to announce a unique opportunity: a three-day intensive On-Camera Audition Workshop in New York City with Gregory Berger (Berg), current instructor of on-camera acting at The Yale School of Drama, and private coach to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Riz Ahmed, and many others.

Berg will lead you in exploring the practical application of on-camera acting technique, as well as the technical requirements of working in front of the camera, viewed through the lens of the high-pressure environment in the audition room. 

The objective is to release the actor’s imagination through technique, cultivating authentic behavior on camera. Using the same techniques and experience that he brings to his on-camera acting class at The Yale School of Drama, Berg will help you reveal your own powerful imagination and make it palpable, visceral, and transferrable to the rigors and restrictions of film and television. 

We will begin with practical “dos and don’ts,” and then move to positive suggestions, encouraging a commitment to artistic boldness. The class 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, of being “captured” by the camera, enabling the actor to truly reveal their private selves. During each session, actors are filmed and will review their work with Berg.

WORKSHOP DETAILS:

When: Friday-Sunday, February 22, 23 and 24

Time: 10AM to 5PM (one hour lunch break)

Location:  Ripley Grier Studios / New York, NY

Price: Students – $475

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.  This workshop is not eligible for auditors nor is it possible to prorate for specific dates due to the design of the workshop format.

About the Instructor:

In addition to teaching in New York City and Los Angeles, Gregory Berger is the current on-camera teacher, and an alumnus, of the Yale School of Drama​ Graduate acting program in New Haven, Connecticut.

Prior​ to Yale​ he trained at The Circle in the Square Theatre in New York City.  He has studied privately with such legendary teachers as Paul Mann, Michael Howard, Kim Stanley, Nikos Psacharopoulos and Earle R. Gister.

After working for many years in New York as an actor, acting teacher, and private coach for stage and film, Gregory Berger opened Berg Studios in Los Angeles in 1998. He currently teaches both coasts, remaining the artistic director and master acting teacher at Berg Studios as well as teaching On Camera Acting at the Yale School of Drama. 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.

The studio is proud to announce that Christopher Bayes, one of the world’s leading instructors in the world of Clown and Physical Comedy, is returning to Berg Studios to lead our next workshop. He is Head of Physical Acting at the Yale School of Drama. He is known internationally as a world-class contributor to clown, commedia dell’arte, and what he terms “the pandemonium arts.” His past students include Mahershala Ali, Jessica Chastain, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and many more.

We are thrilled to have Christopher Bayes back with us to share his insights and unique perspective with the studio. This one is not to be missed!

Masterclass in Physical Comedy – Clown to Commedia

In this intensive workshop, you will begin the awe-inspiring and often messy journey in search of your clown…or what is uniquely funny about YOU!  In the second part of the workshop you will embark on adventures in the hilarious and raucous world of commedia dell’arte, where you will explore universal archetypes of the funny.

The pursuit of the clown is the search for the authentic, playful self and its unique relationship to its comic world. Your clown is your comic nature. It cannot be crafted; it must be discovered. Once discovered, it will stay with you always because it lives in your personal sense of play. Everybody has a clown in them, and thousands of characters can come from that clown. We will pursue the clown in earnest exploring all of its messy and hilarious beauty. Once connected, you will move on to explore archetype and transformation through commedia dell’arte. Through the specificity of these archetypes, you will learn to bring physical expression and find more freedom and ownership to your work. You will walk away with a deeper physical understanding of your talent, your true vulnerability, and your unique comic perspective.

WORKSHOP DETAILS:

When: Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9

Time: 10AM to 5PM (one hour lunch break)

Location:  Berg Studios, 3245 Casitas Ave suite 104, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Price: Students – $500,  Non-Students – $650

(Students must be currently enrolled in scene study at time of signup & during workshop)   

In order to secure a spot in this amazing workshop contact the office to put down a deposit (50% of tuition) today.  Due to the nature of this workshop deposits are non refundable.

About the Instructor:

CHRISTOPHER BAYES

Christopher Bayes began his career with the internationally acclaimed Theatre de la Jeune Lune, where he worked for five years as an actor, director, composer, designer and artistic associate.

He is currently the Head of Physical Acting at the Yale School of Drama, and former faculty member at the Juilliard School.  He has received numerous awards and grants including: a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study Grant, a General Mills Foundation Artist Assistance Grant, and both a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant and a Career Opportunity Grant. He is a 1999/2000 Fox Fellow.

He was part of the creative team for the Broadway and Touring productions of The 39 Steps, for which he created additional movement and served as Movement Director. He also created the Movement/Choreography for John Guare’s Three Kinds of Exile at The Atlantic Theater.

He has taught classes and workshops internationally at Cirque Du Soleil, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Big Apple Circus, Interlochen Arts Center, Vassar College, Stella Adler Conservatory, Bard College, Fordham University, University of Texas Graduate Acting and Directing Programs, National Shakespeare Conservatory, University of Minnesota Graduate Acting Program, the Guthrie Theater, Iowa State University, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune.

We are excited to announce that Tessa Auberjonois will return to the studio to conduct our Voice Acting/Voiceovers Workshop. Please note that this is a very popular workshop and will fill up quickly. In 2017 Tessa was nominated for a Behind the Voice Actors award for best featured actress in a television series.  We are very happy to welcome her back!

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

This is a six-week intensive class designed to introduce the actor to this profitable, specialized, and seriously fun aspect of our craft. The class is open to foreign language speakers as well, as there is a large market for Spanish language voice-overs. You will get to work a lot with the microphone and you will start to get a feel for the very intimate and creative process of reading copy. The class will provide an overview of all the opportunities available to you if you want to widen the spectrum of what you do as an actor, who you work with, and how you can potentially add to your SAG-Aftra covered earnings or non-union jobs.

Participants will learn to identify the demands of various forms of commercial copy and start to become comfortable reading into the microphone. Over the course of these sessions, we will learn the differences between reading in commercial media: television, radio, internet, and in-store. Most importantly, we will explore where each actor is most comfortable in terms of the pitch of the read (how “sell-y” you want to be), who your ideal target audience is, and find your signature read, so that you can begin to think about making a demo reel, preparing to audition for the voice-over department of your on-camera agency, or submitting yourself on the online voice banks.

In addition, one class will focus on video game characters and animation, in which we will start to approach character development through age, ethnicity, genre, and accent work. One class will be held remotely, in an actual VO booth. And in one class we’ll have an industry guest for a Q & A on the business nitty-gritty of voice-over: how to break in, demos, audition platforms, getting an agent, and marketing yourself.

TEACHER

Tessa Auberjonois started her voice-over career soon after graduating from the Yale School of Drama and has consistently worked as a voice-over artist while also performing on stage and screen. In 2017 Tessa was nominated for a Behind the Voice Actors award for best featured actress in a television series. She is trained in Linklater Technique and International Phonetics, and has taught Voice and Speech at NYFA, AMDA, Cal Arts, and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Tessa has been the voice of several national campaigns, including Princess Cruises, Glade, White Castle, FEMA and many others. She’s voiced video games, re-voiced starring roles in feature films and narrated audiobooks.

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Sundays, 2:00-6:00PM

December 9th and 16th, January 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th.

(Please note that class will be on hiatus from December 23rd until January 5th, with the workshop resuming on January 6th)

Berg Studios, 3245 Casitas Ave suite 104, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Students – $350,  Non-Students – $450

**In order to receive the student price, you must be enrolled in a scene study class during all months of the workshop.**