B.A. in Theatre (Concentration in Acting) from Muhlenberg College
5 years of teaching experience – before Wharton, interned at Paper Mill Playhouse, co-taught workshops for Allentown, PA children while in college, co-taught workshops for elementary age in Summit while a student at Summit High School. Through Wharton, have taught FlexSchool, Gillette School in NJ, Millington School in NJ, Franklin Elementary School in Summit, NJ. Also: Far Brook School in Short Hills, NJ.
What do students need to bring to their first lesson?
Water, notebook and pen (pencil for script), clothes to move around in, shoes good for moving, way to keep hair out of face.
Depending on the age and experience level, the early goals revolve around gaining comfort and confidence speaking and taking risks. Silliness and loudness are encouraged! Many students struggle to allow themselves to release any insecurities, so that’s often a big first challenge. In addition, the goals of stagecraft—being seen and heard onstage in a practical way (stage directions, how to move onstage, how to project one’s voice), and character development—creating and analyzing characters from a three-dimensional lens using both physical and analytical means.
I pull from Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Mesiner, and other schools of acting thought, but don’t require students to purchase books. I instead give out worksheets that break down these methods.
Weekly is a good default, though twice per week is also great. Every other week or less frequently is okay as long as the student commits to their practice, memorization, etc.
The theatre and musical theater staff at Wharton Arts offer a variety of excellent classes that any student would enjoy; classes are tailored to age and experience-level. In the spring I usually co-teach Theatre Explorers with Timothy Cole, and additionally, any number private lesson package would suit a student’s growth as an actor or musical theater performer, as we would assess the student’s current knowledge and build a plan from there.