Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

1st Stage Announces Brand New Virtual Masters' Class Series Beginning On May 15

Award-winning classical actor Craig Wallace will teach Coaching the Shakespearean Monologue.

1st Stage has announced its 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. Registration is now open at www.1ststage.org.

Award-winning classical actor Craig Wallace will teach Coaching the Shakespearean Monologue on Sunday, June 6. In this class, students will take a deep dive into the Shakespearean monologue, uncovering the multiplicity of the text and creating the journey of a three-dimensional character.

1st Stage Casting Director Jane Margulies Kalbfeld will teach Acting a Song - with Emphasis on Lyric Interpretation on Saturday, May 15. 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 (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)

Kalbfeld will also be teaching Musical Theatre Singing on Saturday, October 23. 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.

Award-winning director José Carrasquillo will teach Reinventing the Rehearsal Process on Saturday, August 14. 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.

Carrasquillo will also teach Creating a Space Conducive of a Transformative Theatre Experience on Sunday, August 15. 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.

Additionally, Carrasquillo will teach Acting in Real Time on Saturday, August 21. 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.

Multiple award-winning actor, director, and teacher KenYatta Rogers will teach Afrocentric Acting Methods: Igniting the Given Circumstances on Saturday, September 11. This class allows actors of any background to access their cultural heritage to empower the active components of their own lives for character creation.

Rogers will also teach August Wilson Script Analysis on Saturday, November 13. 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.

Award-winning actor, fight choreographer, and playwright Matthew R. Wilson will teach Comic Character from Commedia dell'Arte! on Saturday, July 10. Students in this class will explore physicality, relationship, and "character type" in classic comic troupes. They will create laughs for contemporary improvisation, auditions, playwriting, and performance.

Wilson will also teach Slapstick Combat on Saturday, August 7. Students will explore the basics of unarmed stage combat and consider how to transform grisly realism into comedic silliness. They will study theories and techniques for styles ranging from cartoon to farce to clown to dark comedy.

Additionally, Wilson will teach Acting for Camera onSaturday, August 28. Students will let the camera do the work by transferring acting techniques for realism on stage into approaches that capture the moment in their film, TV, and New Media work. They will learn tried and true tricks for modulating their acting, navigating on-set protocols, nailing the audition or self-tape, and creating memorable performances on screen.

1st Stage family member, writer, actor, and director Nick Olcott will teach Auditioning on Saturday, September 4. He 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.

Olcott will also teach Monologue Coaching on Saturday, October 2, In this class, he will share some tools for turning monologues into scenes. Each participant will work on a monologue no longer than five minutes length.

Arts administrator, actor, director, and social activist Thembi Duncan will teach She Said, She Said on Saturday, July 17 and on Saturday, July 31. 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.

About the Instructors:

Craig Wallace's credits include Folger Theatre: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Mary

Stuart, Twelfth Night (2003, 2013), The Taming of the Shrew (Helen Hayes Award nomination

Ensemble), Cyrano (Helen Hayes nomination Outstanding Ensemble), Much Ado About

Nothing (2009), Othello (2002), As You Like It, Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet; Shakespeare

Theatre Company: Henry IV parts 1 and 2, The Government Inspector (Helen Hayes Award nomination

Outstanding Ensemble), Tamburlaine, Edward II, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet; Ford's Theatre: The Laramie Project (Helen Hayes Award nomination Outstanding

Ensemble), Our Town, Necessary Sacrifices, Sabrina Fair, Jitney; Arena Stage: K2, All My Sons, The Great White Hope, Hot-n-Throbbing; Signature Theatre: Angels in America, Parts 1and 2 (Helen Hayes nomination for Part 2); Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: The Last Orbit of Billy Mars, Tommy J &

Sally, Our Lady of 121st Street, Starving; Round House Theatre: Young Robin Hood, Permanent

Collection, Tabletop, The Little Prince; Everyman Theatre: The Cherry Orchard, The Soul

Collector (world premiere); Studio Theatre: F**king A (2nd Stage). Regional theaters include: Hangar Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Milwaukee.

Jane Margulies Kalbfeld has performed in NY, London, the DC/VA/MD region and has been teaching singing and coaching actors for 35 years, specializing in Classic Golden Age and Contemporary Musical Theatre. She studied acting with the legendary Stella Adler, received her BFA from NYU, and apprenticed in Classical Vocal Pedagogy and Bel Canto in London with Helena Shenel and Richard Alda. Jane is certified at the highest level of Somatic Voicework© The LoVetri Method from the

Shenandoah University Graduate Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute.. As a Founding Artist and The Casting Director for 1st Stage (proud to be one of three original incorporation signatories) she is thrilled to add 1st Stage to her teaching roster!

José Carasquillo is a theatre practitioner and educator based in the DC region. Locally he has directed at GALA Hispanic Theatre, The Kennedy Center, 1st Stage, Theater J, Round House Theatre, Olney

Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, Avant-Bard, The In-Series, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Forum Theatre. Jose is a faculty member at Theatre Lab and has taught/lectured or directed at: UMD-College Park, Catholic University, Julliard School of Drama, National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, University of Washington, University of Ohio, Cornish College for the Arts, Paso Nuevo (GALA), Theater J, and Imagination Stage. José is the recipient of a Mary Goldwater Theatre Lobby Award for his direction of The Maids at Avant-Bard and the 2020 Helen

Hayes Award for his direction of The Brothers Size at 1st Stage. Jose is a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons steering committee and sits on the advisory board of Theatre Washington. He serves as Director of Artistic Programming at Ford's Theatre.

KenYatta Rogers is an alum of Clark Atlanta University and the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a faculty member at Montgomery College where he serves as collegewide coordinator for the Theatre Discipline as well as advisor and producer for co-curricular programs such as the Black Box Players theatre club, the Broadway Bound lecture/workshop series, and the College Performing Arts Series. He was named the 2014 Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and in 2015 he was a WRC-TV NBC 4 Black History Month Honoree. He remains an active member of the DC-Baltimore arts community having directed and acted in over 50 professional productions and has received several Helen Hayes nominations for his work. KenYatta has produced and created several community-based arts programs, served on numerous grant panels, served as board president for the Welders Playwright's Collective, and participated in local and national discussions advocating for inclusion, access, and equity in collegiate and professional theatre.

Matthew R. Wilson is a two-time Helen Hayes Award recipient and seven-time nominee as an actor (AEA, SAG-AFTRA), director (SDC), fight director (SAFD Certified Teacher), and playwright. His work has been seen on stages and screens across the US and around the world, including at 1st Stage where he directed and choreographed fights for the comedy One Man, Two Guv'nors and performed in Bob Bartlett's drama Swimming with Whales (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor). Wilson's publications included the play A Commedia Christmas Carol, the stage combat chapter in Movement for Actors, and two chapters in The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell'Arte. He is a professor of theatre at The George Washington University's Corcoran School of the

Arts + Design and serves as Director of Graduate Studies for the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting. https://corcoran.gwu.edu/matt-wilson

Nick Olcott has been acting, writing, directing, and coaching for the theatre for more than forty years.

At 1st Stage, he has directed My Name is Asher Lev and Floyd Collins and is scheduled to direct The

Nance. Other credits include Constellation Theatre Company (The 39 Steps, On the Razzle), Adventure

Theatre MTC (Tinker Bell, Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Garfield: The Musical with Catitude), Theatre J

(David in Shadow and Light, Miklat), Round House Theatre (The Cherry Orchard, Heartbreak House, Uncle Vanya), and Arena Stage (The Miracle Worker). He also works in opera and was on the faculty of the Maryland Opera Studio for twenty years. His opera credits include Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Lafayette, and the InSeries.

Thembi Duncan is an arts administrator, director, actor, playwright, and teaching artist with twenty years of experience synthesizing theatre, American history, and social justice in and around Washington, D.C. Past leadership highlights include serving as Creative Programs Director of Young Playwrights' Theater, Producing Artistic Director of African Continuum Theatre Company, and Lead Teaching Artist at historic Ford's Theatre. She has directed and performed in numerous productions during her career, most memorably of plays by Pulitzer Award-winning playwrights Lynn Nottage, Dael Orlandersmith, August Wilson, and Ayad Akhtar. She proudly served on the TheatreWashington

Helen Hayes Awards Board of Governors for two terms and co-founded the biannual Black Theatre & Dance Symposium at the University of Maryland with Scot Reese, Head of Performance. Ms. Duncan holds a B.A. in Theatre, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Maryland and currently serves as the Director of Arts Engagement and Education at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, New York.


Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Central Virginia Stories

More Hot Stories For You