OSWEGO -- Workshops on stage presence, delivery and
acting, as well as a trip to the Shaw Festival in Canada, will
highlight SUNY Oswego's Summer eighth annual Theatre Institute from
July 18 to 31.
The program is designed for high-school students entering
their junior and senior years. Participants completing the institute
will receive three semester-hours of college credit.
Enrollment is at capacity for its eighth straight
year with a waiting list, said the institute's coordinator, Mark Cole,
professor and chair of theatre at SUNY Oswego. "This year, we have
students from South Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, Pennsylvania,
Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey and New York," he added. "I look forward to
seeing the students bond once again -- it happens very quickly since we
begin classes on the evening of the day they arrive."
Sessions will cover such topics as fundamentals of
acting, improvisation, relaxation techniques, movement, stage combat
and voice training. Special seminars and workshops will lend guidance
in such issues as auditioning, mask work and acting for commercials.
Instructors bring professional production and
teaching backgrounds to their workshops and classes. Paul Savas, a
member of the SUNY Oswego theatre faculty, will discuss directing,
acting and improvisation. David Morgan, a faculty member at Brigham
Young University, will lead sessions on directing, acting, voice and
Kevin Kennison, a guest instructor in directing and
acting, is a casting associate for Disney Theatrical Productions.
Jennifer Aldridge, a development associate for the Cornerstone Theatre
Company in Los Angeles, will teach acting. Kennison and Aldridge are
SUNY Oswego theatre alumni. Gary Izzo, the artistic director for the
Sterling Renaissance Festival and another Oswego alumnus, will also
The institute will visit the Shaw Festival in
Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday, July 24, to allow students "to see one
of the premier theatre companies in North America perform two plays
that are rich in character, comedy, intellect and passion," Cole said.
Students will attend performances of Eugene O'Neill's "Ah Wilderness"
and George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion."
"There's very little down time, actually. Since the
institute is just two weeks, we feel it's important to explore as many
facets of acting work as possible," Cole said. "They will interact in
seminars that deal with the process of preparing and auditioning for
colleges, the techniques of on-camera acting for commercial and
dramatic work, mask performance and improvisation."
The overall emphasis is on acting training with "a
focus on the craft of acting," Cole noted. "Instead of working on one
role for the two weeks, students can stretch their abilities by working
on a variety of texts in scene work and monologues."
The institute will wrap up July 31 with an
opportunity for participants' families to come and watch them work. "It
invariably gives parents a greater appreciation for the tremendous
discipline that is essential for successful acting," Cole explained.