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JUNE 22-24
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM Saturday and Sunday

MTC Studio 2




A 3-day Classical Workout to get your technique toned and your classical muscles in super shape. This fast and furious classical acting workshop includes voice, text analysis, and scene work. Come work with Red Bull Founder and Artistic Director Jesse Berger, Director Ethan McSweeny, and 2018 Obie Award Recipient Chukwudi Iwuji along with other top professionals who will take you from voice and text work to on-your-feet-scene work with an in depth exploration of the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.  For actors of all ages and experience - Burst into summer with your Shakespeare technique toned and your classical muscles bulging!


Essential Question:

How do actors use their vocal and physical instruments along with the study of verse to fully explore and unlock the essential truth of Shakespeare's plays ?  How can we utilize those same skills to be more effective scene partners, listeners, and creative communicators on stage and in rehearsal


Course Objectives:

  • Increase the flexibility of your physical and vocal instrument

  • Develop a greater awareness of your body and voice

  • Explore exercises for delivering Shakespeare’s language with nuance and truth

  • Explore how Shakespeare utilizes verse, text and rhetoric to create complex characters

  • Learn how to create the true life of your character and his surroundings in a monologue setting


Enduring Understandings:

Shakespeare’s verse is a tool to be used, one that Shakespeare himself honed over the course of his career. Like any tool, it requires training to use it effectively. A flexible, confident voice and body are essential for effective presentation of a character on the stage. A deep understanding of the evolution of Shakespeare’s use of verse, his use of rhythms and rhetoric, his experimentation with irregular verse is essential to delving the hidden depths of Shakespeare’s later plays.  


Schedule and Materials


JESSE BERGER is the founding and producing artistic director of Red Bull Theater, Jesse Berger has directed productions of Pericles, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Edward the Second, Women Beware Women, The Duchess of Malfi, The Witch of Edmonton, The Maids, Volpone, Loot, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, The Changeling, and The Government Inspector.  Jesse’s adaptations of The Revenger’s Tragedy and Women Beware Women are published by Dramatists Play Service. Jesse has also directed in New York and across the country at such theaters as Denver Center Theatre Company (Richard III), The Old Globe (Othello), Pittsburgh Public Theatre (The Laramie Project, I Am My Own Wife, Life X 3, A Number, Circle Mirror Transformation, An Iliad, Venus in Fur), PlayMakers Repertory (An Iliad), Barrington Stage (Sleuth, Absurd Person Singular), New York Theater Workshop's Larson Lab, SoHo Rep, Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab at Here, Theaterworks/USA, The Pearl Theatre, Urban Stages, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Dorset Theatre Festival, Theatre J, the Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Hamptons, and St. Louis Shakespeare Festivals, the Asolo Theatre Company, Washington Shakespeare Company (Marat/Sade), among others. Jesse has also helped develop new plays at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and the Playwright’s Center.  He has been thrice-nominated for the SDC Joe A. Callaway Award for excellence in directing productions at Red Bull Theater: for The Witch of Edmonton and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. His production of The Maids was nominated as Outstanding Revival by both the Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards, and he received a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Direction of Marat/Sade.

Jesse has taught and directed at the Juilliard School of Drama, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, Columbia University, the Shakespeare Theatre Academy for Classical Acting, University of Texas-Austin, the Guthrie Theater/University of Minnesota, Bard College, New School/Lang College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Michael Howard Studios, and the American Academy of Dramatic Art.

SUSAN FINCH has been teaching voice and speech for over twenty-five years. She currently teaches at The Juilliard School, where she is an alumna of their Drama Division. She also teaches at NYU’s Atlantic Theater Acting School, where, as Head of the Speech Department for twenty-three years, she created their undergraduate speech-training curriculum. Recent coaching includes The Public Theater's Richard III Mobile Unit and Shakespeare On The Sound's Much Ado About Nothing.

ETHAN MCSWEENY is an internationally acclaimed freelance director based in New York City whose work over the past two decades has been distinguished by both remarkable diversity and breadth of achievement.  In New York his direction includes Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards) and John Logan’s Never the Sinner (Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Awards) as well as world premieres by Kate Fodor, Jason Grote, and Thomas Bradshaw among others.  Internationally, he has spent two seasons at the celebrated Stratford Festival in Ontario Canada, staged multiple shows for The Gate in Dublin including A Streetcar Named Desire (Irish Times Award for Best Director), and recently toured his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to open 2016 Macao Arts Festival in China.  Nationally, he has directed more than eighty productions of new plays, revivals, and musicals on many of the preeminent stages in the country including the Guthrie, the Goodman, the Old Globe, the Denver Center, the Alley, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Rep, Center Stage, Wilma, Westport, George Street, the Pittsburgh Public, Arena Stage, and a string of classics for the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington DC, where he is an affiliated artist.  His work has been recognized with multiple awards and nominations including citations from the Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle, Tony, Irish Times, Helen Hayes, Jefferson, Barrymore, San Diego Critics Circle, Ovation, OCIE, and Star-Tribune awards among others. From 2004-2011, he was the co-artistic director of the Chautauqua Theatre Company. More information, and pictures, is at

MIRIAM SILVERMAN currently teaches Acting, Voice & Speech and Text Analysis at Marymount Manhattan College, in the Graduate Acting Program at New York University, as well as the Tom Todoroff Conservatory.  She has served on the faculty at Brooklyn College, HB Studio, NYCDA, PPAS, University of Iowa and teaches Master Classes for NYC’s Red Bull Theater.   Miriam is currently performing in Ayad Akhtar’s play Junk on Broadway. She has performed Off-Broadway at NYC’s Public Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Red Bull Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Playwrights Realm, page73, Ripe Time, and many theaters across the US including The Goodman, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie, Arena Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Folger, Trinity Repertory Company and in numerous productions at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC where Miriam is an Affiliated Artist. She has been nominated for the Drama Desk, Helen Hayes, Connecticut Critic’s Circle and Joseph Jefferson Awards for her performances. Miriam holds an MFA in Acting and a BA in East Asian Studies from Brown University. She received a 2011 TCG Fox Fellowship to further explore the relationship between voice and verse. During her Fellowship, Miriam worked with the Roy Hart Theater in France, Tim Carroll and the Factory in London, Patsy Rodenburg and Catherine Fitzmaurice, among others.  Miriam is a member of The Actor’s Center Workshop Company.





6:00 - 10:00: Table and Scene work with Ethan McSweeny


10:00 - 12:00: Open rehearsal space

12:00 - 2:00: Group work with Miriam Silverman

2:00 - 3:00: Meal Break

3:00 - 6:00: Scene work with Chukwudi Iwuji



10:00 - 12:00: Open rehearsal space

12:00 - 2:00: Voice work with Susan Finch

2:00 - 3:00: Meal Break

3:00 - 6:00: Scene work with Jesse Berger


A scene will be assigned a week before the class. Prepare it as best you are able. Memorization is encouraged but not required.


A hard copy of the Scene packet. A journal is recommended to record notes and observations. Comfortable clothing that you can move and breathe freely in and a water bottle is strongly encouraged.


Contact Nathan Winkelstein with any questions.


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