The Art of Speech and Drama tutors people to become more confident and compelling communicators and performers.
We aspire to be a supportive and encouraging haven for great artistic inspiration, exploration, and expression. A place for learning, connecting, and sharing.
To enhance the learning process we intentionally cultivate a culture that reflects our 10 core values:
We believe that speech and drama training is a ridiculously fun and effective way to become a stronger communicator and performer. We believe good communicators and performers are good story-tellers. And one thing speech and drama training offers is how to tell a good story.
Our training is grounded in proven approaches used by world-class professional communicators and performers. Our approach works and is constantly progressing, moving forward, and evolving with our expanding experiences.
We deeply care about the importance of this training and are incredibly passionate about teaching it to others. We make the learning environment as safe and nurturing as possible by developing and cultivating an atmosphere of trust, care and respect amongst learners. This frees learner's to explore, experiment, and take risks to advance their growth.
Our approach is fun. Really fun. Laughter is a common side effect, and strongly encouraged. However, we also make it serious. When needed. The training, like life, is best in balance. So we explore works of both light and shade.
Our approach is based on 5 principles: Explore. Express. Connect. Engage. Inspire. Here's a more detailed look at how we approach the training through these principles.
Leaners are encouraged to explore ideas and learn by doing. We carefully create and sustain a supportive, encouraging, and explorative learning environment that frees learner's to experiment, take risks, and grow. Keeping classes small ensures everybody has ample time and attention to learn. Constructive criticism is given frequently throughout classes to facilitate the learning process, but always with great sensitivity and care. A major part of the training is exploring and working with great literature to bring it to life through speech and drama. We practice with both verse and prose to develop a well-rounded skill-set.
Physical, vocal, and emotional expressivity is critical in communication. Our bodies, voice and emotions are all part of how we share ideas and concepts. Posture, eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, rhythm, tone, emphasis, pauses, audibility, and clarity all play a big role. Improv games are fantastic for expanding expressivity. We must engage imaginatively and emotionally with words to make them live. Honest expression is extremely powerful. Emotional honesty goes a long way. We must learn to say what we mean, and mean what we say. We must commit to being truthful. It's scary, but truth opens the door for connection and allows others to trust you and to believe you.
We believe at the core of engaging communication and performance is the willingness and ability to be open, real, and vulnerable. That’s what resonates with people. The magic happens when we allow ourselves to be seen. Truly seen. When we put ourselves out there. When we risk. Then people will listen. Really listen. We're somehow drawn to vulnerability like moths to a flame. Although it can be uncomfortable and difficult to practice, it's captivating. It allows for a deeper connection between speaker and listener. We focus mainly on strengthening our ability to connect to what we're saying and to our listeners because connection is the heart of communication and performance.
We must also attract and hold their attention and interest. We must learn to make contact with our listeners in a meaningful way. Strong communicators and performers use a variety of skills and techniques, consciously and unconsciously, to captivate and enthral us in a story. We explore acting fundamentals through scene study, improv, and devised works to develop our dramatic sensibilities and story-telling skills. We love to explore Shakespeare's works because it's bursting in beautiful, rich, poetic language which helps provoke greater expressivity. It's also highly dramatic. Which we like. It's also a great source for exploring other important story telling tools including: language, punctuation, figures of speech, contrasts, timing, etc. We also encourage learner's to observe the many masters of speech and drama at work on screen, in theatre, or on the radio as it's a great way to enhance the learning process outside of class.
Finally, we may aim to create in our listeners a feeling or urge to do something. To make a change somehow. In their views or actions. Although change can be uncomfortable, change is good. It's healthy. It's also integral to satisfying stories. The most fascinating stories involve characters that go through significant change. Even the universe is constantly changing; progressing, moving forwards, expanding, evolving.
Our ability to inspire can change the world. In big and small ways. Perhaps most famously, Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech inspired hundreds of thousands of people to stand up against racism and injustice. Countless communicators and performers provide tremendous inspiration to people everyday all over the globe. Whether our sphere of influence is one person or hundreds of thousands, everyone can make a positive difference through their ability to inspire.
If you commit to the training and put in the effort you will become a more confident and compelling communicator and performer.
So let's get started!