Master Class Series
Since 1999, the Actors' Training Project of Oakland, CA, has sponsored a broad series of master classes and visits with dynamic artists who are working around the country and abroad. All of these extraordinary visitors are interested in the integration of acting, voice and movement skills that is the particular work of the Actors' Training Project; they also have a wide range of other profession-related interests and areas of expertise. Informal videotapes of all of the sessions are archived for student viewing. The Master Class Series has engendered exciting performances, collaborations and projects, both trans-national and trans-continental.

Andre Bernard: Teacher of Ideokinesis, Creative Body Alignment
H.S. Shivaprakash, Ph.D.: Poet and Playwright
Kunsu Shim, Gerhard Stäbler: Composers
John McConville, M.Div.: Dancer, Choregrapher, Teacher, Director
Anna Hadzi: Actress and Producer
Michele Cuomo, MFA: Director, Actress, Dancer, Teacher
Nathan Thomas, Ph.D.: Actor, Director, Composer, Teacher, Scholar
Bill Smith, MFA: Teacher, Director, Filmmaker, Writer, Actor

March 2000
Please welcome the exceptional Dr. Nathan Thomas, who brings to his teaching a unique combination of training and professional work in both theatre and music. Nathan studied acting with—among others—Arkady Katz (People's Artist of the Soviet Union) at the Vakhtangov Theater in Moscow; he also studied Dalcroze eurhythmics with master teachers Anne Farber and Lisa Parker.

Nathan has acted in resident and touring companies around the United States, with roles in plays such as Educating Rita and Plaza Suite. His professional directing credits include The Merchant of Venice, The Fantasticks, True West and Harvey. Nathan was the protegee of Drexel Riley, one of the country's experts on producing touring theatre, and then served as Artistic Director of Repertory Theater of America, the nation's leading touring company. An accomplished musician and composer, Nathan has written original theatre music for productions such as King Lear and The Seagull. Nathan earned a Ph.D. in Theatre from Michigan State University; he has published articles on acting and theatre history in a variety of publications across the country.

Nathan's teaching focuses on the intersection of drama and music. In addition to his university teaching, he has given workshops in rhythm and theatre at the Manhattan School of Music, as well as at the prestigious Longy School of Music.

Says Bill Smith, Director of The Acting Studio in Denver, Colorado: "Over the years, Nathan and I have shared many correspondences about rhythm and text and movement, so I know you're in for an experience that will positively impact everything you do within your acting…With Nathan, you're getting not just the theory and the process, but also someone who's been out there in the trenches in the practical world of professional touring theatre."

SUNDAY, MARCH 5 10:00 TO 4:00
Rhythm in Theatrical Art

Says Nathan: "In theatrical art there are three basic rhythmic ‘strata': the rhythm of language, the rhythm of character change, and the rhythm of episodes. Each of these rhythms has a comparable rhythm in music. There are different possible ways of interpreting harmonies and rhythms in music, and this is also true in theatrical art. In our work together, we will identify basic rhythmic principles and how those principles act in theatrical art." Texts: Barefoot in the Park (Simon) and Landscape (Pinter). Handouts included. A good foundation for audition preparation. Lunch break 1:00 to 1:30; please bring your lunch.

MONDAY, MARCH 6 6:30 TO 10
Approaches to Rhythmic Movement in Rehearsal

Application of rhythmic movement to scene rehearsal. Nathan will help us explore his signature approaches to working with a script from the perspective of rhythm. We will be working from the opening scene of Ibsen's A Dollhouse in the Michael Meyer translation. Physical warm-up, team-taught.

TUESDAY, NOV. 23 6:30 TO 10
Approaches to Vocal Rhythm in Rehearsal

Application of vocal rhythms to scene rehearsal (A Dollhouse). Time reserved for discussion of issues specific to auditioning, one of Nathan's many areas of expertise. Vocal warm-up, team-taught.