Sep 9, 2014
No comments

No need to act like you’re acting.

This fall, the Contra Costa Civic Theatre (CCCT) in El Cerrito is offering a number of courses for youths and adults in acting and auditioning.

From Oct. 19 to Dec. 14, CCCT will host an Improv for Young Actors course once weekly from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. along with a Beginning Acting for Adults Class from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Also, on Oct. 7-8, CCCT will host an intensive two-day workshop entitled Breaking Down the Mysteries of Casting: an Audition Workshop.

All classes are held at Contra Costa Civic Theatre at 951 Pomona Ave. in El Cerrito. Registration is available online here.

Full information on the courses, including their cost, follows:

Improv for Young Actors (ages 13-16)
Instructor: Austin Zumbro

Oct 19-Dec 14 (no class on Nov 30)


Terrace Room, CCCT

$203 (includes $3 processing fee)

This two-hour weekly class will unleash the positive, creative spark in teen performers by focusing on collaborative storytelling and skills for spontaneity through specially-designed games and exercises. The session concludes with a short performance for an invited audience.

Beginning Acting for Adults

Instructor: Valerie Weak

Oct 19-Dec 14 (no class on Nov 30)


Terrace Room, CCCT

$203 (includes $3 processing fee)

This class will explore the basic building blocks of acting and is perfect for those looking to get back into acting as well as those trying it out for the first time. We’ll use theater games and exercises to work towards increased comfort on stage, acting concepts, expanding vocal and physical range, and how to work with scripted material. Tuition includes a ticket to CCCT’s Main Stage production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which plays from Nov 21-Dec 14.

“Breaking Down the Mysteries of Casting: an audition workshop”

Instructor: Mike Reynolds

Oct 7-8


Terrace Room, CCCT

$103 per student (includes $3 processing fee)

This two-day intensive workshop will help to build your skills so you can land the role of your dreams. We’ll cover some of the most intriguing parts of the audition process, including finding and working on monologues, how to handle a cold reading, and understanding what a director looks for when casting a show. Actors in the workshop need to come prepared with a one-minute monologue, and must be able to read from a prepared text.


Mike Reynolds has been involved in theatre for the past thirty-five years in Kansas City, Missouri, Washington, D.C., and the Bay Area. He was co-founder of Kansas City’s Northland Actors Ensemble, a cutting-edge theatre experience, and the Imagination Playground, a children’s theatre workshop. He served as Executive Director for San Leandro’s California Conservatory Theatre, and is currently Production Manager and Live at CCCT director for Contra Costa Civic Theatre. Mike has a Master’s degree in theatre from the University of Central Missouri and has acted or directed in more than 85 productions. Mike was also an original member of the comedy improv group, Full Frontal Comedy, based in Kansas City.

Valerie Weak is an actor and teaching artist with a 15+ year history in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has performed and taught at theaters throughout the region including CCCT, SF Shakespeare Festival, Center REP, Word for Word, and Cal Shakes. Valerie also works on-camera, in voiceover and print (including hand modeling), appearing in commercials, industrials, and independent films. As a teaching artist and performance coach, Valerie strives to increase students’ comfort with performance or presentation, and always find the fun in doing the work.

Austin Zumbro has studied, performed, and taught improvised theater in the Bay Area for ten years. A graduate of Stanford University, he spent four years as a member of the Stanford Improvisers, but he left with a degree in Human Biology. He is especially interested in collaborative storytelling, communication, and theatre as a study of human behavior. He also writes silly plays. He’s learning to whistle, but it’s taking a lot longer than he thought it would.


Contra Costa Civic Theatre, established in 1959 by Louis and Bettianne Flynn and a group of dedicated volunteers, is a non-profit community theatre with its permanent home in El Cerrito, CA. Our mission is to provide affordable, high quality entertainment to residents throughout the East Bay and provide training in performing arts for children and adults. We are proud to be an independent, self-sufficient organization presenting five Main Stage and thirteen youth productions annually in our intimate two hundred-seat theatre.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.