Workshops to begin at Southport Studio Theatre

Students performing during a previous session of Southport Studio Theatre.

Students performing during a previous session of Southport Studio Theatre.

Southport Studio Theatre is launching its new workshop season, where students uncover and nurture hidden talents and explore “why” through acting.

Classes provide younger students with a platform to build confidence, develop empathy and explore who they are. High school students focus on honing acting skills, exploring the truth of a scene, and nailing auditions.

Long-time Fairfield resident Frank Root, a professional actor and teacher, has been bringing the Broadway experience to local students for 12 years. His music theater performance classes separate students by age groups, middle school and high school, to allow the workshops to best target the experience and development of each age group. Both groups will learn the art of performing a song or scene and explore character development through exercises, improvisation, monologues and scene work, movement, theater games, and group vocal lessons. Technique and fun are the cornerstones of each session.

Student work is showcased in a final presentation for family and friends in December.

Small class sizes are designed to provide a safe, nurturing environment and one-on-one attention.

“We have students who can’t get enough theater and ones who start with us for their first experience and it’s amazing and rewarding how they all learn and benefit from each other,” Root said.

Many students use these classes to further develop their skills between summer programs, such as Southport Studio Theatre’s Broadway Bootcamp. Others enjoy the school-year sessions as a way to get their feet wet or prepare for school-sponsored performances.

Root has taught acting for more than 20 years in colleges and professional programs including NYU’s Cap 21 and Hartt School at University of Hartford, and consulted on area school performances. A working actor and dancer, he has performed in shows including 42nd Street, Mack and Mabel, and Boardwalk Empire, and has numerous students represented in Broadway shows such as Mama Mia, 42nd Street, The Producers, and A Chorus Line.

Philip Bettencourt, a long-time member of the Southport Studio Theatre/Broadway Bootcamp faculty, joins the classes as music workshops are divided into two age groups: Middle school and high school, each running 10 classes.

Middle school sessions (grades 5-8) run Mondays, 5-7 p.m., Sept. 24 through Dec. 10.

High school classes (grades 8-12) are Sundays, 5-7 p.m., starting Sept. 23.

Both sessions will stage a final performance on Sunday, Dec. 16.

All classes and performances will be held at Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Ave., Southport.

Space is limited. Information and registration are available at or 203-259-8833.

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