“I feel that the classes I have taken at the Hartford Stage have helped me with my public speaking skills. I have also enjoyed learning from other students’ perspective on the shared topics and objectives. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable  and interesting!”
–Mark White (Introduction to Acting, Introduction to Improv)


“I love theatre. I was raised going to shows, but I never took the family path. I became a nurse. Now as I am a new nurse manager. I understood even more the importance of feeling comfortable and confident in front of large groups. Hartford Stage is giving me that confidence, and so much more. They have brought me back to a childhood connection that I loved and didn’t even realize how much I missed!!”
–Tory Murtha (Introduction to Acting)

Adult Studio Classes

Nail Your Audition: The Business of Acting


Instructor: Vanessa Butler
Ages 18+
April 7–May 12 (6 Weeks)
Mondays: 7:00–9:00 pm
Rehearsal Studio
Call Robert Reader at 860-520-7263 to be added to the wait list

Make sure you are well prepared for your next audition! During this 6-week course, students will prepare monologues and learn effective audition techniques for stage and film. Plus, master the business of acting by reviewing resumes, head shots and necessary materials for all actors. 

The Art of Comedy

Instructors: Suzanne Ankrum Harris and Greg Ludovici
Ages 18+
June 3-July 1 (5 Weeks)
Tuesdays: 6:30-9:00 pm
Register Now

Students will be introduced to a variety of comedic acting forms, including historical stock comedy characters (as found in commedia dell’arte), physical comedy (such as clown and slapstick), and improv comedy (including sketch and stand-up.) The course will be taught by two guest artist instructors who are masters in their craft. Open to all levels—no prior experience necessary.


Vanessa Butler

Guest Teaching Artist

Vanessa Butler is a professional actor and acting coach. She currently teaches Acting 1 for the Central Connecticut State University Theater department. Vanessa has performed readings, workshops and shows with Long Wharf Theater, Hartford Stage, Collective Conscious Theater and Playhouse on Park. Her most recent production roles include: Clara, in the World Premiere of Higgins in Harlem (Playhouse on Park), Sierra, in the World Premiere of Khalas (Collective Conscious Theater), and Multiple roles in the Theater Uncut Festival (2012 and 2013). She’s also performed in several short films with the comedy troupe My Favorite Unkle based in Los Angeles. Vanessa received her BFA at Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in acting.

Actor Showcase

Ages 18+
June 2–June 18
Mondays & Wednesdays: 7:00–9:00 pm
Public Performance: Monday, June 30, 2014
Rehearsal Studio

Take your acting to the next level with this advanced course. You will work with a director to prepare a showcase of scenes and monologues for a public performance. Audition required.

Auditions are on 5/14. Call (860) 520-7263 or email rreader@hartfordstage.org to make your reservation.

For more information please contact Robert Reader, 860-520-7263, rreader@hartfordstage.org

Hunter Parker

Hunter Parker holds a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre Arts from Virginia Tech, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts (Dramatic Media, directing emphasis), from the University of Georgia. In addition, she has a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations at UGA. Her teaching and directing awards include the Robert Porterfield Graduate Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference, a Research and Performance grant from the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and a two-year graduate assistantship in Interdisciplinary Arts Research with Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE) at UGA. Hunter has taught numerous theatre courses to college, secondary, and elementary students through a variety of organizations. She is a certified Theatre Arts k-12 teacher and spent five years establishing a theatre program with grades 8-12 at Goochland High School in Virginia, including designing an extensive drama curriculum, directing and producing an ambitious production season, coordinating student travel and theatre festivals, and receiving both District Director of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards. She has worked on a variety of interdisciplinary, community-based outreach projects that utilize theatre as a tool for dialogue, problem-solving, and positive change. Most recently, she co-founded Positive Development 4 Girls, a project that utilizes theatre techniques to empower and educate young girls on the remote island of Ukerewe, Tanzania. She has given presentations about this project at various professional and educational conferences, and has published papers in a variety of scholastic journals. She has worked professionally as an actress, producer, director, road manager, stage manager, company manager, and teaching artist. Hunter currently serves as an Artistic Associate with Ridge Theater in New York, NY, and her most recent credits include serving as both Associate Producer and Assistant Director for Persephone, an original production premiering at the 2010 BAM Next Wave Festival, featuring Julia Stiles in the title role.

Robert H. Davis

Robert H. Davis is a senior faculty member at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. For Hartford Stage he has appeared in several productions, including A Christmas Carol and Our Town, and has also served as voice and dialect coach in productions of To Kill a Mockingbird, Abundance and Tom Sawyer. He is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher.