**FREE CLASS DEMO ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2015 -- 730pm-9pm**

Teachers from the spring classes will conduct demonstrations of their classes so you can get a sense of what the classes will be like. There will be light refreshments and a meet and greet with the teachers. Spring class sign up will be available.



A Space for Every Actor


The Performance Network will be offering classes in the fall, spring and summer for acting students of all experiences.


Some types of classes that will be offered:


This course is designed for all actors who wish to connect their bodies and voices more fully with their acting work. We will be exploring together the fundamentals of movement as it relates to the theatre. Vital training for all actors and sadly missing from many in Michigan. Where the primary means of creation occurs through the body rather than just through the mind. We will use games, improvisation, some tumbling, ballet (don't panic) and stretch and strength exercises. All geared to help newcomers follow a developmental journey. The basic pattern of moving from impulse to gesture to word. We will also be learning the fundamentals of the Linklater technique for voice. The approach is designed to liberate the natural voice rather than to develop a vocal technique. Very relaxing work after the movement portion of class. Lots of breath awareness, imagery work and letting go. "In our perception of our own voices there is a vital difference to be observed between what is "natural" and what is "familiar". The objective is a voice in direct contact with emotional impulses, shaped by the intellect but not inhibited by it. The natural voice is transparent- revealing, not describing inner impulses of emotion and thought directly and spontaneously. The person is heard, not the persons voice"- Kristin Linklater


A dynamic introduction to working in the field. This class will include:

  • How to rehearse and prepare effectively
  • Physical and vocal techniques for theatre, film and commercial work
  • Scene work
  • Improvisation
  • Building a character and making strong choices
  • Successful audition preparation
  • Understanding the business of acting


In this class the student will continue to work on the process and craft of acting.  We will, through monologue and scene study, learn which questions to ask, and how to commit to your answers. We will work on making the dialogue personal, learning how to internalize and make the words our own.  We will continue to work these fundamentals, with the goal of a seamless and believable performance.   We will practice active listening, using breath and living from moment to moment within the play.  


This class is designed for the more experienced performer. We will put all the fundamental tools learned in the other classes together adding scripted material. Tackling scenic obligations, making choices, understanding them and making them clear to yourself. Fulfilling the emotional and physical life of the material. Outside class rehearsals with scene partners and memorization will be mandatory so you can bring a rehearsed piece of work to class to be discussed and worked with everyone in class together. Failure and success are an integral part of the never ending growth process. As you catalogue all those things you find out about yourself related to preparation, getting ready to act and, in fact acting, we will discover what works and what doesn't work as it relates to an actual scene.


This class is for anyone looking to develop or hone and fine tune their auditioning skills - whether you've been auditioning for years or have never been on an audition. Professional theatre auditions, undergraduate or graduate theatre school auditions. This class will help you develop ease and self-confidence in a general audition and artistic honesty in call back and cold read auditions. The focus of this class will be on what is appropriate and where to find material. Building an audition arsenal of different genres and styles. At the end of the semester, you will have at least a few different monologues ready to audition with and you will have the opportunity to present some of your monologues for area artistic directors, theatre directors and collegiate theatre professionals and get their feedback. 


Come and have fun on Saturday mornings learning all about acting in live theatre!  We will play games, do movement/voice exercises, work on script work, practice storytelling and create an ensemble: all things professional actors do!  This class is a fun introduction for the kid who would like to see what it is like to be on stage and part of an acting ensemble.  No previous experience is required.  We will do a showcase at the end of the last class so parents can see what we have created!  Come join the fun and make “ gains” with us! 


Interview required for the serious 7-12th grade theatre student.  Monday and Wednesday focus on Voice and Movement with Sandra Birch.  Tuesday and Thursday focus on acting and the rehearsing of a script hand picked for the students who are in the class.  This is going to be a special experience for those young actors who are involved.


The right monologue can get you the job.  It’s about showing your audience (i.e.: potential employers) your strengths as an actor.  We use monologues throughout our careers, not only for theatre auditions, but also for casting and theatrical agents.  Choosing material that is right for you is a key part of the process.  Students are asked to bring at least one memorized piece to the first class and, if need be, Ruth will offer other monologues that will suit your “type” better to enhance your audition.


This class is for the  high school aged and adult theatre student and will focus on musical interpretation through song and vocal technique for all genres: musical theatre, pop, jazz, folk. Preparation. Imagination. Concentration. How to use it all to give your best audition and performance. Naz will have a pianist part of the time.


Network teachers are some of the best in the area:  


SANDRA BIRCH is an award winning professional actress working for thirty four years in both The United States and her adopted home of Canada. While in Canada she performed and trained with the internationally acclaimed Arete Physical Comedy Co. With performances across the country from The Olympic Arts Festival in Calgary to The National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Le Festival de Mime de Montreal and World Expo in Vancouver. She developed a movement course that encompasses the best of all of her teachers' training that is fun, practical and accessible to actors of all skill levels. She studied The Linklater vocal technique with the North American expert David Smukkler in Toronto.


JOEY ALBRIGHT has worked as a professional actor since the age of 19 and has been seen on most equity stages in Metro Detroit. He is a former Associate Artist at the Purple Rose and has appeared in films with Ernest Borgnine, Jeff Daniels, and Tom Sizemore. He has appeared in several World Premieres including "Book of Days" by Lanford Wilson. He has a BFA In acting and 26 years of professional experience.


BARTON BUND has taught acting and dramatic writing for adults and children for over 20 years as Theatre Director for Children's Creative Center and with Michigan Actors Studio, Mosaic Youth Theatre, and as a private coach. Barton is the founder of Ann Arbor's Blackbird Theatre, where he directed productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Hamlet," "Cymbeline," "Twelfth Night," the all African-American "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "How the Other Half Loves," his original musicals "Patty Hearst" and "The Glob," as well as original adaptations of D.H. Lawrence's "Women in Love" and "The Rainbow." 


KELLY KOMLEN is an award winning actor, director and teacher in the Detroit area.  She has been seen in many on many stages including "Proof," "Osage County" and "Stupid F…..g Bird" to name a few. She has been teaching for 10 years and is currently teaching at at Mosaic Youth Theatre. She holds a BFA in Acting from Wayne State University. She did her postgraduate studies at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia studying Stanislavsky and Michael Chekhov.


BETH TORREY has been working in professional theatre since 1997 when she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Theatre and Education.  She worked as Education Director at the Purple Rose Theatre Company for 8 years where she was able to marry her love of children and theatre.  She also was the Theatre Director for the Milan Performing Arts Center, where she also taught high school and directed for two years.  Beth has also directed and taught all variety of ages at many local professional theatres such as Tipping Point Theatre, Performance Network, Williamston Theatre and the Michigan Actor’s Studio in the past 15 years.  Currently Beth is the Elementary Coordinator at FUMC Birmingham.  


RUTH CRAWFORD has been a professional actress for 35 years.  She has studied in London, New York and Los Angeles.  Ruth received an MFA from University of Southern California, where she taught acting in their theatre department for several years.  Ruth lived in L.A. for about 25 years, teaching and acting with the Colony Theatre and making commercials.  Since coming back to her hometown of Ann Arbor, Ruth has kept busy at all the equity theatres in the area.  She is currently in a production at the Williamston Theatre.  She has also been featured in many films shot locally:  "Flipped," "Kill the Irishman", and "Batman vs. Superman" as well as the TV series "Low Winter Sun."


NAZ EDWARDS was last seen at the JET in "My Name is Asher Lev" and "Other Desert Cities", which she is thrilled to reprise at Performance Network this season. Naz has been in numerous productions in the Metro Detroit area but at the Performance Network she was most recently seen in the  role of Desire' in "A Little Night Music", for which she also received a Wilde Award. On Broadway Naz played opposite Anthony Quinn in "Zorba", which won her critical acclaim across the United States and Canada.  She was was also a part of the world premiere of "Anna Karenina the Musical" at Circle in the Square.  Naz is very proud to be a part of Michael Feinstein's Great American Songbook Vocal Competition as a mentor and coach for the Midwest Region, and a member of The Songbook Advisory Committee.