ETC's Education Programming Supported by Virginia Castagnola-Hunter, The Towbes Foundation, John C. Mithun and Mercedes Millington, The Leni Fund, Sara Miller McCune and Claudia Lapin.
Summer 2019 Programs at a Glance
This three-week workshop offers middle school students ages 8-13 the chance to expand their performance skills by exposing them to the fundamentals of acting, singing, and dancing. Perfect for students new to the stage or those looking for a challenge, this training program encourages risk-taking and growth with nurturing guidance from theater professionals. Individual attention, ensemble building, character development and improvisation exercises are used to enhance creative expression, positive self-image and confidence. The camp runs Monday through Friday and culminates with a production of a fully produced musical. Tuition includes script/libretto and accompaniment / vocal CD.
Shakespeare Performance Workshop
Enrollment for this four-week summer program is by audition or invitation only. Students ages 14-24 work eight-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week, learning about Shakespeare’s world, script analysis, scansion and verse, dialect, vocal production, and character development. Lead by skilled Shakespearian artists, students rehearse and perform one of the Bard’s masterpieces on the Ensemble stage.
Musical Theater Performance Workshop
Each summer, 30 to 40 young people, ages 14-24, are selected by audition for this four-week intensive training and performance. Under the direction of Education Director Brian McDonald and a professional faculty, participants study vocal technique, dance and acting, and then apply what they have learned in rehearsal for a show which is mounted on Ensemble’s main stage with full production values – sets, costumes, lights and a live band.
Qualified students ages 16-to-25 interested in learning about scenic, light, costume or sound design; set construction and dressing; running lights or sound; stage management; finding, building and running props, etc. receive hands-on instruction and supervision from Ensemble’s production team and are directly involved behind-the-scenes supporting the summer youth productions.
Masters In Acting
Students ages 14-18 are immersed in the world of acting in a 2-week series of master classes with top theater professionals. Disciplines covered include acting, speech, movement, Shakespeare, improvisation, mask-work and audition techniques. Guest artists are invited to share their knowledge and experience with the students. The program culminates with a demonstration of the students’ work.
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.
Meet the Faculty
Brian McDonald, Master Acting Teacher, Audition and Mask Workshop
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.
Caren Adorni, Voice, Movement, and Priciples of Acting
Caren Adorni is an established acting coach in Los Angeles. She has developed and taught acting workshops for over 20 years. Her inspired teaching method is grounded in the Stanislavski System. A native Californian, Caren holds an MA in Theater from UCLA and a BA in Philosophy with honors from UCSB. She studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute with Hedy Sontag. Caren has taught and participated in a variety of venues throughout Europe, including The Pan Theatre of Paris Festival in Avignon, France. She trained in the work of Etienne Decroux (mime) in Padua, Italy and studied The Alexander Technique (body alignment). Caren has directed numerous showcases for her students, including a benefit show at the Empty Stage in Los Angeles for children in foster care. Caren was invited to teach at the 6th International Festival of Making Theater in Athens, Greece and brought her workshops to Norway to teach at Nosen Fjell. Caren’s scholarship includes a Master’s thesis on Eleanora Duse (b.1857), the Italian actress who inspired Stanislavski to study the creative process of the actor. Duse intuitively discovered a method of acting, which enabled her to access truthful emotional expression which she called a state of grace and which Stanislavski later defined as inspiration.
Michael Bernard, Introduction to Improvisation and Acting Shakespeare
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.
2018 Fall Session
Coming Soon: A line-up of new acting classes for ages 5 and up!
- Cheers Star, SNL regular, and Second City Alumn George Wendt: "Cheers," Fletch, "Saturday Night Live," "Clipped."
- Emmy Award-Winning Actress Kate Burton: "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" Big Trouble in Little China, "Rescue Me."
- Director/Producer Steve Robman: "Boston Public," "Gilmore Girls," "Party of Five."
- Casting Director Olivia Harris: Mystic River, Space Cowboys, "Salem's Lot."
Adopt-A-School Program introduces high school students to the thrill of live theater and to the creative process of acting, directing, and to the art of technical, costume and scenic design. Through an intensive preparation process during the school year, the adopted school faculty will collaborate with education specialists from ETC’s Outreach programming to plan for their student’s selected show experience at The New Vic. Content and themes from the show will be integrated into the school’s core curriculum. In-school class workshops will also be offered in Mask, Principles of Acting, and Shakespeare Appreciation.