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Bucks County Playhouse announces virtual education series

Locals can embrace their creativity this spring through workshops focused on dancing, acting and writing

Safety first: To help theater-lovers embrace their inner dancer, writer and actor from the comfort of home, Bucks County Playhouse is offering a fully virtual series of creative education programs this spring. TIMES FILE PHOTO

After a year of heartbreaking closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tom Wolf recently made a long-awaited announcement – entertainment venues, including theaters, could increase occupancy to 75 percent.

Still, many residents remain hesitant to gather in a public place, especially if they’ve yet to be fully vaccinated. To help theater-lovers embrace their inner dancer, writer and actor from the comfort and safety of home, Bucks County Playhouse is offering a fully virtual series of creative programs this spring.

“We are thrilled to continue our virtual education classes following the success of our winter series,” said Michaela Murphy, director of education at the Playhouse. “Whether you want to drop in for a single class or commit to several weeks, we have something for everyone from age 8 to adult.”

“Writers Workshop” begins April 1 and is designed for writers who wish to meet in an informal, supportive session. Writing prompts will be provided as an option, though students can choose to work on something of their own voice. The workshop, for ages 17 and up, is ideal for those looking for an accountability group. Words of encouragement will always be shared. Attend eight weeks or individual classes.

“Acting for Adults” begins April 6 and includes scene study and monologue techniques for multi-generational students, ages 17 and up, of varying experience. Using improvisation, assigned scenes and monologues, the actor will identify the intersection of their own authentic self to the fictional character. The class encourages compassion and understanding of the student and their peers. The class lasts eight weeks.

“Writing and Performing Your Solo Show” begins April 7 and lasts eight weeks. Actors and writers, age 17 and up, will be guided toward creating their own 10-minute personal monologue for performance. Through writing prompts, they’ll mine moments from life, such as memories, secrets and stories, that they wish to tell. Once words are crafted on the page, students will be coached on how to bring them to the stage. Everyone has a story to tell, and this class aims to empower students to do just that.

The instructor for this class is June Ballinger, who has performed on Broadway and at numerous off-Broadway theaters in New York. Film/TV credits include The Blacklist, Law & Order and various daytime soaps. She has a private coaching practice.

“Improv for Adults” begins April 8 and is designed for ages 17 and up. This is a drop-in class. Students who attend multiple classes may be eligible for a discount. Attendees will learn the building blocks of improv, including creating characters, establishing relationships and exploring scenework. Those interested in learning comedy improv, building confidence in public speaking, or just having fun are invited to sign up. No prior experience necessary.

The instructor for this class is David Lee White, a New Jersey-based playwright and educator who has worked at various theaters. His work runs the gamut, from crowd-pleasing comedy and political satire, to musical theater and mental health advocacy.

“Broadway Dance Workshops: Spring Musical Series” begins April 10. Attend the 3-week series or individual classes. Learn original choreography from favorite Broadway musicals in the living room. Instructor Dani Juraga, who owns the Downstage Center Dance Studio in Morrisville, will walk students through the steps to put together a musical number from a different show every week. Workshops are fun, laid back and open to dancers (or non-dancers) of all levels. This virtual class is open to students ages 8 and above, so the whole family can join the dance party. The schedule includes Matilda on April 10; School of Rock on April 17; and High School Musical on April 24.

For more information, visit bcptheater.org or call Murphy at 215-862-2121. Returning students can receive a 20 percent discount for referrals. There is also a sibling discount of 20 percent if two or more household members want to take the same class. To receive the discount, students must inquire prior to registration at info@bcptheater.org.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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