Saturday July 21st 1-4 PM: Theater Making with a Conscience
Saturday July 28th 1-4 PM: Rooting and Rising: Cultivating Community and Championing the Creative Spirit
Saturday August 4th 1-4 PM: The Art of the Director
Saturday August 11th 12-4 PM: Choreographing Intimacy
Saturday August 25th 1-4 PM: Instigating Hope and Change Through Theater

Keep scrolling to read detailed descriptions of each workshop, as well as bios of all our educators! Workshops are open to students of all levels of theatrical experience. Folks of all backgrounds, identities, and abilities are encouraged to register.

North Star Building
45 Amherst Road (Route 116)
Sunderland, MA 01375

We are very excited to offer discounts for those who wish to participate in multiple workshops! See the price breakdown below:
$100 for 1 workshop
$175 for 2 workshops
$250 for 3 workshops
$325 for 4 workshops
$400 for 5 workshops
A $25 nonrefundable deposit (per workshop) is required to register. Payment plans available. Scholarship may be available, please email for more information.

Email with your name, phone number, and which workshops you would like to attend. We'll respond with instructions for your nonrefundable deposit and remaining payment, and send you more information from your instructor!


Saturday July 21st 1-4 PM
with Ellen Morbyrne

“The one who tells the stories rules the world.” - Hopi proverb
Humans require stories in order to be human. We use stories both to understand reality and our experiences of it, and also as the tool through which we can directly change the shape of that reality. The people creating stories, choosing which stories are told and in what ways, have incredible power over a society (and, it can therefore be argued, have incredible responsibility to a society). In this practical workshop we will hold mutually-supportive space in which to be honest about how we as theatre-makers already impact the real world, and how to use that power intentionally. Part lecture, part participatory.
For playwrights, directors, actors, producers, and anyone interested in the power of story to change the world.


Saturday July 28th 1-4 PM
with Angelica Polk and Julissa Rodríguez

To root is to encourage a plant or cuttings to grow roots. It also means to cheer on, champion, lend moral support and to search and delve in the hopes of finding something valuable. To rise is to go up, lift up, to spread the wings open as in preparing for flight. This workshop is an opportunity to gather in the spirit of these words, reflect, and connect with spirit, self and others. Drawing from our own roots using ensemble percussion, dance, theatre techniques, and reflection, we will call on the power of our creative spirits to generate ideas for artistic expression as well as foster deeper connection and meaningful collaboration.
For anyone interested in arts exploration, collaboration, connection, community and using the creative arts to uplift the human spirit as a whole. QTPOC are encouraged to register.


Saturday August 4th 1-4 PM
with Toby Vera Bercovici

This crash course will dive right into the basic skills directors should have in their toolkits. We will begin with mining a text for meaning and images, then leap ahead to the rehearsal process, exploring basics of building ensemble, developing thoughtful habits of collaboration with both performers and designers, exploring beat demarcation and character objectives, learning to identify and dismantle actor habits and hangups, and developing and honing aesthetic vision through a variety of different creative invitations. Part participatory, part lecture.
For directors, choreographers, and curious persons.


Saturday August 11th 12-4 PM
with Toby Vera Bercovici and Ellen Morbyrne

In real life, intimacy can be scary. On stage, it can be downright terrifying.
Utilizing techniques from multiple disciplines, including yoga, dance, and theater, Toby & Ellen will guide participants through a safe and specific process of engaging with choreography that feels motivated and appropriate for characters and situation, as well as authentic and dynamic in terms of external behaviors, (breath, touch, eye contact).
For actors, directors, choreographers, and anyone interested in the outward and inward manifestations of intimacy.


Saturday August 25th 1-4 PM
with Ezekiel Baskin and Trenda Loftin

A mirror and a window. This workshop will take participants through a range of exercises to explore not only their own personal truths (mirror), but envision all that could be (window). Employing storytelling, social change, and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, participants will create together and develop their understanding of how to use theatre techniques to bring about personal and social growth.


Ezekiel Baskin Ezekiel is an interdisciplinary artist and theatre educator, whose work includes direction, lighting and sound design, poetry, dramaturgy, stage management, box office and house management, and theatrical administration. Ezekiel has been a Governing Member of Real Live Theatre since November 2016, and has also worked with a variety of theatre ensembles and companies, including Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble, PaintBox Theatre, and Silverthorne Theater Company. Recent projects include stage management and lighting design for RLT’s The Life & Death of Queen Margaret, dramaturgy and lighting design for Hampshire College’s Next to Normal, and stage management for Silverthorne’s Stupid Fucking Bird.

Toby Vera Bercovici As a director, Bercovici focuses on the arts of observation, communication, and collaboration. She has helmed some thirty projects throughout New York City and New England, including Silverthorne Theater’s Stupid Fucking Bird, Real Live Theatre’s The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, and, most recently The *Annotated* Taming: Or, Out of the Saddle, Into the Dirt, her feminist rock musical adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. She holds a BA in Theater from Smith College and an MFA in Directing from UMASS Amherst, and served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater & Dance at Colby College for the past 2 ½ years. This summer, she is directing Jen Silverman’s The Roommate for Pauline Productions. Toby is a proud governing member of Real Live Theatre.

Trenda M. Loftin A social justice educator, actor, playwright, and governing member of Real Live Theatre, Trenda M. Loftin has been committed to using theatre and storytelling techniques to explore political and social issues for more than a decade. Some of her storytelling based work includes acting in The Media Education Foundation Film Flirting With Danger, and the plays Legal Tender: Women and the Secret Life of Money, and The Lonely Soldier Project. In addition, she has led collaborative performance pieces with folks experiencing incarceration utilizing her play When the System Swallows You. With her B.A. from Smith College in Political and Social Theatre, Trenda continues to explore theater's ability to raise awareness, inspire action, question patterns, and build community.

Angelica Polk Angelica is a performer, choreographer, and dance educator. Angelica is multi-skilled in dance techniques and has been developing her craft for the past twenty years. She holds a B.A. in Dance and Arts in the Community from Springfield College. She has performed works for artists James Morrow, Jennifer Pollins, Shakia Johnson and many others. Angelica has led many dance workshops and worked with several youth programs, schools and dance studios. She currently teaches at Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School and at several dance studios throughout Massachusetts. Recent projects include choreographing for RLT’s She Kills Monsters and guest artist performing in the Five College Faculty Dance Concert at Amherst College.

Ellen Morbyrne Ellen is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist with 20 years of experience in the performing arts including as an actor, playwright, director, teacher, administrator, dancer, singer, and lighting designer. Her areas of passion have always been the medium of ensemble theatre and the responsibility of storytellers to both reflect and redirect reality. Ellen has been running the theatre program at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens since 2003 and is an alumna of the Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble. She holds a BA in Theater from Smith College and is the co-founder of Real Live Theatre. Recent major projects include writing and directing RLT’s The Lion & The Clown: A Rumi Lovesong for Beauty & The Beast, playing York in RLT’s The Life & Death of Queen Margaret, co-directing When Last We Flew for RLT, and co-parenting her two fabulous children.

Julissa Rodríguez Julissa is a teaching artist, Latin percussionist, actor, dancer and visual artist with more than twenty years of experience in the arts. She is half of the percussion performance duo called PUERTOMINICANA, focusing on Afro-Caribbean Latinx cultural roots and rhythms as well as youth development and women empowerment. Julissa is a member of Real Live Theatre and an alumna of Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble with whom she toured to NYC, London, and Edinburgh, Scotland where she performed at the Festival Fringe, one of the largest theatre festivals in the world. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Dance from Trinity College and teaches at Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School and with Enchanted Circle Theatre. Her recent projects include composing music for, and performing in, HCC’s Latinas Con Plumas with PM, performing in RLT’s The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, She Kills Monsters, and When Last We Flew.

Past guest workshops


Maria Porter is professor of theater at the C.W. Post Campus at Long Island University. She has been a teacher of the Suzuki Method for the last 20 years and has given master classes in the United States and abroad. As an actor, she has performed regionally in theaters such as Hartford Stage, Kennedy Center, Virginia Stage, Hangar Theater, Perishable Theater, The La Jolla Playhouse and Milwaukee Rep, and is featured as Parker Posey’s mother in Hal Hartley’s award winning film, “Henry Fool”. In New York, she enjoyed a long association with the downtown theater groups Target Margin, Clubbed Thumb and SALT Theater. She has worked with such directors as Anne Bogart, Tina Landau, David Hersokvits, Robert Woodruff and Emma Griffen. Porter works extensively internationally, both teaching and performing, and is a member of Teatro delle Radici in Switzerland and The Magdalena Project, an international coalition of women theater artists. Her solo performances and work demonstrations have been featured in festivals in Cuba, Denmark, Italy, Peru, Switzerland and the United States. As a director, her original performances featuring students and alumni have appeared at festivals in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Canada and the New York Fringe Festival. Porter holds an M.F.A. in acting from University of California, San Diego.


After studying in the Professional Actors Training Program at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he worked with Jewel Walker, Daniel then went to Paris, France to study with Etienne Decroux, becoming M. Decroux's translator. Subsequently making his home in Paris for 20 years, Daniel started his professional career as an actor with the French National Theatre. His solo performances have toured in more than 30 countries, as well as in theatres such as the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center here in the United States. He has taught master classes throughout the world at institutions such as Juilliard School of Drama, New York and The Institute of Dramatic Arts, Tokyo. Daniel has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States/Japan Commission, the Pew Charitable Trust, and is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.

Upon moving back to the US Daniel served first for five years as Dean of Students and then another five years as School Director, of The Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre, in Blue Lake CA. During those ten years he was a principal instructor there. In the fall of '05 he taught full time at Sarah Lawrence College. 2006 - '09 saw him directing and teaching for the Berkeley Rep. and Touchstone Theatres. On stage he created the role of Bruno Shultz in Clown Show for Bruno, a new play by Murray Mednick, produced by the Padua Playwrights of Los Angeles and directed by Guy Zimmerman in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

In Fall 2009 Daniel began the position of Director of Movement and Physical Theatre for the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre MFA Professional Actor Training Program, teaching in the Brown University MFA acting program and in charge of curriculum and faculty for their movement dept. Other duties included both coaching and acting with the Trinity Rep. Co. He was also the Director of Theatre for the Accademia Dell'Arte Summer institute in Arezzo Italy, a five week intensive in Generating New Performance Material. He is currently a Guest Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California Santa Barbara and has spent the past two summers working with South Korean avant-garde company Flying Off the Cliff.