Learn to Act classes 1 and 2 are an introduction to the in situ: approach.
Course Leader and in situ: Director Richard Spaul says “Yes, we teach performance technique – but the main point of these classes is for you to find out whether you might be able to act and whether you would enjoy acting.If there’s a spark in you, we aim to light a fire so that you get excited by what we are doing and feel you want to do more.”
This is what some past Learn to Act students say about the classes – all of them have followed the classes by appearing in an in situ: production.
What attracts people to the Learn to Act courses in the first place?
“I had never done any acting before and wanted to learn something new… I had seen an in situ: performance of The Winter’s Tale and was impressed by the extraordinary performance in an unconventional venue… I had been doing formal ‘amateur dramatics’ and felt there must be something more to acting… I was very shy and wanted to challenge myself… I thought it might help me increase my confidence to speak up in groups… I had done a lot of acting but never any classes that sounded so interesting… in situ: takes a non-traditional approach, open and creative – I was curious to explore that.”
What sort of things did you do on the courses?
“We played a lot of games to improve our physical and emotional awareness, to help us get to know each other, to raise trust, concentration and focus on the class… We learnt about archetypes, improvised short scenes, created and developed characters, explored voice and physicality, learned and performed a short piece of text… At first the skills we learned were elementary, but we were always encouraged to push ourselves… It was never so hard that we felt discouraged – mostly it was a sense of having a lot of fun in a safe atmosphere with an excellent teacher.”
What were the best bits?
“One of the best bits about Learn to Act is working with a range of people – the classes are always open to every single person’s contribution – no matter the talent, age, gender, culture, nationality or experience… I learned a huge amount about acting – we had the freedom to use mind, body, voice and imagination in the service of performance – with some amazing results… We went to watch performances by in situ: members who had completed the Learn to Act courses and gone on to perform – such an inspiration and so much to aim for!”
What would you say to someone who was thinking of signing up?
“Go for it!… You may feel nervous at the start, but there’s such a welcoming, warm and supportive atmosphere… It’s a wonderful way to leave aside job and family pressures for a while and discover exciting artistic expression… You improve not only your acting skills but also your ability to communicate on all kinds of level… If your first language isn’t English, don’t worry – it’s a great way to improve and much more fun than traditional language classes!… You won’t find yourself being pushed to perform – what you will get is a huge sense of achievement… Sign up – you’ll learn lots, have fun, and find the actor within you… It changed my life!”
These are the (lightly edited) words of: Cyrus Pundole, Helen Leigh, John Cooter, Maxine Fay, Silvano Squizzato, Steve Adams, Susan Quilliam.
Learn to Act 1 runs from Wednesday October 19 to Wednesday November 9th. The follow-on course Learn to Act 2 runs from Wednesday November 30th to Wednesday December 14th. Both courses are held from 7.30pm to 10.00pm at St Phillips Church Centre, Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3AN.
If you have specific queries about either course, ring Richard Spaul on 01223 211451
Further details: http://www.insitutheatre.co.uk/learn-to-act/