Workshops 2019-11-18T20:12:51+00:00

“You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught!”

South Bay Musical Theatre is launching an enrichment program for adult performers (18 and over), in which stars and staff of our recent shows coach small groups of performers on the fundamentals of musical theatre. The program began summer 2019 with a series of 1-hour classes that ran from 3-6 weeks. Due to the popularity of the first round of courses, they are being offered again this fall.

SBMT Workshop Series

The workshops provide guidance for actors, singers, and dancers. Pick from an ever-expanding number of workshops, each tailored to your abilities and needs. Unless otherwise noted, all classes will convene at the SBMT Rehearsal Studio and Costume Shop at 761 Mabury Rd, Unit 20, in San Jose, CA 95133. See map.



Saturdays: Shakespeare Monologue Workshop
Dec. 7, 14, and 21: Three-class series for $70
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
Instructors: Angie Higgins, Larry Barrott, and Doll Piccotto

Sundays: Adult Musical Theatre Jazz Dancing Workshop
Dec. 8, 15, and 22: Three-class series for $54
10:30 to 11:30 a.m
Instructor: Michael Saenz

Sundays: Glitz Dance Fitness
November 17, 24, and December 8, 15, and 22, on a drop-in basis. Donate-what-you-can.
9:15 to 10:15 a.m.
Instructor: Sara K. Dean


Saturdays: Musical Theatre Dance, level one and two
November 9, 16 and 23, 2019. Three-class series for $54
9:00-10:00 a.m.: Basics
10:15-11:15 a.m.: Level Two
Instructor: Kayvon Kordestani


Wednesdays: Tap, level one and two
Oct. 16, 23, 30 and Nov. 6, 13: Five-class series for $90
6:30-7:30 p.m: Level One
7:45-8:45 p.m.: Level Two
Instructor: Francesca Cipponeri

Saturdays: Audition Preparation
November 2, 9, and 16, 2019. Three-class series for $70
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Instructor: Walter Mayes

Saturdays: Intro to Voice
October 12, 19, and 26, Three-class series for $70
10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.:
Instructor: Michael Stahl


Shakespeare Monologue Workshop

Shakespeare Monologue Workshop

taught by Angie Higgins, Larry Barrott, and Doll Piccotto

Angie Higgins-Larry Barrott-Doll PiccottoSBMT joins forces with Silicon Valley Shakespeare to offer a 3 week workshop in Shakespeare monologues.  Confidence in performing Shakespearean monologues is a foundation for all actors!  Come learn to play with Shakespeare’s language, with clarity, honesty, courage and passion. Please prepare a monologue (no need to be memorized on the first day), about a minute in length, from a Shakespeare play.  Gender-blind is appropriate; no prior experience necessary.  Not sure where to start? Check out http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/ as a great resource for complete scripts that are free and fully searchable! (Banner photo by Evelyn Huynh.)

DATES AND TIMES: Saturdays: December 7, 14, and 21, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
COST: three-classs series $70
CLASS SIZE: limited to 15 participants maximum; advance signup required.

Angie Higgins — Artistic Director
Angie holds a B.A. in Creative Arts and an M.A. in Theatre Arts Education from San José State University, and has been teaching theatre arts since 2001. Angie develops and oversees all aspects of SVS’s productions, including play and artist selection. As a member of the artistic company, Angie directed SVS’s productions of As You Like It (2009), King Lear (2012), Pride and Prejudice (2014), Hamlet (2017), and the TBA Awards Recommended productions of The Comedy of Errors (2015), Much Ado About Nothing (2018), and The White Snake (2019). She also co-directed The Taming of the Shrew (2006), which was recognized as a Standout Classical Production by the Silicon Valley Small Theatre Awards, and has played many roles as an actor on the SVS stage.

Doll Piccotto — Dramaturg
Doll achieved a B.A. in English from UCSB with an emphasis in Shakespeare in Performance and an M.A. from San José State University in Renaissance Drama. She has worked as an actor, dramaturg, or costume designer on more than 50 Shakespearean productions. She directed SVS’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2004), Pericles, Prince of Tyre (2012), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2017), and wrote and directed Shakespeare’s Most Wanted which premiered in 2007 and was remounted in April 2009.

Larry Barrott — Resident Fight Director / Artistic Director Emeritus
Larry is an accomplished actor, director, and scholar who served as SVS’s Artistic Director from 2005-2012. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in Education from American Continental University. Larry directed SVS’s productions of Romeo and Juliet (2006), The Comedy of Errors (2008), Much Ado (About Nothing) (2010), Henry V (2011), Tartuffe (2014), and Antony and Cleopatra (2015). Larry received his certification in stage combat from Dueling Arts International and serves as the company’s resident fight director.


Musical Theatre Jazz Workshop

Adult Musical Theatre Jazz Workshop  (18+ only)

taught by Michael Saenz
Michael SaenzThis fun, upbeat, and inspiring workshop will focus on enhancing proper dance technique such as isolations of the body, improving performance quality, and developing complex rhythms and patterns. SBMT favorite Michael Saenz will teach participants a different Broadway-style jazz combination each week. Great for experienced dancers who are looking for a class to refresh their skills. Newer dancers will experience further development of technique and style. Jazz shoes or jazz sneakers are recommended. (Banner photo credit: Zednarem Photography)
DATES AND TIMES: Sundays: December 8, 15, and 22, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
COST: three-classs series $54
LEVEL: Advanced Beginner/ Intermediate

Michael Saenz is a frequent performer on Bay Area stages, seen most recently doing high toe-touching leaps in SBMT’s Thoroughly Modern Millie. He has danced professionally with sjDANCEco and has enjoyed featured solos/roles in José Limón’s masterworks (“Mazurkas”, “Winged”, “There is a Time”, and “Missa Brevis”) as well as sjDANCEco’s Company works. Michael studied modern dance under Gary Masters, Fred Matthews, and Raphael Boumaila; jazz dance under Janie Scott, Marie Stinnett, and Warren Lucas.  He choreographed award-winning dances for the performing company of East West Music and Dance studio (NYCDA, Showstoppers) and has taught lyrical, modern/contemporary, hip hop, and jazz. You may have seen his musical theatre choreography as the assistant to Janie Scott and Lee Ann Payne in such productions as Anything Goes (Hillbarn Theatre), Full Monty (Hillbarn Theatre), Chicago (Palo Alto Players), Mary Poppins (Cabrillo Stage), and Gypsy (SBMT).  Some of Michael’s career highlights include being a backup dancer for Coco Lee at Caesar’s Palace and Jackie Chan for “The Jackie Chan and Friends Charity Concert” at the MGM Theater in Las Vegas.


Glitz Dance Fitness

Glitz Dance Fitness

taught by Sara K. Dean

Sara K. DeanGlitz Dance brings Broadway to the world of exercise! This is an upbeat, jazz-based dance fitness class that will leave you feeling uplifted, powerful and energized. The music in Glitz showcases a wide variety of styles from stage and screen to disco and swing. Participants love Glitz because it makes them laugh, smile and sweat! Excellent for all levels of movers & dancers. 

DATES AND TIMES: Sundays: November 17, 24, and December 8, 15, and 22, 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
COST: Come when you can. Donate what you can. Course is run on a drop-in basis.

Sara K. Dean has been AFAA-certified fitness instructor for 10 years.  The creator of Glitz Dance Fitness, a certified fitness program from ACE & AFAA, Sara also holds fitness certificates in Pilates, TRX, Schwinn Cycling, Concept2 Rowing and Barre.  She holds a BFA in theatre and has trained in multiple styles of dance at New York University and Dance Arts Center in San Mateo, CA. In her spare time, she is the Executive Director for South Bay Musical Theatre, providing noteworthy entertainment to the bay area.


 Musical Theatre Dance Basics and Terminology

Musical Theatre Dance Basics and Terminology

taught by Kayvon Kordestani

Kayvon KordestaniNever fear a dance call again.  In these two three-week classes, learn the names and how to do the basic dance steps that appear in most musicals.  Each week we will cover several steps and at the end of each class learn a short combination using the steps taught that day. The level-one “Basics” class is appropriate for people with little or no dance training or those that want to solidify their familiarity with basic musical theater dance movement and vocabulary.  (Note: We will not be working on  the same dance as the July workshop). The level-two class is appropriate for musical theater performers who consider themselves “movers” but who want more practice and experience with musical theater dance and vocabulary.  Attendees will receive a printout of all dance terms.  Feel free to bring a video camera or use your phone to record each class.

DATES AND TIMES: Saturdays: November 9, 16, and 23, 2019
Basics class runs from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Level two class runs from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
COST: either three-classs series $54

Kayvon Kordestani is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, where she earned a quadruple-teaching credential in Music, English, Elementary and Pre-School Education. She also studied at the Theatre Artist’s Institute of San Jose. Kayvon has performed, choreographed, directed or vocal directed over 75 shows for various local theater groups. She served as the Artistic Manager for the Children’s Musical Theater of San Jose and was the Dance Director for the San Francisco Children’s Musical Theater and the Gilroy Children’s Musical Theater. She has choreographed and taught for Starting Arts and is the Bay Area Producer for Flash Mob America and The Mob Squad. Career highlights for Kayvon were working on a Francis Ford Coppola original score at American Zoetrope, and winning a Bay Area Theater Critic’s Circle award for Best Choreography for the San Francisco Follies.


Tap Dancing

Basic/Beginning (Level One)  Tap Dancing

taught by Francesca Cipponeri

Francesca CipponeriTap into your inner Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and jump into Basic-Beginning Level Tap! This five week class is designed for aspiring dancers who have never tapped before, or have not tapped since they were children. This class will go over absolute basic vocabulary such as shuffles,flaps, and cramp rolls. Tap shoes required.

DATES AND TIMES: Level One Tap meets Wednesday evenings: October 16, 23, 30, November 6, and 13, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
COST: five-classs series $90
CLASS SIZE: limited to 13 participants maximum

Francesca Cipponeri, in addition to recent SBMT roles in Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, has appeared in such shows as Little Women (Clarissa) and Addams Family (Saloon Girl) with Chanticleers Theatre in Castro Valley, Cirque de Oops! (Education) under the direction of Casey Lee Thorne, and performing as an entertainer for California’s Great America. Other dance credits include performing in Radical Flux with Mills College Repertory Company, choreographing Your Mouth is Holy with the Faces of Freedom Gallery in Kansas City, MO, and currently serving as a teaching artist with Transform Artist Residency. She holds a BA in dance from SJSU and an MFA degree in choreography from Mills College.


Beginning/Intermediate (Level Two) Tap Dancing

taught by Francesca Cipponeri

Tapped before but needing to brush up on your skills? Needing a little bit more of challenge after taking our Basic-Beginning level tap class? Jump into Beginning/Intermediate Tap! This five week class requires that dancers are proficient in the fundamentals of tap dancing, such as flaps, slaps, and shuffles. This class will be reviewing Maxi-fords and learning log jumps, toe stands, drawbacks and more! Tap shoes required.

DATES AND TIMES: Level Two Tap meets Wednesday evenings: October 16, 23, 30, November  and 13, from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.
COST: five-classs series $90
CLASS SIZE: limited to 13 participants maximum


Audition Preparation Workshop

Audition Preparation Workshop

taught by Walter M. Mayes

Walter M. MayesWhether you have been auditioning for years or have never attended an audition before, director Walter M. Mayes and accompanist Michael Johnson will take you through the process from start to finish, giving you insight into how shows are cast, what directors and staff are looking at when you audition, and the truth about what goes on before and after you leave the audition room. Learn what always to do, what never to do, what you can control, and what you must let go of.

Three weeks, 90 minutes each. Bring your audition book (and if you don’t have one, we will give you ideas on how to create one), a prepared and memorized monologue, your willingness to risk, and any questions you may have. Week One will focus on the rules and behind the scenes information. Week Two will have you up on your feet in a mock audition but with the bonus of feedback. Week Three will put you behind the table as you must take everything you have learned and be the ones who critique your fellow classmates as they audition.

DATES AND TIMES: Saturdays: November 2, 9, and 16, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
COST: three-classs series $70

Walter M. Mayes has been an SBMT mainstay since his return to the stage (after a 20-year absence) in the title role of 2008’s Man of La Mancha. He directed The Producers; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Promises, Promises; Hairspray; The Genius of Leonard Bernstein; 1776; Chess in Concert; Peter & the Starcatcher, and produced Finian’s Rainbow; Anything Goes; Kiss Me, Kate; My Fair Lady; and Mame. He was seen most recently as The King in Big River and the despicable M. Thénardier in Les Misérables. Walter has also worked with Lyric Theatre and SCP as a director; and City Lights, Palo Alto Players, Cabrillo Stage, Silicon Valley Shakespeare, Broadway by the Bay, Foothill Music Theatre; and the Redwood Symphony as an actor. A past member of SBMT’s Board of Directors, Walter is the librarian at The Girls’ Middle School in Palo Alto.


Intro to Voice: Singing in an Ensemble

Intro to Voice: Singing in an Ensemble

taught by Michael Stahl

Michael StahlSinging is an something that is so deeply human: everybody has a voice, and anyone can sing. In this 3 (or 4) week course, we will learn what the human voice can do, how to find your own voice, and how to be part of an ensemble of voices. All musicals need good ensembles; this class will give the beginners tools to work with, and give those with experience a chance to refine their skills and ask questions. Every voice counts!

DATES AND TIMES: Saturdays: October 12, 19, and 26, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
COST: three-classs series $70
CLASS SIZE: limited to 30 participants maximum

Michael Stahl has taught voice and choir all around the South Bay, including Ragazzi Boys Chorus, Los Altos High School, Sunnyvale Music School, and Silicon Valley Boychoir. He recently performed with SBMT in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Big River, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bridges of Madison County, and soon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. He has also performed with Cabrillo Stage (Into the Woods), and Lyric Theatre (Wizard of Oz, Yeomen, Gondoliers, Patience). Michael’s love of singing and music is elevated by all of the wonderful people he’s met along the way who share this enthusiasm.



For questions or more information please contact classes@southbaymt.com

SBMT Mailing Address

South Bay Musical Theatre
PO Box 700215
San Jose, CA 95170

Phone: 1.408.266.4734

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