HBTI Course Descriptions

Acting Classes

"HBTI taught me that good theatre is not based on where it is, what awards the show wins or how many professionals are in the show with you. Good theatre is good theatre" - Jessica Hirsh

"I have learned valuable things at HBTI that I truly believe will put me over the top as a performer and give me an edge when I go out on my own. Nothing was sugar-coated, and I thank the staff for assisting in my metamorphosis into a conscientious and knowledgeable performer." - Christina Ciofani

Acting - Imagination

In the Imagination class, we explore how the actor's imagination is the source from which all good acting is derived, the key to establishing "the world of the play" and creating truthful behavior on the stage. Students are introduced to acting technique, enabling the actor to access the creative self through physical exercises, original creations, and scene work.

Acting – Action

The Action class explores action as behavior reflecting the character's physical, emotional and spiritual being.  Students will learn to identify action and objective through a variety of physical and vocal exercises, text analysis and scene study.

Acting - Characterization

The Characterization class blends the skills and techniques learned in Imagination and Action by focusing on developing characters. By delving further into scripted scene work and original creations, students will learn how to make the choices which allow them to play a wide range of roles.

Acting for the Camera

Study the differences between acting for the stage and acting for the camera. The course covers auditions, cold readings, industrial films, professional criticism, and acting in feature films. Final "shoots" include preparting a commercial and a scene for the camera.

The Actor's Instrument: Movement and Voice

This is a physical course that helps actors to strengthen and develop their instrument. Students will learn about flexibility, body alignment, and how to tell the story using their physicality. Vocally they will learn to open the channels of communication as physical and psychological tensions release. Students will learn to connect to their breath, develop resonance and range and release jaw, tongue, and throat tensions and build vocal strength.

Advanced Acting Intensive: "The Plays the Thing". 

This workshop is divided into intensives.  Acting Intensive, Stage Combat Intensive.and Shakepearre Intensive.  In addition all the workshop student will take a daily ballet class and monologue class.  This is for high school and college students with previous HBTI experience or permission from the HBTI director. Registration is limited

Advanced Acting Intensive: "Musical Theatre Project" 

 This workshop will take the student directly into the rehearsals of a musical production, fully integrating performance techniques into an in-house production to be performed for HBTI students at the end of the session. In addition the workshop students will take a daily ballet and vocal class. This workshop has been created for high school and college students with strong singing and movement abilities. Registration is limited.  Previous HBTI training is required or permission from the HBTI director. 

Auditions: Monologues & Cold Readings

This course will instruct the student in the proper protocol for dramatic play auditions. The student will be instructed on how to successfully execute cold readings and monologues. A cold reading is a form of an audition where an actor is given a script with little time to prepare before they are asked to present their work to a director. The student’s work will culminate in a simulated audition for a play.

Comedy Techniques

An introductory course designed to teach the student the fundamentals of comedy. This course covers the history of comedy, learning the comic structure of a scene, and basic physical comic gags.


Since plays are written by writers from all over the world, and plays are set in cities all over the world, this course will help the actor learn some of the most frequently used dialects and have fun at the same time.


Improvisation is performing in the moment without a script. The student will learn the fundamental elements of improvisation including given circumstances (to establish the who, what, when and where), the ability to listen and respond to their scene partner/s and the ability to create/live in an imaginary world.


Put your nerves to rest with this stress-free approach to the works of William Shakespeare. In this course, the student will learn the fundamentals of iambic pentameter, scansion and how to approach Shakespeare’s work through the use of action.

Stage Combat

This class will teach the student the fundamentals of hand-to-hand combat (slaps, punches, pushes, hair pulls, etc.) in a safe and supportive environment.  

 Stage Combat - Weapons

This class will teach the student the fundamentals of sword handling in a safe and supportive environment.



"Dancing is a universal method of communication, and learning how to dance is like learning a new language. When you learn how to dance, the world becomes a fundamentally different place, because you have a new understanding of how people work and live in their bodies." - Austin Riley

Ballet 1 and 2

The students will learn technique and movement vocabulary using a traditional dance class format of barre, center floor and traveling movement patterns. Students will increase their technical skill with ballet, their ability to link movements together to create dance phrases and their general comfort with this dance form.


The students will learn the basics foot work and floor patterns for several different ballroom dance forms including swing, the waltz and the tango.



Contemporary dance technique fuses elements of modern dance, ballet, and some non-western dance cultures. Students will learn contact-release, fall and recovery, and other floor work and improvisational techniques.  

Floor Barre 

Floor Barre is a technique for improving body alignment, flexibility and muscular strength. Students will learn about anatomy and body mechanics as they develop a greater awareness of their own muscle and joint action.


Jazz Dance


Partnering technique helps student to develop relationship and cooperative skills. Students will learn about leading, following, weight sharing, weight bearing,and the body mechanics of lifts, catches and balances. Students will also learn safety aspects such as proper spotting. (admittance by permission of instructor)

Tap 1 and 2

Students will learn tap technique used in musical theatre.  In addition level two students will be taught some  "hoofing", which gives them a broader range of styles and techniques.


Music Classes

Auditions: Musical Theatre/Act the Song

The student’s training will consist of preparing for standard and contemporary musical theatre auditions. The student will receive instruction on how best to present themselves to auditors, methods for  “acting a song” and learn to build an audition book (a binder with multiple songs) so they can confidently audition for any show they encounter.  The student will participate in several simulated auditions for musicals. 

Voice Class & Music Theory

Learn some of the fundamentals of singing and music. Course work will include support, breathing, vocal production and sight reading. These principles will be taught using musical theatre repertoire.

This list of classes may subject to change.

Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed
Early Childhood
19600 North Park Boulevard Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122 P: 216.932.4214
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