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New Jersey STAGE: Two River Theater Announces "Winter Education Series" Exploring Playwriting, Musical Theater History, Spectrum Theater Education, Acting, and The Work Of Black, Female Playwrights

By New Jersey Stage

(RED BANK, NJ) — Kick off the new year with the resolution to engage in new theater education programs through Two River Theater’s Winter Education Series starting January 12. The series is open to all those wishing to explore playwriting, musical theater history, spectrum theater education, acting, and the work of Black, female playwrights.

Classes are conducted by members of the Two River Theater family of artists, featuring award-winning stage and screen actress Barbara Andres (I Remember Mama), Broadway actress Crystal Dickinson (A Raisin in the Sun, Seven Guitars), Obie Award-winning actor and director Brandon J. Dirden (Radio Golf, Seven Guitars), Playwright Tony Meneses (The Hombres) and TRT Education and Community Engagement Manager Amanda Espinoza.

PLAYS AND THEIR SHAPES: A 4-WEEK CLASS ON STRUCTURE WITH PLAYWRIGHT TONY MENESES  – 4 DAY SERIES | JAN 12, 19, 26, FEB 2 | 6-8pm | FOR ADULTS AGES 18+, CLASS LIMIT 15 | ZOOM. Tickets: $160. Whether we’re writing Naturalism or something more out there, how we structure our plays is a place for a lot of imagination. We can play with plot, character development, exposition, even spectacle, all through how we shape our worlds. Linear chronology is oft the de facto structure, but this class will challenge how we render an audience’s experience even if we do write traditional beginnings, middles, and ends. The goal is to innovate and surprise the container that we place our storytelling in. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

MY FUNNY WORLD WITH RODGERS AND HART BY BARBARA ANDRES on FEBRUARY 9  at  7:00pm. Tickets: $10. Award-winning stage and screen actress Barbara Andres (I Remember Mama) shares her whirlwind experience in the 1975 Broadway musical revue, Rodgers and Hart, saluting the iconic musical theater compositions of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Journey with this engaging storyteller and performer into the bustling world of Broadway in the 1970s, as she and the revue’s creative team strove to pay tribute to the music and impact of one of musical theater’s most revered musical duos. This digital performance is an excerpt from Barbara’s upcoming memoir of her storied life on stage. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

SPECTRUM THEATER: CREATING AN ACCESSIBLE THEATER CLASSROOM AND SPACE WITH AMANDA ESPINOZA – February 16 at 6:00pm| ZOOM. Taught by TRT Education and Community Engagement Manager Amanda Espinoza | ZOOM. Tickets: $25. Join TRT Education and Community Engagement Manager Amanda Espinoza as she introduces participants to techniques, imagination exercises, and activities to teach theater to students with autism and autism spectrum disorders. Using a variety of dramatic methods, participants will be able to create custom-made games and activities for their students. In addition to teaching the basics of drama-based games used to improve verbal and body awareness, this class will also incorporate the effects of drama therapy in person and online. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

BASIC ACTING TECHNIQUES WITH CRYSTAL DICKINSON AND BRANDON J. DIRDEN – February 21 at 2:00pm | ZOOM. Tickets: $30. Two River artistic family favorites Crystal Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden take you inside the actor’s process with this two-class series on analyzing text and seeking deeper meaning in theatrical works, as both an artist and as a human being. Actors at all levels of experience are welcome to join Crystal and Brandon in a basic acting technique class centered around monologue performance, with additional insight into how to shift performance techniques from the audition room to the camera. This class is $30, attendance to this class as well as the Feb 28 discussion on Black female playwrights on race and America for $50.  For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

BLACK FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS ON RACE AND AMERICA WITH CRYSTAL DICKINSON AND BRANDON J. DIRDEN – February 28 at 2:00pm | ZOOM. Tickets: $30. Two River artistic family favorites Crystal Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden take you inside the actor’s process with this two-class series on analyzing text and seeking deeper meaning in theatrical works, as both an artist and as a human being. In this class, Crystal and Brandon will present scenes from works by Black female playwrights, and participate in a discussion led by co-moderators Gilda Rogers and Taylor Barfield to explore the ways in which these artists addressed American issues of race and gender. The class is $30, enjoy this class as well as the Feb 21 on basic acting techniques for $50. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

FOR EDUCATORS:

The following workshops are the last two in a four-part professional development series entitled The ART of Social Justice, offered as a collaboration between Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center and Two River Theater, in compliance with the New Jersey Amistad Commission. Participants will receive proof of professional development hours.

TEACHING BALDWIN – February 17 at 2:00pm. Tickets: $25 | ZOOM. James Baldwin was one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, and a journey through his work reveals the American tragedy of race and class and their effects on history and politics in our democratic society. An essayist, novelist and a Black gay man, Baldwin’s acerbic analysis of America is still relevant as are his questions about this country’s desire for a more perfect union in the time of Black Lives Matter.  This workshop will provide insightful avenues to discuss the politics of democracy in a racially charged time, by infusing Baldwin’s work into the conversation and address the humanity of a multi-racial nation. It will be led by journalist, Two River Theater Community Relations Manager and VP of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation Gilda Rogers, with special guest Alan C. Burgess. For more info, click here.

VALUING BLACK LIFE THROUGH RE-THINKING PEDAGOGY – May 19 at 2:00pm. Tickets: 25 | ZOOM. For this workshop, Dr. Anwar D. Uhuru and participants will examine how teachers and administrators may be complicit in re-enforcing ideologies that retain a standard/non-standard culture in their classrooms, and how to facilitate long overdue and necessary change. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

To purchase tickets and to learn more about the Winter Education Series, visit tworivertheater.org