Mondays, September 19 through October 24
6:45–9:15 p.m. ET

Instructor: Renea Brown
Prior Experience: Intro to Acting or equivalent

Learn how to create unique and interesting characters and choices by using Shakespeares text, and your own imagination. No matter how many lines or scenes an actor has, character creation is key in making a show memorable! Students will gain a working knowledge of how to build Shakespeare’s characters and intent – a foundation that can then be applied toward continuing study and performance.

Essential Question: What is the process for creating Shakespeare’s characters that illuminates the text, articulates the action, and informs dynamic choices?

Course Objectives: Participants will…

  • Investigate the structures of verse and prose
  • Examine strategies to activate the text
  • Explore a myriad of character choices based on clues from the text

Course Outcomes: Participants will be able to…

  • Scan verse for rhythm and nuance
  • Activate the language physically and vocally
  • Articulate strong choices based on clues in the text Key Knowledge & Skills
  • Scansion of verse and lining-out of prose
  • Text analysis, including an exploration of given circumstances
  • Text based physical life

From the Syllabus:

Week One: Character Exploration: Villains/Lovers/Clowns

Week Two: Character Breakdowns: Text Evidence

Week Three: Choose Your Player & Find your Piece

Week Four: Finding Your Evidence

Week Five: Let’s play

Week Six: Final piece work

 Renea Brown has been an actor for 20 years, primarily focusing on Shakespeare the last 10. She has played over 35 Shakespearean characters professionally, including: Lady Macbeth, Titania, Jacques, and Cassio. She has performed at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, American Shakespeare Center, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Island Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, Round House Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and others. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre at the University of Louisville, and a Masters degree from STC’s Academy of Classical Acting at The George Washington University. She is also the proud owner of Box o’th Bard, where she makes Shakespeare themed gift boxes!

You can catch Renea as Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream, with the Folger Shakespeare Theatre at the National Building Museum!

Creating Shakespeare’s Characters

September 19–October 24

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