Classes

Professional Classes & Workshops

Earlier this year, we launched The Essentials Series, moving our acclaimed classes and workshops online to meet our artists and audiences in the moment. Now as stages across the country reopen, we’re bringing the series back with new hosts and new opportunities to enrich working artists’ skill sets and enrich personal creativity for all. The workshops will resume in-person at The Drama League Theater Center in Tribeca beginning this November with several options to get involved. 

The Essentials graphic

Join any of our classes as a participant or an observer, each set at a different rate! Participant rates include full interactivity, all class guides and exercises, and personal communication with the session leader and others. Observer rates come discounted and are for those who wish to audit the first session of the workshop without participating in the full experience.

The Direction Forward: Anti-Racism for Directors & Creatives

Oct 2 & 3 | 11am – 2pm ET

As leaders of the industry, directors have been reshaping the landscape of the American Theater to create a space that is more equitable and inclusive for all, but the work is far from done. Dismantling white supremacy means practicing anti-racism across every facet of the industry, which can range from how a director runs a room to how an artist contract is prepared to implicit marketing campaigns. THE DIRECTION FORWARD is a two-part workshop hosted by thought leaders of the American Theater that offers best practices for directors and creative workers to foster an inclusive and anti-racist environment in rehearsal rooms, meeting spaces, in contract negotiations, and beyond. The sessions will be led and moderated by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Rocío Mendez, Sarafina Bush, and Cecilia Durbin.

Participants: 
General Admission – $110
Members & Alumni – $90
SDC/AEA – $100
Student – $80

No observers for this class.

Sarafina Bush is a costume designer from Brooklyn, NY who has rooted her career in the prioritization and celebration of humanity. She received her BA in French and Dance at Adelphi University where she realized that costume design combined all her favorite things- storytelling, history, social justice, live performance, and fashion. Some of her recent design credits include Pass Over (Bway, LCT3), Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons), Broadway Bounty Hunter (Greenwich House), Plot Points in our Sexual Development (LCT3). Her associate work includes Jagged Little Pill (Bway), A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons), and Dear Evan Hansen (Bway) among many others. She is an active member in USA829, striving to create a better industry for all who come after her.

Cecilia Durbin is a lighting designer, educator, and mother driven to dream and act for a better theatre for herself, her students, her collaborators and her kid. Cecilia loves making new plays, but finds so much pleasure in designing anything that uses lighting to tell a story.  Her work has included Kid Prince & Pablo (Kennedy Center); The Wolves, A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Actor’s Theatre Louisville); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Kansas City Rep); Calling: a dance with faith (Ping Chong Dance Co); Bernie & Mikey’s Trip to the Moon (Strangemen Theatre Company, 59E59); Sense & Sensibility, Love Alone (Playmakers Rep); Birthday Candles, Marie & Rosetta, Murder Ballad (Detroit Public Theatre); Hyena (also Edinburgh Fringe, United Solo [Best Lighting]) (La MaMa); In the Blood (Theatre Horizon [Barrymore nom]); Cecilia is a proud member of USA829 with her MFA from the Tisch School of the Arts-NYU. www.durbinlighting.com

Rocio Mendez is an Award Winning Actor, Fight and Intimacy director and a proud New Yorker committed to building confidence in brown and black girls through storytelling. Rocio has done multiple independent films showcasing their talents in martial arts and comedy. Rocio has worked with a range of theaters nationally including Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Classical Theater of Harlem, among the many. Rocio has been nominated for multiple awards for their work in Fight Choreography and Movement. Rocio is a team member of UNKLE DAVE’S FIGHT HOUSE Рa collective of fight/intimacy/movement directors serving theater, film and educational institutions. 

Pirronne Yousefzadeh¬†is a director, writer, educator, passionate advocate for anti-racism in the theatre, and was recently appointed the Producing Artistic Director at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Her favorite directing credits include¬†Kid Prince & Pablo¬†(Kennedy Center),¬†The Wolves¬†(Actors Theatre of Louisville),¬†That High Lonesome Sound¬†(Actors Theatre of Louisville),¬†The Royale¬†(Kitchen Theatre Company/Geva Theatre Center),¬†We Are Proud to Present A Presentation…¬†(InterAct Theatre Company), and more. She is a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group that works with artists and organizations who wish to engage with stories of the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa. She was a finalist for the Zelda Fichandler Award from SDC, and is a proud member of the union. MFA, Columbia University;¬†pirronne.com; represented by Ben Izzo at A3 Artists.¬†

The Other Side Of The Table: Audition Techniques for Directors

Nov 8 & 15 | 7pm – 10pm ET

The old saying is true: casting is EVERYTHING. But finding the right actors, in the right roles, is easier said than done. How do you choose? What techniques can strengthen your ability to quickly and effectively match actor and role? And how do we change the process itself so that it reflects our creative and ethical values? THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE: AUDITION TECHNIQUES FOR DIRECTORS moves the selection process out of relying on instinct to skills any director can employ to attract talent, explore possibilities, and make the tough choices. Developed from interviews with dozens of acclaimed directors, agents, and casting directors, Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks will lead participants in techniques to reveal unconscious biases, and offer pathways to ensure your production is inclusive, equitable, and diverse. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with Gabriel and the other participants live in The Drama League’s Tribeca studio and will receive feedback on projects in class. Observers WILL ONLY be able to audit the class.

Participants: 
General Admission – $150
Members & Alumni – $130
SDC/AEA – $140
Student – $120

Observers (First Session Only): $20

Gabriel Stelian-Shanks (he/him+) is the Artistic Director of The Drama League, and a founding member of the creative content company A Certain Something.¬† One of the co-directors of Peculiar Works Project‚Äôs Obie-winning THE VILLAGE FRAGMENTS, he has directed over sixty productions across the United States, Europe, and South America.¬† He received the Theatre Project Honor for Outstanding Vision in the Theatre, and was recognized for his arts leadership by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.¬† This year, he was nominated for Best Director at the 2020 Madrid International Film Festival; his short film ‚ÄúThe Damnable Deprivation of Dmitri‚ÄĚ was chosen to open the 2020 New Masculinities Festival.

Stage 2 Screen: Intro to Film for Stage Directors

December 11 & 12 | 11am-4pm ET

There’s no business like show business, and while Film and TV fall under the same “show biz” umbrella as theater, the art forms vary dramatically in how they are developed, produced, and directed. In STAGE 2 SCREEN: INTO TO FILM FOR STAGE DIRECTORS, writer and director Lauren Fritz lays a foundation for theatermakers wanting to make the leap to film by identifying transferrable skills between both mediums, providing an introduction to camera technique, and more. Both sessions will take place in-person at The Drama League’s Studio in Tribeca for participants with an option for observers to audit the class online via YouTube.

Participants: 
General Admission – $150
Members & Alumni – $130
SDC/AEA – $140
Student – $120

Observers (First Session Only): $20 

Lauren Fritz (she/her) is a Brooklyn based writer/director. She teaches filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the Open Arts Department and is a production adviser to Grad and Undergrad Film & Television students. Prior to this, Lauren worked in the film industry on many films, television shows and commercials. Lauren has three projects in development. One is a television series called “Birds of Paradise”. Set in the near future, it is about two sisters who run an agency that specializes in the unusual task of providing professional stand-ins to assume the identities of their clients’ real family members and friends, both living and deceased.¬† It was selected to be presented at the 2017 IFP week. Lauren is in development for a feature film based on her most recent short film ‚ÄúUnder A Silver Moon‚ÄĚ and is also co-creating a TV series based on the true life stories of a female FBI undercover agent. Lauren received her BFA in Film and Television from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and her MA in Video and Projection¬† Design & Urban Studies from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.