Tysons, VA

Tysons theater 1st Stage is continuing its earlier shift towards online classes with a new series of acting courses aimed to help introduce adults or children to acting or continue their education.

Each course consists of six classes with prices starting at $100 per course.

Classes are taught over Zoom sessions. The deadline for registration is Monday, Sept. 21.

Classes for adults include:

  • Playwriting (Tuesdays, Sept. 29-Nov. 3 from 4-6 p.m.) — The class will introduce students to playwriting concepts like idea generation, dramatic action, character and dialogue development.
  • Beginning Acting (Thursdays, Oct. 1-Nov. 5 from 6-7 p.m.) — The class will introduce students to developing believable characters within the play text and teach acting techniques.
  • A Director Prepares (Tuesdays, Sept. 29-Nov. 3 from 1-2 p.m.) — The class will introduce students to direction, particularly on the production, preparation, and conceptualization aspects. The class will also touch on casting and working with designers and actors.
  • Beginning Voice Training (Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 6 from 1-3 p.m.) — The class introduces students to healthy singing techniques, including warm-ups and cool downs, vocal exercises, and simple songs.
  • Play Reading and Discussion (Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 6 from 7-8 p.m.) — The class will involve reading and discussing plays, as well as discussing analytic techniques.
  • Introduction to Improvisation (Wednesdays, Sept. 30-Nov. 4) — The class is an introduction to the basics of improvisation, like “yes, and…” as well as other foundational improv techniques.
  • Intermediate Improvisation (Sundays, Oct. 4-Nov. 8 from 1-2 p.m.) — Students will build on more advanced improv skills and concepts from the earlier Intro to Improv class, with a focus on creating characters and scenes quickly, bold choices, and working together to form a scene.

Five courses are available for grades 1st through 12th.

Classes include:

  • Drama Games (1st-2nd Grade, Mondays, Sept. 28-Nov. 2 from 4-4:45 p.m.) — The course introduces children to basic acting skills with games, activities and exercises.
  • Introduction to Improvisation (3rd-6th Grade, Wednesdays, Sept. 30-Nov. 4 from 4-4:45 p.m.) — This class will cover the basics of improv concepts and building on natural instincts.
  • Beginning Improv (Middle School, Thursdays, Oct. 1-Nov. 5  from 4-4:45 p.m.) — Similar to Introduction to Improvisation, Beginning Improv will focus on teaching improv concepts.
  • Building Your Book (High School, Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 6 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.) — This intermediate class aims to help advanced singers through warmups, cooldowns and exercises. The class is geared towards polishing songs with vocal, musical, and dramatic performances.
  • Play Reading And Discussion (High School, Saturdays, Oct. 3-Nov. 7, 12 p.m.-1 p.m.) — The class will focus on reading and discussing plays with classic and modern analyzing techniques.
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Two Tysons-area theaters are recent recipients of the 36th annual Helen Hayes Awards.

Tysons-based 1st Stage Theatre and Falls Church-based Creative Cauldron were both nominated in several categories earlier this year. In total, 1st Stage Theatre has 18 nominations, while Creative Cauldron has nine this year.

While the awards show is slated for later this month, recent announcements revealed that the theaters have won some awards.

Award announcements began Aug. 31 and will continue until Sept. 11. So far, 1st Stage has won “Outstanding Lighting Design (Hayes)” for “The Brothers Size” and Creative Cauldron has nabbed the “Outstanding Lead Performers in a Musical (Helen)” award for Nora Palka in “On Air.”

Each year, Theatre Washington presents awards to over 90 theatres and artists around the D.C. area in honor of Helen Hayes, who is known as the “First Lady of American Theatre,” according to Theatre Washington. The year-long nomination process for the Helen Hayes Awards includes 40 judges attending around 200 productions.

An in-person Helen Hayes Awards Ceremony was supposed to be May 18th, but due to COVID-19, it was moved to a virtual ceremony. This year’s virtual ceremony will be held on Friday (Sept. 25).

People will have to wait to see if the two local theaters have more of their nominations turned into awards.

Photo via Rob Laughter/Unsplash

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