Acting August Wilson Online Workshop

  • Acting August Wilson Online Workshop
  • Acting August Wilson Online Workshop
  • Acting August Wilson Online Workshop
  • Acting August Wilson Online Workshop
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About this course


4 days

Term Start

11,12,18,& 19 July. Please see the fee and application section for all dates and times.

Entry Requirements

This course is for those aged 18+.

 “Language describes the idea of the one who speaks it.  So behind the talk is the thought patterns, it’s the way you think. What I have discovered in African-American speech is a lot of things are implied. There’s a tonal quality to the way things are said  and depending on the ​tonal​ quality the interpretation is made. But the ​implication​ is supposed and stated straight out so it’s much better and it’s a mark of a good  personality if you can take a circuitous route to a particular thing……It’s a different way  of thinking actually”
August Wilson, A Conversation with August Wilson. 

“Acting August Wilson” will be an immersion in the experience of the language,  meaning and manner encoded in Mr. Wilson’s scripts. Participants have called the work “life-changing”. 

Fee and Application Information


Course dates and times
Saturday 11 July - 5pm to 8pm (BST)    ​
Sunday 12 July - 5pm to 8pm (BST)
Saturday 18 July  - 12pm - 5pm (BST) 
Sunday 19 July - 12pm - 5pm (BST) 

Course cost
£300 (early bird until 15 June)
£350 (full fee)

Rose Bruford College Alumni Discounts
Alumni of Rose Bruford College undergraduate and postgraduate courses are entitled to a 5% discount on the full fee. Please contact us for further information.

How to Apply

Please email if you have any questions about the course. 

Please click here to read the terms and conditions. 

Course content

August Wilson has said that writing a play is like “walking down the landscape of the self,  and you have to be willing to confront whatever you find there”. 

You will explore through music, dramaturgy and the rehearsal processes various roles and key scenes from Mr Wilson’s 20th Century Cycle depicting the African American experience in ten decades of living in America. 

You will begin to discover the skill required to do the heightened poetic text of Shakespeare or Chekhov is similar to the skill required to execute the heightened poetry in a Wilsonian text. 

Most  significantly, you will receive instruction through personal or audio/visual insights and annecdotes from Ms Shay, and others who personally worked with Mr. Wilson originally to create the work with him. 

You will also learn how to connect technique, training, research and analysis with how to interpret and truthfully embody the blueprint August offers in the text of his plays. 

Workshop Structure

Classes will be offered over two weekends.   

Day 1
The ​first day of the first week-end​ will on entering the world through foundational  experience of music and video sharing ​3 hour Zoom Music and video​ ​of interviews with Mr Wilson and actors recognised for             Acting in his plays that will help participants enter the Wilsonian world.   

Day 2 
The ​second day of the first week-end​ will be explloring  character  only through  AW  Monologues to be chosen and worked on in advance. ​ 3 hour Zoom   

Day 3 
The ​first day of the second week-end​ will be spent going deeper into  monologues with the addition of scenework chosen from the Canon of plays. 6 hour zoom with breaks   

Day 4 
The​ second day of the second week-end. Individual apointments and course completion times to be determined​ 6-8 hours Zoom with breaks          

​The Worshop is open to participants of all backgrounds,cultures and ​ethnicities. All actors may benefit from exposure to Mr Wilson’s work whether they will  actually  play the roles or not in the Theatre. The skill required to act August Wilson and to  study him ranks along side studies of Shakespeare, Chekhov and Tennessee Williams among others in today’s world.  It is highly recommended that participants prepare by  reading as many plays in the canon as they can and become familiar with August  Wilson and come with enthusiasm and respect for the work. 


Michele Shay​ originated the role of Louise in August Wilson’s play Seven Guitars for which she received a Tony Nomination for 'Best Featured Actress in a Play'.

Since then this award-winning actor-director has both performed in or directed several of Mr. Wilson’s plays including; Gem of the Ocean,Radio Golf, King Hedley II, Fences, Joe  Turner’s Come and Gone and Two Trains Running.

She was a member of the Acting  Company at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Director for the Greenspace recordings of all ten plays for New York Public Radio.  She has taught  'Acting August Wilson' Workshops at Julliard, Yale, NYU,Brown-Trinity,The Actors  Center and the national Alliance of Acting Teachers. She teaches Acting at NYU-New Studio,Columbia University, and is a founding faculty member the Black Arts Institute in NY.

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