Acting students work together on a scene.
SCR isn’t just a great place to see live theatre; it’s also a great place to learn about different aspects of theatre. On a year-round basis, SCR’s Theatre Conservatory offers acting classes for kids, teens and adults in the safe environment of our Tony Award-winning theatre. Led by experienced professional artists, students engage in lively instruction and deepen their understanding of the craft of acting, all while developing important life skills. Students can select from various classes including Summer Acting Workshop (a two-week theatre camp that's like a sampler of the year-round Conservatory classes), Musical Theatre, Playwriting, Acting for the Camera, Improv and much more. In this ongoing series, we’re introducing some of the instructors. Meet Christopher Sullivan.
Which teacher inspired you in your acting studies―and in what way?
I would say that all of my teachers inspired me in different ways. My high school teachers got me interested, my acting school teachers taught me focus and technique and my improv teachers taught me how to tell stories and be in the moment. Tracy Burns was a huge inspiration, as were Karen Hensel, Paul Beidler and Sheila Hillinger.
What should students expect when they walk into class?
Me with an iced tea in my hand and an idea in my head! They should also expect to have fun and play.
What’s your best class memory of an “aha!” moment for a student?
I think my "aha moments" happen long after my students leave and I see them go on to be successful in whatever they do and I hope Improvisational and acting training had something to do with it.
What do you learn from your students?
I hope to learn something different from each of them, even if it’s just a little bit about how they see the world.
Are acting classes (improv classes, playwriting, etc.) only for folks interested in acting?
Nope. I think theatre classes are good for anyone who wants to become a better listener, communicator, storyteller or just to build self-confidence or have fun.
How would your students describe your teaching style?
I have a pretty relaxed teaching style. My goal is always to help students become better storytellers by listening to their partners, accepting their ideas and making them look good by adding to those ideas.
Why might acting classes be scary for some folks and how can they overcome that fear?
You just have to do it. There are a lot more scary things in this world than taking a class. That being said, everyone is a little nervous, but the more classes you take, the less nervous you become and then you start taking bigger risks in class to try to get that feeling of nervous excitement back again.
What’s your favorite dessert?
Learn more about year-round acting classes at SCR's Theatre Conservatory.