Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Upcoming Freehold Faculty Work

Freehold is privileged to have exceptional artists as Freehold Faculty Members.  Here is information about some of their upcoming work!

Gin Hammond will be in Ed Downloaded at Washington Ensemble Theatre, running January 31 – February 24. More information: Washington Ensemble Theatre. 

John Longenbaugh's play Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol this year has productions in Michigan, Oregon, New Mexico and over at Walla Walla University; his web pilot Norm Owensen, Medieval Mercenary is being re-edited in January for a crowd-sourcing campaign; and watch this spring for a workshop production of his new musical Anybody Can Do Anything.

Amy Thone is currently rehearsing The Normal Heart for Strawberry Theatre Workshop, directed by Sheila Daniels and performing in January 16 – February 15, 2014. For more information: The Normal Heart.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Exceptional Beginning Acting Classes in Seattle at Freehold Theatre

At Freehold, we believe that acting is a process that can be learned and practiced by anyone at any age. In the Intro class, you develop fundamental acting tools: playing an action, living truthfully in imaginary circumstances, and working with a partner. No matter your experience, you learn acting in an exciting and safe environment. This is the first class in our three-step acting progression, introducing you to a vocabulary and approach that will be the basis of Step II: Acting with Text and Step III: Basic Scene Study.

Freehold has been offering acting classes in Seattle since the summer of 1991. We offer introductory courses for the absolute beginner as well as master classes for working professionals. All Freehold faculty are working professional actors, playwrights and directors whose credentials include recognized work on and off Broadway, in major motion pictures, on television, and in regional and international theatre venues.

Section I: Stefan Enriquez, Instructor
April 15 –June 3
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 10:30 pm
$390 Discounted
$470 Full Price

Section II: Christine Marie Brown
April 12 – June 7
Saturdays, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
$390 Discounted
$470 Full Price

To register for this class or for any of our other great classes, go to:

or call us at (206) 323-7499

Stefan Enriquez has been an actor and teacher in Seattle for the last 13 years. He studied at Western Washington University and the Pasqualini-Smith Studio. He has performed on numerous stages including the Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, the Seattle Children's Theatre, and the Empty Space Theatre where he appeared in the West Coast Premiere of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. He has taught acting as an artist-in-residence for the Seattle Rep and the Seattle Children's Theatre. He can be seen in several feature films, local and national commercials, corporate videos, print, and television--most recently on the series The Fugitive and Citizen Baines.

Christine Marie Brown made her Broadway debut in the Tony-award winning production of both parts of William Shakespeare's Henry IV. She has also appeared Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons and in an awardwinning NYC Fringe Festival production of Harold Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes. Nationally, Christine's theatre work includes leading roles at The Guthrie, The Old Globe, South Coast Rep, Baltimore Centerstage, Shakespeare & Company, Buffalo Studio Arena, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, American Shakespeare Center, Kansas City Rep and TUTA (Chicago). Locally, her work has been seen at Seattle Rep, ACT, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Village Theatre, 14/48 Festival, Theatre Anonymous, Engaged Theatre Program, Sandbox Radio LIVE!, Endangered Species Project and Northwest Playwrights’ Alliance.

Explore the YOU You Don't Know

Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio
2222 2nd Avenue, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 323-7499

If you are looking for outstanding training in a supportive atmosphere, Freehold is the place.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Scene Study Text Intensive Experience by Elizabeth Wu

Enrolling in Annette Toutonghi’s Step III: Scene Study Text Intensive class was probably the best decision I’ve made towards broadening my acting skills. I’ve never been in a classroom environment that was so enlightening, gratifying, and restorative as the one she created for us at Freehold twice a week. Having just completed Sarah Harlett’s Accelerated Intro to Acting, I looked towards Annette’s class as being the next step in the development of my craft. What I received was probably double that. Her knowledge, passion, professionalism, and care were transformative. I would not only highly recommend the class to any pursuant actor – but to anyone wishing to explore storytelling and the human condition.

I never felt self-conscious or afraid to perform in front of her, my classmates, or the lovely Christine Marie Brown who shadowed her that quarter. That’s how safe and inviting her classroom was, and it was certainly necessary. Annette demanded a lot of personal introspection and vulnerability from each participant. We were always mining deeper and deeper into our own histories and emotions to bring our characters to life. It was an incredible experience that brought the entire class close to one another.

The framework we worked under was very much the idea of living truthfully in imaginary circumstances. In order to do this, not only did we spend the quarter working on scenes from famous American plays, we also did a variety of exercises and assignments that asked us to delve into and examine our own lives. I’ll admit, despite the excitement, it was a tall order. Annette posed hard scenarios in which we would have to find our own justifications for extreme events. For instance, one required me to justify why I would estrange my father. What circumstances would lead me to perform such an act? How, when, and why did I come to that hard decision? And how did I justify it as right? All these supplementary exercises were about making the circumstances real for you, to engage actively with your imagination, so that when it came to your scene work you already had a well of emotions at your disposal. I found that these emotions came as real to me in my scene as they did in my personal assignments, and this was really exciting for me.

Of all the acting instructors I’ve had to date, I don’t think anyone was so attuned to my acting as Annette and Christine were. Nothing was overlooked or skimmed over. I still remember when my partner and I were working on our scene from Proof by David Auburn; Annette began a crusade to make me act on my impulses (needless to say I had been squelching them without knowledge). She condensed the scene down to a single beat where my character’s impulse to reprimand her sister was being lost. On the third or fourth revisit she could tell I was getting frustrated (she was a dog with a bone that woman!) and she finally told me “Eliza, I’m going hard on you because you’re a very smart actor and I know you can do this. Keep pushing yourself to act on intuition.” In that moment I knew that’s what I would always remember her for. When I finally jumped on that impulse my fifth time round, it was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had in acting. All because Annette held me accountable to my instincts.

The exact same could be said for Christine. Christine is just one of those people who is so knowledgeable in her craft, so dedicated to the development of others’ acting abilities, and so warm and loving to the people she interacts with that one couldn’t help but feel a sense of connection. If there’s one thing I’ll remember most from my work with her it’s the absolute importance of organic emotion over preconceived (or superficial) thoughts. Always she was digging deeper, asking questions, making sure that what our character was experiencing was, in fact, true human emotion.

I can say, without hesitation, that Annette and Christine were two of the best and most inspirational instructors I’ve had the pleasure to work with. It certainly was a lot of work, but they brought me a new depth and understanding for acting which I could not have reached without them. I only hope that I might have the privilege of working with them again someday. Truly, the class was such a wonderful and changing experience that I would hope anyone interested would act on their own impulse, enroll in the class, and experience it for themselves.

Photo above: Elizabeth Wu

Freehold is offering Step III: Scene Study Text Intensive with Christine Marie Brown this coming Winter Quarter.  For more information: Step III: Scene Study Text Intensive.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Exercise and The Show by Andrew McGinn

I think we all remember a time when some precocious teenager raised their hand in most likely middle school, and asked the question that teachers hate most: “Why are we doing this?  How on earth can this possibly be useful to me in the future?” 

Well, no matter how much a teacher may hate the question, it’s absolutely the most important one.  Often times students will have to answer that for themselves – even if a teacher gives an answer honestly from their point of view, it may not prove inspiring to the student.  The “Why?” question, in any case, can be a challenge for both teacher and student, but it really should be the most important one.

Being able to teach at Freehold and Cornish while simultaneously rehearsing the role of Dr. Watson in Seattle Rep’s production The Hound of the Baskervilles has often had me asking the same questions many of my students have.  In the morning or in Freehold's Step I-Intro to Acting class, I might lead students through an immersive exercise aimed toward allowing students to experience fictional circumstances with their full physical and imaginary engagement.  Immediately after that I then go straight to rehearsal for a professional production of a plot-driven language play where there’s zero time for such long-form open experimentation.  Even if there were time for such experimentation, plays move much more quickly so languishing in circumstances would ruin the rhythm and suspense.  So, then what’s the use of this training on the professional platform?

It’s as important to ask it of myself as it is for my students to ask it of me.  Like Trofimov in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, “I expect I shall be an eternal student” because constant questioning and learning is the deal when you’re doing any kind of experimentation.  So what good are the hours and hours I spent in my own training going on imaginary trips to a professional production (to say nothing of a plot-driven Mystery that is at its core a Melodrama, as opposed to the Naturalism that evoked this kind of training)?

Well the answer for me, for now, is steadily arriving in surprising moments of engagement with what’s before me in the moments of rehearsal and performance. Because of this training, openness and vulnerability is not what I do up there, it’s an aspect of what I bring to the table once I know The Show.  Is there the risk of responding to something completely truthfully and the fact is that it isn’t useful, or worse indulgent?  You bet there is. There’s an even bigger risk of it when one “lets go” and “immerses oneself” before the show has been set.  But the kind of work we’ve been doing in Step I: Intro to Acting and Junior Acting at Cornish makes it possible to turn on and turn off the mode of believing in, and being genuinely surprised by, the fiction (regardless of genre). 

This is because the immersive exercise, while often long, ends.  It is as bracketed as it is intense, and one cannot learn to come out of it unless one has first learned how to drop into it.  Once you get that, you have a choice – and a chance to allow audiences to enjoy your genuine responses and surprises.  One cannot be doing an exercise in the ‘standard professional rehearsal’, and one cannot “drop in” with the imagination until the nuts and bolts of The Show are completely second-nature. 

But, perhaps, one night when the character, lines, blocking, relationships, off-stage traffic patterns and such are all in there so completely ingrained, trusted, and known, The Show will be The Exercise. 

Andrew McGinn will be teaching Step I: Intro to Acting at Freehold this coming Winter Quarter.  Registration is now open and more information on Andrew's Freehold Intro to Acting class can be found here.
Photo top: Andrew McGinn
Photo right: Freehold Faculty Members Darragh Kennan and Andrew McGinn in the Seattle Repertory's production of The Hound of the Baskervilles running through December 15th.

Exceptional Winter Acting Classes in Seattle at Freehold Theatre - Now Open for Registration

Freehold’s highly acclaimed Winter Acting, Improv, Voice classes (and more!) are now open for registration at Freehold Theatre in Seattle.  Freehold Theatre is a Seattle acting studio and theatre that for 22 years has been providing extraordinary theatre and fantastic classes taught by exceptional faculty. Be sure and sign up now as our classes fill quickly!

We are privileged to have highly acclaimed artists as faculty including Marya Sea Kaminski (Electra, Seattle Shakespeare Company; My Name is Rachel Corrie, Seattle Repertory Theatre), (The Hound of the Baskervilles, Seattle Repertory Theatre), Andrew McGinn (The Hound of the Bakervilles, Seattle Repertory Theatre), Sarah Harlett (Middleton at ACT), Elizabeth Heffron (playwright for Bo-Nita at the Seattle Repertory Theatre) and many more.

We offer classes for the beginner as well as the advanced trained student.  There is truly something for everyone!

Here is our complete list of our great Winter class offerings ...
Winter Quarter Classes

Step I: Intro to Acting, Section I with Andrew McGinn
Step I: Intro to Acting, Section II with Stefan Enriquez
Step I: Intro to Acting, Section III with Meg McLynn
Step II: Acting with Text with Dan Tierney
Step III: Scene Study Text Intensive with Christine Marie Brown
Advanced Voice-Over with Gin Hammond
Auditioning with Christine Marie Brown
Basic Movement for Actors with Paul Budraitis
Film Directing Course with John Jacobsen and Robin Lynn Smith
Improvisation with Matt Smith
Introduction to Shakespeare with Sarah Harlett
Meisner: Instrument with Robin Lynn Smith
Playwriting I with Elizabeth Heffron
Singing for Actors with Lucia Neare
Solo Performance and Presentation with Marya Sea Kaminski
Stage Combat with Geof Alm
Voice with Rhonda Soikowski

Register by December 2nd and get a 5% early bird discount on your class!

For more information or to register:

or by calling us at (206) 323-7499.
If you are looking for outstanding training in a supportive atmosphere,
Freehold is the place.

Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio
2222 2nd Avenue, Suite 200
Seattle, WA  98121
(206) 323-7499

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Freehold Blog Post Index



Meisner Progression Interviews with Robin Lynn Smith - June 2013
My Meisner Journey Part Three of Three by Alexandra Gobeille - January 2013
My Meisner Journey Part Two of Three by Alexandra Gobeille - December 2012
My Meisner Journey Part One by Alexandra Gobeille - December 2012
LAMDA Week 3 by Phillip Mitchell - August 2011

My Intro to Acting Experience by David Caldwell - April 2014
"You Get It When You Get It" by Kate Gavigan - January 2014
Emerging in Freehold Classes by Laura Nelson - January 2014
My Scene Study Text Intensive Experience by Elizabeth Wu - December 2013
Exceptional Beginning Acting Classes in Seattle at Freehold Theatre - September 2013
My Freehold Experience: Taking Acting Classes to Improve my English by Bernardo Rivas - June 2013
The Perfect Place to Have a Mid-Life Crisis by Lori Stein - April 2012
"Going For It" by Noelle Mestres - March 2012
Blog Post #2: My Step II: Acting with Text Journey by Noelle Mestres - February 2012
"Doing Things I didn't think I could do" by Noelle Mestres - February 2012
The Treasures of Step III: Basic Scene Study by Josephine Hoy - July 2011
Step II: Work Ethic, Respect, Passion by Christina Bauer - December 2010
From Our Studio: Commitment, Play the Action, Make Choices by Denise Powell - September 2010

New Acting Tools by Brianna Chicha - August 2011
My Freehold Class Experience by David Hogan - June 2012

ACTING-The Business End
10 Tips for a Great Headshot by John Ulman -October 7, 2013

Overcoming My Auditioning Fears by Elizabeth Zeff - October 2011
Demystifying Auditioning at Freehold by Bart Smith - January 2014

Interview With Freehold ETI Alums: Riley Neldam and Lori Evans - April 2014
On Truth, Beauty and Color...with a dab of career counseling by Jesse Putnam - December 2010
It Takes a Village to Write a Solo by Melissa Topscher - November 2010
Hungry for It - Elizabeth's Freehold ETI Experience - October 2010

My New Creative Home by Leslie Moulton Asplund - June 2014
My Film Directing Class Experience by Andy Tribolini -September 23, 2013

My Matt Smith's Improv Intensive Experience by David Mielke - August 2014
Improving by CT Doescher - August 2012


So You Want to be Zorro by Geoff Alm - September 19, 2013
Playing with Swords by Emily Fortuna - October 2012
Biomechanics Intensive: Arming the Imagination - September 2012
My Discoveries in Movement Class by Shannon Kringen - October 2011

10 Responses to the Personal Clown Question: Why for Actors? by George Lewis - July 2014
The Wonders of Personal Clown by Laura-Beth Straight - June 2014
What Splitting My Pants Taught Me About Being Human or Lessons from Personal Clown with George by Cathleen O'Malley - December 2011

Interview with Playwriting Students Sue McNally and Caitlin Coey - September 23, 2013
Incremental Progress by Rebecca Tourino - September 2012
Finding Out What I Didn't Know by Ann Eisenberg - June 2012
"I Get No Kick From Champagne" by Tania Sung - January 2012
The New Play Lab and Showcase: Renewing My Interest and Imagination by Malika Lee - October 2011
New Play Lab Opportunities at Freehold by Kathryn Van Meter - September 2011
From Our Studio: Freehold's Summer New Play Lab Truth as Theme by Dickey Nesenger - September 2010

Rediscovering the Bard by Alyssa Keene - August 2012

Diving Into the Unknown by Valerie Mannucci - March 2013
My Solo Experience by Sarah Steinberg - August 2012

The Summer of Poetry Immersion by Daemond Arrindell - September 2010

My Voice Class Experience by Jane Anne Wilder- November 2011

A Few Thoughts About Suzuki Movement Training by Shanga Parker - December 2010

Freehold's ETI Graduates Upcoming Work -  July 2011

Freehold Theatre Acting Class Testimonials - August 2014
Moving Safely on Stage by Marie Verschueren - April 2014
Almost Magical by Archana Srikanta - September 23, 2013
Memories of Freehold: Freehold Inspires My "Little Dance" by Sharon N. Williams - December 2011
Studio Chat with John Paulsen and John Klein - September 2011
My Memories of Freehold: Fully Committing to the Task by David Friedt - December 2010
The George Lewis Experience or How I Learned to Shut Up and Throw the Damned Stone by Johnathan Nawn - December 2010
Character vs. Caricature in Performance by Kristen Alexander - November 2010

My Studio Experience by Lisa Skvarla - March 2014
My Studio Series Experience by Susan Bradford - March 2014
My Studio Series Experience: Performing Outside Your Comfort Zone by Karen Polinsky - March 2014
Meeting Nemesis by Ana Maria Capoy - March 2013
The Studio Series May Make You Wanna Jump Back and Kiss Yourself! by Amontaine Aurore Woods - December 2012
Studio Series Revisited by Kirsten McCory - October 2010

The Story Behind the Poster: Interview With Annya Uslontseva - July 2014
My Henry IV Journey by Grace Carmack - June 2014
Our Road Trip to Freehold and Henry IV by Tony Pasqualini - June 2014
Power to Heal by Kristin Alexander  - April 2014
Power of Art in Action: WCCW Residency by Eva Abram - September 23, 2013
My Engaged Theatre Experience by Lucinda Stroud - June 2013
Sisu by Rebecca Tourino - March 2013
"Say What?" by Jessica Robinson - January 2013
Unknown Endings by Christine Marie Brown - August 2012
A Very Human Communion by Joshua Holguin - August 2012
Working with Freehold on King Lear by Annett Mateo - July 2012
Freehold Touring Shakespeare's King Lear - June 2012
Facing Up to Things by Kevin McKeon - June 2012
My Experience with Freehold's Engaged Theatre Program by Eric Ray Anderson - March 2012
"Breaking Through" at Monroe Correctional Center for Men by Jose Gonzales - February 2012
Interview with Tony Pasqualini - January 2012
My Story of My Work by Taryn Collins - December 2010
Interview with Sharon Williams, Engaged Theatre's Teaching Artist - December 2010
From Our Theatre Lab: Embrace by Vanessa Skantze - September 2010
Freehold's Engaged Theatre Program at Prison by Trina Harris - July 2010
Thanking the God's for Julius Caesar - June 2010

Interview with Freehold Faculty Member Andrew McGinn - June 2013
Getting to Know Christine Marie Brown - January 2013
Interview with Freehold's Associate Partners - January 2013
A Few Things I've Learned from My Step I Students by Meg McLynn - February 2012
A Chat with Faculty Member Paul Budraitis - December 2011
Interview with John Billingsley and George Lewis - September 2011

Having Fun in Comic Text Scene Study by Andrew McGinn - March 2014
The Exercise and The Show by Andrew McGinn - November 2013
Backstage at "The Trial" with Amy Thone - April 2013
Oh My God, Robin Smith and John Jacobsen Teaching in the Same Room? by John Jacobsen  - November 2012
The Secret to Working with Teenagers by Daemond Arrindell - December 2011
Responding to a Calling by Joel Benjamin - December 2010
You Have to Keep Doing Your Show by Darragh Kennan - November 2010

Freehold Faculty Upcoming Work - August 2013
Freehold Faculty Members' Upcoming Work - May 2013

Freehold Awarded a 2012 Mayor's Arts Award - September 2012

Sandbox Radio Worth the Wait by Paul Mullin -  September 2011
Interview with Sandbox Artists Collective Member Amy Love on SOAP Fest - January 2014