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Decoding Shakespeare with James Beaman

Dates: 4 Thursdays - October 19 & 26, November 2 & 9

Time: 6-8pm

Location: MCS2

Class Size: Maximum 8-12 actors

Workshop Fee: $250 (register here)


New to Shakespeare? Want to expand your repertoire into Shakespeare and classic plays? Trained in Shakespeare but a little rusty on the basics? Auditioning for a graduate or undergraduate acting program and need strong Shakespeare monologues?

Or does Shakespeare just scare or confuse you? I call this Shakes-timidation.

The solution: Decoding Shakespeare. In this four session, eight hour workshop I will share with you the essentials of text work that will not only make Shakespeare comprehensible and clear, but will also give you the tools to mine the language for potent, compelling and authentic acting choices. Let’s banish your Shakes-timidation forever! In this empowering and enlightening class we will:

Discover how Shakespeare ‘directed’ his actors through the way he used language in his plays

Cover the essentials of blank verse, scansion, operatives, rhetorical forms and unlock how these can be used by the actor to bring clarity and powerful acting choices to the work

Work on Shakespeare sonnets and on soliloquies and monologues from Shakespeare plays to give each participant two solid audition pieces by end of course

Explore the material with me in my immediate, in-the-moment, on our feet coaching style, moving you past your limited ideas— into what is truly possible as an interpreter of Shakespeare texts

Additionally, actors are welcome to take the first session, The Essentials, as a one night Master

Class! This concentrated class covers the fundamentals of breaking down Shakespeare verse texts, giving you essential tools for working on this rich and complex material.

The Essentials Master Class

Open to: 20 participants (in addition to the core Decoding Shakespeare class participants)

Date: Thursday, 6-8pm October 19

One session Master Class Fee: $50

All participants in both the Master Class and the full Decoding Shakespeare workshop will have the opportunity to purchase a block of one-on-one coaching sessions with me: for every four sessions prepaid, get one free! (Redeemable within 60 days of purchase.)

James Beaman

James Beaman is an award-winning actor whose work has spanned the worlds of classical theatre, musical theatre, the cabaret stage and everything in between. As an acting and audition coach, his clients have appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at major regional theaters, and inTV and Film. His work with undergraduate and graduate acting training candidates has helped them gain admission to some of the country’s finest colleges and conservatories, including Harvard/ART, The Hartt School, Boston Conservatory, The Academy for Classical Acting at GWU and many others. He co-created and taught the Goodspeed Musicals Audition Intensive, and has led master classes at MFA programs and regional theatre training conservatories throughout the US. Jamie received his BFA in Acting at Boston University, and his MFA in Classical Acting from the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University, where he trained with former Juilliard Drama Division Director and Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn. In New York, he has trained with Matthew Corozine, Wynn Handman, and Tim Phillips. He has been affiliated with Taffety Punk Theatre Company in Washington, DC for ten years. At MCS, Jamie will offer one on one acting and audition coaching as well as Shakespeare text work, monologue and scene work. For more info, visit


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