2017 Theatrical Master Class Series

Saturdays 1:00-3:00pm (ages 8-12)

$215 for the 6-class series (discount and registration fee included) or
$35 per class, plus a single $15 registration fee - Space is limited!!

Arts & Minds presents six dynamic theatrical master classes held on Saturdays in March and April. Choose one class, several or all to receive a discount! Classes held at a home studio in Rowlett, TX.

March 4th - Improvisation

Registration deadline: March 1st
Instructor: Shawn Patrello

Learn flexibility, critical thinking and creativity through the art of improvisation. Students will explore how to perform with whatever materials are at hand and use improvisational acting techniques to work spontaneously in a group while having off-the-top-of-the-head fun.

Register Now

March 11th - Theatrical Makeup

Registration deadline: March 8th
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Discover the art of theatrical makeup. Starting with the basics, including makeup safety, hygiene, application, shading, and study of face shapes and bone structure, students will learn how to enhance facial features for the stage.

Register Now

March 25th - Circus Arts

Registration deadline: March 22nd
Instructor: Shawn Patrello

Explore the world of physical comedy, comic timing and the age-old art of clowning. Students will team up to learn classic clown bits. This class will also feature an introduction to different circus skills such as juggling, balancing, and plate spinning.

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April 1st - Accents & Dialects

Registration deadline: March 29th
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Learn the difference between an accent and a dialect. Students will be introduced to the International Phonetics Alphabet (IPA), the 7-step method professionals use for authenticity and explore the placement of the lips, teeth and tongue while practicing their favorite accents and dialects.

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April 8th - Acting 101

Registration deadline: April 5th
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

This acting foundation class will introduce students to warm-ups, relaxation techniques, stage directions, acting terminology, characterization and motivation. Through improvisational theatrical games, basic scene work with acting partners will be explored.

Register Now

April 22nd - Costume Design

Registration deadline: April 19th
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Explore the basics of how to design and construct a theatrical costume. Students will be introduced to the role of a costume designer and the process for creating costumes by delving into a character’s attributes and their own creativity and imagination.

Register Now

2017 Spring Classes

Arts & Minds welcomes your child to stay for the day! Our schedule accommodates students who have breaks between classes. A lunch break and study area are provided. All classes are held at our home studio in Rowlett, Texas. Please review our Class Schedule to plan your day.

2D Art Design

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Students will be introduced to two-dimensional design skills necessary for applying basic design elements and fundamental principles. Learn more >

Introduction to Drawing

color_lens Fine Art
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Introduction to Drawing explores a variety of media, such as pencil, chalk, and charcoal, as well as techniques, such as still life observation, one and two-point perspective, and grid drawing. Learn more >

Money Management for Teens

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This course covers what every teen needs to know to begin making important financial life decisions. Learn more >

Digital Filmmaking for Young Artists

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group Teamwork
lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking

Students will get a thorough overview of the production process from script to screen and will have an opportunity to create several videos independently as well as part of a production. This class will cover basic camera use, lights, sound, filmmaking techniques, introduction to script writing and more! Learn more >

A Cappella Group

music_note Music
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Love to sing or beat box? “A cappella” means music made without instrumental accompaniment. Guided by a vocalist, students will study a cappella songs in different musical styles and work together to sing some favorites as well as collaborate on creating original compositions. Learn more >

Essay Writing for Teens

edit Writing
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Designed to help students improve writing skills in preparation for college-level requirements, this class focuses on personal essays and expository writing. Learn more >

Poetry: Shakespeare to Shel

edit Writing
local_play Public Speaking
lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking
access_time History

Students will learn a myriad of literary terms related to poetry, analyze various poems, and try writing poems in each form that is studied. This class will also explore the works and lives of great poets, practice reading poetry aloud and inspire students to look at their world through a poetic lens. Learn more >

Acting 101

local_play Performance Arts
record_voice_over Public Speaking
new_releases Critical Thinking
group Teamwork
lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking

Designed for the new or experienced acting student, this class will cover warm-ups and relaxation techniques, approaches to characterization and motivation, line reading, memorization, and scene work. Learn more >

Accents & Dialects

local_play Performance Arts
record_voice_over Public Speaking
language Language

In this class, students will learn to use phonetics to learn accents and dialects. They will become aware of their own accents and learn how placement of the lips, teeth and tongue affect the way we speak. Learn more >

Improvisation

local_play Performance Arts
record_voice_over Public Speaking
new_releases Critical Thinking
group Teamwork
lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking

Applying their off-the-top-of-the-head skills, students will demonstrate what they have learned by performing games and short scenarios driven by audience suggestions for family and friends at the end of the semester. Learn more >

Theatrical Makeup

color_lens Fine Art
local_play Performance Arts
lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking

Starting with the basics, including makeup safety, hygiene, application, shading, and study of face shapes and bone structure, students will progress into age makeup followed by techniques for creating special effects like wounds, scars and burns. Learn more >

About Us

Arts & Minds is an arts and education 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to empower individuals to use their knowledge and talents for enriching themselves and their community. We envision communities where the arts and education are the building blocks to creating a better world.

Arts & Minds’ purpose is to help individuals discover their unique capacities and talents, gain knowledge, develop skills for self-expression, build character and contribute positively to their community. Our goal is for every student to realize their potential for making a meaningful impact on the local and global community through the arts and education

Our Staff

Valarie Atwood - Executive Director/Instructor

Valarie Atwood serves as Executive/Artistic Director for Arts & Minds and has been an educator for over 25 years. Her love for arts and education integration and the theatre inspired her to establish Arts & Minds. Previously, she founded Homeschoolers East Co-op where she fulfilled a variety of administrative roles on the Steering Committee for 10 years while teaching various subjects to a wide span of age groups. Before homeschooling, she developed the Virtue Of the Week (VOW) program and was a founding member of KIDPROV®, an arts-in-education improvisational comedy troupe, working with over 300,000 students and teachers throughout the U.S.

Valarie integrates her extensive knowledge and unique application of improv, creativity, problem solving and team building skills into each class she teaches whenever possible. Some organizations she has worked with include Destination Imagination, Gifted & Talented trainings, Big Thought, Artsmart, the Dallas Theatre Center Teen/Children's Theatre, Dallas Children's Theatre, Brookhaven College, Northlake College, the YMCA and Girl's Inc. Valarie attended Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, MO where she majored in theatre and is a graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts of Houston, TX.

 

Jen Palmieri - Adminstrative Director

Jen Palmieri has homeschooled her two children, now teens, from the start. Jen seeks to provide a well-rounded, transcript-worthy high school experience for her children while they take classes alongside their friends. As a Co-Founder of Homeschoolers East co-op, she and her family enjoyed 10 years of classes and memorable experiences. She served on HSE's Steering Committee as Treasurer for 6 years, Class Coordinator for 2, and taught and assisted in a variety of academic classes including, philosophy, crafts, 3 years dedication to WordMasters Challenge competitions and fulfilling the role as Stage Manager, Costumer and Crew Manager for many of HSE’s performances and productions.

Jen graduated with a BA in Business Management from Baruch College in NYC. She spent several years managing people in the customer service industry and moved to Dallas in 1994 when she transferred her position with Prudential Securities, Inc. Jen’s interest in her own children’s education and happiness along with her genuine love for all children and a pursuit of excellence in academics make her a valued asset to Arts & Minds.

 

Robertus van der Wege - Instructor

Robertus van der Wege is a career artist, arts administrator and art educator. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Asian and Pacific Art History from the University of Hawaii and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Northern Illinois University. He possesses a Certificate in Art Administration from the Harvard Business School as well as multiple welding certifications.

Robertus van der Wege has served two-terms as president of the Hawaii Museums Association, has over 12 years of college art teaching experience, and is currently a board member of the Texas Sculpture Association. His work has been exhibited in the United States, South Africa, Mozambique, Libya, and Canada. Please visit Wege Art & Design for more information.

 

Abbie Reedy - Marketing Director/Instructor

Abbie Reedy is a freelance writer and editor whose decades-long affair with the English language has resulted in an intimate understanding of English grammar and usage and an aggressive eagerness to assist others in crafting, improving, and perfecting their own writing.

She studied first Journalism, then English Literature at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she received a BA in Postcolonial Literature in 2005. After college, she taught a year of English Literature and Writing at a Chinese university, then spent six years in Haifa, Israel, serving as a Research and Drafting Assistant in the Department of the Secretariat of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the worldwide Bahá’í community.

She has since undertaken a number of writing and editing projects, including blog articles, website content, and the editing of a 100-page academic paper for publication as an ebook, and spent about a year working full-time as the Content Specialist for a boutique content marketing agency.

She is currently editing a Young Adult novel, providing guidance on college admissions essays for international students, writing digital copy for various clients, and working on her own fiction.

 

Rachael Lefevre - Instructor

Rachael Lefevre is the mother of three boys who she homeschooled for over 15 years. Most recently, she helped co-found Homeschoolers East where she served on its Steering Committee for 4 years and was a parent-teacher for a variety of classes for 10 years. She previously was a member of SAIL Homeschool Co-op as the assistant robotics coach for 3 yrs and served as President of Homeschoolers Excel for 2 of her 5 yrs as a member. Rachael was inspired to teach on the subject of money management after her eldest took a course on the subject the Air Force requires and came back to her saying, "They didn't cover anything that you didn’t, Mom. And I think you explained it better.”

She is currently working in the UT Southwestern Department of Surgery Education Office ensuring that the residents are in compliance with all accrediting boards before they graduate.

 

Amanda Sevak - Instructor

Amanda Sevak earned her Bachelor of Science in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has over 20 years of experience working and volunteering in education and the performing arts. She has worked in nonprofit administration for Rotary International and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer bringing arts enrichment to an inner city school in Chicago. Her international teaching experience, which includes India and China, stretches from pre-school to adults and encompasses subjects such as music, dance, drama, special education, and English.

Amanda's voice can be found on two musical albums: one with her college a cappella group, Significant Others, and, most recently, on an original children’s album, A Day in the Park, that she co-wrote and produced with her band, humdiddle.

The mother of identical twin girls, she is learning to play the ukulele and loves to sit by the water writing in her journal – the paper kind.

Amanda is thrilled to be a part of Arts & Minds and looks forward to inspiring students as well as being inspired by them.

 

Tim Perry - Instructor

Tim Perry is an award winning film and video professional, with 35 years experience in the media production field, both in Los Angeles and DFW. He has worked with and for such notable companies as NBC, Universal Studios, Disney Studios and Time Warner Cable Media. He is a skilled producer, director, cinematographer and editor.

Tim has taught video production, at the Gallup Area Arts Council’s Performing Arts Academy, to Navaho, Hopi and Zuni youth in Gallup, New Mexico. He is currently a member of the Dallas Producers Association and also recently served as the Technical Director of the Frame4Frame 2016 Film Festival in Arlington. His company, Perry Productions produces feature length documentary films, short films, commercials, music and corporate videos. Tim has participated locally in multiple 24-hour and 48-hour video races.

Shawn Patrello - Instructor

Shawn Patrello has been a character actor and improvisational comedian in the DFW area for 30 years. He has performed with Comedy Sportz and Ad-Libs, as well as created and directed his own improv comedy troupe, Rubber Chicken.

He is one of the founders of Kidprov, an arts-in-education improv troupe that has been entertaining and educating kids in Texas for almost three decades. With Kidprov, Shawn has conducted Gifted & Talented trainings as well as Destination Imagination workshops. He is currently performing with the local improv troupe, Fish Sticks in Dallas.

In the past eleven years, Shawn has become very fond of his work in the clown world. He is honored to spend time with the kids at Children’s Health in Dallas and Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth as a therapeutic clown in the professional medical clown troupe, Funnyatrics. Shawn also appears as a member of the NY Goofs, a professional clown performance group. In addition to his clowning pursuits, Shawn is also a talented cartoonist and ventriloquist.

 

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Contact Us

Need to reach out to us? Have questions or comments? Please drop us a message below and we will be in touch!

2017 Spring Class Schedule

Fridays Jan. 20 – Apr. 21 (No classes 3/17, 4/14, Weather date 4/28)
Class Time Room One Room Two
8:30-8:45 Essay Writing for Teens  
8:45-9:00
9:00-9:15 Poetry: Shakespeare to Shel
9:15-9:30
9:30-9:45
9:45-10:00
10:00-10:15 BREAK
10:15-10:30 Acting 101 A Cappela Group
10:30-10:45
10:45-11:00
11:00-11:15
11:15-12:00 LUNCH
12:00-12:15 Introduction to Drawing  
12:15-12:30 Accents & Dialects
12:30-12:45
12:45-1:00
1:00-1:15
1:15-1:30
1:30-1:45
1:45-2:00  
2:00-2:15 BREAK
2:15-2:30 2D Art Design Theatrical Makeup
2:30-2:45
2:45-3:00
3:00-3:15
3:15-3:30
3:30-3:45
3:45-4:00  
4:00-4:15
Saturdays Jan. 21 – Apr. 22 (No classes 3/18, 4/15, Weather date 4/29)
Class Time Room One Room Two
10:30-10:45 Money Management for Teens  
10:45-11:00
11:00-11:15
11:15-12:00
12:00-12:30 LUNCH
12:30-12:45 Digital Filmmaking for Young Artist  
12:45-1:00
1:00-1:15
1:15-1:30
1:30-1:45
1:45-2:00
2:00-2:30 BREAK
2:30-2:45 Improvisation  
2:45-3:00
3:00-3:15
3:15-3:30
3:30-3:45
3:45-4:00

Class Details

Acting 101
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 10:15-11:15 AM
Ages 12 - 18
$185
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Acting is not only art; it’s life! Theater addresses skills that benefit a student’s education and development for a lifetime. Self-confidence, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, teamwork and self-discipline are only a few byproducts of a theatre education. Designed for the new or experienced acting student, this class will cover warm-ups and relaxation techniques, approaches to characterization and motivation, line reading, memorization, and scene work. Scenes developed and prepared for a final performance will be shared at the end of the class.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Commitment to class attendance and scene partner.

local_play Performance Arts record_voice_over Public Speaking
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lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking    

Money Management for Teens
Saturdays, Jan. 21 - Feb. 25, 10:30-12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$150 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Rachael Lefevre

This six week course covers what every teen needs to know to begin making important financial life decisions. What is the difference between Whole Life, Universal Life and Basic Life Insurance? What is the magic of compound interest? What is a bond, stock, or mutual fund? How do I buy a house? Should I use a credit union, a bank or just stuff my money in my mattress? What do HMO, PPO and ACA stand for? Why do pre-existing conditions matter? If I have insurance, why am I still getting a bill? And the biggie…retirement. (Wait! I am in my teens. Why do we even have to talk about that now?)

This class takes serious topics, including stock trading and home buying, and incorporates them into activities and projects sure to keep teens engaged and having fun!

Student Skills Needed/Required: Comfortable with basic math including working with percentages, fractions, decimals and comparing values. Ability to read charts and graphs created in Excel. Reading skills proficient enough to read news articles and Personal Finance for Dummies.

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Introduction to Drawing
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 12:00-2:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$300 (Art supplies cost included)
Instructor: Robertus van der Wege

Investigate drawing media and techniques including descriptive and expressive possibilities. Introduction to drawing explores a variety of media, such as pencil, chalk, and charcoal, as well as techniques, such as still life observation, one and two-point perspective, and grid drawing. Drawing subjects will encourage students to examine perceptual and descriptive possibilities with consideration of drawing as a developmental process, as well as an end in itself. Art created in this class will be on display at the end of the semester.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Some drawing skills are preferable, but not required.

color_lens Fine Arts lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking
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Essay Writing for Teens
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 8:30-10:00 AM
Ages 12 - 18
$225 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

Designed to help students improve writing skills in preparation for college-level requirements, this class focuses on personal essays and expository writing. Drawing on resources from the WriteShop curriculum on essay writing, students will also learn to utilize the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook, the authority on research and writing. Writers will be guided through the principles behind evaluating sources for their research and learn how to cite sources in their writing using a universal set of guidelines, which writers can apply to any type of source. This class takes a fresh look at essay writing and students will come out of the course with a well-stocked writer’s toolbox that they can carry with them into future writing endeavors.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Students need to have at least a 7th grade level in reading, writing and composition. Previous experience with the WriteShop process preferred, but not required.

edit Writing new_releases Critical Thinking
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Poetry: Shakespeare to Shel
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 9:00-10:00 AM
Ages 12 - 18
$200
Instructor: Amanda Sevak

Painters and sculptors use different types of art media to create beautiful pictures and elegant statues. Poets use words on paper in different forms of poetry to create varied, unique images and express their ideas. There is a poet in all of us! Students will learn a myriad of literary terms related to poetry, analyze various poems, and will write poems in each form that is studied. This class will also explore the works and lives of great poets, practice reading poetry aloud and inspire students to look at their world through a poetic lens. Students will express their creative thoughts onto paper and have the opportunity to share their poems in class. The class will culminate in a poetry reading for a final presentation.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Desire to write and willingness to practice reading aloud in front of others. Students will need to bring a spiral notebook, 3x5 index cards and a pencil and pen to class.

edit Writing record_voice_over Public Speaking
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2D Art Design
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 2:15-4:15 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$300 (Art supplies cost included)
Instructor: Robertus van der Wege

Students will be introduced to two-dimensional design skills necessary for applying basic design elements and fundamental principles. Design elements and methodology will be identified and employed in exercises that establish a basis for aesthetic sensitivity and critical analysis. Students will develop the creative process and examine its role in the marketplace. Art created in this class will be on display at the end of the semester.

Course Objectives:

  • Define and differentiate the elements and principles of design
  • Define and execute the stages of design
  • Solve complex design problems
  • Improve hand skills and craftsmanship
  • Understand and compare spatial relationships
  • Learn design vocabulary

Student Skills Needed/Required: Some drawing skills are preferable, but not required.

color_lens Fine Arts lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking
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Accents & Dialects
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 12:15-1:45 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$225
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

The terms accent and dialect are almost interchangeable, but a dialect tells us about the regional and class origins of a speaker while an accent is a feature or attribute referring to pronunciation by those for whom English is not their first language. In this class, students will learn to use phonetics to learn accents and dialects. They will become aware of their own accents and learn how placement of the lips, teeth and tongue affect the way we speak.

Some accents and dialects student will learn include Australian, Cockney, Deep South, French, New York, Northern Ireland, and Standard British English. Using Paul Meier's 7-step method, students will explore various accents and dialects to demonstrate in a performance at the end of the semester for family and friends.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Must be willing to memorize a short piece in a chosen dialect to perform for others.

local_play Performance Arts record_voice_over Public Speaking
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A Cappella Group
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 10:15-11:15 AM
Ages 12 - 18
$200
Instructor: Amanda Sevak

Love to sing or beat box? “A cappella” means music made without instrumental accompaniment. While a cappella originally was a way to sing in chapels without organs, this style has become popular around the world because of its unique way to use the human voice to creatively cover songs in a variety of genres. This class will include an overview of music reading basics, such as time signature, musical notation and dynamics, but musical ear training will be more of a focus. Guided by a vocalist, students will study a cappella songs in different musical styles and work together to sing some favorites as well as collaborate on creating original compositions. This class will culminate in a live performance at the end of the semester.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Basic music knowledge helpful, but not required. Must be willing to sing/make noises from your mouth in front of others. Students will need to bring a 1” black binder, college ruled loose-leaf paper, pencil and pen to class.

music_note Music local_play Performance Arts
group Teamwork lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking

Theatrical Makeup
Fridays, Jan. 20 - Apr. 21, 2:15-3:45 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$235 (Art supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

The perfect introduction to stage makeup, special effects and fantasy makeup! Starting with the basics, including makeup safety, hygiene, application, shading, and study of face shapes and bone structure, students will progress into age makeup followed by techniques for creating special effects like wounds, scars and burns and finally their own fantasy creations. Students will receive a Mehron “Mini-Pro” Stage Makeup Kit of their own and assemble a makeup morgue full of photos for character reference.

This class not only inspires the imagination, but is an opportunity to collaborate with others, think creatively and develop artistic skills. But most importantly, it’s FUN!

Student Skills Needed/Required: Must not be allergic or have sensitivities to skin care products.

color_lens Fine Arts local_play Performance Arts
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Improvisation
Saturdays, Jan. 21 - Apr. 22, 2:30-4:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$210
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Did you know we improvise every day? Plans change without warning and acting without preparation under a variety of circumstances is required. With improvisation, there is an opportunity, even while having to respect boundaries, to generate lots of ideas, be flexible, think critically and creatively and have fun!

In this class, students will learn how to perform with whatever materials are at hand and use improvisational acting techniques to work spontaneously in a group. Applying their off-the-top-of-the-head skills, students will demonstrate what they have learned by performing games and short scenarios driven by audience suggestions for family and friends at the end of the semester.

Whether a seasoned performer or hesitant to be in the spotlight, students will gain the ability to tap into their creative potential, build self-confidence and develop skills to be utilized for a lifetime!

Student Skills Needed/Required: Desire to try new things, get out of comfort zone and have fun working with a team.

local_play Performance Arts record_voice_over Public Speaking
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lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking    

Digital Filmmaking for Young Artists
Saturdays, Jan. 21 - Apr. 22, 12:30-2:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$275
Instructor: Tim Perry

Lights! Camera! Action! Digital Filmmaking for Young Artists is a hands-on program designed to introduce young people to the exciting technical and creative aspects of digital filmmaking. Students will get a thorough overview of the production process from script to screen and will have an opportunity to create several videos independently as well as part of a production.

This class will cover basic camera use, lights, sound, filmmaking techniques, introduction to script writing and more! Films created will be showcased at the end of the semester for all to enjoy!

Student Skills Needed/Required: No previous experience necessary. Optional: Students should bring a camera and tripod or phone with camera to class, if available. Those who have previously produced a video are asked to bring their videos to share at the first class.

local_play Performance Arts record_voice_over Public Speaking
new_releases Critical Thinking group Teamwork
lightbulb_outline Creative Thinking