March 9 - March 30
Does your little one dance every chance they get? Do you find them doing turns in the middle of the room? Leaps across the floor? This Pre-Ballet class will allow them to do so in a more structured and engaging way as they learn basic ballet positions.
For ages 4 - 6
Niaja Diggs, Instructor
Saturdays, 9:00 am - 9:50am
Repertoire, Auditions & the Business
April 22 - May 27
"What do I sing? They want a self-tape, help! How do I format my resume? I got the callback, now what?" If you find yourself challenged by these questions, join us for this 6-week session on how to build your repertoire, select the best songs for auditions, manage the audition process and expectations of the business.
For ages 18+
Kevin McAllister, Instructor
Mondays, 6:30 pm - 8:30pm
Improv for Actors
February 15 - March 21
Not only will this course focus on acting technique, they will also invite the artists to focus on Applied Improvisation, a field of creative practice that adapts the principles of improvisational theater to everyday life. This course would help participants to “yes, and” themselves, to affirm their boundaries, to say “no,” to be generous with others’ ideas, to embrace the moment, and negotiate emotional relationships through theatre that is co-created with compassion and patience. This course is, more or less, a standard intro to improvised acting course, but the emphasis is placed on being in relationship with ourselves, our characters and our collaborators. There will be an added focus on self-care, collective care and need recognition. Lastly, as this course will be tailored to the needs of emerging actors, we will include learning materials that illuminate pay equity, entrepreneurship and the business of acting.
Limited Space. For ages 18+
Tavish Forsyth, Instructor
Thursdays, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sketch Comedy Writing
February 7 - March 13
Online via Zoom
In this beginner to intermediate class we learn how to write sketch comedy, creating funny scenes like those on Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, Chappelle Show, Portlandia, Black Lady Sketch Show, and Key & Peele. This class begins with conversations about what makes us laugh and why humor is important to us. Then we explore how the basic principles of improvisation can inspire our writing. Over the course of six weeks, we demystify the writing process, create characters, and dissect the elements of storytelling using five genres of sketch comedy. Our work will be inspired by lived experience, abundance journaling, and associative exercises. We will use critical response processes to facilitate peer feedback and devised theatre to generate work, while engaging in active analysis and embodied dramaturgy. At the end of class students will have a portfolio of writing samples and a newfound understanding of how to write comedy.
This class is limited to 10 participants so we can provide an equitable learning space for everyone to showcase their work and contribute. For ages 16+
Tavish Forsyth, Instructor
Wednesdays, 7 pm - 9 pm
Niaja Diggs is a dancer who has found a special place within her for many genres of dance. Ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and commercial styles such as hip-hop and heels are the main genres she has trained in. She was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland to a family that did not know dance would be a major influence on her life. Her training started at Expressions Dance Company at the age of three and has not stopped since. Upon grade school, she completed training through Anne Arundel County’s Performing and Visual Arts program.
After completion of the Performing Arts program at Annapolis high school, Niaja attended Anne Arundel Community College, where she got her AA in Dance. During her time at the college, she became Anne Arundel Community College Dance Company’s president and an American College Dance Association Gala choreographer. As a dancer and performer, Niaja has gained knowledge from many. She finds pride in choreographing pieces and teaching technique for many different age groups and genres of dance.
Co-founder Kevin S. McAllister has served as Artistic Director, spearheading ArtsCentric’s creative vision, since its founding. Mr. McAllister is a classically trained baritone and a versatile actor/singer who has performed as a leading man with every notable theater company in the Maryland/DC/Virginia region including Signature Theater, Ford’s Theater, Olney Theater, Arena Stage, and Washington Opera. Kevin recently made his Broadway debut in the musical Come From Away, where he served as an understudy and went on for several roles. He is also a talented director having served as Director for every ArtsCentric production since its founding; as well as productions at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Keegan Theatre, NextStop Theatre and Olney Theatre.
Mr. McAllister received his B.A degree in Music from Morgan State University and has served as an Adjunct Professor in Musical Theater Techniques at Howard University. He has served as Fine Arts Teacher and Theater Instructor for Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, Randallstown High School, The Actor's Toolbox, Samuel F. B. Morris Elementary School, and ArtsCentric’s Summer Music Institute.
Tavish (they/he) is the Director of Bird City Improv and a practitioner of Theatre for Social Change. He is a queer artist and educator with Celtic roots. They enjoy directing, poetry and ensemble-generated theatre. They are also a Buddhist, Yoga practitioner and Tarot card reader. Tavish was born on Penacook Land, in New England, under a Virgo moon. Since 2011, they have lived in Baltimore and DC, which are the ancestral lands of the Piscataway people, where they became the founder of Bird City Improv, a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, and an educational consultant for the Maryland State Department of Education. Now, he facilitates the Arts & Social Justice Fellowship at Strathmore Music Center and the Queer Youth Soloist Project at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. They are a faculty member in the Kennedy Center’s Opera Institute and in the Creative Aging program at Art Works Now. Through his theatre company, Tavish also offers in-school residencies, corporate workshops, and private coaching for queer folx and artists who are interested in re-imagining their relationships and channeling their creative power in ways that are meaningful, just, and authentic.
Tavish holds two degrees in theatre, but more importantly, is a seasoned artist with many years of lived experience. He is versed in multiple styles of improvisation, embodied practice, and comedic theory. Centering healing, queerness, and connection in his work, Tavish empowers individuals to listen, adapt, and respond. Their hope is to co-create in ways that are joyful, patient, and honest.
Previous directing credits include Two Rooms by Lee Blessing at Green Globe Theatre, Singularity: Eccentric Solo Comedy at Baltimore Improv Group, and A Game by Denis E. Noble at Bird City Improv. Writing credits include Whatlaw at 10x10x10, Evangelisaurus at Baltimore Improv Group, and Dovo Sono i Peni? at Stevenson University. Previous stage credits include A Streetcar Named Desire at Everyman Theatre, Cloud 9 at Iron Crow Theatre, Leveling Up at Interrobang Theatre Company and The Brother(s) at New York Stage & Film. Connect with Tavish by visiting www.birdcityimprov.com.
Detroit native Crystal Freeman is known for her vocal prowess. Her voice has been described as "A river of sheer angelic beauty," by DC Metro Theatre Guide. Her love of music began in high school where she had the privilege of traveling throughout the United States, Ghana, and Canada. She matriculated to Morgan State University and discovered an entire new world of music. Under the direction of the late Dr. Nathan Carter, Jr., Crystal traveled throughout Europe and the Caribbean. While at Morgan Crystal discovered her love of staged productions. Her love of the stage has blossomed into a career in musical theatre. She has performed many roles in the Baltimore/Washington area, including Dreamgirls as Effie White, and South Pacific as Bloody Mary. In addition to her performance career, she has developed a love for teaching as well. Crystal has taught elementary music for Baltimore City and Prince George’s County and most recently, she taught an after-school theatre program. Crystal currently resides in Baltimore County with her beautiful daughters.
Shalyce Hemby has served as Director of Creative Content and Resident Choreographer with ArtsCentric since 2013. While she has choreographed over thirteen productions with ArtsCentric, Ms. Hemby has also served as Guest Choreographer for 45 Degree Project and DC Dance Theater Company, as Choreographer for Toby’s Dinner Theater (Ain’t Misbehavin, The Bodyguard), NextStop Theatre Company and Howard University (The Apple Tree, Brooklyn), and as Assistant Choreographer with DC Capital All-Stars in performances at The Kennedy Center with the Showbiz Dancers. In 2018 she received a nomination for the Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Choreographer in a Musical for her work with Toby’s Dinner Theater in their production of Dreamgirls.Ms. Hemby is the Dance Coordinator for The ArtsCentric Summer Institute. An avid educator for over fifteen years, she has been a dance instructor and guest choreographer for Prince George’s County Public Schools including Suitland High School and Bowie High School, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and for Garrison Forest School, Barrie School, and Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts.
Devon ``Steel Toe” Wallace is a versatile and energetic dancer, choreographer, and performing artist who has studied and trained in many styles within and outside of street dance culture for over 15 years. Getting his start in performing arts in Tae Kwon Do and dance with DC Dragons Training Center, located in Northeast, DC, his talents and versatility have granted him consistent work with a multitude of established schools, companies, and organizations throughout the DMV area, including Bmore Houseful, ArtsCentric, Dem Raider Boyz Step Squad, Dancarate’ Inc, Words, Beats, and Life, ClancyWorks Dance Company, CityDance Dream, and The Lion’s Den. His dance credits include the Kennedy Center, Fox News, Wale, Tory Lanez, Musiq Soulchild, Devin White, Chuck Brown, Adnan Sami, and Darren Smith.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do students need prior experience to enroll?
Not at all. The majority of our classes are offered as a social way to have fun and learn in the process! If there is a prerequisite for a particular class, it will be indicated in the class description.
What are the typical class sizes?
Our classes vary in size depending on the class. Generally speaking, classes will range anywhere from 6 - 25 participants.
Are there any required materials for classes?
Any required materials will be indicated in the email confirmation upon completing registration.
Are there any virtual class options?
While there are no virtual classes for Spring session 2023, there will be for Fall 2023. Please check back toward the end of the summer for those details.
Do you offer refunds?
All classes are final sale. No refunds.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes! Your spot in class can be reserved with a non-refundable deposit equal to 15% of tuition.
What happens if I miss a class? Will I receive money back?
We ask that students make an effort to attend every class, particularly because the average session only runs once a week, for six weeks. If you do find you must miss a class, students should email education@artscentric. No partial or full refunds will be issued.
What are your current covid policies & procedures?
While masks are no longer required, we encourage you to wear one if you prefer. We ask participants to stay home if they're exhibiting symptoms of covid, have tested positive or have any other illness. Please check the CDC website for specific covid-19 symptoms.
There will be hand sanitizer and masks available in the lobby upon entering. Frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected often.