Open Fist Theatre Conservatory Announces Classes for March


Starting March 8th:

Actors Who Improvise, Tuesday 12pm-3 pm
with Ron West (Second City Artistic Associate, director and writer of deLEARious at OFTC)
Through the basics of improvisation, the actor will discover how to be more in the moment, how to succeed by making your scene partner look good, and how to get in touch with your marketable stage persona. Residually, students will become better at auditions, make stronger choices, and, lo and behold, be funnier. Improvisation is a critical tool for the actor in Hollywood today.

Classical Acting Technique, Wednesdays 11a-2p
with Barbara Schofield (AMDA Faculty, MA and PhD from Tufts University)
An intensive exploration of the fundamental techniques necessary for the successful audition and performance of Shakespeare's characters, with special focus on the confident language facility (verse, prose, iambic pentameter, articulation, vocal support and heightened specificity; style work (tragic, comic and heroic size); memorization skills; and imaginative and compelling story telling. Upon completion students will have mastered at least 2 contrasting monologues for auditions, and have an in depth experience with Shakespearean scene work.

Fitzmaurice Voicework, Thursdays 10a-2p
with Laura Flanagan (AMDA Faculty, BA from Yale University, MFA from Carnegie Mellon and the Moscow Arts Theatre)
?An exploration of the mechanics of voice through breath, movement and text. We will work on opening up the body, letting the sound out, and finding the subtleties of meaning through rhythm, pitch, tone, intention and articulation. Based on Fitzmaurice Voicework, the class centers around destructuring and restructuring the breathing mechanism to promote freedom and power for the actor. Anyone can participate, and everyone is welcome.

Beginning Movement for Actors,Fridays 11:30 am-12:30pm
with Jennifer Lettelleir (LA Weekly Award Winner for Best Choreography for Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage at OFTC)
Designed for people who want to explore and become more confident with their movement. Performers of all genres are encouraged to attend. The class consists of a stretch & strengthening warm up, followed by basic jazz and musical theatre exercises. Fun, simple, and creative dance combinations are choreographed using a variety of musical styles. Students will not only become more comfortable with dance, their coordination, flexibility, and stamina will improve. Students will also gain a better working knowledge of basic dance steps and combinations. Feel more confident at auditions. Get some exercise and have some fun. Break down inhibitions and empower your artistic expression.

Intermediate/Advanced Dance for Actors (previous dance experience required), Fridays 1pm-2pm
with Jennifer Lettelleir (LA Weekly Award Winner for Best Choreography for Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage at OFTC)
Designed for actors who have some dance experience. Performers of all genres are encouraged to attend. The class consists of a stretch & strengthening warm up, followed by jazz, contemporary, lyrical and musical theatre exercises. A series of combinations are choreographed using a variety of musical styles. This class will host students of various levels of dance - Intermediate and Advanced students will be equally challenged. Students will hone their dance skills, strengthen their bodies, get a good physical workout and ignite (or reignite) their passion for dance. Feel more confident at auditions. Get some exercise and have some fun. Break down inhibitions and empower your artistic expression.
$250 per 8-week session, except Beginning & Intermediate/Advanced Dance ($150 per 8-week session).

Sign up for two classes and receive 50% off your second class.

Contact to register.


Martha is the current Artistic Director of the Open Fist Theatre Company and received her principal theatrical education from Yale University and Sanford Meisner. During her tenure, Ms. Demson has directed and/or produced many award-winning productions for the Fist, including (as a director) Beautiful City (Walker), PAPA (deGroot), Abingdon Square (Fornes), Casanova (Congdon), Escape From Happiness (Walker), Vieux Carre (Williams), Flight of the Earls (Humble), God's Country (Dietz), and (as a producer) How To Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients (Visniec) (which moved to NYC and was recently remounted for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union (Greig) (winner of Production of the Year by LA Weekly), The Devils (Dostoevsky, adapt. Egloff). She made her off-Broadway directorial debut in January 2001 with a production of Anna Devlin's Ourselves Alone. Ms. Demson is the recipient of 4 LA Weekly Theatre Awards and 7 Drama-Logue/Garland Awards.

Laura has numerous Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and regional credits and has taught and coached at numerous colleges and universities including Long Island University, New York University, Harvard College, Fordham University and is currently on faculty at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Laura holds degrees from Yale College and Carnegie Mellon University is a certified Fitzmaurice voice instructor. She is a winner of the Charles Bowden award for Acting from New Dramatists in New York and a proud member of the Open Fist Theater.

John has been a working actor in Los Angeles for over 20 years, working on dozens of network shows as well as appearing in nearly 200 television commercials. He conceived and taught the influential commercial class GET THE CALLBACK at Ava Shevitt's Village Studio and this year has been a frequent guest teacher at TALENT TO GO with Francene Selkirk and Judy Kain at Zydeco studios. His dramatic training includes the Meisner Technique in Stuart Schreiber's Meisner & Movement Workshop and scene study with the acclaimed Mark Monroe and most recently Stuart Rogers at Theatre Tribe.

Jennifer works extensively as a choreographer, master teacher, composer, vocalist, dancer, and actress. She has danced all of her life and has studied on scholarship in both New York and Los Angeles: Broadway Dance Center, Steps, The Edge, Tremaine. She recently won the LA WEEKLY Theatre Award for "Best Choreography" 2008 for her work on the World Premier of Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage, receiving great press & reviews. Jennifer has been teaching over 15 years and is a master teacher/choreographer to several schools nationally: New York, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona and California. Her choreography experience includes music videos, industrials, theme parks, commercials, theatre and performing groups. Choreography awards: LADF, West Coast Dance Explosion, Tremaine, JUMP, LA WEEKLY.

Kevin is a veteran actor with twenty-six years of consistent work in film, theatre, television and commercials. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree. Kevin has appeared in over 300 commercials including three years as the spokesperson for Bob Evan's Restaurants, as Tiger Wood's caddy, and lots of different companies and products. In addition to acting Kevin is passionate about teaching and producing. Currently teaching in the School of Theatre at USC, he also teaches an independent class, A.I.M. Actors In Motion at Catchlight Studios. Kevin has also been a guest lecturer at Loyola Marymount University, The SAG Conservatory and as a youth instructor at Weist Baron in New York. Kevin is excited to bring a "Practical Approach to Success as a Television and Commercial Actor" to the Open Fist Theatre Conservatory. Kevin is looking forward to guiding actors (beginners and pros) through the process of creating more success, joy and consistency in their acting careers.

Barbara teaches all levels of acting from beginning to advanced, including classical acting technique, period styles, audition monologue technique, directing, stage voice and theatre history. Among her many stage credits, she has worked as director or actor in New York at the Roundabout/Susan Bloch Theatre (Great Catherine with Tamara Geva), Jean Cocteau Rep.(Hamlet, Bar in a Tokyo Hotel (Tennessee Williams world premiere, Cymbeline, No Exit, The Cocktail Party, The Maids), Westbeth Theatre Center (New York premiere Riverman), The Kitchen (world premiere of Karla Barker's Uncontrollablelements), House of Candles Theatre (Three Sisters, Romeo and Juliet, Endgame, The Seagull, The Killer ), and regionally at Boston's Lyric Stage (The Caretaker), Tufts, Balsch Arena Stage (Merchant of Venice with Oliver Platt and Hank Azaria), Missouri Repertory Theatre (Antigone), Kansas City's Lyric Opera (Cosi Fan Tutte) California's Sierra Madre Playhouse(Proof) and for her LA artistic home at Open Fist where she most recently appeared in the critically acclaimed Light Up the Sky by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. She received her MA and PhD. in Theatre from Tufts University, and spent many years abroad performing in Germany and England, completing her undergraduate degree in Drama and receiving her acting training in London and Berlin. She had taught acting and stage voice at Tufts University, University of Missouri, the University of California and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she is currently a master acting teacher, director and theatre history instructor.

Ron's version of The Comedy of Errors, recently produced by Chicago Shakespeare, was awarded the Jeff for best new adaptation, will soon be published by Dramatists Play Service. Ron has spent the past 25 years traveling the globe, usually because he couldn't find a job in the town he was living in. He began his acting career with Cleveland, Ohio's Great Lakes Shakespeare and its production of As You Like It. He only had one line but did remember it every single time. He has participated in more Second City productions than he can count (he thinks it's about 30). The latest was Curious George Goes To War, for which he won a Joseph Jefferson Best Director Award, and No Shoes, No Shirt, No WMD, which he directed for The Second City Cleveland, which was right across the street from where he had his line in As You Like It three jillion years ago. In Los Angeles, West has directed many times for LATheatreworks, including the world premiere of Mizlansky/Zilinsky. At The Open Fist Theatre, has directed The Comedy of Errors, Boris Vian's The Knacker's ABC, and Dario Fo's We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! He has also directed his own plays Sex, Death, and Other Annoyances, FOODSEXWORKSLEEPGOD, Buddy Jack, The Andrea and Hep Trilogy, and deLEARious, which received two LA Ovation nominations and 2 BackStage West Garlands. The Doctor bats right and throws right.

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