Theatre and Dance Classes at AS220’s 95 Empire Starting NOW!

Come learn about performance with us at AS220’s 95 Empire, a black box theatre and theatre arts school. April brings new classes in improv, acting, playwriting and new drop-in dance classes.

For anyone who has ever watched an improv performance and thought, “I could do that,” or, “I want to do that,” Intro to Improv with Melissa Bowler is the place to begin. The class will use improv games and exercises to help students develop basic techniques of characterization, game composition, and scene building. This eight-week course meets on Sundays from 11 – 2 PM beginning April 15th. For those who want to test the water before committing to eight weeks, there is a two hour Intro to Improv Workshop with Melissa on April 1st to give students a taste of what it’s like to make it up on the spot. Workshop students will receive a discount when signing up for the eight-week class. Melissa Bowler is an actor and playwright who has been performing improve since 2002 and is known for her work with Improv Jones, Thibowla Virus, The Wilbury Group, and The Empire Revue.

Mark Peckham will offer Scene Study for the intermediate to advanced actor on Monday nights from 6:30 – 9:30 PM beginning April 16th. This is an opportunity for actors to explore the moment-to-moment reality of the scene and develop techniques for making active, positive choices in connection with a scene partner. Students will work in pairs in and outside of class on scenes of their choosing. Mark has worked extensively as guest artist, acting teacher and theatre instructor with Providence College, RISD, Perishable Theatre, and 2nd Story Theatre.A member of Actor’s Equity, Mark has appeared at Trinity Rep, The Gamm, Perishable Theatre, Virginia Stage and many Boston area theatres.

Providence playwright Amanda Weir will guide writers in a workshop style eight-week Playwriting class as they take up the task of entering the playwright’s domain through writing exercises, as well as readings of contemporary plays. Meeting Sundays from 4 -7 PM beginning April 22nd, each student will have completed one ten-minute play ready for production.

April is also the beginning of new weekly drop in dance and fitness classes in 95 Empire’s 3rd floor dance studio – no registration required. Perishable favorites, Wednesday night Intermediate Modern Dance continues from 6:30 – 8 PM and Sunday Intermediate Ballet from 12:30 – 2 PM, are already up and running will continue. Joining the line-up beginning April 16 are: Intermediate/Advanced Modern Dance Monday from 7:30 – 9 PM with Jessica Howard, Intermediate Modern Dance Tuesday from 9:30 – 11 AM and Intermediate Jazz Thursday from 6:30 – 9 PM with Peter Deffet, and Kickboxing on Tuesday from 5 – 6 PM with Cristina DiChiera. Yoga classes will begin being offered in the space in late May and June.

For more information and to register for classes, visit or contact education coordinator Leigh Hendrix at

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