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.
The Art & Craft of Solo Performance with Ann Noble
Ever wanted to tell your story? Either on the stage or online? And ever been daunted by exactly how do it? In this new era of the content creator, there has never been a more necessary time to become familiar with the special set of skills this kind of performance requires.
Solo Performance can be one of the most rewarding–as well as challenging–experiences for an actor. It requires additional skills not usually practiced by the working actor: speaking to the audience, speaking to “imaginary people”, and the art of quick and seamless character transition.
But often the most challenging is the actual writing of the script. There appear to be “no rules” to Solo Performance storytelling, but when studying the work of such giants as Whoopi Goldberg, John Leguizamo, and Lily Tomlin, and Anna Deavere Smith,
several principles are revealed that can shine a light on the methods and madness of what can be a most extraordinary and cathartic endeavor.
With over twenty-five years experience as a professional actor and playwright/new media writer, Ann Noble has worked extensively as a solo performer and has created a workshop that walks the actor through both disciplines of acting and writing specifically for this medium; the result is a toolbox which will give you the confidence to take your story out into the world, where it belongs.
Ann Noble is an actor, playwright/screenwriter, director, arts educator and solo performer with over thirty years professional experience. She is also a beloved instructor here at Berg Studios. Originally from Chicago and co-founder of the Irish Theatre Company (formally Seanachai), she graduated from Northwestern’s Theatre School and trained at the Yale School of Drama’s “Midsummer in Oxford” program. She has worked all over the country, particularly in Chicago, L.A. and NYC, and her work has been produced/filmed all over the globe. She currently teaches scene study at Berg Studios as well as at Antaeus Theatre (where she is head of casting, as well as a long-time ensemble member); she also teaches Shakespeare, poetry and storytelling to incarcerated youth and former gang members at various institutions here in L.A. including Homeboy Industries. As a director, she has worked with Warriors For Peace, Antaeus Theatre, as well as for the L.A. Museum of the Holocaust’s annual theatre program, “Voices of History”. As a solo performer, her work began at N.U. in Dietrich: The Blue Angel; she has since performed at other college campuses and venues in NYC and Chicago, as well as at D.C.’s Capitol Fringe Fest in Stanley Ann: The Unlikely Story of Barack Obama’s Mother. The piece was also workshopped at the Kirk Douglas and the Powerhouse, and ran at L.A.’s LGBT Center where she also worked personally with Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner on the ensembled re-boot of Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Ann is currently workshopping a brand new one-woman play, Wednesday’s Child, written by Wendy Graf, directed by Laura Gardner. She also serves as a chaplain in the L.A. County jails.
Fridays and Sundays 12-3 PM
May 14, 16, 21, 23.
June 4, 6, 11, 13.
Cost: $250 student price (you must be currently enrolled in a scene study class to receive the student discount) / $300 non-student price
Alexander Technique in Acting with Kristof Konrad
In April/May, due to popular demand, we will once again be offering the opportunity to study with one of the foremost instructors of the Alexander Technique, Kristof Konrad, in a six-week, online intensive, called “Alexander Technique in Acting”.
We are keeping the number of students to 15 so there are very limited spots for this exciting workshop. Signups are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kristof teaches Intensive Acting in Film and Alexander Technique Workshops in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Berlin, Toronto, and Vancouver and at his studio here in Los Angeles, Alexander Techworks. In the U.S., he has taught at the Larry Moss Studio, the 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 Whitaker, Kenneth Branagh, Cobie Smulders,
The study of the Alexander Technique is required at the finest drama conservatories around the world, including the Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School, ACT, 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.
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.
April 22nd, 29th.
May 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th.
Thursdays 11 AM to 1 PM PST
$250 student price (you must be currently enrolled in a scene study class to receive the student discount)
$300 non-student price
Acting the Song: A workshop for singers and non-singers alike
Berg Studios is very excited to announce the return of this 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 lyrics and convey the emotional quality of a song.
Starting in May, this 6-week course will meet twice a week, and focus on the 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!
Workshop Description: Acting the Song: A Workshop for singers and non-singers alike.
Prior to the first class, the students will receive a class-by-class breakdown, an outline of the techniques used 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 the 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.
- Weekly assignments.
- Help in 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 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.
When: Mondays and Fridays, 11 AM to 2 PM PST
$350 Student price
$400 Non-student price
These prices work out to between $10 and $11 per class, an incredible deal for this type of personal instruction!
There are limited spots available. Please call or email the office if you are interested in signing up.
Yat Malmgren Workshop Online with James Kemp! April 2021 at Berg Studios
We are thrilled to welcome back London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts’ (LAMDA) instructor James Kemp for an intensive workshop of Yat Malmgren movement psychology.
James was selected by Yat Malmgren to teach this work and taught alongside him at the famed Drama Centre in London. He is recognized internationally as the leading instructor of this technique. James’s past students include Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, and Emilia Clarke.
This work is generally taught at institutions abroad like LAMDA, the Drama Center in London, and the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia. A partial list of actors trained in the Yat Malmgren technique includes Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, and Gwendolyn Christie.
We are very proud to be one of a very small number of institutions in the United States currently offering this discipline.
There is a lot I have to be grateful for as an actor
but I would not have much if not for the inspirational
teaching of James Kemp. His use and teaching of
the “Yat Method” changed my view of what acting could
be both as an observer and a participant
– Emilia Clarke (Mother of Dragons)
Here is a brief video with James discussing the technique: https://vimeo.com/159617145
About the Yat Malmgren Technique:
This work is based upon the work of two pioneers of 20th Century performance research: Rudolf Laban and Yat Malmgren. In these classes, you will be introduced to a theory and practice which breaks down all expressive movements into their constituent parts and links them to the deep-seated psychological impulses which underpin them. From these building blocks ‘character’ can be constructed, either from scratch as a creative act, or from a close analysis of an already existing script as an act of accurate and imaginative interpretation.
This work provides an accurate and complete way of describing human behavior and its dramatic representation, giving a practitioner the tools to transform their bodies and minds at will into the shape, form, and thoughts of a new character, either subtly or profoundly. It provides a way to create nuanced and detailed characterizations, and to access inner sensations ripe for use in dramatic circumstances, and otherwise hard to stimulate.
Workshop Description: Character Analysis & Movement Psychology/The Yat Malmgren Technique
At the heart of the work is the concept that we think with our bodies. Our bodies are revelatory of our inner workings, our psyche, thoughts, and feelings. Therefore if we could learn to harness and manifest our inner sensations and express them through our bodies we would be able to share every inner desire, want, thought, or emotion with a watching audience. And in turn, that audience would be able to ‘read’ our thoughts, and character, and be thoroughly engaged in our dramatic lives.
By the end of the presentation, you will be looking at the world through new eyes, being able to ‘read’ the movements of those around you for meaning and to create physically expressive characterizations which both excite the imagination and serve the writers’ intentions.
About the Instructor:
James Kemp trained at Drama Centre London, subsequently pursued an acting career that encompassed a number of long-running West End shows. In 1998 James was invited back to Drama Centre London to work alongside and assist Dr. Yat Malmgren in the teaching of Movement Psychology (inspired by the pioneering work of Rudolf Laban), and upon the retirement of Dr. Malmgren in 2001 he inherited his work and further developed this field of study and practice through workshops for Stage Centre, Israel; the International Workshop Festival; Caravanserai Acting Studio; Beit Zvi School Of Performing Arts; Beit Lessin Theatre, Tel Aviv; LAMDA and as ‘Laban Consultant’ at the Young Vic.
His many successful students have included: Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, Emilia Clarke, Santiago Cabrera, Stephen Wight, Jaime Murray, Gwendoline Christie, Morven Christie, Damien Molony, Tamla Kari, Jodie McNee, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Bradley James, Ruta Gedmintas, Rolan Bell, John Dagleish, Lily Cole and many others. His students have won acting honors from BAFTA, Venice International Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), Laurence Olivier Awards, London Evening Standard Film Awards, London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, London Film Critics Circle Awards, Los Angles Film Critics Association Awards & National Board of Review Awards, amongst many others. Their Nominations have included European Film Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards & Golden Globes awards plus many others.
DATES: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM PST
April 13th, 15th, 20nd, 22th, 27th, and 29th
FEE: $350 students / $400 non-students
Voice and Speech Intensive: March/April
Berg Studios is excited to announce a new Voice and Speech Intensive taught by Tessa Auberjonois starting in March/April!
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 intensive course will teach a preliminary voice and speech warm-up, give you an excellent understanding of the mechanics of articulation (essential for accent work), as well as how to explore text vocally.
Class 1: Relaxation and body awareness. Identifying articulators. Speech warmup intro.
Class 2: Breathwork. Speech drills.
Class 3: Unformed Sound and adding pitch. Speech drills. Beginning to drop text in using sounds and imagery.
Class 4: Gathering vocal vibrations on the lips. Sound and movement, exploring sounds in text.
Class 5: Review vocal warm-up and speech drills.
Class 6: Freeing the neck. Text exploration with movement.
Class 7: Opening the channel: jaw, tongue, and soft palate. Beginning to perform text.
Class 8: Review of Vocal warm-up and Speech drills. Beginning to perform 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 focuses on relaxation, body and breath work as the foundation for free expression, and will consist of some active floor and movement 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
April 2nd, 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th, 20th, and 23rd.
Cost: $280 for 8 classes**