Touchstone Theatre founder Bill George and Allentown Public Theatre artistic director Joshua Neth announce that they will be co-teaching a year-long program of actor training starting this fall. Entitled the Valley Actor's Lab (VAL), the program seeks to provide excellent and systematic training to seriously inclined actors in the Lehigh Valley.
George and Neth describe themselves as “two theatre artists who hold their love of actors and the work of the actor above all earthly things”; coming from different backgrounds and different theatre educations, they have joined teaching skills in this unique effort to advance the life of the actor in the Lehigh Valley. Their intention in creating VAL is to strengthen the work of the Valley theatre community by deepening the base of well-trained artists in the region and facilitating collaboration between producers and performers.
Scheduled to start in September of 2014, VAL classes will use theatre exercises, games, demonstrations, and discussions to systematically explore the work and culture of the actor. Revolving around an exploration of two great texts – Shakespeare's The Tempest and Chekov's The Seagull – the actor's work will be approached from the “inside out” (starting from an actor conceptualizing their character) as well as “outside in” (using tools like mask and puppetry to evoke and inform acting choices).
Participants will conclude the year with a dramatic presentation of their classwork at the end of June. Additional perks for participants include discounted tickets to area theatre productions, free and discounted admission to area theatre workshops, and audition support and coaching for area theatre productions.