Long Branch — Something new and exciting is taking shape in one of the Jersey Shore’s most creative, visitor-friendly neighborhoods… and, beginning this spring, adults of all ages, artistic interests and experience levels can become part of this amazing story through a series of instructional classes in the West End section of Long Branch.
The sessions in performing arts, visual arts and playwriting represent the first public offerings at the all-new West End Arts Center, a complex that’s poised to become one of the Jersey Shore’s cultural jewels. Occupying a full city block in the former location of the West End School, the Arts Center will eventually include two theaters, an arts cinema, an art museum, classrooms and rehearsal spaces, a scenery shop, NJ Rep’s administrative offices and plenty of on-site parking — right in the heart of Long Branch’s West End, a community that’s long been famous for its shops, eateries, art shows, coffeehouses, and venues for original music.
The Arts Center is already open even before the major renovations begin, and aspiring actors, writers, painters and artisans can be a part of this exciting venue beginning this spring when they register for the slate of classes that start the first full week of April.
Included in the Spring 2017 schedule are three programs for actors and performing artists, in Improvisation (Tuesday evenings, April 4-May 23), Actors Gymnasium (Thursday afternoons, April 6-May 11) and Acting Basics (Thursday evenings, April 6-May 11).
Classes range from six to eight sessions, with each program priced at a $300 registration fee. Instructors include acclaimed actor/improv specialist Michael Irvin Pollard and actor-director Gail Winar.
Whether they have a half-finished script sitting in a shoebox or they’ve had work produced on the New York stage, dramatists can benefit from classes in Playwriting for Beginners (Tuesday evenings, April 4-May 9) and Advanced Playwriting (Thursday evenings, April 6-May 11).
Presented for six sessions and priced at a registration fee of $300, the classes are conducted by writer-director Joel Stone, NJ Rep’s Literary Manager and a co-founder of NYC’s Theatre Asylum and faculty member at nearby Monmouth University.
Aficionados of the visual arts can join in the excitement as well, with instruction in The Pleasure of Drawing (Tuesday afternoons, April 4-May 9), Water Media and Collage (Tuesday evenings, April 4-May 9), Metal Clay Jewelry Workshop (Thursday afternoons, April 6-May 11) and Tapestry Weaving (Thursday evenings, April 6-May 11).
Registration is $300 for six three-hour sessions, and instructors include gallery exhibited artist-educators Sven Widen and Lizzi Schippert, potter Barbara Rivolta, weaver Kate Wilt, and multi-media artist Mare Akana, coordinator of West End’s annual Art in the Park event.
Expect even more exciting opportunities in seasons to come, with classes in dance, poetry, and many other visual and performing art disciplines. Things are just beginning to heat up at the all-new West End Arts Center, future home of the expanding and evolving New Jersey Repertory Company. To register, visit www.njrep.org or call 732-229-3166 for full schedule details, and updates on all that’s coming up in West End.