Brian Leaf has spent countless hours parsing through Family Guy, Twilight, The 40-Year Old Virgin, and myriad other pop-culture phenomena—not for his own amusement, but to pick out SAT and ACT vocabulary words lurking in the scripts, which he's compiled in six books. A seasoned test-prep instructor, Leaf has helped thousands of students surmount standardized tests through his books and workshops, which dole out insider advice for taking the entire tests as well as specific subjects such as math, reading, and dodgeball. Students leave each session with a collection of McGraw-Hill guidebooks, tips on stress management and avoiding common avoidable mistakes, and strategies for each subject.
The Music Theatre of Connecticut, an Equity acting company fueled by leading talent from Broadway, celebrates 25 years of award-winning performances with a winter production of John Cariani's popular romantic comedy Almost, Maine. Set in a tiny, mythical town on a midwinter's night, the tale explores how love appears, disappears, and morphs into a bat when dawn approaches. Nineteen characters populate nearly a dozen vignettes, which intertwine to reveal how chilly weather, a remote location, and the magical glow of the Northern Lights comprise an ideal recipe for both romance and heartbreak. The plot unfolds in a 50-seat studio theater, whose prime sight lines let guests glimpse the actors' subtle gestures and tattoos of Laurence Olivier.
Course materials are included in the price for the jewelry-making class, but an additional $10 material fee applies to all other art classes. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday classes are valued at $20 per class, and Wednesday courses are valued at $30 per class. Some courses span six weeks, and only the 10-class option may be used for these.
With directors, talent agents, and professional performers composing the faculty, it's no wonder the students at Class Act Studios spend much of their class time in front of the camera. With courses geared specifically toward kids, tweens, teens, and adults, the studio covers fields of study ranging from commercial work to film acting. Soap-opera and sitcom classes equip actors with genre-specific skills, such as how to expertly mimic the sound of a live studio audience. Improv and scene-study courses help students inhabit any scenario, with or without a script. Instructors even run private tutoring sessions and birthday parties that thrust invited friends in front of the camera.