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    1st Stage Masters' Class Series

  • Dates:
    10/2/2021, 10/23/2021, 11/13/2021
  • Time:
    2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Admission:
  • Location:
  • Address:
    1524 Spring Hill Road, Suite LL, Tysons, VA 22102
  • Phone:
    (703) 854-1856

1st Stage is ecstatic to announce a brand-new series called the Masters’ Class, beginning May 15 and spanning an inspiring array of new topics in theatre and performance. Taught both by some of the DC Region’s most talented theatre experts, each Masters’ Class consists of a single, focused two-hour session with the master, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, and costs $35 to attend. Register at 

Series schedule:

Acting a Song – with Emphasis on Lyric Interpretation 

Master: Jane Margulies Kalbfeld 
Saturday, May 15 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

In this class, each Singing Actor will learn to approach, explore and personalize the lyrics of a song with a powerful, step-by-step technique that can also be utilized in dramatic and comedic acting. This method is adapted from the remarkable script interpretation system that Jane learned directly from Stella Adler, who developed her groundbreaking actor training based on her studies with Constantin Stanislavski. 

Coaching The Shakespearean Monologue 

Master: Craig Wallace 
Sunday, June 6 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

Take a deep dive into the Shakespearean monologue, uncovering the multiplicity of the text and creating the journey of a three-dimensional character. 

Comic Character from Commedia dell’Arte! 

Master: Matthew R. Wilson 
Saturday, July 10 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

Instant comedy! Explore physicality, relationship, and “character type” in classic comic troupes. Create laughs for contemporary improvisation, auditions, playwriting, and performance. How do techniques from Renaissance Commedia dell’Arte relate to satire, social critique, and comedy now? How do we embody type and relationship? Come find out and have some fun! 

She Said, She Said (2 Part Class) 

Master: Thembi Duncan 
Saturday, July 17 
2:00 – 4:00PM 


Saturday, July 31 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

This Masters’ Class costs $65 dollars to attend. 

This class is an interactive deep-dive into scenes and monologues from the work of female playwrights. Participants will read scenes and monologues together and use Uta Hagen’s 9 questions as a point of departure for the exploration of character development in a play. Those characters will be contextualized in the world that the playwright has created, with vigorous discussion about the intent of various playwrights in creating their characters. Selections of scenes and monologues will be provided. 

Slapstick Combat 

Master: Matthew R. Wilson 
Saturday, August 7 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

What makes fights funny? Explore the basics of unarmed stage combat and consider how to transform grisly realism into comedic silliness. Theories and techniques for styles ranging from cartoon to farce to clown to dark comedy. Why do we laugh? And how do we make the audience laugh? 

Reinventing the Rehearsal Process 

Master: José Carrasquillo 
Saturday, August 14 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

This class looks at ways in which theatre makers can strengthen the rehearsal process by embracing a collective system in which respect, empathy, trust, support and empowerment all play key roles in how we come together to rehearse and ultimately three-dimensionalize a play. 

Creating a Space Conducive to a Transformative Theatre Experience 

Master: José Carrasquillo 
Sunday, August 15 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

This class explores ways to re-imagine the spaces we work in and looks closely at the possibilities of turning theatre performances into transformative experiences. It expands our understanding of sanctuaries of creativity and imagination into spaces where we fully engage and connect with an audience. 

Acting in Real Time 

Master: José Carrasquillo 
Saturday, August 21 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

This course will expand the actor’s capacity to invigorate moments on stage by exploring and inspiring actors with possibilities that go beyond Stanislavski’s realism, Brecht’s barrier breaking theatre, or our interpretation of classical theatre. It will empower actors to actively determine how a story is told in performance. Ultimately it will give them the tools to merge their truth with that of the character and to rely on full awareness and connection to that nightly audience in order to fuel their performance. 

Acting for Camera 

Master: Matthew R. Wilson 
Saturday, August 28 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

Let the camera do the work by transferring acting techniques for realism on stage into approaches that capture the moment in your film, TV, and New Media work. Tried and true tricks for modulating your acting, navigating on-set protocols, nailing the audition or self-tape, and creating memorable performances on screen. 


Master: Nick Olcott 
Saturday, September 4 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

It’s the admission ticket to doing what you do best. And yet most actors hate auditioning. How can you learn to love it? Nick Olcott will share some thoughts on preparing for the audition, in both its technical and mental aspects. Each participant will present a memorized audition piece (2 minutes maximum length) and get tips and feedback. 

Afrocentric Acting Methods: Igniting the Given Circumstances 

Master: KenYatta Rogers 
Saturday, September 11 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

This class allows actors of any background to access their cultural heritage to empower the active components of their own lives for character creation. 

Monologue Coaching 

Master: Nick Olcott 
Saturday, October 2 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

Maybe it’s a piece you’re considering using for an audition. Maybe it’s exploration of a role you’d love to play. Maybe it’s preparation for a role you’re going to play. How do you tackle that scariest of stage beasts: the monologue? Nick Olcott will share some tools for turning monologues into scenes. Each participant will work on a monologue (need not be memorized – 5 minutes maximum length). 

Musical Theatre Singing 

Master: Jane Margulies Kalbfeld 
Saturday, October 23 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

Emphasizing beauty of tone, power, stamina, and the ability and agility to quickly shift singing styles, Jane will coach each singer to meet the intense requirements of modern musical theatre with healthy, consistent and flexible instruments capable of generating fresh, personal and truthful storytelling. 

August Wilson Script Analysis 

Master: KenYatta Rogers 
Saturday, November 13 
2:00 – 4:00 PM 

This class will analyze the structure of the Wilsonian aria with regards to “the already been said text/blues structures”, circular plot structures embodied within character and diction of the play, and the invocation of the spiritual and supernatural elements of African cultures in America