MCC Actor Training School to offer new course for adults

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

    WARWICK - Why do some people instantly command attention and respect? When they speak, we listen. Their opinions seem to carry more weight. They inspire trust in those around them. "It's called presence," said Donna Haley, Director of Warwick's MCC Actor Training School, and she believes that everyone is capable of developing it. This fall the school will offer a new course for adults titled "Personal Presence." And according to Haley, the course is designed for anyone who wants to connect with themselves and others in an authentic, confident, expressive, flexible and empathetic way. "It's perfect for business people and professionals from teachers to lawyers to doctors to your local merchant," she said. Haley explained that the key to "presence" is finding and enhancing your own, authentic style of communication instead of trying to be someone you're not. "Presence," she said, "comes from knowing who you are and being comfortable with that." Haley plans to show her students how to use the tools of the actor to enhance personal presence. Contrary to the impression that actors are always trying to be someone else, Haley, who is also a professional actress, argues that they actually have to know themselves well and be truthful and authentic in each role they play. "It's not unlike the many roles each one of us plays throughout our day," she said. "A critical part of presence is the ability to connect with people and to make your message come alive, using stories, metaphors, and imagery when you speak." The new course will meet four Wednesday nights starting Sept. 21, then Oct. 5, 19 and 26. "This course will be an exploration of presence, listening to build trust, expressiveness, and self-knowing, and it will be fun," Haley said. Warwick's MCC Actor Training School, founded in 1996, offers classes in acting for students ages ten through adult. The training consists of voice and body work, character development, monologue and scene study, improvisation for performance, development of original material, and play writing. Students on all levels attend Broadway and Off-Broadway shows in the city and meet with the actors. For further information on classes call 987-8228.