Photo of Talk Is Free Theatre’s new education director Robbie Woods.

Talk Is Free Theatre in Barrie offering new adult acting classes

By Susan Doolan, Special to QMI Agency

Talk Is Free Theatre is launching a new adult acting class along with its spring programming for children and youth.

At the helm is the theatre company’s new education director, Robbie Woods.

The Barrie native has been teaching improv classes since last fall and the acting class emerged out it.

“I’d been talking to Cara (McRae), our administrator, and people had often asked about acting classes, if we did anything like that,” said Woods, adding that they decided to give it a try. “I want to teach the basic tools professional actors use when they approach a script, honing in on what the key elements of the character you’re creating.

“A lot of people that do not have acting training focus on emotions, but really modern acting is about action,” Woods added. “So, that is what I want to focus on.”

Within that, he does plan on tailoring the classes to the students and their level of expertise. The class is open to all levels of experience from beginner to intermediate and more advanced actors.

Woods’ interest in the theatre goes back to elementary school when he was “peer-pressured” into auditioning for a school musical and discovered he really liked it. By the time he went to high school, it became his main focus.

While in Grade 9 at Bear Creek Secondary School, he became involved in Talk is Free Theatre’s Small Talk, a mentorship program for high school students interested in pursuing theatre as a profession.

Woods stayed involved throughout high school mostly as an actor, but also writing a couple of the shows that were staged by the students. He rewrote a couple of those shows when he was in university. Woods graduate from York University with a bachelor of arts in theatre last year.

Woods has also appeared one of TIFT’s professional shows, Bye Bye Birdie. He played Harvey Johnson, one of the nerds.

For his current career path, beyond teaching, he is interested in writing and creating his own opportunities. Over the past year, he’s had seven plays produced, some more than once. He is also doing a lot of television writing and pitching his stories.

There are four classes running in the spring session. Acting classes for children age 6-9 and youth age 10-14 take the form of Making a Play, from creating characters to rehearsal and performance. The younger age group runs from noon to 2 p.m., the older kids 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. from May 4 through to June 15 (no class on Victoria Day weekend). Cost is $150.

TIFT is also offering an introductory improv class for adults, age 16 and up. Explore your creative side, exercise your wit and become more comfortable in front of people through a series of fun, spontaneous theatrical games and exercises. It runs from May 5 to June 30 — no class Victoria Day — on Mondays from 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., $175 plus HST.

For the Long Form Improv class, some experience on stage is required. Open to adults, age 16 and up, it goes beyond the quick games with one or two performers to creating fully functioning one act plays from a suggestion.

It runs Saturdays from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., May 10 to June 28, $175 plus HST.

Adult acting classes are open to age 16 and up and run from May 6-June 24, Tuesday evenings, from 7-9:30 p.m., $175 + HST.

To register or for more information call 705-792-1949 or visit www.tift.ca.

Click here to read the article on The Barrie Examiner website.

Talk is Free Theatre new education director Robbie Woods is teaching a new adult class. SUBMITTED