Theatre Festival Workshops

2023 Workshop Schedule

2023 Workshop Descriptions

Acting Shakespeare with No Prep. Bill Watson (UW-Milwaukee). Techniques for getting up and immediately acting Shakespeare text with no preparation and for deepening and broadening an actor’s connection to and understanding of a text immediately. This workshop will utilize techniques used by Feast of Crispian, an organization that uses Shakespeare and acting processes as a therapeutic intervention for veterans coping with PTSD. This workshop will bring up a handful of audience volunteers to work in front of the group in a demonstration of the work. No special preparation is necessary.

Audition. Alan Kopischke (UW-Green Bay). Take the mystery out of auditions and have fun – it’s how you get roles! We’ll discuss & demonstrate audition principles, and I’ll coach those who prepare a one minute monologue. We’ll prioritize memorized pieces, but we can also work with pieces you are still in progress with. You may also simply observe. If time permits, cold reading techniques will also be discussed and practiced. If you’ve got a headshot & resume, bring it! We’ll talk about those, too.

Basics of Safe Swashbuckling. Ron Parker (Appleton North HS). Using wooden practice swords, students will learn the fundamentals of swordplay for the stage including the proper positions, stances, footwork, attacks and parries necessary to create an effective and safe armed combat scene on stage. Participants will also learn some basic terminology as well as a brief overview of the history of the sword.

Broadsword Stage Combat for Shakespeare Demo and conversation. Bill Watson (UW-Milwaukee). Several actors and the director from from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Theatre Department will perform Broadsword combat scenes from their current production of Macbeth and have a conversation with attendees about Shakespeare, stage violence and sword work. No preparation necessary.

Comedy Improv: Of the Student, By the Student, and For the Student. Ron Parker (Appleton North HS). Students will learn basic techniques of performing improv from members of IMPROVEDY–Appleton North’s popular comedy improvisational troupe. Participants will be introduced to and play a variety of games that teach various improv skills. Learn how to start your own successful improv troupe at your school!

Crafting Musical Theatre Performances. Nate Plummer (Stage Door Unlocked). Musical Theatre is so much more than singing and dancing! This workshop will walk your through how to create realistic and honest musical theatre performances both on stage and in the audition room using different vocal and acting techniques to tell well-crafted stories. The workshop will conclude with the opportunity for 2 – 3 people to sing a short selection of a musical theatre song (approx. 30 seconds) and get feedback from an internationally known musical theatre audition coach. If you love musical theatre you won’t want to miss this workshop!

Creating an Emergency Action Plan. David Pierce (Northern Michigan University). We live in a world where anything can happen. Come talk about steps you can take to ensure you and your venue or school are prepared for the inevitable. From fire drills, tornado warnings, medical emergencies, to shelter in place we’ll discuss how best to handle these situations and prior actions you can take to make sure you, your students/staff, and patrons are safe. The worst emergency plan is one that doesn’t exist so let’s discuss how to create one. DISCLAIMER: Topics discussed may be triggering for some attendees.

Design and Production Portfolio Preparation. Mark Harvey (UMN-Duluth). Present a range of portfolio and resume formats for students wishing to demonstrate their theatre design and production work for entry level job opportunities and college entrance interviews. Students may bring samples of their work to be considered for various formats.

Director/Designer Communication. Erin Hisey (UW-Eau Claire). Theatre is a collaborative art that depends on good communication amongst the artistic team to create a visual presentation that is both powerful and creative. In this workshop we explore the reasons why communication is necessary and begin to develop a shared vocabulaly for directors and designers using games and discussion.

Discovery-Driven Monologues. Neil Scharnick (Carthage College). Nothing makes a monologue come alive like characters making “discoveries” about themselves and their world as they perform. Students are invited to bring prepared monologues, use a text provided, or just watch and learn as we consider what it means to “discover” as we act.

Finding the Art and Subtlety in Acting on Camera. Simon Provan (Wisconsin Lutheran College). Students will learn basic differences between acting on-stage and on-camera. Students will be encourged to participate in on-camera exercises (depending on size of the group, volunteers may be limited). Through these exercizes, students will gain a foundation of how to act truthfully under imaginary circumstances while performing on-camera.

Going Beyond Ticketing: Marketing, Fundraising, Classes and Collections. Kaghen Miller (Ludus). The business of Theatre doesn’t have to be complicated. Manage ticketing, fundraising, marketing, classes, and trip payments effortlessly. Choosing a ticketing platform that does more than ticketing is essential. Discover key criteria for choosing the right company for your program and effective strategies for streamlining and boosting seat occupancy and revenue through marketing and fundraising. Join Kaghen Miller as he shares insights for directors, boosters, and box office staff on optimizing seat occupancy, along with current ticket sales trends and profit-boosting practices.

Interaction of Colors. Dinesh Yadav (UW-Green Bay). How do we see things, how do we see colors in things? What are primary colors, secondary, and tertiary colors? Why have these been categorized in such a way? What happens when you mix primary to primary and primary to secondary color? What is additive and subtractive color mixing? What are RGB and CMYK stands for and what are their uses? Color wheel and complementary and analogous colors and their use in everyday life. This workshop will have answers to all of the above questions.

LED Lighting – Everything from Purchasing to Programming. Jeffery Chesebro (MainStage). About to purchase LED Lights? Already have LEDs and just want advice on how to program? This workshop will enlighten people on how LED lights react, what to look for when purchasing, and how to use them alongside or replace incandesent. We will feature LED elliposidals, pars, cycs, and moving lights from multiple manufacturers to show the spread of how far LED has come. Participants should have basic understanding of lighting but will be encouraged to ask questions.

Out of the Kit Makeup Effects. Kaoime Malloy (UW-Green Bay). This workshop will cover simple special effects makeup techniques, including small prosthetics. Participants should bring a Ben Nye, Kryolan, or Mehron bruise wheel and a small makeup brush.

Punches, Slaps, and Kicks, Oh My! The Basics of Unarmed Stage Combat. Ron Parker (Appleton North HS). Students will learn the fundamentals of unarmed stage combat focusing on safety and the creation of “realistic illusion” and storytelling. Participants will learn a basic punch, kick, slap,c hoke, strike, and pull, as time permits. Various knaps (simulating the sound of andunarmed attack on stage) will be explored as well as basic unarmed combat vocabulary.

So… You Want to Audition for College? Nate Plummer (Stage Door Unlocked). Are you or your students preparing to audition for college? Then this workshop is for you! Participants will be walked through the process of auditioning for colleges, what to expect, what types of pieces they might need to prepare, what different audition terms mean, and be able to ask questions from an internationally known audition coach whose clients have attended some of the best theatre and musical theatre programs in the country. If you are preparing for college, this in one workshop you won’t want to miss.

The Patron Experience IS your Brand! Kaghen Miller (Ludus). Discover the pivotal concept your patron experience defines your brand in this engaging workshop. Your brand is shaped from the initial contact and extends through every pre-show interaction and beyond. Learn to turn each patron interaction into a chance to fortify your brand and cultivate loyalty. Unlock secrets with Kaghen Miller, an experienced actor, stage manager, teacher, coach, and Lead Product Specialist at Ludus.

Yoga for Actors. Dinesh Yadav (UW-Green Bay). Yoga is the oldest and most effective known technique of mind-body training. For an actor, the primary tool is the body functions with the instruction of the mind, therefore training the body and mind is essential for actors’ training. This workshop will introduce young actors to the discipline of yoga.