Our acting classes offer participants the opportunity to study with "teaching artists” who are working theatre professionals with a high-level degree or experience in the performing arts. With an average class size of 14, these courses provide one-on-one interaction in addition to group activities and culminate with a final presentation of selected scenes and monologues for family and friends. Whether you are an aspiring actor or just want to try something new, Ensemble Theatre Company students will find themselves at ease in this supportive classroom environment as they expand their comfort zone, hone their skills and explore the exciting art of acting!
Winter Session (2019)
Acting for Ages 5-7 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 7 Saturdays Feb. 2 – Mar. 16 Tuition: $180
Acting for Ages 8-12 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. 7 Saturdays Feb. 2 – Mar. 16 Tuition: $220
Acting for Ages 13-18 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 7 Saturdays Feb. 2 – Mar. 16 Tuition: $220
Acting for Ages 19+ 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. 7 Mondays Jan. 28 – Mar. 11 Tuition: $260
A perfect introduction to the world of theatre! Students play imagination games and learn the elements of storytelling while focusing on exploration of bodywork and vocalization. This is an excellent class for beginning readers. On the last day of the workshop, family and friends are invited to a presentation of the students' work. A final presentation will feature the students work throughout the class and is open to all family and friends.
This introductory class exposes students to scripted scenes and monologues. Students learn memorization techniques, stage presence, listening skills and working together with a scene partner on contemporary scripted material. Preliminary exposure to acting is beneficial but not necessary. A final presentation will feature the students work throughout the class and is open to all family and friends.
Fast-paced, challenging and great fun! Students learn self-assurance while acquiring intermediate acting skills. Script analysis and character development are taught through monologue and scene work, theatre games and improvisation. Additionally, voice and movement work help round out this perfect class for serious young actors! Friends and family are invited to a final presentation of the students work performed on the ETC stage.
Ages 19 & Up
Whether discovering acting for the first time or looking to further your skills this class welcomes you. Using contemporary scenes and monologues students will focus on relationship communication, script analysis, character development through action, objective and intention. The class will also focus on making strong choices, being specific and touch upon improv and audition techniques. Theatre exercises are also used throughout the session to build confidence and free the mind, body and voice for individual expression. Scenes and/or monologues are chosen by the instructor and based on each student’s personal needs and desires and are performed for friends and family in a final presentation on the ETC stage.
Meet the Faculty
Brian McDonald, Master Acting Teacher
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 most recent 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 Carol, A Tuna Christmas, The 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. Brian’s 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.
Michael Bernard, Introduction to Improvisation
Michael Bernard spent 10 years as the Associate Artistic Director of The 52nd Street Project, a nationally recognized theater company that creates original theater with kids from Hell’s Kitchen New York City and theater professionals. At UCB NYC Michael directed a few shows including The Chipperton Family Vocaltainers Shooby Dooby Dooby Hour which was an official selection of The HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen. He has also written for Disney, Nickelodeon, Henson Productions, Nick at Nite, DC Comics, Showtime, Spike TV, The Sundance Channel, Noggin, WE, MTV, VH1 and some commercials you probably fast forwarded past.
Since moving to California in 2009 he has performed in LA with "Immediate Theaer" an improv company made of of ex members of Second City and The Groundlings. He also serves as the Artistic Director of Elements Theater. Michael teaches Theater at UCSB and SBCC.
Saturday classes are held at Calm, which is located at 1236 Chapala St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
Monday classes are held at the State Street Ballet 2285 Las Positas Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.
Final presentations for all classes are held on the Ensemble Theatre Company stage at the New Vic, located at 33 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Financial Assistance Program
Limited financial assistance is available through scholarships funded by our education sponsors. Awards are based on financial need and review by a committee. To apply for a scholarship please fill out the online form. Applications must be submitted in advance at least two weeks prior to the start of class. If you are interested in payment plan options please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org call 805.965.5400 Ext. 541.
ETC Educational Outreach Mission Statement
Our mission at ETC is to provide educational opportunities that will deepen the relationship with our community, our existing patrons and encourage both adult and youth audiences to attend the productions, with a heightened awareness, passion and understanding of the theatrical process, the artistic process as well as the issues presented by the work. In this way, we hope to enhance the current work on our stage and position the institution as essential to the cultural and social well being of the Santa Barbara community, our schools and the American theatre. It is important to us that our educational endeavor, through classes and outreach programming, finds a way to maintain a connection to the practices of the past, drawing on them, creating in the present, while structuring a vision for the artistic educational road ahead, with truth and fervor.
To create an environment of total and complete support. An environment in which each student has the same opportunity to understand the principles and techniques being taught at their own pace. All actors need a safe place to experiment. And a safe place to fail without the fear of judgment. Fear and doubt block an actor’s unique vitality and artistic creativity. Actors of all levels are allowed to discover how they might knock down those emotional blocks, and find the courage to break through. That dynamic of trust between the actor and the teacher is essential in a classroom. The one thing an actor has control over is getting better at his or her craft.