Pleasantville, NY – For children who need to “act out”, teenage thespians looking to fine-tune their skills and build their college resumes, and adults who just want to do something “dramatic”, one of Westchester County’s premier acting coaches, Yorktown Heights resident Howard Meyer, is offering an expanded series of classes for each age group beginning September 18th. All classes take place at the theatre company’s space at 8 Sunnyside Ave., St. John’s Episcopal Church in Pleasantville, New York.
Howard Meyer's Acting Program, founded in 1994, is launching its fall sessions on Wednesday, September 18th with Basic Technique for adults, age 18 and over, children ages 10 -12, and teens, ages 13 -17. Classes run from 7:30 pm until approximately 10:00 pm for adults, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm for children, and from 5:15 pm to 6:45 pm for teens. The 12-week sessions go through December 11th with an option to continue for winter and spring sessions. Classes for Intermediate and Advanced students are by invitation only and begin the week of September 9th.
Meyer, the artistic director of the Acting Program and also Axial Theatre, the acclaimed regional professional theatre company, embraces the definition of acting given by Sanford Meisner, a great 20th-century acting teachers: "Acting is the art of living truthfully in imaginary circumstances."
“My goal and the bar that I set for my fellow instructors,” added Meyer, is to help students discover their truths, embrace what they value, and learn how to accept and to express what it is that they feel deeply about. The training that our students receive is designed so that each student discovers in their own way how to master the acting technique and to realize the joy of full creative expression.” Meyer teaches the advanced classes. He has been a drama teacher and individual coach for 25 years. He is also an award-winning and produced playwright and director.
Echoing Meyer, Rachel Jones, the teacher of Basic and Intermediate Acting, added, “We draw on an array of exercises developed by the best theater minds of the 20th-century to help each student build a craft that is personal, accessible and repeatable.” Jones is an Equity actor and Axial Theatre Company member with over 25 years of experience on stage, in film and television, as well as close to 15-years-experience as an HM Acting instructor. She was a founding member of New York's Avalon Repertory Theatre where she both acted and directed. “My goal is to show students how the craft of acting can free their inner creativity and talent.
Classes for young performers will be taught by Pleasantville resident Jess Erick, an actor, teacher, coach, director, singer/songwriter and playwright who has worked with Jones on Program Workshops for several years. An alumna of the HM Acting Program, she has worked with children as a guitar teacher and as an assistant art teacher at The Karafin School in Mt. Kisco. “I strive to free my students of any anxiety or reservations that they have to work with themselves and others, while also having fun and developing a sense of lasting security that they will be able to apply to every aspect of their lives.”
Classes for students ages 10-12 will cover all aspects of acting for the stage, with a focus on improvisation, monologues and discovering and using one’s voice. Students will learn to project with clarity, to build confidence, skill and trust through improvisational exercises, and to work from scripted and original monologues.
For students ages 13 to 17, the program stresses the techniques and principles of the craft. Using exercises which cultivate the imagination, the senses, and vocal and body expressiveness, students are encouraged to access their own uniqueness and point-of-view.
Basic Technique is $235 for a six-week session or $395 for 12 weeks. Young actor sessions are $365 and, for teens, $385 for 12 weeks.
Howard Meyer’s Acting Program also offers playwriting classes, beginning Wednesday, September 18th, as well as periodic workshops in such areas as voice, improvisation, on camera and audition technique. For information on all classes and costs for Intermediate or Advanced classes, call 914-962-8828. To register online, visit www.hmacting.org