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Adult Acting & Playwriting Classes

In-Person and Online

Acting, Musical Theatre, Improvisation and Playwriting Classes

The Adult Conservatory was founded 50 years ago with the mission to create classes that would be fun and informative—for people of every age and ability. Today, in addition to the large variety of acting classes, the program includes courses in playwriting, improvisation and musical theatre, enabling students to arrange their own curriculum based on interests and skills.


Summer: June 25 - Aug. 14, 2024
Fall: Sept. 16 - Nov. 7, 2024

$395 for 8 weeks of class.  Early enrollment discounts are available and will automatically appear in the cart.

Most classes are offered every session, but can not be guaranteed. See the cancellation and refund policies.

Taught by a faculty of theatre professionals.

Summer Session: June 25 - Aug. 14, 2024

Class Options


TUESDAYS, 6-9 p.m., June 25 - Aug. 13, 2024
Instructor: Richard Soto

Learn the fundamentals of acting through exercises in basic improvisation skills, scene study and monologues. Explore and develop all the actor's artistic tools: body, voice and imagination. Students will learn to be both quicker on their feet and freer with their minds. Character monologues will be chosen and analyzed to stretch and develop the student's natural gifts of expression. Students will learn techniques that professionals re-visit and refresh throughout their careers. Students also will explore monologues with an eye toward using them as audition pieces. This class is an excellent place to honor and examine the acting “bug.” This class is designed for full group participation as well as carefully tailored one-on-one work. The atmosphere is friendly, highly supportive, stimulating and fun.



WEDNESDAYS, 6-9 p.m., June 26 - Aug. 14, 2024
Instructor: Tom Shelton

Discover the heart of Broadway in our engaging Musical Theatre class. Whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned performer, develop the art of the musical monologue and cultivate techniques to ACT a song, not merely sing it. Delve into music and lyric interpretation, uncover audition material, shape characters, and use your entire instrument—body and voice – with confidence. In our fun and supportive atmosphere, conquer inhibitions, spark imagination, and infuse authenticity into every song!



TUESDAYS 6-9 p.m., June 25 - Aug. 13, 2024
Instructor: Greg Atkins

If the mere thought of having to "make it up on the spot" chills your blood, makes your palms go sweaty and raises your voice an octave, this is the class for you. This fast-paced, fun workshop focuses on acting, characterization, creativity and spontaneity through improvised scenes and theatre games. The emphasis is on thinking faster, making stronger choices and increasing confidence.



TUESDAYS 6-9 p.m., June 25 - Aug. 13, 2024
Prerequisite: at least one semester of actor training.
Instructor: Martin Noyes

Take the next step in the study and performance of scenes and monologues, with tools for creating precise, focused, relaxed and playful relationships on stage. First, students revisit key basics: objectives, text analysis, listening, relaxed awareness and focus. Next, through monologue and scene work with partners, they apply these tools, with the primary focus on cultivating the ability to openly and honestly listen and respond. Students will present one monologue and at least one scene. Using in-class exercises, they will also hone such skills as concentration, body awareness, emotional freedom and specificity, actions, play, heightening emotional connection, self-awareness, self-confidence, commitment, comfort, confusion, fear, character physicalization, memorization and storytelling. If this sounds like a lot, it is! In this class, we work, we laugh and we learn a great deal. Prerequisite: at least one semester of actor training.



TUESDAYS 6-9 p.m., June 25 - Aug. 13, 2024
Prerequisite: completion of two semesters of actor training.
Instructor: Diana Burbano

In this class, we dig deeper into texts, creating more truthful and vibrant characters with powerful onstage relationships. Scene work may involve modern as well as classical plays, according to a student's preference and experience. At this class level, a student feels comfortable with the language of basic acting techniques. Some of the techniques we will practice are: relaxation, commitment, listening, authentic response, characterization, script analysis, and playing strong objectives.



WEDNESDAYS 6-9 p.m., June 26 - Aug. 14, 2024
Instructor: Greg Atkins

This class is for students who have moved beyond the basics of improvisation and want a more intense experience.  Instructor Greg Atkins’ no-nonsense, high-energy approach to improvisation will help students break through fear of the unknown and prepare for any acting (or life) challenge, whether on stage or off.  This class will continue to show students how to:

  • Liberate spontaneity
  • Think quickly on their feet
  • Enhance creativity
  • Make exciting dramatic choices

As Atkins says in his best-seilling book, IMPROV!, “there are only four areas in which improvisation will help you: auditions, performances, business and life.”



Look for this class in a future session
Martin Noyes

Continue your educational journey of theatrical performance by learning the illusionary art of Stage Combat! This class will further your understanding of how to create the believable and safe combative moments needed to tell an engaging, theatrical story. First you will learn how to control your body in falling, tripping, and rolling. Then you will learn how to safely engage in unarmed combat with a partner and how to integrate these values into a scene. Students will learn how to grapple, slap, punch, and kick, with safety being the most important factor. Finally, the class will learn how to choreograph a combative scene, giving the students a first-hand experience of how to make a violent moment believable and safe. We may even begin to touch on armed combat (knife fighting, etc.) should time allow. Join us! Prerequisite: at least one semester of actor training.


MONDAYS 6-9 p.m., June 24 - Aug. 12, 2024
Instructor: Diana Burbano

Students will start the class with short writing exercises and a check-in with the instructor, while the second half of the class will consist of reading from student work generated either in class or outside of class. Reading of work is highly encouraged. PDFs are the easiest way to share. Beginning to experienced writers are welcome.

Online Recommendation: include a computer with a built-in camera, or an iPhone that can be put on a tripod, and a good internet connection. Not required but recommended are an external mic and headphones for better sound quality.


The Theatre Conservatory has been a part of Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory for more than five decades. The Theatre Conservatory and its staff of professional working artists have been an integral part of SCR from the theatre's start, with the goals of laying a strong training foundation and enriching the lives of all its students.

Would you like to register by phone or do you have questions? Call the Education Office at (714) 708-5510

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