Synthetic Unlimited expands into education for all ages |

Synthetic Unlimited expands into education for all ages


Synthetic Unlimited, Nevada County’s edgy new production company, and resident artists at The Stonehouse in Nevada City, launched an eight-week summer theater education course for children and adults this week. Synthetic Unlimited is made up of a group of young local actors, who brought you Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” last year and are currently producing Jean Genet’s drama “The Maids” at The Stonehouse in Nevada City.

Now Synthetic Unlimited is expanding to offer a summer theater education program for artists of all ages. Using their new facility at 120 Joerschke Drive in the Brunswick Basin, the company will offer classes on a wide range of theatre-making topics taught by local artists. The classes started June 17 and run through Aug. 16. Most classes are once a week during the daytime, and many continue as a four or eight week series.

Classes cover a very wide range of theatrical topics, including basic acting for kids and adults, voice, dance, Shakespearean acting, auditioning, puppetry, and set-building. Instructors are some of the area’s professionals, and all have a wealth of experience working in their particular subject and teaching. There are numerous workshops to choose from, appropriate to all ages and skill levels. Tuition for classes varies, and is designed to maximize accessibility and affordability; some of the classes are even offered on a by-donation basis. Below is brief overview of the classes. More detailed information is available at, on the Synthetic Unlimited Facebook page, and at 120 Joerschke Drive.

For the children’s portion of the program, Synthetic Unlimited is pleased to host the dynamic and entertaining teacher and director Shawna Frazer of Little Players. Frazer’s Little Players performance group has a long and successful history of working with young actors, ages 8 to 16. Frazer will offer beginning and advanced classes in theatrical dance and improvisation Tuesday through Thursday mornings. o add to the fun, she’s also teaching a class using theatrical games to promote communication skills for kids.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Fridays, Yale-trained local actress and director Grace Fae will teach two four-week adult courses on Basic Acting, in which students will warm up physically and vocally, learn lines, and practice, memorize and perform monologues and scenes.

From noon to 2 p.m. Mondays, Jeffrey Mason, a local director and former theater professor at the University of Oregon, will expand with an adult Shakespearean acting course. Working with monologue or scene selections of their choice, actors will start with verse and language, and move quickly to character work, and daring, bold, creative interpretations of Shakespeare’s text.

Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m., Eric Kenyon, who has 14 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach, will teach Performer’s Survival. The stretching and weight-lifting class is meant to help performers train their physical instruments with a focus on preventing and overcoming injury.

Synthetic Unlimited founders Jimmy McCammon and Fae will both offer free or donation-only classes this summer. Thursdays from 2-4 p.m., McCammon will host free workshops on career development, with a thorough look at how to get noticed, cast, and begin working as an actor.

Fae will offer two free Introduction to Acting classes for high school students, ages 13-18, from 2-5 p.m. July 9, and 1-4 p.m. Aug. 16, as well as private voice lessons.

Dance teacher Aubrey Lee Puetz will teach Theatrical Dance for adults, and puppeteer Ken Miele (designer for upcoming Sierra Stages production of Avenue Q) will teach courses for both children and adults on how to build and animate puppets. Susan Mason, a local theater director, will offer a class on how to audition, and famed local set designer Pam Hodges of Foothill Theater Company will offer classes in design and scenic painting.

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