Class Descriptions

Audition Workshop

Audition Workshop - well, the title is pretty self-explanatory. In this class, you will workshop material for audition purposes. AND, more importantly, you will learn the art and science of bringing more humanity, connection, and empathy into the audition room.

This class always begins with a discussion which is (sometimes) followed by a mock audition.  Then each student works individually for 10-15 minutes. Class size is limited to 8 artists.


Breaking Down the Sides

They sent me 10 pages of sides.
I have two days to prepare.


Sound familiar?

Yeah, it sounds familiar to me too because every single day I get several texts from JWSers who are freaking out because they want to do excellent work in the room, have a ton of material to prepare, and don't know exactly where to start.

As we move into the callback phase of this year's audition season, this seems like the perfect time to fill up your audition toolbox with techniques, tips, and tricks for preparing your sides.

This is not a performance class. This is a seminar. So get your notebooks ready! Think of this like Callback Workshop on steroids.

You will exit these 3 hours energized and ready to nail your preparation for your next sides packet.


Callback Workshop

15 pages of sides to prepare in 2 days????!!! How will you do it?

By applying everything you learn in Callback Workshop, of course!

Week 1 tackles tools and techniques for handling callback material (sides and songs). In weeks 2, 3, and 4, you will prepare material that has been assigned to you with a focus on roles that you are “right” for. (Keep in mind that JWS believes in inclusive, forward-thinking, and color-visible casting, so “type” will never be a part of that consideration.) We bring in outside readers to make the experience of presenting the material as realistic as possible. Class size is limited to 8 artists.


How to Read a Play

Real talk: Most actors need this class and are too embarrassed to admit it.  

In today’s world, theatres are cutting financial corners by eliminating days (sometimes weeks) of rehearsal, which means less and less time for table work in the rehearsal hall. With that in mind, you need to be able to incorporate the skills of textual analysis into your own rehearsal process and identify every useful detail on the page.

This class looks at text with an eye toward mining dramatic intentions you can execute onstage. You will come out of this class confident in your ability to identify “moments of change”, craft shape and structure into your performance, and make smart, informed decisions.


Intro to Laban

Every character moves, but not every character moves in the same way!

If you are ready to level up with your physical approach to your work, Intro to Laban will provide you with a simple system to unlock the possibilities in movement and create rich, complicated characters.

In this physically demanding class, you will explore Laban’s 8 Basic Efforts and leave with a deep awareness of your body in space, a better way to discern and communicate physical ideas, and strategies for immediately applying these principles to any text or song.

In the first class you will learn the Efforts and explore them both physically and vocally. In the second class you will apply the Efforts to your material in individual work sessions.

Class size is limited to 8 artists.


Intro to Viewpoints

If you feel physically stuck, if the voice inside your head says, “I don’t know what to do with my body”, if you are eager to free yourself to make bold and specific choices, you are ready for Viewpoints.

Intro to Viewpoints offers a framework to engage the physical world and interact with the space in order to tell dynamic, compelling stories. By applying the Viewpoints, you will release the obligation to “be interesting” or “invent something out of nothing” and gain the freedom to make choices in every moment.

In this physically demanding class, you will explore the 9 Viewpoints and leave with a deep awareness of your body in space, a better way to discern and communicate physical ideas, and strategies for immediately applying these principles to any text or song.

In the first class you will learn the 9 Viewpoints and explore them both physically and vocally. In the second class you will apply the Viewpoints to your material in individual work sessions.

Class size is limited to 8 artists.


It's Funny 'Cause It's True

When it comes to comedy on the stage, we’ve got a big problem, friend. Many actors who are perfectly capable of being funny do not have the technique they need to land the joke. We simply couldn’t take another punchline that was dead in the water, so we created this class.

The aim is to share the basic rules of comedy that every stage actor needs to know. You will learn to look for the funny on the page and explore ways to consistently land the laughs in performance. The tools and techniques will amp up the humor in your acting. Working with other actors in a safe-space scene study environment, you will mine the text for the comedic elements, articulate the structure of the comedic idea, and then turn it into something playable.


Monologues + Sides

Working in a rehearsal room is a pleasure. You have a director who will give you guidance, blocking, intention, and... oh yeah... other actors to play with. But what do you do when you have to work on your own and prepare your material for the initial audition without any guidance from an outside source?

In this class, you will strengthen your ability to make large scale adjustments by squeezing every last drop of information out of the page and turning that information into playable (and adjustable) actions that you can bring into the audition room.

Class size is limited to 8 artists.


Musical Theatre Scene Study

Musical Theatre Scene Study will help you bring process-based exercises to a product-oriented rehearsal environment. Through working with a partner on material that merges spoken text into song, you will discover new ways to be the most dynamic, collaborative, creative artist you can be.

We will work two scenes / partner combinations over the course of the 4 week session. Partners will be assigned (unless a specific partner is otherwise requested.)

Class size is limited to 10 students.


Preparing a Role

In most classes (ours included) you tackle 2-4 minutes of material at a time and then move on to the next thing. But what if you wanted to do more? What if you wanted to study the entire script and score and really put your creative process to the test?! Here’s your chance to bring a character to life.

In this class, you will cast yourself in a role and and work on that role every single day for 6 weeks. This class teaches you how to incorporate script analysis, score analysis, movement work (like Viewpoints and Laban), research, impulse, and imagination into your process so it shows up on the stage. We do a lot of reading in this class! So if you like books, you will be a happy camper.

The first 3 weeks of this 6 week class are spent on theory and analysis. The second 3 weeks are spent on practical application. In addition to our weekly meetings, there is A LOT of homework, a daily exercise, and tons of opportunity between classes to ask questions and receive advice and feedback. Class size is limited to 8 artists.


Scene Study

The text is in your hand. Now what?

Scene Study offers you an opportunity to leap from the page to the stage with an eye towards exploring the physical and emotional life of a character, as well as digging into the the shape and structure of a text.

Asking bigger and better questions about the work is a demanding task… and it becomes much easier when you do it with someone else. You are paired with a scene partner, free rehearsal space is provided, and you rehearse outside of class in addition to your 30 minute in-class work sessions. Material is assigned. Some light (and wildly engaging!) additional reading is assigned for class discussion each week.

Class size is limited to 8 artists.



You are seeking a change. You are eager to level up. You are ready to demand excellence from yourself and act with integrity. And you are stuck. You don’t know how to do it.

How about a 4 week sprint toward your best self?

If you want better opportunities to make better art with better people, you have to start with yourself. It is time to SHIFT your mindset about how you are approaching your work.

SHIFT is designed to help you step into the best version of yourself and tackle your life and work with ambition and purpose. In addition to our weekly in person meetings, there are daily assignments to help you level up - from cultivating a growth mindset to nailing time management to positive self-talk and everything in between.

Real talk: It will be intense. There will be no lying, faking, or hiding. There will be truth telling which means self awareness, which means growth, which means growing pains, which means new outcomes, which means new opportunities, which means change for the better, which means a YOU that you can be proud of.


Storytelling 3D

One of the most baffling and ludicrous ideas to infiltrate actor training in the last few decades is “the spot on the wall”. The actor neutralizes their body, stares at a spot on the wall, and essentially recites the material. The whole story happens inside the actor’s head, the body is ignored, and the audience is left to ask themselves “What the hell is going on?”

JWS is committed to abolishing this nonsense.  And our remedy is Storytelling 3D.

This physically demanding class will give you the tools to fully inhabit the 360-degree world. When you unlock your body, you will push the boundaries of what is possible. When you connect to your physical instrument you will create art that viscerally resonates with your audience.

If you have ever said to yourself “I just don’t know what to do with my body”, you need this class. You will leave the experience with a deep understanding of physical techniques (like Laban, Viewpoints and Star Bodies) and how to immediately apply them to your work.

Class size is limited to 10 artists.


Studio Workshop

If an actor friend told you ‘You need to take a class at JWS”, this is probably the class they were talking about. Studio Workshop has been the heartbeat of our work at JWS for well over a decade. Based on a commitment to process rather than product, this class is designed to push you out of your comfort zone, to challenge your creativity, and to connect you to your deepest sense of artistic purpose.

Real talk: there is a lot of risk-taking involved. You will fall flat on your face. You will soar to new heights. You will learn things about yourself that you never considered before. If you decide to join us, fear is inevitable and courage is required.

This class begins with 60 minutes of group work followed by 15-20 minute individual work sessions. Class size is limited to 9 artists.


Viewpoints in Action

Have you ever said, “My character would never do that,” or “I shouldn’t do that onstage,” or “Real people don’t actually do that”?

You need Viewpoints.

Viewpoints are a set of lenses through which you can view anything that happens onstage and in the world. Once you know how to recognize and manipulate the Viewpoints, you will unlock the freedom of limitless possibility in movement and gain a better way to use yourself in order to tell more expressive stories.

In this physically demanding 4-week class, we will take a deep dive into the Physical and Vocal Viewpoints. After we explore each one in isolation, our main focus will be actually applying these ideas to your work on the stage, in the rehearsal studio, and in the audition room.

The first two classes will focus on using Viewpoints with spoken text to illuminate the writing and make your characters come alive. You will work both individually and with a scene partner. The next two classes will center on sung text: how to use Viewpoints to communicate expressively, move without boundaries, and share your interpretation of the material. You will work individually on two songs.

All work sessions are designed to be both exploratory (how to use Viewpoints in rehearsal to discover physical ideas) and practical (how to translate external feedback into a useful, actionable approach). You will leave with a deep understanding of how to use your body, voice, and the physical world more effectively, and you will have the tools you need to take ownership of the stories you tell.

Class size is limited to 10 artists.