Educational theatre

extension program 2021

Why our program is different

"Being taught by Willie Jones and Jeffery Cook has forever impacted my life. Not only have they helped me become a significantly stronger performer, but they have also shaped my character for the better. "

Joseph T. - Incoming College Freshman

Our Virtual Educational Theatre Extension Program Is Different!

We are an interdisciplinary program that relates your craft back to the core of the theatre. We approach the work through historical perspectives to provide a foundation of knowledge that helps foster deeper and more aware work. We tailor the essence of the course around your interests and goals. The material you are assigned is based on the answers you provide on your signup form. We ensure you experience the lessons in ways that make you feel you belong, but also challenges you so as to encourage safe yet thorough growth. You will not be in a class of more than 5, so the individual attention you will receive is bar none and our investment in you is genuine. Though you may apply to become a great actor or writer, our goal is to help support your ascension to being a great artist of the theatre, period.

your instructors

I'm teaching:

Acting - Level 3

Playwriting - Level 4

Jeffery D. Cook

Jeffery D. Cook began his theatre career as an improviser while he was still in the United States Air Force, and this led him to pursue theatre education once he left the military. A graduate of the University of West Florida Jeff has been teaching theatre for 18 years. As a high school theatre teacher he has authored several award winning short plays for local and state competitions. He especially enjoys writing fictional plays based on actual events or people. A committed learner, Mr. Cook has studied at the Globe Theatre and just last summer he was awarded a scholarship which allowed him to study at the Scottish Universities International Summer School at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently persuing is MFA in playwriting from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Jeff has been married to his wife, Janet, for 32 years and they have two children and three grandchildren. His passions include travel, books, his corgis and spoiling his grandchildren, along with theatre, of course.

I'm teaching:

Playwriting - Level 3

Acting - Level 4

Willie E. Jones, III

Willie E. Jones III is a senior at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program. He’s received additional training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (L.A. campus). As an actor he has performed on stages such as the Tampa Theatre and Morsani Hall. Notably, he has had the pleasure of performing on The Globe stage in London in the title role of Julius Caesar. As a playwright, he has received playwriting training from Marshall Botvinick at Appalachian State University. Willie has had multiple plays produced and read across the country in places ranging from high school to prison. A play he wrote received a staged reading produced by the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco. He is a co-founder of the Quarantine Bakeoff Playwriting Competition, a co-founder of the MN Black Theatre Circle, Executive Producer of the "Blackness Is..." Theatre Arts Festival, and is the Artistic Director of Stage Door Theatre.

I'm teaching:

Playwriting - Levels 1 & 2

Acting - Levels 1 & 2

Nigel Berkeley

Nigel Berkeley is an actor and proud San Francisco native. He recently graduated from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, Company of 2021. He collaborated on writing Adelia (or, the Nose Play) with Daniel Holzman, which was shown at Dixon place in 2019 and Counterpulse SF in 2018. He was an organizer of the Quarantine Bake Off, a pioneering digital playwriting challenge responding to COVID-19 with 2500 submissions from all over the world. His favorite role was that of a Dancing Sheep in As You Like It.