Winter Acting Classes for Kids, Teens, and Adults at Ensemble Theatre Company

Winter Acting Classes for Kids, Teens, and Adults  at Ensemble Theatre Company title=
Winter Acting Classes for Kids, Teens, and Adults at Ensemble Theatre Company
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Event Date: 
Monday, January 28, 2019 - 18:30 to Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 12:00

Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) announces its winter line-up of professional acting classes for kids (beginning at age 5) and adults taught by award-winning actor/director Brian McDonald. These classes focus on acting skills and techniques, character development, relationship communication, and script analysis through improvisation, scene study and theater games. ETC operates in a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to take risks and increase their comfort zone while building confidence and stage presence.

Classes also provide participants with the opportunity to study with working theater professionals who hold a high-level degree of experience in acting, directing, playwriting, Shakespeare, movement, voice, and audition techniques. With an average class size of 14, these courses provide equal stage time and attention to individual needs. All classes culminate with a final presentation of students’ work for their family and friends on the ETC­­ stage at the New Vic Theater at 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara.

“I am so excited to lead the effort in providing quality performing-arts educational programs to ETC and the Santa Barbara community,” says McDonald. “We want to attract students from all walks of life, with various levels of performance experience, and offer them professional theater training that is structured and challenging, yet still fun and nurturing.”

Prices of classes range from $180 - $260. Limited financial assistance is available to students in need. To read more about specific class information including dates, pricing, and class descriptions, please visit the “Education” section at

Winter Session (2019) 

Acting for Ages 5-7           9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.    7 Saturdays Feb. 2 – Mar. 16     Tuition: $180
Acting for Ages 8-12        10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.    7 Saturdays Feb. 2 – Mar. 16     Tuition: $220
Acting for Ages 13-18      12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
   7 Saturdays Feb. 2 – Mar. 16     Tuition: $220
Acting for Ages 19+          6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.      7 Mondays Jan. 28 – Mar. 11     Tuition: $260

Class Descriptions
Acting for Ages 5-7
This class is a perfect introduction to the world of theater. Students play imagination games and learn the elements of storytelling while focusing on the exploration of bodywork and vocalization. This is an excellent class for beginning readers. On the last day of the workshop, family and friends are invited to a presentation of the students' work on the ETC stage. 

Acting for Ages 8-12
This introductory class exposes students to scripted scenes and monologues. Students learn memorization techniques, stage presence, listening skills, and working together with a scene partner on contemporary scripted materials. Preliminary exposure to acting is beneficial but not necessary. A final presentation will feature the students’ work throughout the class and is open to all family and friends. 

Acting for Ages 13-18
This is a fast-paced, challenging class with great fun. Students learn self-assurance while acquiring intermediate acting skills. Script analysis and character development are taught through monologues, scene works, theater games, and improvisations. Additionally, voice and movement work will help round out this perfect class for serious young actors. Friends and family are invited to a final presentation of the students work performed on the ETC stage.  

Acting for Ages 19 & Up
­­­­­This class suits people regardless of their goals––whether it is to discover acting for the first time, or advancing their acting skills. Using contemporary scenes and monologues, students focus on relationship communication, script analysis, and character development through action, objective and intention. This class also focuses on training participants on making strong acting choices and touches upon improvisation and audition techniques. Theater exercises are used throughout the session to build participants’ confidence and to free their minds, body, and voice. Scenes and monologues are chosen by the instructor to best match each student’s personal needs and desires. Friends and family are invited to a final presentation of the students’ work performed on the ETC stage.


About the Instructor

Brian McDonald is an award-winning actor, director, and educator. He appeared in the National Tours of Miss Saigon and Forever Plaid. Regionally, he appeared on the stages of the Denver Center, Theatre Virginia, The Lyric Stage, La Miranda performing Arts Center, Ensemble Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and the Ahmanson. As an actor, Brian was honored with many awards, including the Ventura Mayors’ Award for Emerging Artist, LA Weekly’s Best Supporting Actor Award and a Santa Barbara Independent Award for his most recent performance in the one-man-show, Buyer and Cellar.

Brian’s work as a director has earned him a Santa Barbara Independent Award and StageScene LA Award for Best Director. Notable productions include the critically acclaimed world premiere of A Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, A Tuna Christmas, The Sunset Limited (with Joe Spano and Tucker

Smallwood), Bus Stop (5 Ovation nominations including Best Play), MASTER HAROLD… and the boys (nominated for 3 Ovation awards Including Best Play) and the World Premiere musical, Hello! My Baby, written and conceived by Tony-nominated, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner, Cheri Steinkellner. He also conceived and directed the critically acclaimed holiday musical review, A Rubicon Family Christmas.

Brian served as Associate Artistic Director and the Director of Education and Outreach at Rubicon Theatre Company since 2002. He is the founder and former program director of Rubicon's Summer Youth Performance Program, which offers intensive theater training in acting, musical theater, drama, Shakespeare, and technical theater. Under his leadership, nearly 40,000 students were engaged in theatre programs. In June 2018, Brian joined the ETC team as its new Director of Education and Outreach.

To read more about and register for classes, please visit ETC’s “Education” section at or call 805.965.5400 Ext. 541 for assistance. 

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