Synetic Theater’s Teen Program is a highly selective and rigorous physical theater program for teenagers who are looking to pursue acting professionally during their middle or high school years. As a center for American Physical Theater, Synetic offers an exciting introduction to the world of physical theater, acting and dance through energetic and athletic feats that inspire students to creativity. Our teen offerings include both classes & teen productions.

Synetic Studio Preperatory Program for Aspiring Dramatic Artists Grades 9 – 12
Our enhanced approach devotes concentrated practice in voice, acting, movement: skills and technique, and Devising Theatre, providing foundational and advanced actor training with an added emphasis on ensemble development and collaborative authorship.  This new program model is aligned with the National Standards of Arts Education for proficient and advanced training in Theatre for grades 9-12.  Students who complete level I & II are eligible for advanced study with Synetic Studio. 

See the full class schedule in the column on the right ——->

Teen Productions Synetic Teen Productions are a highly selective and physically intensive training program that results in a high quality, high energy professional level production at our Crystal City Theater.  If cast, teens involved in these productions are asked to pay a participation fee and for this fee they work closely with professional directors, choreographers, fight choreographers, stage managers, light, costume and set designers.  At the end of a 5-8 week rehearsal period teens have a fully staged, full length production.

2015 Production – Teen Hamlet

About the production: The idealistic, scholarly days of Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark, are ended abruptly with the death of his father the King. He is forced to return home and remain under the watchful eye of his uncle Claudius, who has seized the throne and married Hamlet’s mother, the weak-willed Queen Gertrude.  Even the love of Ophelia, the prime minister Polonius’ daughter, is denied to Hamlet by Polonius and Ophelia’s brother Leartes. Despondent, Hamlet is told by his trusted friend Horatio that his father’s ghost has been seen haunting the battlements of the castle. Encountering the Ghost, Hamlet learns that Claudius poisoned him, and Hamlet, affecting a strange and erratic manner, plots his revenge. Polonius is certain that Hamlet has gone mad for love of Ophelia, but, after watching the two of them together, Claudius is not so sure.

Performances: April 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th @ 8pm, and April 17th@ 11am

Classes for Synetic Studio’s Preparatory Program for Aspiring Dramatic Artists Class Offerings:  Join the movement with Synetic Studio and sign up today!

Single Classes $270

Spring Teen Program Packages, Offer valid through Feb. 7th, 2015

*Offer does not apply to the Creating Choreography Class

Teen Program, 2-Class Package: Save 10%

Teen Program 3-Class Package: Save 15%

Teen Program 4-Class Package: Save 20%


Teen Program, Movement for the Actor: Impulse and Presence – Instructors: Tori Bertocci and Joe Carlson

This course teaches students to create an extra daily psychophysical presence for the stage, opening the actor to follow creative impulses motivated by external stimuli. Through physical training for the actor, students will explore principles of performance such as balance, spatial relationship, tempo, rhythm, levels, duration, plasticity, coordination, isolation, expansion, reduction, edge of balance, double direction, radial awareness, impulse and shared impulse. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these principles through compositions, short etudes that convey setting, character, and story articulated through expressive physicalization. Students will develop a physical understanding of impulse as motivation for all physical action and that all impulse originates from the core of the actor’s body making it an instinctive and reflexive response connected to the wants and needs of a character.

Teen Program, Movement: Synetic Skills and Technique - Instructor: Tori Bertocci

This class focuses on developing an advanced corporeal expression through a series of interdisciplinary physical vocabularies. Drawn from the rigorous training of Synetic company members, this class breaks down Synetic’s unique synthesis of physical performance skills including body waves, footwork, mime, ballet, tumbling, gymnastics, and neutral mask. The student connects the heart to the body to create a highly adaptable physical awareness and a variety of physical skills that can be applied to an actor’s process, a director’s composition, or a choreographer’s toolbox.

Teen Program, Acting: Character and Process - Instructor: Joe Carlson

Character and Process is a rigorous course that immerses students serous about the craft of stage acting in the foundational practices of theater performance. Students examine and practice the concepts of beats, objective, action, activity, given circumstances, “as ifs” and non-verbal text as they move from analyzing dramatic scripts in table-work to building three-dimensional characters from the ground up. The primary objective for students is to create on stage moments of authenticity and graduate from showing, to being. Students will learn to develop characters by formulating a personal discipline and artistic process derived from a survey of such masters as Stanislasvski and Hagan whose teachings emphasize internal stimulus and personal emotional recall, as well externally shaped characterizations through the pedagogy of Meyerhold’s biomechanics and Growtowski’s via negativa. The semester culminates in a workshop performance of contemporary monologues and scenes.

Teen Program, Acting: Advanced Scene Study and Analysis  – Instructor: Thembi Duncan

Examining classical and contemporary authors, students will develop a system for interpreting a playwrights’ approach to format, language, and aesthetics. Students will learn to apply textual clues towards specific, useful and compelling acting choices. Scene work will teach students to conduct productive rehearsals with partners that include a healthy exchange of ideas and artistic exchange. Students will write a character analysis derived from exhaustive scenic study that identifies key character concerns, back-story, relationships, super objectives, and character through lines in order to create a transformative performance that demonstrates depth, dynamic, and dimension in the renderings of their characters.

Teen Program, Physical Comedy – Instructor: Robert Bowen Smith

“I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.”
– Charlie Chaplin

Physical Comedy provides students a working understanding of prat falls, pies in the face, and the most important skill of clown or actor alike: how to live honestly and vulnerably in a moment of failure. Actors will study comedic timing, tricks and techniques for audience evaluation and engagement, create a commedia delle’arte performance using stock characters and classic lazzis, learn how to set physical performances to musical underscoring, and study documented work of comedic masters. The class culminates in students presenting their clowns in short devised performances for an invited audience.

Teen Program, Synetic Stage Combat – Instructor: Ben Cunis

Learn how to execute high-octane stage combat maneuvers like the artist athletes of Synetic Theater. Led by Synetic Fight Master, Ben Cunis, this course develops accuracy, safety, and proficiency in the fundamental techniques needed to execute complex fight choreography as well as protect the actor and their instrument when engaging in dramatic physical encounters. Students will practice tumbling, acrobatics, martial arts, and dance, synthesizing those techniques to create compelling fights that further story, and character while amazing their audience with acts of grace, power, and athleticism.

Teen Program, Creating Choreography - Instructor: Tori Bertocci

How can choreography be created to tell stories using emotional, abstract, or naturalistic physical expressions? How does an artist connect their personal memories, and life experiences to creating choreography for dance and movement based theatre? How does a choreographer use research and source materials in creating choreography for period specific productions? Students will learn the answer to these questions while flexing their dance and imaginative muscles in this class that gives aspiring choreographers the tools necessary for telling their own compelling stories using the languages of dance and movement.

Teen Program, Directing  – Instructor: Elena Velasco

So you want to direct?  What do you need to know in order to direct a play?  What are the responsibilities of the director?  What are the essentials?  How does a director create a concept for a production?   This class will teach aspiring directors the fundamentals of script and performance analysis, blocking, composition, picturization, pacing, rhythm, tempo, texture, mood, atmosphere, how to direct within a genre or style and what it means to develop a directorial concept.  Students will attend two contrasting productions, direct sample scenes in small groups, and attend a special lectures with guest directors including founding Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili.