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Orlando Shakes Offering Free Classes For Adults

Orlando Shakes Offering Free Classes For Adults

As school, work and social interactions go online, Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF announces a series of free online classes for adults. From Storytelling for Seniors to Interview skills to Shakespeare technique, these stand alone classes are ideal for adults seeking to broaden skills and develop new ones in the safety of their own homes. Participants will be able to livestream the class with Orlando Shakes professionals via webcam.

"We are eager to give back to the community with these free classes." says Anne Hering, Director of Education, "Until we can gather together again at the Shakespeare Center, we hope these classes will fill the need for communion and creation and even an escape into the arts. Watch for more classes and topics throughout the month of May!"

To participate in our online classes, the student will need an internet capable device with a webcam. Classes will be instructed through a Zoom Meeting. Instructions on installing and configuring Zoom on your device will be provided.

Classes are free and start April 25, 2020.

Registration available at

Initial Classes:

What's Your Story?: Storytelling for Seniors - 90 minutes

Saturday, April 25, 2pm EST

Sharing our stories is one way we offer comfort and understanding. What is your story? How do you tell it? This class taught by veteran theatre artist Suzanne O'Donnell will offer some exercises and activities meant to generate and focus ideas for getting started. Suitable for a practiced storyteller or someone just curious about how to begin. Class size is limited and is offered for those 55 and older. Supplies: some good old pen and paper.

Putting Shakespeare Into Your Own Words - 50 minutes

Saturday, April 25, 4pm EST

How can actors make me understand Shakespeare when I don't understand it when I read it? In this adult class taught by Anne Hering, students will learn the technique of Paraphrasing, the difference between Figurative and Literal Paraphrasing and how to achieve an emotional connection to Shakespeare's words. All supplies provided.

The Slam Dunk Interview - 50 minutes

Saturday, May 2, 2pm EST

In this class for adults, our Artistic Director, Jim Helsinger, will cover everything you need to complete a successful job interview, starting with "So, tell me a little about yourself?" and the dreaded "What's your biggest weakness?" Students will learn the most commonly asked interview questions and how to confidently answer them, particularly in the new online "Zoom/Skype" environment.

Folio Schmolio! - 50 minutes

Saturday, May 2, 4pm EST

So you've heard of Shakespeare's First Folio but don't know what the big deal is! In this adult class, Director of Education, Anne Hering, introduces you to the advantages of using the First Folio to spice up your performance skills. How did Shakespeare's actors know HOW to act without a director? Easy! Shakespeare 'directed" them with the WAY he wrote his plays. Unlock this skill and learn how to nail your audition. No Shakespeare experience is required.

Online Instructors:

Anne Hering, Director of Education

Anne received her Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University and serves at the University of Central Florida as an adjunct professor where she teaches Shakespeare Scene Study and Theatre Careers. As our director of education, Anne assumes responsibility for all of Orlando Shakes' educational programming and oversees instruction of students ranging from Pre-K through senior citizens, including the Intern Training Program. Anne has appeared in Orlando Shakes productions of Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale, Les Misérables, and most recently Bakersfield Mist, among many of our featured productions. In 2009, she directed Yankee Tavern, a very successful production developed as a play through Orlando Shakes' PlayFest. Anne has also acted and directed at several theatres, colleges, and universities throughout Central Florida. Anne is a member of Actors' Equity Association and Screen Actors' Guild.

Jim Helsinger, Artistic Director

Jim's directing credits for Orlando Shakes include The Three Musketeers, Gertrude and Claudius, The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful, West Side Story, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, The Adventures of Pericles, Henry V, Titus Andronicus, Cymbeline, Tartuffe, Crime and Punishment, Macbeth, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and others. Other directing credits include: Prague Shakespeare Company (Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker), Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Much Ado About Nothing), Actor's Theatre of Louisville (A Tuna Christmas), Florida Studio Theatre (Good Evening), Cape May Stage (Stones in His Pockets), Florida Repertory Theatre and Actor's Playhouse (The 39 Steps), Flatrock Playhouse (The Hound of the Baskervilles), and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (The Foreigner, Lend Me A Tenor). Jim currently serves as the Artistic Director at Orlando Shakes.

Suzanne O'Donnell

Suzanne's first season at Orlando Shakes was in 1993 playing Rosalind in As You Like It and Adriana in Comedy of Errors. Orlando Shakes credits include: Mistress Ford, Hermione, Hermia, Lady Percy, Julia, Ophelia, Emilia, Beatrice, and Kate in Taming of the Shrew. New plays at Orlando Shakes: Laura in The Luckiest People, Vivienne in Blackberry Winter, Elizabeth in Pluto, and Linda in Bad Dog. Recent regional credits include: Twelfth Night, Pericles, Lend Me a Tenor, The Importance of Being Earnest (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Theatre), Boston Marriage (1812 Productions), Comedy of Errors, Arcadia (Folger Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, Dancing at Lughnasa (Arden Theatre), Social Security, and Dinner with Friends (Cape May Stage).

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