Master’s Program

Christine Rouse

By Christine Rouse on June 15, 2022

In June, the fourth annual Master’s Program was held at the Haverford Community Recreation and Environmental Center in Haverford, PA and was a four day workshop. The participants were from three organizations: AWB, Inglis, and Magee Rehabilitation. This year’s focus was on acting for film. The actors learned how to produce a short film and they filmed scenes from well-known movies that were edited and presented on the last day of the program.

On the first day, we worked with Patrick Conroy. Patrick is a filmmaker and voice over artist in the Philadelphia area. He has been honored with multiple Emmy awards for video and voice over work. He has produced work for television such as NBCSports, Food Network, HGTV, Cooking Channel and NESN. Patrick taught us camera and lighting techniques.

On the second day, we worked with Donald McKenna. Donald has been a teaching artist for over twenty years in both Philadelphia and LA. He has been a performer and artist throughout the US and UK. He worked at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Philadelphia Creative and Performing Arts School. Donald has helped many of his students audition for graduate and undergraduate studies at NYU and Julliard. He is accredited and has helped students land roles in movies, on TV, and on numerous local and national commercials. Donald worked with the actors on scene work in preparation for the filming.

I was able to take part in the program. I really enjoyed the program because I learned about acting for film. I learned a lot from the instructors and even from my fellow actors. It was neat to see other people’s work. I loved my scene and working with my partner. My scene was from the film “Barefoot in the Park” based on a Neil Simon play. The scene was about a couple and how they were the complete opposite of one another. It was fun working with my partner and he was a great actor to work with. He played his part well, was funny and had great facial expressions.

The actors loved the program! Here are a few quotes:

“I exchange positive energy. I feel like mentally and spiritually, I feel connected to everyone. It gave me purpose.” – Tiff Daniels

“This whole week has brought me out of my comfort zone. Doing a tense and dramatic scene brought me out of my comfort zone. Learning from people like Pat and Donald was really helpful.” – Evan Linden