Workshops 2019-07-02T16:16:16+00:00


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 begins summer 2019 with a series of 1-hour classes that run from 3-6 weeks.

SBMT Workshop Series

The first workshops to be offered in summer 2019 provide guidance for actors, singers, and dancers. Pick from five workshops, each tailored to your abilities and needs. For our inaugural workshops, 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.



July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Five-class series for $90
6:30-7:30 p.m: Level One Tap, with Francesca Cipponeri
7:30-8:30 p.m.: Level Two Tap, with Francesca Cipponeri

July 13, 20, 27 (with a potential second series Aug 3, 10, 17): Three-class series for $54
9:30-10:30 a.m.: Musical Theatre Dance Basics, with Kayvon Kordestani
10:45-12:15 p.m.: Audition Preparation, with Michael Johnson and Walter Mayes

July 14, 21, 28, Aug 4, 11, 18: Six-class series for $108
9:30-10:30 a.m.: Acting for Actors, with Michael Hirsch
10:45-11:45 a.m.: Musical Theory, with Kevin Brownstein


Audition Preparation Workshop

taught by Walter Mayes and Michael Johnson

Walter Mayes and Michael JohnsonWhether 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: July 13, 20, and 27, 2019 from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (Depending on demand, the workshop may be repeated Aug. 3, 10, and 17)
COST: three-classs series $54

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.

Michael Johnson has performed most recently for SBMT as Pap Finn in Big River as well as previous roles in The Bridges of Madison County, Man of La Mancha, Guys and Dolls, 1776, A Little Night Music, Camelot, and others. He has conducted and musically directed shows such as Baby, The World Goes ’Round, The Goodbye Girl, and Smokey Joe’s Café. From rehearsal piano to costumes to props, Michael has done many things for SBMT and other local theaters including TheatreWorks, Limelight Actors Theatre, WVLO, and City Lights Theatre. In his non-theatre hours, Michael is a recently retired Oncology Nurse Case Manager for Kaiser Permanente.


Acting For Actors

taught by Michael Hirsch

Michael HirschThis six-session studio course provides actors with methods and exercises useful in developing characters for the stage. Whether you are an experienced or aspiring actor, Developing Characters will give you an opportunity to practice and hone essential skills used in the craft of acting, applicable for performing on stage and off. Sessions will include various acting techniques, breathing, movement, energy and imagination exercises used in producing truthful and unique characters.

DATES AND TIMES: Sundays: July 14, 21, and 28, and Aug. 4, 11, and 18, 2019 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
COST: six-classs series $108

Michael Hirsch has performed in almost 100 professional, educational, and community theatrical productions and has taught acting classes to beginners and theatre majors at Michigan State University. He studied studio art in college, acting at graduate school, earned a black belt in kendo, and works as Product Owner at Shutterfly. He performed for SBMT as The Duke in Big River and as Bud Johnson in The Bridges of Madison County, and played Ledge Dugan in Tabard’s Another Roll of the Dice and as Dr. Victor Monke in Limelight Actors Theatre’s Tenderly. Follow him at michaelpaulhirsch.com.


Musical Theatre Dance Basics and Terminology

taught by Kayvon Kordestani

Kayvon KordestaniNever fear a dance call again.  In this three week class, 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.  This class is designed for people who want to learn the musical theater dance vocabulary as well as those performers who want to practice what they already know.  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: July 13, 20, and 27, 2019 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (Depending on demand, the workshop may be repeated Aug. 3, 10, and 17)
COST: 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 Mondays: July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
COST: five-classs series $90

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 Mondays: July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
COST: five-classs series $90


Fundamentals of Music Theory

taught by Kevin Brownstein

Kevin Brownstein workshop headshotThis six week, 60 minute course will introduce students to the theory of music, providing them with the skills needed to read music notation. It will cover material such as reading pitches, understanding key signatures, identifying and understanding time signatures, as well as sight reading basic and some intermediate rhythms. By the end of this course, students will have a general idea of how to decipher a piece of music.

DATES AND TIMES: NOTE… This class, originally slated for July 14 through August 18, has been postponed.
COST: To be announced

Kevin Brownstein served as Vocal Director for Thoroughly Modern Millie and appeared last fall as Older Patrick in Mame. Other performance credits include A Chorus Line (Cut Dancer), Pippin (Ensemble), and Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter, Judas u/s) with WVLO. He is also a member of the SBMT Board of Directors.


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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