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Education: College Programs

Master Classes

Classes may be booked in a four-part series at a discounted rate, or individually. Our four-part Master Series includes:
Shakespeare’s Life & Language
Ellen Geer’s Professional Master Class
(2) Theatre Technique Workshops (select from list below)

Shakespeare’s Life & Language
Theatricum’s professional artist/educators combine Elizabethan Life, Song, Dance and Shakespearean text in this energetic, hands-on workshop. Students learn exciting details from this period of English history, including songs, physicality (bows, curtseys, etc.) and a choreographed court dance of the period and participate in exercises devoted to understanding Shakespeare’s rhythm and use of rhetoric.

Ellen Geer’s Professional Master Class
Theatricum Botanicum’s founder and Artistic Director Ellen Geer will present a goldmine of information that will prepare your graduating students for their journey into today’s professional theatre. Each student will present a memorized Shakespearean speech* which will be directed by Ms. Geer as a “job-getting” monologue. Students will be coached on overall audition etiquette and techniques, such as finding their “spot” in an unfamiliar performance space. She will also discuss how an actor can create their own opportunities in today’s market and address the artist’s unique responsibility to young people and society through the discipline of creating quality theatre.

Students should memorize a 2-3 minute Shakespearean verse speech before the start of the class. With advance notice, material can be suggested.

Theatre Technique Workshops
RHETORIC: The structure of Elizabethan writing as it relates to the hierarchy of that society. We help students navigate through Shakespeare’s arguments and bring verbal clarity to his dramatic text. We also help them gain insight into characterization based upon Shakespeare’s use of rhetorical forms, verbal ornaments and patterns of speech.

SCANSION: By dissecting Shakespeare’s use of iambic pentameter and prose, we help students discover characterization, emotional peaks and valleys, scene rhythms and staging. This workshop can be modified to include examination of the First Folio.

FENCING/STAGE COMBAT: War and the threat of war was a constant presence in the Elizabethan world, and Shakespeare reflected that awareness in his plays. Learning techniques in weaponry and combat for safe stage presentation is a valuable tool for men and women alike. With an emphasis on form, footwork, and theatricality, this workshop can be modified to fit your needs and may include epee, rapier and dagger.

PERIOD MOVEMENT: This workshop helps stretch the students’ physical range and imagination as they explore both expansive and subtle methods of movement to match the elevated style of Shakespeare and other classical material. In addition, we combine movement with text to integrate Shakespeare’s heightened language with the physicality of the characters.

IMPROVISATION & THEATRE GAMES: In a joyous environment, students learn to make bold choices quickly and freely. This work sharpens acting fundamentals and can be applied to any type of material, as participants re-discover how to trust their instincts, play in the moment and problem-solve as a team.