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Intrepid Goes Academic: Fall Classes Start Tomorrow

Fall is upon us – the chill is in the air, the holiday preparation is underway, the scarves are out of their summer hiding spots. While Intrepid Shakespeare finds itself between shows at this time of year, that doesn’t mean that Artistic Directors Sean and Christy Yael-Cox are taking extended vacations. Far from it. Beginning tomorrow, both will start teaching fall classes at the theater.

“It’s a nice time of year,” says Sean, who is also Intrepid’s Director of Education. “We are in pre-production for Macbeth and gearing up to announce our fifth season and our 2014 reading series.” Believe it or not, in the land of Intrepid, this is what qualifies as “downtime.” Fortunately for experienced actors in need of a tune up or new faces needing a landing place, this is also the perfect time for Intrepid to offer a selection of classes revolving around Shakespeare, public speaking, comedy, and scene study.

Christy with actor Kevin Hafso Koppman during Midsummer rehearsals. Photo: Tiffany Tang

While Sean will helm two of the classes, The Play’s the Thing: Intermediate Scene Study will be taught by Producing Artistic Director Christy Yael-Cox. “It’s a great opportunity for people to work with Christy,” says Sean of the woman who has directed or co-directred the entirety of Intrepid’s productions this year, all of which were honored with Critics’ Choice. “She rarely has time to teach classes, so those who are signed up for this one are really lucky.”

In order to register for Christy’s class, at least one year of training is required, or experience acting in at least one production. Christy will be tackling both Shakespeare and modern scenes with her actors, and describes the class as ideal for those who want to work on their craft.

“It’s like a mini-rehearsal session with her,” says Sean.

If a more intensive Shakespeare experience is the goal, Sean will be teaching a class on approaching and acting the Bard for new and experienced actors.

“It’s amazing when I talk to seasoned actors in town and mention our upcoming Shakespeare auditions,” says Sean, who played the title role in Hamlet earlier this year. “Even the most experienced actors have said that they would love to audition, but Shakespeare scares them.”

Sean as Hamlet, Season Three
Photo: Daren Scott

In light of this, Sean feels it is important to bring Shakespeare down from its unreachable, scholarly pedestal and tap into its origins.

“When he was alive, his plays were popular with everybody,” explains Sean. “People forget that Shakespeare wrote for everyone.”

If there’s any fear that four weeks of Shakespeare will be entirely lecture-based, Sean is quick to dispel that. “We’ll be discovering the material by doing,” he says. In other words, be prepared to get on your feet.

Sean’s Shakespeare session is open to new and experienced actors, and he is quick to assure participants that both are necessary to the process of unpacking this playwright.

“Everyone learns so much by watching other actors in class,” he says. “It’s actually really nice when there’s different levels.”

Both The Play’s the Thing: Intermediate Scene Study and Willpower: A Shakespeare Class will commence this weekend and run on Sundays for four weeks. There is still time to register for limited available spots.

Also on the fall docket is Phil Johnson’s A Master Class on Comedy, which will take place November 24. Public Speaking with Sean will begin November 3 for two sessions.

Classes will be held on Intrepid’s mainstage theatre, the Clayton E. Liggett, on the campus of San Dieguito Academy. For more information on fall classes, click here.

– Tiffany Tang