Adult Education – Past Theatre Workshops for Theatre Lovers 55 and Up

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About the Workshops

This series of workshops will immerse you in learning that will cumulatively build your skills and comfort in speaking out and sharing your stories. Bring your friends, make new friends and share the joy of theatre!

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Beginning Acting: Discover Your Inner Performer

8 classes
Mondays, January 7 – February 25, 2019
1:00-2:30 pm
Park Square’s Andy Boss Thrust Rehearsal Hall

Free your inner performer through activities, theatre games and assignments and apply these skills to develop a character in a short scene which will be performed with classmates.

Ivey Award-winning performer, writer and director Shanan Custer will help the class to become a safe space where you can experiment, discover and enjoy performing. The class will work in small groups on scenes and with Shanan’s guidance, create a performance that everyone is comfortable with that will be shared with family and friends. Memorization of lines is not a requirement.

Make ’em Laugh: Comedy Styles and Performance

Nine classes:
Mondays, September 10 – November 5, 2018
1:00-2:30pm in Park Square’s Andy Boss Thrust Rehearsal Hall

Explore the genius of comedy greats like Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, and Carol Burnett. Learn about the techniques they used to create each type of comedy and discover your inner comic. Local actor, writer, and improviser Shanan Custer will share her insights and guide you through exercises that will help you to discover and refine your ability to create and perform comedy.

ABOUT SHANAN CUSTER: Described by critics as a “clever an inventive voice in comic theater,” Shanan Custer is a veteran of the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, where she performed from the reign of Jesse Ventura to the Bush and Kerry election. Shanan’s original work includes 2 Sugars, Room for Cream, which won an Ivey Award for Best Ensemble in 2013, as well as its follow-up Sometimes There’s Wine (Best of the 2016 MN Fringe Twin Cities), which is also Park Square’s 2018-19 season opener (both with Carolyn Pool). As an actor, Shanan has performed with Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Frank Theatre, Theatre Pro Rata, Comedy Suitcase, Mu Performing Arts and The Mystery Café. Shanan is also a director, improviser and teaching artist who loves to teach and create theatre with students of all ages. Shanan is a member of the improv comedy group The Theater of Public Policy and teaches theatre at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Other honors include being named the Twin Cities Bloggers 2016 Favorite Comedic Performance for her work in Park Square Theatre’s Calendar Girls and The Liar as well as a featured artist in 2017 on Twin Cities PBS MN Original Series.

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Storytelling 2: Polish Your Performance

Storytelling 1 or experience performing stories for an audience. Come to the first class with a story you would like to craft.

8 classes
Mondays, March 11 – May 6 (no class April 1)
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Park Square’s Andy Boss Thrust Rehearsal Hall

Enjoy Dane Stauffer’s creative style of leadership as you explore your stories on a deeper level and identify and refine your way of working. Using the stories you bring to class, we will delve further into the craft of performing: diction, ad-libbing, getting back on track, pacing and reading the room. We will also begin to explore the “circuit” of storytelling opportunities in the Twin Cities. The class will include an evening field trip to see storytellers in action.

As the class works together to craft your stories, you will become a strong community, gain confidence and discover the joy of focusing and sharing your unique perspective with the world. The class will culminate in a storytelling evening for an invited audience in the Park Square Proscenium Stage. 

Storytelling: From the Page to the Stage


Eight classes:  Tuesdays, April 10 – June 5, 2018
1:00 – 2:30pm in Park Square Theatre’s Andy Boss Rehearsal Hall

Tell your story!

Using writing exercises and theatre games, participants will develop their unique point of view, and learn how to express themselves freely in all situations. You can expect to expand your comfort zone and laugh a lot as you learn to share in front of others.

Award–winning actor, writer, and director Dane Stauffer will lead the class through exercises that will develop a collaborative ensemble and help each participant write and perform a story with conviction and joy. The class will culminate in an optional storytelling evening in Park Square Theatre’s Andy Boss Thrust Stage.

Dane has a great way of making everyone feel comfortable and accepted.  I enjoyed the class so much that I recommended it to a group of seniors that I meet with regularly.”
–Linda Z., Recent Workshop Participant

First off, the class was fun, great fun. Dane put me at ease with the first group exercises…The class showed me I was still a creative spontaneous ‘senior’ person.”
–Maureen C., Recent Workshop Participant

ABOUT DANE STAUFFER: Fresh off a successful run starring in the IVEY award-winning musical Glensheen at the History Theatre, actor, playwright and teacher Dane Stauffer is pleased to lead this workshop. He studied at the Children’s Theatre School of Minneapolis as a child and spent several happy teen years improvising Commedia del Arte at Renaissance festivals. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Dane returned to the Twin Cities and became a resident company member of Dudley Riggs’s Brave New Workshop.



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