Notes from a Teaching Artist: Fall Courses

johnheadshotOnce a month, expect a blog entry for Notes from a Teaching Artist, a Brelby Buzz series from my noisy brain that casts a wide net, covering topics related to educational theatre and theatre artistry.

I hope you’ll participate in this monthly series by posting comments on Facebook, by catching me in person at Brelby, or by contacting me. I can be reached at

Let’s jump in!

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We are fully underway in our fall classes and are almost finished our first series of workshops. Our Musical Theatre Intensive and Introduction to Improv classes are going well and will end on October 22.

Our musical theatre class, lead by C.J. O’Hara and Shelby Maticic, has been exploring a wide range of songs and styles. Students have been learning solos, duets/trios, and ensemble numbers. Not only is our Musical Theatre Intensive fun, it’s also a great way to prepare audition material while exploring and expanding knowledge related to musicals and one’s voice. Specifically, C.J. and Shelby have been working with students to identify songs that are not only challenging, but also best showcase a student’s voice. Our goal is that our 6 week class will prepare students with experience and knowledge well beyond the end of the course.

Devon Mahon’s Intro to Improv course has been introducing students to a wide range of foundational knowledge for improv while building community amongst the class. Some of our students are beginners—and some have a bit more experience, but are looking to expand their skills in a fun environment. Devon’s knowledgeable, caring, calm, and entertaining approach to improv is a great combination for anyone who is nervous about jumping into improv. If you have thought about improv, but were never sure if you’d be able to do it, be on the lookout for future opportunities to take a class with Devon! If you already have experience with improv and are looking for something challenging…hold that thought!

Our next set of classes kick off on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6. We will be offering Introduction to Acting and Advanced Improv! Classes run for 6 weeks, ending the weekend of December 17 & 18 (with no classes held Thanksgiving weekend).

Intro to Acting, taught by Jenny Gantwerker (currently playing Lady MacBeth in Brelby’s upcoming production!), will focus on monologues and scene study exercises from a wide range of plays. Our goal is to introduce students to foundational knowledge and skills for acting. Additionally, each student will leave the class having at least one monologue prepared for future auditions.

Advanced Improv, taught by David Magadan (One of the directors of Brelby’s Improv Team Results May Vary!), coaches students through creative challenges to increase spontaneity and to discover deeper, imaginative choices within improvisation. Students should have a basic knowledge of improvisation before signing up for the course. That doesn’t mean you need to be a pro! If you’ve done improv before—even a little bit—and it’s something you find fun and exciting, we’d love to have you in class!

We’re able to keep our costs low for students. Each course is only $75! That’s 6 weeks of 2 hour classes—that’s about $6 per hour for instruction! I’m sure you’d agree…that’s a serious bargain.

So…what are you waiting for? Join us starting the first weekend of November for Intro to Acting, Advanced Improv…or both!

For more information and to register:

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As always, let me know if there is something specific you would like me to write about by posting a comment or emailing me at Also, if you have any questions, please email me.


Thanks for reading!


– j 🙂

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