The Performance Intensive

The Performance Intensive is a fun and challenging program for aspiring artists with a passion for delving deeper into the craft of acting and musical theater! This two-week course offers comprehensive performance training normally reserved for collegiate students with a curriculum that encompasses the principles of acting and musical performance, mask and movement work, character and scene analysis, and the business of theater. This course culminates in a showcase of scenes, songs and monologues for family and friends. Perfect for serious students seeking to dive deep in to the professional world of theatrical performance. 

Summer Session

Ages: 14 to 22
Requirements: Previous performance experience is helpful for those interested in attending this class. 
Tuition: $750 
Dates: July 17 – 29, 2023
Times: Monday through Friday 10am-3pm
Performance: Saturday, July 29, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

Scholarship Application

Learning Outcomes

ln this class, students will learn about the process of craft and deepening their approach to acting. The importance of making choices will be stressed as well as discovering ways to remove fears that block creativity, so that the student can find confidence in their unique voice, vulnerability and vitality. Through scene work with partners, the class will begin by learning text analysis and beat-by-beat, moment-to-moment intentions, actions and objectives, before they stand the material on its feet. Stanislavsky’s Five Questions will be applied as a foundation for technique in a simple, easy to understand format, helping to build a character, supporting specifics as a centerpiece to an actor’s work.

This class will cover the basics of creating original improvised theater. Students will learn to improvise in a believable environment, create characters, how to be present and active when listening as well as speaking, supporting your partner, and how to identify the building blocks of a scene.

Shakespeare wrote some of the most beautiful poetry in existence. His works are also filled with complex language structure, double meanings, and bawdy humor. Students will learn how to deconstruct and scan the text and mine Shakespeare’s words to speak the text with ease and understanding. Students will gain a basic understanding of poetic language, metrics, and the conventions of Elizabethan English, allowing for an analysis that will provide the actor with clear actions and objectives.

A stage actor must learn to connect to their voices and bodies in order to engage with audiences as well as fellow actors. This class introduces the student to the power contained in the voice and body through active and accessible voice, speech, and movement workouts that will provide the technique required to be a present and powerful actor.

Instructor Bios

Brian McDonald


Brian McDonald is an award-winning actor, director, and educator. He appeared in the National Tours of Miss Saigon and Forever Plaid. Regionally, he appeared on the stages of the Denver Center, Theatre Virginia, The Lyric Stage, La Miranda performing Arts Center, Ensemble Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and the Ahmanson. As an actor, Brian was honored with many awards, including the Ventura Mayors’ Award for Emerging Artist, LA Weekly’s Best Supporting Actor Award and an Independent Award for his performance in the one-man-show, Buyer and Cellar. Brian also directed for various regional theaters including 7 Angels Theatre Company, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Rubicon Theatre Company. For Rubicon, Brian directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of A Charles Dickens’ A Christmas CarolA Tuna ChristmasThe Sunset Limited (with Joe Spano and Tucker Smallwood), Bus Stop (5 Ovation nominations including Best Play), MASTER HAROLD… and the boys (nominated for 3 Ovation awards Including Best Play) and the World Premiere musical, Hello! My Baby, written and conceived by Tony-nominated, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner, Cheri Steinkellner. He also conceived and directed the critically acclaimed holiday musical review, A Rubicon Family Christmas. His work as a director has earned him an Independent Award and StageScene LA Award for Best Director. Brian served as Associate Artistic Director and the Director of Education and Outreach at Rubicon Theatre Company since 2002.  He is the founder and program director of Rubicon’s Summer Youth Performance Program which offers theatre training intensives in acting, musical theatre, drama, Shakespeare and technical theatre.

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