Welcome to The PIT Comedy School!

Looking to find laughter in this time of social distancing? Use the tabs to the left to check out our online classes for improv, stand-up, sketch writing, acting, producing & so much more!
Student Resources

Black Lives Matter

We have updated our Standards of Conduct, instituted a new ACCESS scholarship for students from diverse backgrounds, & several other measures dedicated to making active strides to become not just inclusive, but actively anti-racist to reach equity of representation and opportunity in all of our spaces.

Please visit the link below to learn more about the steps we are taking, resources, and actionable ways to help.

Details

Frequently Asked Questions

After you register for a remote class, you will receive a confirmation email. Your confirmation email will include: receipt of purchase, class dates, grad show date (if applicable) and all necessary ZOOM links.

*Oftentimes your confirmation email will go to your spam folder. Please check your spam folder before emailing us.

Due to COVID-19 and the temporary closure of our spaces, we are offering online remote classes via Zoom taught by a live instructor.

In-person classes would usually take place at Simple Studios, located at 134 W 29th St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001.

You do not have to be based in NYC to take our classes! We connect and teach students from all over the world. All you need is a stable internet connection and the device you’re using to read this web page.

If you purchased an “Auditor” ticket, that means you have agreed to pay a reduced price to observe a class only. Your audio and video will be turned off by the host.

Multiple session classes can range anywhere between 3-8 classes and 55 minutes-3 hours in length, depending on the class. Multiple session classes might also have remote grad shows. Grad shows provide students the opportunity to perform what they have been working on in class with their friends, family and peers.

Single session classes are one day only. They can range anywhere between 55 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the class.

Drop-in’s are single session classes that run for a total of 55 minutes.

*All classes require students to have ZOOM in order to participate.
*Depending on overall class size, the overall session time may be cut shorter at the discretion of the instructor.

Digital Packet Classes will be taught remotely via Canvas allowing students to “learn at their own pace.” Students will need access to a computer. New lessons and assignments will be dropped on Monday throughout the course. Each video lesson will cover a variety of skills which students will use to complete their weekly assignment. They’ll have until Friday to watch each prerecorded video lesson and submit the assignment.

Check out our Free Monthly Seminars!

In order to maintain accessibility, and to acknowledge our role as a gatekeeper of training and knowledge, we’re proud to announce our new free monthly seminars. Seminars are 40 minutes long and are open enrollment.

See this month’s free offering below, and sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know when new free seminars are up!

Online Auditioning For An SNL Type Show, 11/2

Monday 11/2 8:30 pm

Instructor: Ali Reza Farahnakian

In July of 1999 I auditioned for SNL. I was at The Second City at the time. I had one week from when I found out to put together 3 characters and 3 impersonations in under 5 minutes to be recorded on the monologue stage at 8h inside 30 Rock. After a day of paralysis and panic,  I got to work, with my Second City Director Jeff Richmond. What I was able to do there has made all the difference in my life. Don't wait until you get the call, get ready now. Q+A based.

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Online Intro To Self Producing Seminar, 11/9

Monday 11/9 6:00 pm

Instructors: Stephen Stout, Will Purpura

 Want to start producing your own work, but don't know where to start? Intro to Self-Producing is a series of free workshops facilitated by members of the PIT Artistic Staff that will help you clarify your goals, get organized, and get a plan. Each session is a self-contained workshop meant to help address particular producing challenges and goals, sign up for as many or as few as you like.

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Online Intro To Self Producing Seminar, 11/23

Monday 11/23 6:00 pm

Instructors: Matt Prigge, Will Purpura

  Want to start producing your own work, but don't know where to start? Intro to Self-Producing is a series of free workshops facilitated by members of the PIT Artistic Staff that will help you clarify your goals, get organized, and get a plan. Each session is a self-contained workshop meant to help address particular producing challenges and goals, sign up for as many or as few as you like.

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Introducing our Youth Classes!

See our youth classes offerings below, and sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know when new youth classes are up!

Signing up for a Youth Class:
Please fill out the registration form and our classes team will get back to you with payment info. Make sure to indicate on the registration form which class you are interested in taking.

Registration For Youth Classes

Scholarships:
There are 4 Access Scholarship seats reserved in each class, as well as a number of 1/2 Off Scholarships available. If you are interested in registering your student for a scholarship seat, please indicate so in the registration form and apply on our Scholarships page. Make sure to indicate on the scholarship application form which class you are interested in registering your student for.

View Scholarships


 

Online Joy Of Improv, 10/26

Monday 10/26 – Monday 11/16

Instructor: Sunny Atwal

No pressure Improv. Dip your toe into the joyous pool of improv- 0% fear, 100% fun. This is the perfect place for absolute beginners to get acquainted with the art of longform improvisation. Every week you will play in a safe and positive class environment with group exercises and scenework. It’s the perfect spoonful of improv, come have a taste! Please note that there is no graduation show for this class.

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Online Level 1 Improv: Introduction to Improv, 10/27

Tuesday 10/27-Thursday 11/19 (skips 11/3), 6-8pm

Instructor: Dana Shulman

In this class you will use scene work and group exercises to explore the joy of improvisation, be more confident, trusting and graceful on stage. Learn  “Yes, and…!” until you have to say “No, thank you”. Focus on positive choices to initiate scenes, real-life and character monologues grounded in TRUTH! The PIT’s Intro to Improv class creates a rich and nurturing environment that will benefit your physical, emotional and mental health.  A final, remote, graduation performance at the PIT for friends, family, and others.” Spread the Word!

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Online The Ultimate Improv Jam, 11/3

Wednesday 11/4 7:00 pm

Instructor: Sunny Atwal

A fun way to practice the art of improvisational comedy for all experience levels! Come jam out with other players for 35 minutes of Short Form Games followed by 35 minutes of long form, scene building! Be prepared to have fun in our new virtual world!

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Online Level 3 Improv, 11/9

Monday 11/9 – Friday 12/4

Instructor: Patrick McCartney

In level 3 you will continue to focus on strong listening and reacting without interrupting your scene partner. Making sure “the beginning  of your sentence doesn’t get in the way of the middle of theirs”. You will reinforce saying “Yes, and...!” Until you have to say “no thank you”. Work on the first-second and third beats of two person scenes as well as continuing to focus on editing by following your foot connected to your gut and heart to edit scenes at the height. Learn how to “heighten and tighten” a scene organically glued in reality to create “win-win” fun scenes to play to entertain yourself and others while “treating your partner like a genius”.

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Online Improv Workshop: Bull/Matador, 11/14

Saturday 11/14 7:00 pm

Instructor: Chris Griggs

Bull/Matador (created by former Pitizen Matt Donnelly) is a signature improv scene technique that gets performers out of their heads by reacting to body language rather than over thinking about the dialogue. We’re also going to explore game of the improv scene and how to use it in scene-work. We’ll cover heightening, finding it, playing multiple games at once. Great workshop for those new to playing game and improvisers wanting to brush up their skills.

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Online Joy of Improv, 11/15

Sunday 11/15 – Sunday 12/6

Instructor: Kihresha Redmond

No pressure Improv. Dip your toe into the joyous pool of improv- 0% fear, 100% fun. This is the perfect place for absolute beginners to get acquainted with the art of longform improvisation. Every week you will play in a safe and positive class environment with group exercises and scenework. It’s the perfect spoonful of improv, come have a taste! Please note that there is no graduation show for this class.

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Online Consistency Is Key, 11/17

Tuesday 11/17 – Tuesday 12/22

Instructor: Jenn Bianchi

How do you become the player that *everyone* wants to be in scenes with? It is not being the funniest one on stage, but rather being a consistently great teammate. Using the fundamental building blocks of improv you can be a strong player with a consistent method of play. This six-week class focuses on finding the fun by listening, making bold choices, and treating your partner like a genius.

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Online Level 5 Improv: Teach The Teacher!, 11/17

Tuesday 11/17 – Tuesday 12/15

Instructor: Mandy Schmieder

  “To know, read, to learn, write, to master, teach.” In this class you will continue to study Longform improvisation and be guided by a seasoned instructor as to how to coach improv by running the warm up, running exercises and giving notes on scenes by both side coaching and post scene notes. Taking turns doing that at some point throughout the class. 

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Online Remote Level 2 Improv, 11/18

Wednesday 11/18 – Monday 12/14

Instructor: Chris Griggs

In level 2 you will continue to focus on strong listening and reacting without interrupting your scene partner. Making sure “the beginning  of your sentence doesn’t get in the way of the middle of theirs”. You will reinforce saying “Yes, and...!” Until you have to say “no thank you”. The goal will be to be able to do a first and second beat of a 2 person scene using the tool of a “time-dash” either going forward or backward in time. Personal, truthful, monologues will also be part of the tool box that will benefit all aspects of life and performance. Editing will be introduced so performers know when it’s time to enter a scene and edit a scene with walk on’s and sweep edits.

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Online Level 1 Improv: Introduction to Improv, 11/30

Monday 11/30-Wednesday 12/16, 6-8pm

Instructor: Dana Shulman

In this class you will use scene work and group exercises to explore the joy of improvisation, be more confident, trusting and graceful on stage. Learn  “Yes, and…!” until you have to say “No, thank you”. Focus on positive choices to initiate scenes, real-life and character monologues grounded in TRUTH! The PIT’s Intro to Improv class creates a rich and nurturing environment that will benefit your physical, emotional and mental health.  A final, remote, graduation performance at the PIT for friends, family, and others.” Spread the Word!

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Online Approach to Dramatic Improv, 11/30

Monday 11/30 – Tuesday 12/15

Instructor: Kimberly Alu

While improv is almost exclusively spoken about within the comedic world, improvisation can be a huge asset to dramatic acting. In this two hour intensive, we will explore character objective, fears and desires, emotional commitment, and much more. Think of this as an acting class you don’t have to prep a monologue or scene for. 

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Online Joy Of Improv, 11/30

Monday 11/30 – Monday 12/21

Instructor: Sunny Atwal

No pressure Improv. Dip your toe into the joyous pool of improv- 0% fear, 100% fun. This is the perfect place for absolute beginners to get acquainted with the art of longform improvisation. Every week you will play in a safe and positive class environment with group exercises and scenework. It’s the perfect spoonful of improv, come have a taste! Please note that there is no graduation show for this class.

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Online Start an Indie Improv Team, 12/2

Wednesday 12/2 – Wednesday 1/6

Instructor: Kimberly Alu

Combine forces with improvisers from all over the country to become the newest, virtual indie improv team! Together, you and your new teammates will spend 6 weeks developing a brand new form, performing once a week, and learning all the ins and outs of having a successful indie improv team. This class meets every Wednesday evening 6-8pm ET PLUS you will be required to perform every Monday evening at 8:30pm ET (25 minute show + notes) on the @SociallyDistantImprov comedy network. Show dates: 12/07, 12/14, 12/21, 12/28, 01/04, 01/11 at 8:30pm ET on Sociall Distant Improv Network.

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Online Fundamentals of a Form, 12/3

Thursday 12/3 – Saturday 12/19

Instructor: Kimberly Alu

In this six-part class, we will explore the fundamentals of six different improv forms. Come out of the quarantine with the knowledge and tools to jump onstage and perform with confidence.  La Ronde, Family Portrait, Slacker, Spokane, Meanwhile, Documentary.

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Online Sketch Level 2, 10/27

Tuesday 10/27 – Tuesday 12/8

Instructor: Matt Prigge

In Sketch Writing Level 2: Building Your Packet, students will utilize the skills developed in "Sketch Writing Level 1" to write sketches in a series of classic formats. Mastering the modern sketch comedy standards -  commercial parodies, character pieces, topical sketches, and many more - is the primary goal of this class, as students will begin to fine-tune and hone their personal sketch comedy voice. By the end of this class, students will have written five original sketches, and will be well on their way to having a polished, professional sketch writing packet.

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Online Joy Of Sketch, 11/9

Monday 11/9 – Thursday 11/19

Instructor: Matt Prigge

Discover the fun of sketch comedy writing, this 4 week starter remote class! Perfect for beginners looking to put their sketch ideas to the page for the first time. Learn the basics of pitching, outlining, drafting and revision. Collaborate with other new writers and laugh in a low-pressure writer's room.

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Online Your One Person Band, 11/10

Tuesday 11/10 – Tuesday 12/15

Instructor: LaGina Hill

Learn the basics of writing a solo sketch character. This class is ideal for people who want to explore the original characters in their heads with the goal of having a solo show or character reel. By the end of the class, you will have one solid character that you will perform that can be the basis of your future solo character show. Depending on your drive, you may end the class with up to three characters (fully fleshed out or the skeleton/idea).Session One: students will bring three character pitches. We will use improv exercises to initiate character premises based on the pitches and participate in a pitch round table. Session Two (and beyond) we will perform first drafts and get notes. Students will have homework between every session (re-writes, punch ups, or a new/ or previously pitched character). By Session 4 you will decide on one character to take forward to the Grad Performance.  Grad Performance: The last week meets twice for a Tech and the live performance.

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Online Level 1 Stand-Up: Introduction to Stand-Up, 10/25

Sunday 10/25 – Sunday 11/29

Instructor: Chris Griggs

There’s nothing more exhilarating than performing stand up comedy, it can be intimidating.  More of a guide than a conventional class, this goal-oriented program will get you up there doing stand up for the first time. You will come out of this class with disciplined writing tools, informative personal feedback and important advice, as you begin your stand up comedy journey. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced in other walks of comedy life, this class is for you. Class culminates in an online stand-up show, where students present their first 3 minutes of material.

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Online Womxn’s Stand Up Part 2, 10/29

Thursday 10/29 – Thursday 12/3

Instructor: Christi Chiello

This class is available for those who have taken a Womxn's course at the PIT or female comedians with stand up experience. In this 5 week course, you can expect to polish your existing material, get in depth feedback for auditions and submissions, challenge yourself to expand with various comedic styles, perfect your persona and learn additional skills like hosting and warm-up work. This class is for those comics wanting to take that elusive "next step" in their comedy careers. How does one go from doing open mics to becoming a professional working comedian? Learn how to build a brand, market yourself, evolve as a professional comedian and get opportunities within the festival circuit and comedy clubs in your city!    *There is no class on Thanksgiving. *Included in this course is one 40 minute private writing session with Christi.

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Online What’s Your Funny, 11/3

Tuesday 11/3 – Tuesday 12/15

Instructor: David Rey Martinez

Have you ever taken a class and felt like there wasn't enough work done in class? Or are you fresh to comedy and want some kind of foundation? Do you want to write in class then share with your classmates or just with your teacher? Do you want a 60 minute private writing session where we dig deep into what you want to write about no matter how dark or light it is? If you want to really do comedy or just have economical therapy for 6 weeks then take this class. Also there will be a class show to showcase and to practice the new material.  

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Online Level 1 Stand-Up, 11/9

Monday 11/9 – Monday 12/14

Instructor: Nicole Korkolis

There’s nothing more exhilarating than performing stand up comedy, it can be intimidating.  More of a guide than a conventional class, this goal-oriented program will get you up there doing stand up for the first time. You will come out of this class with disciplined writing tools, informative personal feedback and important advice, as you begin your stand up comedy journey. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced in other walks of comedy life, this class is for you. Class culminates in an online stand-up show, where students present their first 3 minutes of material.

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Online Level 3 Stand-Up, 11/11

Wednesday 11/11 – Wednesday 12/16

Instructor: Stephanie Holmes

Once you start getting booked to do other people’s shows in the world of stand up and you’re adding on to your open mic time, you will be given 7 minutes on their show.  That seven minutes will help you grow to be an opening act.

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Online Stand-Up Drop In, 11/13

Friday 11/13 7:00 pm

Instructor: Chris Griggs

First timers and those new to stand-up welcome! Wanna write your first joke or work on those jokes you have?  In this drop-in, we focus on joke structure, editing, and polishing. Laughter is healing and let’s make this time productive as well.

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Online Level 1 Storytelling, 11/8

Sunday 11/8 – Sunday 12/13

Instructor: Lisa Whitten

In this class, you will take moments from your past and bring them to life.  Jump right into the craft of storytelling!  From clearly establishing the arc of a story to using dialogue to create character, learn how to keep the audience completely gripped.  In a nurturing space, receive feedback that will boost your confidence and skill as a storyteller.  You will share one story at a final, remote, graduation performance at The PIT for your friends, family, and others.

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Online Character Videos & Digital Presence, 11/11

Wednesday 11/11 – Wednesday 12/16

Instructor: Magda Cychowski

Learn how to write, shoot, and  edit your own front-facing character videos in the new "age" of digital comedy! At the end of this class, you'll have one edited video, as well as the tools to keep creating. In addition, you'll learn tips and tricks for building a website, adding subtitles, putting together a reel and where/how to submit for auditions during this uncertain time.

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Online Small Group Life Coaching, 11/9

Monday 11/9 6:00 pm

Instructor: Taren Sterry

Taren Sterry is an ICF certified professional coach who has been teaching improv at the PIT for 15 years. In this small group class, you’ll be guided through some powerful exercises that will help you look at fear and the future in new ways. Get ready for some improv, getting out of your comfort zone, and challenging the ways you automatically relate to life and life’s circumstances so you can move forward powerfully. This class cannot be audited, full on-camera participation is required.

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Online Intro To Public Speaking, 11/19

Thursday 11/19 – Thursday 12/17

Instructor: Sunny Atwal

  There is an art to public speaking that can bring out new versions of the self that most people can't begin to imagine. Whether you are terrified, interested, or love stage time, this public speaking class will push you to new limits and build new levels of confidence in your everyday conversations or your next big public speech. We will focus on how to keep audience attention with introductions, delivery, and purpose. 

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Online Write Your Own Screenplay, 10/27

Tuesday 10/27 7:00 pm

Instructor: Joe Whelski

Have a great idea for a screenplay but don’t know where to start? In this course, I take you through every step needed to start on the journey of writing your own screenplay. We’ll get specific on: Genre, audience, where the movie can live, how it can be marketed, is it an indie or Hollywood film, best screenplay databases for Hollywood scripts, key industry books for best practices, looking at software options, script formatting rules, looking at a writing schedule that is productive and works for your schedule, the credits of a screenplay and what they can mean from a compensation standpoint, and more. You get the links, resources, and knowledge so you can dive in right away!

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This video editing class will be taught remotely via Canvas allowing students to “learn at their own pace” and on their own time. There is a kickoff Zoom meeting on 11/2 but the remainder of the course is completely online and the teacher will be available for help via the Canvas messaging forum. Students will be emailed an access link to the Canvas course on the first day of class, Monday, 11/2. Students will need a computer and access to Adobe Premiere Pro. This is a four week course with new lessons/ assignments posted on Mondays and due on Fridays. Each video lesson will cover a variety of skills which students will use to complete their weekly assignment. The last assignment will be posted on Monday, 11/23 and will be due the following Monday on 11/30 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.  

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Online Auditioning Techniques, 11/7

Saturday 11/7 – Saturday 12/12

Instructor: Geovonday Jones

All levels welcome. For both stage and on-camera audition tips and techniques. This class is designed to help the actor approach auditions and callbacks with confidence and a skillful approach to the work. Learn the tools needed to tackle monologues, audition sides, cold readings, interviews, and more. Learn the skills used to combat fear and anxiety that comes with auditioning. Learn how to use what you’ve got and make it work for you. Learn how to search for and book auditions, agents, managers, and more. Come to the first day with a memorized monologue for immediate coaching and your most recent headshot and resume for feedback. 4 seats in this class will be reserved for Access Scholarship Students. Please apply here: https://form.jotform.com/201536461858056

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Online Pilot Writing: Pitch To Outline, 11/9

Monday 11/9 – Monday 12/14

Instructor: Jerry Minor

Preparing to write YOUR awesome half hour pilot! Jerry Minor Actor/Writer SNL, Mr. Show,  Carpoolers, Community, Arrested Development, has written and sold pilots and been in many half hour television pilots and will take you through the process of shaping, pitching and then outlining to prepare to write that awesome pilot you’ve been meaning to write for way too long.

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Online Character Videos & Digital Presence, 11/11

Wednesday 11/11 – Wednesday 12/16

Instructor: Magda Cychowski

Learn how to write, shoot, and  edit your own front-facing character videos in the new "age" of digital comedy! At the end of this class, you'll have one edited video, as well as the tools to keep creating. In addition, you'll learn tips and tricks for building a website, adding subtitles, putting together a reel and where/how to submit for auditions during this uncertain time.

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Online How To Solo Show, 11/17

Tuesday 11/17 – Tuesday 12/22

Instructor: Patrick McCartney

Last year @thepatrickmac wrote and performed the critically acclaimed solo show “Sinister Kid” and directed the highly regarded one woman show “God Girl”. Now he’d like to help you create the story you need to tell. In this six week session you will learn how to write and perform your very own solo show. It will be a process that is as rewarding as it is difficult. We will be vulnerable, find light in the darkness, streamline a usually complicated story and reveal truths about the human condition that can only be touched on in the art of the solo show. For more info on  Patrick McCartney go to www.patmccartney.com

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Online Scene Study From The BIPOC Viewpoint, 11/24

Tuesday 11/24 – Tuesday 12/29

Instructor: Geovonday Jones

Open to all levels, from intermediate to professional actors. In this unapologetic class you will develop a practical system of preparation, script analysis, rehearsing, and performing scenes from an exclusively BIPOC list of playwrights. Using an action-based technique, you will work to find authenticity, truth, and honesty in scene work and performance, whether it’s for theatre, film, or TV. Also, acting exercises, character work, and actioning techniques will be used to further strengthen the actor’s performance. Rehearsals with scene partners outside of class is a requirement. Scenes are presented in class for feedback and coaching. 4 Access Scholarship Seats will be reserved in this class. Please apply here to reserve a seat: https://form.jotform.com/201536461858056  

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This video editing class will be taught remotely via Canvas allowing students to “learn at their own pace” and on their own time. There is a kickoff Zoom meeting on 11/2 but the remainder of the course is completely online and the teacher will be available for help via the Canvas messaging forum. Students will be emailed an access link to the Canvas course on the first day of class, Monday, 11/2. Students will need a computer and access to Adobe Premiere Pro. This is a four week course with new lessons/ assignments posted on Mondays and due on Fridays. Each video lesson will cover a variety of skills which students will use to complete their weekly assignment. The last assignment will be posted on Monday, 11/23 and will be due the following Monday on 11/30 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.  

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