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.