- Start Date: TBD
- Course Type: Live Webinar
- Cost: $200 (Auditor) / $450 (Participant)
- Enrollement: 10 Participant / Up to 100 Auditor
- Certificate-Earning: No
About the Character and Performance Projects Course
When developing character for stage or screen where should the actor begin? This 6-week course – taught by legendary acting instructor Mel Shapiro – walks experienced actors through a framework for building stronger, more dynamic characters. In this course, students will draw on personal experience to explore emotion and characterization, and ultimately present a short piece to their classmates.
This course features six live 2-3 hour sessions:
What to Expect:
- Improvs. Which will tune up your responses and imagination.
- Monologues. That you have prepared by modern or classical authors. The material should be from pieces that challenge you.
- Scenes. That you and your partner are in the process of working on. The material should be from pieces that challenge you. You can cast yourself against type.
- The Auto-drama. A presentation of the high points of your life, done metaphorically. This is explained in the book, ‘An Actor Performs’.
- The Auto-drama of the Character. You might want to develop an Auto-drama about a character you are working on.
- One Person Show & The Activist Project. Or an exploration of a living person, someone, someone who wants to change the world, the Activist Project.
Week 1 - Improvs
Experiment with improvisation and developing character on the fly, based on your own experiences.
Week 2 - Monologues
Work with monologues.
Week 3 - Scenes
Develop scenes with a partner and work on building character.
Week 4 - The Auto-drama
Explore the autobiographical drama and use the form to explore characterization.
Week 5 - The Auto-drama of Character
Continue working with the auto-drama.
Week 6 - Live Performances
Present short performances to your classmates.
All courses in our Performance Programs include two levels of participation: Auditor and Participant. Auditors listen to and watch live class sessions, but don’t participate and interact with the instructor/other students. Auditing is great for students who want to experience a course without participating. Auditors can watch live sessions, access on-demand replays of live classes and have access to course materials.
Participants, on the other hand, attend live classes and interact with instructors and other students. In addition, participants can access class recordings, course materials and contact instructors.
No. Our Performance Program courses are taught by master instructors, coaches and other arts professionals, and not affiliated with a partner university. If you’re interested in earning a certificate or joining a degree-earning course, explore our University Programs.
Choose the Instructor tab to learn more about the instructor for your class. All of our Performance Program instructors are in-demand coaches with decades of industry experience. Study with the best!
No. There are no prerequisites. However, our Performance Program courses are designed primarily for intermediate and advanced actors, dancers and performers. If you’re unsure if you’re ready for a course, contact an EMERGE learning advisor.
To enroll, select “Register for Course” on the course details page. Then, create an account and select which course and participation level you prefer for that course, e.g. Auditor/Participant. Finally, complete checkout.
After successfully enrolling, the EMERGE team will be in touch to help you access course materials and answer any questions.
Participants should plan to attend weekly live course sessions. If the student can’t make a course, arrangements should be made with the instructor.
Another option: If you can’t make a course’s regular weekly live sessions, consider participating as an Auditor and viewing class recordings each week.
Our classes are live webinars offered via Zoom. All you need to attend is a stable internet connection and a connected device. Students may wish to upgrade audio or web cam, but this is not required.
Courses must be paid in full prior to enrollment. Enrollment is open on a first-come, first-served basis. Our courses do fill up quickly; if you’re interested in participating, enroll as soon as you can.