offered through Off-Central Players Education Department @ Studio Grand Central
Monday-Friday, June 6-17, 2022
Instructor: Bill Leavengood
Cost: $300 per week or $500 for full 2-week program
Class size: 8-14 students
The Leavengood Summer Acting Program will offer multi-faceted, professional training for young performers.
Classes will focus on:
Monologues for Auditions and Competition - Each student will select, rehearse and present two contrasting monologues, with the guidance and direction of the instructor.
Uta Hagen Acting Exercises - Students will study and then present an Uta Hagen acting exercise focusing on Destinations, Sense of Privacy, Fourth Wall Focus, Endowment and/or Conditions.
Scene Study - Each student will be paired with one or more other students and will select, rehearse and present a duet or ensemble acting scene for the stage, with the guidance and direction of the instructor.
Improvisation - learn the rules and techniques used by professional improvisors and play a number of improv games which will hone your skills at teamwork and verbal agility to create “something wonderful right away.”
An Introduction to Shakespeare - working in teams, learn the basics of understanding and performing the poetry of the Bard.
Friday Showcase - 7:00 PM on Fridays, we will present highlights from the scenes, monologues, improvs and exercises the students have worked on during the week to invited friends and family.
2260 1st Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33712, United States
Bill Leavengood is a veteran playwright, director, and teacher who has been working in the professional theatre for more than 30 years. He is a nationally-awarded, two-time Eugene O'Neill playwright, an alumnus of Circle Repertory, a current member of New Circle Theatre Company in NYC and the author of more than 50 plays, screenplays and books.
Leavengood’s successes as an acting instructor are spotlighted by his students who have routinely won Top Honors, Critic’s Choice and Superiors at District and State Thespian competitions as well as multiple state, regional and national scholarships and awards. His students have been accepted into the most prestigious Theatre programs including Julliard, Carnegie-Mellon, NYU-Tisch, UC-San Diego and Northwestern, among others.
Leavengood has been a guest lecturer and workshop leader at the Educational Theatre Association’s National Conference; Florida Association of Theatre Educators Conference, and the Florida Playwright’s Process at Ruth Eckerd Hall. As a teacher of Playwriting, he has helped his students at the high school and college level earn numerous national and regional student playwriting honors from the Blank Theatre, Hollywood; Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival; The Southeastern Theatre Conference; The Gorilla Theatre; Educational Theatre Association: and Young Playwright’s, Inc. NYC. His students’ plays have been published by Baker’s Plays and The Theatre Communications Group.
Leavengood’s own published works include Florida Bound , a collection of his plays, Hellenback High, Puss in Boots and the children’s book, Cat Moon Do. Leavengood has received grants from Florida Division of Cultural Affairs; Florida Council for the Arts, Pinellas County Arts Council, and the Berrilla Kerr Foundation. Other awards and honors include the Edith Oliver Fellows Award and "Best of the Bay" Playwright in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2005. He served as Artistic Director of the LiveArts Peninsula Foundation from 2000-2005 and was a proud member of the faculty at Shorecrest Preparatory School for over 25 years. He belongs to the New Circle Theatre Company (NYC), the Dramatists' Guild, and the Writers' Guild of America. www.billleavengood.com
"Mr. Leavengood’s coaching won me multiple awards, got me into several accredited BFA programs, and helped me snag my MFA Program starting this fall! I still use my monologues I worked on with Mr. Leavengood. No one will work harder to find your niche and really make you shine! His mind is like an actor’s library, and he’s also not afraid to give you pieces to challenge you. I’m never more satisfied with my work than after doing a piece with Mr. Leavengood! His long standing reputation of getting students into top programs across the nation and racking up award after award at local, state, and national competitions speaks for itself!"
—Bailee McQueen - Past Student
"Compassionate, kind, empathetic and talented! Imagine a drama teacher who can direct, sing, dance, act, AND teach playwriting and digital film. Bill Leavengood is a master of all these. For thirty years Bill worked with students and built one of the top theater programs in Florida - winning awards and accolades. But to understand Bill, you need to look beyond the accolades and into the classroom - this is where Bill’s true talents shine. Bill cares deeply about the wellbeing and mental health of his students. ... He cares for each and every child, treating them like his own. ... Anyone who can make teenagers feel good about themselves and know the value of hard work deserves high praise. Bill has taught his students about drama, life and empathy through example."
—Anne Dowling - Parent of Student
"Bill’s life is steeped in theater. His productions packed our schools auditorium, his reputation brought in families from all over, and his methods created hundreds of talented actors, dozens who have excelled in the industry. As a talented actor, playwright, director and producer, his creativity and creative energy seems boundless. I've never met an educator or an entertainer with a deeper understanding of the intersection of the two disciplines. His colleagues respect him for his commitment to his program and for bringing out the best in his students. His students respect him for the depth of his experience and the honesty of his direction. The proof of his pedagogy comes in the awards and accolades his actors consistently earn in playwriting, film-making and thespian competitions."
— Jake Seymour - English Department Chair - Shorecrest Preparatory