Acting for the Stage: Performance Classes at the Guthrie

Whether you have experience on the stage, are dabbling in theater for the first time or want to improve your communication skills, we have classes for adults of all interests and skill levels (ages 18 and up).

Check out our Exploratory Classes - introductory classes made to engage your creativity and our newly designed Performance Pathway – a multi-level actor training option created to develop your acting chops and hone your voice, movement, text analysis and musical theater skills.

All registrations through November 30 are 20% off!

Package discounts and personalized payment plans are available, and you save $100 when you register for three or more classes.

How it works: If you are just starting out, our Introduction to Acting Classes provide a foundation for the performer in voice, movement and text.

Once the foundation is set our Intermediate Acting Classes allow performers to continue building their foundation with a wide variety of classes. From text analysis to auditioning and advanced character work to exploring specific acting techniques such as the Alexander Technique -  these classes offer the actor continued training opportunites to learn and grow.

The Advanced Acting Classes are structured for the actor to continue to explore and refine their practice with longer form classes such as the Studio Intensive classes where students work intensively on scene work and monologues to be performed at the final class for an invited audience as well as shorter master class workshops to expand the skills of the actor. 

To see our full lineup of January-April classes, visit us online


Slay! with Brian Bose
Feel sexy, fierce and powerful while learning fun choreography, grooving to music and dancing your way to empowerment. This class creates an open environment to explore your body, challenge yourself and reconnect with your inner child. Strip away fears and perfectionism, and learn to get out of your own way so you have no choice but to slay. 
No prerequisite or dance experience necessary. Capacity: 30.

Playwriting I 

Have you ever imagined characters and been inspired to bring them to life on the page? What does it take to write an engaging scene and captivate an audience? Discover the key ingredients of a great drama or comedy and work toward creating your own short play in this 6-week class with local playwriting Josh Tobiessen. No prerequisite, Ages 18+, Capacity: 14 students


Playwriting II

In this intermediate-level playwriting class, students will work on refining their style and technique. Participants will work on crafting their piece with the help and feedback of the instructor and fellow classmates.  Dive into valuable writing exercises, collaborate on staged readings of your work, and learn how a playwright takes their work from the page to the stage. Prerequisite: Playwriting I or similar experience. Capacity: 10   


Voice & Speech for the Non-Actor

This introductory class is for students who want to improve their pronunciation, articulation and intonation skills in American English. The emphasis will be on improving the skills that affect your ability to be understood; pronunciation of vowels and consonants, pitch, tempo, and stress patterns. This class is designed for all students who wish to improve their speech whether English is your first language, second or third! Students will receive individual correction and feedback, and will have time for conversational practice under guidance of the instructor. No experience necessary, Ages 18+, Capacity: 12 students.


Stage Combat

Learn the tools and techniques it takes to craft safe and believable acts of violence on the stage. This class will explore the world of unarmed stage combat. From refining your uppercut, to selling the pain of a knee to the stomach, to safely falling, this class focuses on the intricate choreography stage combat requires from an actor to ensure crucial moments of a play are executed in a believable and (more importantly), safe way. Over six weeks you will learn some of the basic techniques as well as what goes in to creating a moment of violence on stage and how it differs from film. Come and enjoy some knock down drag out fun all while keeping you and your partner safe. All experience levels welcome. No prerequisite, ages 18+, capacity: 12 students.


Presentation & Communication Skills

Our bodies, faces and voices tell stories about who we are, communicating verbally and non-verbally in ways we don’t even realize. It’s time to take control of your story! Learn specific verbal and non-verbal skills that give you the confidence to be your best self and to respond in authentic, spontaneous and mindful ways. This on-your-feet class covers interviewing, presentation skills, meeting management and networking. No prerequisite, Ages 18+, Capacity: 14 students


Voiceover I: Intro to Voiceover

Have you ever been curious about the world of radio and broadcast? Discover your vocal range and explore the necessary skills required to deliver the copy, impress the client, and sell the product. Learn the basics of choosing the right piece, reading commercial copy, and much more. No prerequisite, Ages 18+, Capacity: 12 students


Voiceover II: The Industry

Serious about pursuing voiceover work? Learn all about audition etiquette, copy analysis, how to handle anxiety, and self-promotion from leading players in the industry. The class culminates with the opportunity to practice and record in the Guthrie's recording studio. (Previous guest speakers have included: Mike Stalcar, Engineer, Audio Ruckus Recording Studio; Holly Collison, Vocal Coach; and Kate Lawrence, Moore Creative). Pre-requisite: Voiceover 1 or its equivalent, Ages 18+, Capacity: 12 Students



Choose from three distinct levels of comprehensive classes with professional Guthrie artists, all designed to develop your acting chops and hone your voice, movement, text analysis and musical theater skills.

Introduction to Acting Classes:

No prerequisites are required and classes may be taken in any order. Many introductory classes are required to take intermediate and advanced classes. To ask questions or discuss relevant experience, contact the Education Team at 612.225.6172.

Theater Basics
Through a variety of theater exercises, you’ll explore the fundamentals of acting and create a foundation for continued training, including improvisation, building a theater vocabulary, performing in front of an audience and approaching text.
No prerequisite. Capacity: 14. This class is a prerequisite for intermediate classes.

Voice and Speech I

Study the basic principles of voice and speech, including breath, resonance, range, articulation, projection, phrasing and expression, while releasing excessive tension and providing a foundation for vocal practice. Dive into assigned readings, experiential exercises, class discussions and practical application. No prerequisites. Capacity: 12. This class is a prerequisite for intermediate classes.

Physical Approaches I

The body is an actor’s instrument. Gesture and physicality are used to tell a story in concert with the voice. In this introductory class, you’ll explore a variety of physical approaches to performance and gain insight on how to approach acting from a movement-based perspective.

No prerequisite. Capacity: 14. This class is a prerequisite for intermediate classes.

Musical Theater: Singing I

Designed for beginner-level singers, this class will help you develop a solid base in vocal technique using several songs from musical theater productions that are suitable for auditions. From up-tempo songs to ballads, you’ll learn a variety of techniques, including breath support, song interpretation and performance skills. No prerequisite. Capacity: 10.

Dance Styles I

Warm up your body, develop your dance vocabulary, understand body placement and sample a variety of dance styles from tap to jazz to ballet. You’ll be comfortable on your feet as fast as you can say, “Five, six, seven, eight!” This is a movement class only – no singing required.No prerequisite. Capacity: 18.

Intermediate Acting Classes:

Dance: Musical Theater Audition Prep

This ongoing dance practice is designed for students auditioning for roles in musical theater. Each class will include a strength conditioning and skill building section followed by choreography designed to imitate an audition dance call. Each week will be taught by either Brian Bose, Rush Benson or a guest teaching artist to give students a variety of styles and approaches. This class is open to a variety of levels of dance experience including students who are relatively new to dance. Prerequisite: prior dance or musical theater experience helpful, Ages 18+, Capacity 20


Perfecting the Monologue


In this intermediate acting class, students will gain practical tools for preparing monologues. Through workshopping prepared monologues and focusing on expanding your repertoire, this four-week class will focus on developing skills to perform each piece with clarity, engaging your audience in the story and purpose of the text. Students are asked to come memorized with one classical and one contemporary monologue, 1 -2 minutes in length. Theater Basics or Physical Approaches and Voice & Speech. For questions or to check prior experience contact [email protected] ! Ages 18+, Capacity: 12 students.



Auditioning and the Business of Acting

What makes a great monologue? What do casting directors look for? This class focuses on the skills and insights necessary to pursue a career in acting and offers tools to help you prepare for auditions, including preparing a resume and headshot, navigating talent agencies and finding work. Prerequisites: Theater Basics, Voice and Speech I, Physical Approaches I (or equivalent experience). Capacity: 12.

Creating a Character

Strengthen your imagination, focus your concentration and hone your listening skills by delving into the creation of original and scripted characters. This class will explore a variety of approaches for character development and empower actors to find their unique approach to character work.  Prerequisites: Theater Basics, Voice and Speech I, Physical Approaches I (or equivalent experience). Capacity: 12.

Exploring the Text

Building upon foundational skills established in our Explore classes, you’ll dive into the creative, complex and amazing world of the script. Learn how to identify and activate textual clues to enhance storytelling, spark actions, build characters, define relationships and engage an audience. Prerequisites: Theater Basics, Voice and Speech I, Physical Approaches I (or equivalent experience). Capacity: 12.

Physical Approaches II: Devising Through Movement

Explore how full use of the body, understanding theatrical space and precise use of gestures can create unique, engaging and unexpected performances and stories. You’ll learn the building blocks of devising – a collaborative approach to story and theater-making where the ensemble builds the script through play and improvisation. Prerequisites: Theater Basics, Voice and Speech I, Physical Approaches I (or equivalent experience). Capacity: 12.

Voice and Speech II: Shakespeare

What is it about the language in Shakespeare's plays that make them so musical? How do actors utilize heightened text to tell classic stories to modern audiences? Free your voice through playful explorations of voice and text; explore scansion, musicality, and figures of speech, successfully mining the text for clearer, more powerful speaking and emotional truth. A component of this class will be an opportunity to perform or present material of the student’s choice. Prerequisite : Voice & Speech I (or equivalent experience). For questions or to check prior experience contact [email protected] !  Ages 18+, Capacity: 12 Students

Scene Study

Explore scenes from select plays in the Guthrie's current season that focus on character development, crafting the story and how to creatively engage with an artistic team. Delve into several roles while stretching your abilities and discovering new methods to approach scene work. Get your water bottle, pencil and movement clothes ready!

Prerequisites: Theater Basics, Voice and Speech I, Physical Approaches I (or equivalent experience). Capacity: 12.

Musical Theater Singing: Developing Your Vocal Audition

Singers with performance experience will focus on strengthening vocal technique while preparing three pieces of music. Two songs will be provided by the instructor, and you’ll provide a ballad of your choice for one-on-one coaching sessions. Performances will be shared regularly in class. Prerequisite: Musical Theater: Singing I (or equivalent experience). Capacity: 10.

Advanced Acting Classes:

Studio Intensive with Candace Barrett Birk

This advanced scene studies class will focus on ways in which character can be discovered, developed and played. Considering your individual goals and drawing on acting techniques created by great theater instructors throughout history, you’ll work intensively on a contemporary scene with one scene partner for eight weeks. The class will culminate in a show at the Guthrie for invited family and friends. You’ll rehearse with your scene partner outside of class, and rehearsal space will be provided (as available) at no additional cost.

The instructor will grant admission based on level of experience. Capacity: 12.To apply, send headshot and resume to [email protected].

Questions or concerns? Email [email protected] or call (612) 225-6172.

Musical Theater Studio with Lamar Jefferson

This advanced-level scene studies class will focus on acting for musical theatre. Participants will work on connecting their movement and voice to the emotional arc of a character through song and movement. The final class will be an open session during which students may invite family and friends to view their work. Students are expected to rehearse outside of class hours as schedules allow. Rehearsal space is provided at no additional cost. Prerequisites: Introductory and Intermediate-level Musical Theater classes, prior experience, or permission of instructor by audition or interview. Ages 18+, Capacity: 10.


Audition Technique with Suzanne Warmanen

In this new audition studio class led by accomplished actor Suzanne Warmanen, students will have the opportunity to work on audition materials including two prepared monologues as well as sides (the practice of having actors read script excerpts with a reader during auditions) chosen from the 2018/19 Guthrie production season. A guest director and Guthrie staff will join the class to provide individual feedback to students and discuss the audition process. The class will culminate in a final audition. Students are expected to bring in two monologues -  one contemporary and one classical (each no longer than 2 minutes in length) as well as a headshot and resume (professionally photographed headshots are not required) on the first day of class. Rehearsal space will be provided (as available) to students during the run of the course at no additional cost. The instructor will grant admission based on level of experience. To apply, email your resume to [email protected]. Capacity 12

To register for this class, email your resume to [email protected]. We’ll get back to you asap with further details.


Questions or concerns? Email [email protected] or call (612) 225-6172, or check out the FAQ section of our webpage.


Contact information

Guthrie Theater
Madeline A.
Web site

Posted November 19