Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Richmond Shakespeare's Training Department Rocks It Out for Year Two!

Note to readers: this announcement is going to sit at the top of the page for a while. Scroll down to check for new posts.

It's here! The schedule for Richmond Shakespeare's Fall 2007 Training offerings! We've made a strong push to bring in big-time talent to teach this year, and we've moved our six-week class to a "dark" night to accomodate working actors' schedules.

Now if we can get some more of the people who said they were interested to actually come to some classes, we'll be good.

Richmond Shakespeare
Training Department
Fall 2007 Schedule


Shakespearean Scene Study
with Director of Training Andrew Hamm
Mondays, October 15 through November 19, 7:00-9:30 PM
This class is designed to come to the student wherever they are, with essential knowledge for beginners as well as a creative place for more experienced actors to stretch out and play in a demanding classroom environment. Always wanted to play Hamlet or Juliet? This is your chance to prove that you can--or to learn how. Shakespearean acting isn't just for Shakespeare enthusiasts; nothing will help your ability to work with modern texts like understanding how to play with the richest and most beautiful dramatic literature ever written. Instructor Andrew Hamm has worked as an actor, director, and teacher in Richmond, Washington D.C., and New York, recently appearing as Feste in Richmond Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and directing Doctor Faustus. Some homework (memorization, etc.) will be required. 12 students maximum. This is an adult class, but some exceptional high school-aged students may be accepted. Cost: $150.


Acting Like a Person
with Jennifer Massey
Tuesdays, October 16, 23, and 30, 7:00-10:00 PM
A scene study class that promotes “imagination” as the key to creation, “Acting Like a Person” is a special three-week offering. Using the principles of “natural law,” each student is encouraged to “do less an actor, so you can do more as a person.” The goal is believability and a truthful experience; the focus is on self-preparation and self-sufficiency. Acting Like a Person explores: How to truly absorb the story, how to prepare on your own, how to get out of your own way, how to assess and improve your own work, and how to incorporate direction and bring it to life. Instructor Jennifer Massey is a member of SAG, AFTRA and Actor’s Equity, and has appeared on film and television, as well as all over Richmond’s stages, most recently in the Firehouse Theatre's acclaimed production of The Secret of Madame Bonnard's Bath. 7:00-10:00 PM, 8 students maximum. This is an adult class, designed for professional-level actors. Cost: $125.


Character Voices
with Director of Training Andrew Hamm
Tuesday, September 11, 7:00-9:30 PM
Changing your voice for extreme characters, animation, voice-over and radio is not only marketable, it’s a heck of a lot of fun at parties. This workshop will focus on the four dimensions of voice (pitch, tempo, resonance, and phonemes) you can alter to create a “character voice,” as well as techniques to inspire, develop, and catalog voices. Instructor Andrew Hamm has made extreme characters and multiple-character roles a specialty, ranging from Mercutio to Cassius to Lady Capulet. he has also been the voice of Spider-Man, several puppets, and the narrator of HGTV's RV 2007. 20 students maximum. High school age and up! Cost: $20.

with David Sennett
Tuesday, November 6 (THIS IS A CHANGE), 7:00-9:30 PM
You don’t have to have a great ear or know the International Phonetic Alphabet to learn dialects. Learn how to speak like a twit. Impress your date's mother, bore your friends, prepare to joust with the Greeks at Harvard. Next, learn how to irritate a twit. Offend your date's mother, tell off your friends, prepare to rumble wit da boyz. In two hours, master the basics of the Standard British AND the Brooklyn dialects, and have some fun while you're doing it. Instructor David Sennett is an Equity and SAG actor, teacher, director, and producer who has appeared nationally on stage and screen. 15 students maximum. High school juniors and older. Cost: $20

Contemporary Violence
with Drew Vidal
Tuesday, December 11, 7:00-9:30 PM
This class will offer both beginning and experienced actors an opportunity to learn hands-on how contemporary violence is created onstage. As the focus will be on contemporary theatre, participants will be working unarmed and untrained. In addition to learning techniques for performing stage violence safely, participants will take away a unique approach to choreographing their own stage fights. Instructor Drew Vidal has worked extensively as an actor and fight choreographer in Chicago, Richmond, and Washington D.C. Drew choreographed the combant for the Richmond Shakespeare festival's acclaimed Henry IV, Part 1 last summer. His work can been seen in D.C. all season long at the Shakespeare Theatre's productions of The Taming of the Shrew, Tamburlaine, and Edward II. 15 students maximum. Participants should be attired in clothes that do not restrain or hide movement, with soft-soled shoes not worn outside. Any jewelry should be left at home, and contacts worn or glasses fastened. High school age and up! Cost: $20.

Drop me a line at with any questions.

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  • At 8/30/2007 11:30 AM , Blogger Frank Creasy said...

    Hey Andrew - thanks for posting this info. I'm going to try to squeeze in the classes with Jennifer in between Thoreau performances and what we hope will be a late October vacation (so I might miss one class, but I'd love to learn with Jennifer, since I've never worked with her and greatly admire her work). The class also sounds like the kind of thing I've been looking for to take "the next step" in furthering my craft.

    Thanks to you and RST for putting this program together. I hope you get lots of participation.

  • At 8/30/2007 4:06 PM , Anonymous Jacquie O. said...

    Wow, that new photo of Drew makes him look like he is 12 years old!

    I really look forward to taking some of these classes.

  • At 8/31/2007 8:54 AM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    I like his devil-may-care smirk.

    We're hoping to get tuition for the classes set up so you can pay online like buying a ticket. That would be convenient, eh?

  • At 9/04/2007 10:55 AM , Anonymous Jacquie O. said...

    What a great idea! I love technology...when it works. Or when it does not cause cancer...we would still be using rocks to count if it was up to my Mother. Because as we all know color TV, microwaves, cell phones and now computers all cause cancer. But cars are OK because we really need them.


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