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New Parks & Recreation Acting Classes, Workshops Coming This Fall



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Newtown Parks & Recreation recently announced a new series of acting classes and workshops that are slated to begin later this month. These classes will be among the season’s program and event offerings.

The acting programs will be conducted by Inspiring Acting Studio, located on the first floor of Edmond Town Hall.

Inspiring Acting Studio was created by Newtown resident Grant Ossendryver, who is also the owner/director of Newtown’s Inspiring School of Music.

“The studio is taught by acting professionals with industry, stage, and film experience. Each class is designed to give students a fun, empowering, and unforgettable set of acting skills,” Ossendryver explained.

Inspiring Acting Studio specializes in working with beginner to advanced actor students.

The three Parks & Rec offerings this fall will be:

*Acting Intensive: According to the brochure, “Students will be assigned a play to read and will be placed into a partner and/or a ground scene from the play. We will learn to analyze a script and break down a character. By performing with scene partners, we will discover the importance of being able to listen to and react genuinely to our partners. We will also learn how to block a scene (ie, work out details of the environment in which the scene takes place and choose movements that feel truthful to our characters).”

Session 117301 A, for ages 9-15, will run Thursdays, September 22-November 10, with each 60-minute session starting at 4:30 pm; and

Session 117301 B, for ages 14-18, will also run Thursdays, September 22-November 10, with those 60-minute sessions starting at 6:30 pm.

Both programs have a fee of $350.

*Shakespeare Workshop: “There is an old saying in theater: ‘Once you can do Shakespeare you can do anything.’ Studying the language of Shakespeare is a core pillar in an actor’s training. Students will work with a partner, or on a group scene, from a Shakespeare work. Learn to analyze text, embody the character through element work and make powerful, confident acting choices,” Parks & Recreation detailed in its booklet.

Session 117302 A, for ages 9-14, will run Thursdays, September 22-November 10, 4:30-5:30 pm; and

Session 117302 B, ages 14-18, will run Thursdays, September 22-November, 6:30-7:30 pm.

Both programs have a fee of $325.

*Private Acting Lessons: “Learn how to embody a character and use acting to become a truthful storyteller. Develop your own toolbox of acting skills to deliver powerful performances. During each session, students will break down and analyze a monologue or script. Students can bring in their choice of material to work with or will be provided with small sections of a script or monologues (this can include poetry or Shakespeare if the student chooses). Topics include monologue skills, audition prep, script/monologue analysis, Shakespeare (optional), poetry reading (optional),” the program brochure described.

Session 117303 A is offered Mondays, September 19-October 10, for 30 minutes at a selected time between 4:30 to 8 pm;

Session 117303 B is offered Mondays, September 19-October 10, for an hour at a selected time between 4:30 to 8 pm;

Session 117303 C is offered Mondays, October 17-November 14, for 30 minutes at a selected time between 4:30 to 8 pm; and

Session 117303 D is offered Mondays, October 17-November 14, for one hour at a selected time between 4:30 to 8 pm.

The half hour programs have a fee of $149. The one hour programs have a fee of $269.

All four options are available for ages 7-18.

Meet The Instructor

Newtown resident Claire Swanson, of the Inspiring Acting Studio, will be running the Parks & Recreation acting classes and workshops.

Swanson has an extensive background in acting and first gained experience in musical theater with Sabrina’s Encore Productions.

“I can still remember how glamorous I felt being backstage of my first play with [owner Sabrina Post] with the vanity lights and all my friends doing my hair and makeup. Watching the older kids sing and act opened my eyes and gave me a level of professionalism and talent to strive for,” she said.

Swanson participated in Sabrina’s Encore Productions from seventh grade through the end of high school, while also taking Shakespearian classes through Shakesperience Productions, Inc.

“After high school, I attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts Manhattan Campus and was introduced to the teaching philosophies of Uta Hagen and Stanford Miesner as well as trained in Movement, Shakespeare, Dance, Voice and Speech, including dialect/accents, and Alexander Technique,” she explained.

Swanson said debuting as a lead in her first off-Broadway drama, Letters to Sala, was the high point of that official training.

She also has experience teaching youth. She taught children at nature camps while in high school and later when working as an assistant teacher at Fraser Woods Montessori School in Newtown.

“I’ve always loved being able to connect with the kids, share in their bright imagination, and encourage their interests/talents,” she said.

She looks forward, she said, to taking what she has learned from her acting conservatory and bringing it to local students in the upcoming classes through Newtown Parks & Recreation.

“Our town is so well versed in the arts, and I’m looking forward to introducing the methods I’ve been taught and include Shakespeare and Improv training,” Swanson said. “I can’t wait to help each participant find their grounding and passion in acting.”

For more information about Inspiring Acting Studio, visit inspiringactingstudio.com or e-mail info@inspiringactingstudio.com.

Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at alissa@thebee.com.

Inspiring Acting Studio Director Claire Swanson and Owner/President Grant Ossendryver stand outside Edmond Town Hall on September 7. Swanson will be leading multiple acting classes and workshops through Newtown Parks & Recreation starting later this month. —Bee Photo, Silber
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