Steppenwolf Classes West workshops offer artists a chance to learn from acclaimed experts, academics, and award-winning professionals from the Steppenwolf family, as well as esteemed guest instructors.  Our workshops are shorter (typically one or two-day) classes offered on a limited basis. Descriptions of recurring workshops as well as guest faculty bios are below.  To be notified when a workshop is scheduled, please join our mailing list.


Shakespeare’s Toolkit – Shakespeare Intensive

Teacher: Rob Clare

Next Workshop: No workshops scheduled at this time.

Workshop Description:

Internationally acclaimed Shakespeare specialist Rob Clare, whose freelance
credits include Steppenwolf and the Royal Shakespeare Company, the NYU
Graduate Acting program, Juilliard, and London’s Central School of Speech
and Drama, offers an intensive, practical workshop over two weekends, for
actors of all levels of experience. Broad-ranging, eclectic, and always tied into
the actor’s process, the workshop will address some primary issues surrounding
Shakespearean text, and especially working with Shakespearean verse and
vocabulary, showing that what may seem to be inherent difficulties or challenges
are in fact creative opportunities. All theoretical guidance is given practical
application in a working rehearsal environment.
Whether you’re an experienced Shakespearean actor, or a complete novice,
preparing for auditions, or whatever your interest, this workshop is for you.
Come and share some new perspectives, as well as re-evaluating received
wisdom and theories. Get up on your feet, and pick up on key strategies and
fundamentally practical approaches to help enable you to bring Shakespeare’s
text to vivid, original, and fresh life onstage.
Participants will prepare a Shakespeare monologue of their own choice, or (if
previously agreed with a scene partner) a short duologue, or section of a scene.
Further scenes or monologues will be assigned and/or agreed as appropriate.


Teacher Bio:

Rob Clare was educated at Oxford University, trained at the Central School of
Speech and Drama (CSSD), London, and worked as an actor with the Royal
Shakespeare Company before becoming a Staff Director at the UK National
Theatre, working primarily on Shakespeare. He returned to Oxford to obtain his
doctorate and has subsequently become an internationally recognized specialist
helping actors of all levels of experience to make Shakespeare’s texts their own.
He works regularly at the Actors Center, NYC and at the Academy for Classical
Acting in Washington DC, as well as having taught and directed in some of the
UK’s leading drama schools, including establishing the MA Classical Acting
course at CSSD, which he also led for its first three years. Since leaving Central
to resume a freelance career he has also taught and/or directed Shakespeare in
Ireland, Germany and Australia. In New Delhi, India, he directed Hindi
productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and
Juliet. For much of the past decade he worked regularly as a freelance verse
and text coach for the Royal Shakespeare Company core acting ensemble,
leading annual workshops and masterclasses, and working in and alongside
rehearsals for Richard III, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V and
Hamlet. In the US he has directed Richard III (Idaho Shakespeare Festival),
Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor (American Shakespeare Center,
Staunton VA), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Marin Shakespeare Company), As You
Like It (Kentucky Shakespeare), King Lear and All’s Well That Ends Well
(Academy for Classical Acting, DC), The Tempest (Juilliard), Pericles (USC LA)
and All’s Well That Ends Well and The Merchant of Venice (NYU Tisch,
Graduate Acting program). He recently returned to the stage to play the title role
in an experimental workshop production of Macbeth (ASC, Staunton VA). As a
verse and text specialist, he worked alongside acclaimed director Tina Landau
on her productions of The Tempest (Steppenwolf, Chicago), and Antony and
Cleopatra (Hartford Stage, CT). He is currently based in New York, where
recent projects include directing a workshop production of The Winter’s Tale
(Hang a Tale productions) and a staged reading of King Lear for Luna Stage
(Orange, NJ)(featuring Frankie Faison, Andre Braugher, John Douglas
Thompson, Reg E Cathey and others). Ongoing projects include developing a
site-specific promenade production of King Lear in a ruined abbey near Limerick,
in Ireland



Auditioning for Television & Film

Teacher: Linda Lowy

Next Workshop: No workshops scheduled at this time.

Workshop Description: Ms. Lowy’s workshop focuses on the audition process for television and films, career advice for actors, and features individual feedback and Q&A.

Teacher Bio: Ms. Lowy is the Emmy and Artios Award winning casting director of Scandal, Grey’s AnatomyPrivate PracticeOff The Map, and Friday Night Lights.

Acting for the Camera

Teacher: Bethany Rooney

Next Workshop: No workshop scheduled at this time

Workshop Description: This workshop simulates conditions the actor faces in a real single-camera film environment.  Its purpose is to allow students to feel comfortable and confident on a film set, free from preoccupation with the technical and able to focus on the artistic, being in the moment, and playing the scene.  Students work in pairs on a filmed scene with marks, props, and camera, as well as receive adjustments over multiple takes.

Teacher Bio:  Ms. Rooney has directed eight television movies and over one hundred episodes of prime-time network shows, including the critically acclaimed Ally McBeal, Dawson’s Creek, Ed, The Gilmore Girls, Boston Public, Crossing Jordan and Grey’s Anatomy.


Auditioning for the Theatre

Teachers: Phyllis Schuringa & Peter Forster (Director)

Next Workshop: No workshop scheduled at this time

Workshop Description: In this two-day workshop students get a “behind the scenes” look at the process of auditioning. Topics include how a director and casting director work and what they expect from each actor. Students investigate how to approach the play, the role and the assignment and how to use the technique they already have in the audition room. Every student will prepare a scene from the same play to work on in class.

Teacher Bio: Ms. Schuringa was the Casting Director for over 100 plays at Steppenwolf in Chicago, as well as being the Assistant to the Artistic Director (Randy Arney). In Chicago and Los Angeles Phyllis has taught scene study and auditioning classes. She is the Casting Director and the Assistant to the Artistic Director for the Geffen Playhouse.


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The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath