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Acting Classes and Authentic Connection in Portland

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Next Class Offerings

Authentic Connection – Meisner Technique

May 1, 8, 15, 29 2024
Wednesdays 6:15pm – 9:15pm

Shaking The Tree Theatre – 2136 SE 8th Ave. Portland, OR 97214

$180 (4 class series)  ***Registration***


May 4, 11, 18, 2024 
Saturdays 10am – 1pm

Twilight Theatre Company – 7515 N. Brandon Ave. Portland, OR 97217

$135 (3 class series)  ***Registration***


June 1st, 2024 (Introduction to Meisner Technique)
Saturday 10am – 1pm

Twilight Theatre Company – 7515 N. Brandon Ave. Portland, OR 97217

$45 (1 day workshop)  ***Registration***


June 5, 12, 19, 26, 2024
Wednesdays 6:15pm – 9:15pm

Shaking The Tree Theatre – 2136 SE 8th Ave. Portland, OR 97214

$180 (4 class series)  ***Registration***


Class Description:

This fun, supportive, mixed-level acting class has been ongoing and growing for 15 years.  

Each class series, participants are guided through a variety of warm-ups, ensemble acting games, discussions, and specific exercises for actors developed by Sanford Meisner.  The Meisner technique first builds connection through attentive observation, listening, repetition, and allowing for moment-to-moment authentic responses. 

Perhaps you are thinking about class because you want to….

  • Get physical with acting games and playful interactions.
  • Gain confidence on stage and in front of groups.
  • Develop vocal freedom and spontaneity in a flow state.
  • Realize authenticity in yourself and in others.
  • Explore a mindfulness approach to acting… and life.
  • Practice working with an open heart.
  • Build trust and establish permission to explore conflict in good faith. 
  • Expand your character range, vocabulary, and point of view.
  • Endow and deepen your imagination with specific meaningful imagery.
  • Learn advanced techniques and tips for a variety of acting styles. 

*** Register for an authentic and transformative acting experience!

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“It’s really good to be in class. You lead an awesome space. There is a strong sense of trust and safety, which leads to courage and honesty. It’s a pretty special environment to be in.”  ~ Briana R. (actor)

“Meisner class makes me feel more alive.  It teaches me more about myself and encourages a depth of awareness I have not experienced with other techniques.  As an actor, it brings me more in touch with my own humanity and in turn makes me a better scene partner.  The vulnerability that I felt in class awakened my passion and ignited my curiosity.  I would recommend this work to anyone who wants to get to know themselves better.” ~ Amy N. (actor)

“This has been one of my favorite classes in Portland.  I felt safe to be myself, to make mistakes, and to take risks.  Chris has a kindheartedness and humility about him that naturally puts the class at ease.  I found that presence supportive, and watched other actors evolve within it. ”  ~Casey P. (actor)

“It was my first time taking Meisner but I loved the class and I think it’s going to help me so much in roles especially in film and TV.” ~ Tawny E. (actor)

“With clinical role plays in school, I’ve completely shocked people on the three occasions we’ve done them – with the skills you helped me develop.  Authentic behavior under imaginary circumstances.  The energy really effects them, and adds quite a dimension to the activities. ” ~ Tim (Clinical social work student)

I really enjoyed the first class, the mix of people, your teaching style, and working with Meisner’s approach. I’m looking forward to the rest of our classes. I think the class made me feel like not only was I in the right space, but it affirmed my love of acting.”  ~ Celeste (returning actor)

“I had a great time in class today. Having the opportunity to be with other people in an honest, vulnerable way is such a rare gift.  It is also wonderful to watch another person as their own vulnerability blossoms in front of you.”  ~ Adrian (actor, director)

“Just wanted to say how much I appreciate the time and energy you put into your teaching. Thank you for making space for it in your life— it’s changing mine.” ~ JC (filmmaker)

” I have benefited tremendously. I’ve learned to be more fully present, confident, and emotionally available.  I highly recommend this class to actors who wish to take their acting to another level, or to anyone wanting to become more self-aware and present in the moment.”~Janea D. (screenwriter, dramatist)

“I have found Chris Harder’s Meisner class to be very helpful both for my work as an actor and on a personal level. He creates a safe and encouraging environment, coaxing out more in people than they thought possible.”  ~ Greg P. (actor)

“Every class teaches me so much about myself, and gives me just what I need in that moment. This week it was a moment to let go, a reminder of how to connect with others, and an awareness that I need to care for myself. Such good food for this actor’s soul.”~ Lauren M. (actor)

“Another great class last night, I learned a lot and had an epiphany about myself.  Looking forward to the next session.”     ~ Jin (filmmaker)

“Chris Harder’s acting class is the bomb!” ~Shannon B. (playwright)

“Chris… I cannot tell you how much your Meisner training has already helped me.” ~Holly J. (playwright, journalist)

“Class exercises help me peel away layers of protection (truly one at a time, and only with some effort) to bring me to a new level of self-understanding and awareness… these classes help clear away false and potentially negative barriers to presenting an authentic self as the foundation for taking on a role and understanding the emotional reality of a character in a play.” ~Carl W. (writer)

“Chris! THANK YOU for your class. I can’t say enough about the experience. On every level it was fantastic and far beyond my expectations.  The space and environment felt so safe and growth nurturing. Your instruction and guidance was the perfect blend of honest, vulnerability, wisdom, encouragement…I could go on! It was THE FIRST time I have every really understood what happens with the repetition exercise and where it’s supposed to go, what it’s supposed to do and most importantly how it can help me grow.  I thank you.”  ~Jocelyn Seid (actor, playwright)

“Love the class and appreciate your teaching style.” ~ Damon 

“Chris’ class pushed me to make new discoveries about myself. He just kept asking me to dig deeper and in the space he created I felt safe to keep searching and questioning my actions and choices. The instant community that was created in his class was impressive. It was the event I looked forward to most in my week.. Chris is present and caring, modeling beautiful interactions with his students. He is honest and truthful in his work. His powerful energy is engaging and inspirational.” ~Alexis Moore Eytinge (actor)

“Just wanted to show my appreciation for your masterful ability to pull someone out of a psychologically mortified / ‘out of practice’ state of performance in front of others, into the opportunity to experience creative moments that focus on the now and allow you to grow rapidly.”  ~ Mel (designer)

“Thank you again for all of your direction and feedback. I appreciate how much you push me to keep exploring, expanding, and taking my character’s objectives and points of view to the next level.” ~ Haley (actor)

“I really enjoyed your class and your instructing style! You create a safe place to play and explore. Your feedback is helpful and encouraging, and your instructions and reflections are clear and easy to understand. I had fun and am excited for next week!” ~ Cita O. 

“This class has been an incredible experience.  I didn’t know what to expect, but what I came away with was sense of family & friendship, the ability to see people transform, and find space and expansion within myself.” ~ MM

“Thank you for creating such a unique and vulnerable space with your Meisner class. I learned A LOT and really enjoyed it in ways that I wasn’t expecting.” ~ Taylor (actor)

“Just want to say “thanks” for what I’ve learned in your classes.  I now have a much better understanding of the Meisner technique.”  ~Dick M. (actor)

“Thanks again for a series that was a stretch for me —beyond my comfort zone and experience and absolutely revivifying. You are an observant, insightful and skilled teacher. Kind and firm. Your acting demonstrated the concept of point of view better than 5 book chapters. I am still in awe.” ~ Alistair (Physician)

“3 yrs ago it was questionable if I could walk in a straight line or achieve any kind of emotional range again. Being in class, doing exercises, warm ups requiring movement has been quite beneficial for my rehab. I feel like I’ve regained a certain amount of body and emotional control. Your classes and expectations have pushed me forward. I actually think I could act again.” ~ Jim (actor)

“Thanks for a wonderful class series.  Something about the work is so freeing and empowering.  I left each class feeling exhilarated.  I love how everyone threw themselves into it.  Connecting and collaborating with others towards a common goal is something I really missed.  I want more.” ~ Lily (actor, filmmaker)

“Something I really appreciate about class is that you meet each individual person exactly where they are.  I like how, often when I share things in class you honor and hear them and then gently hand them back to me as my own and not as acting law.”  ~ Erin (actor)

“I hope you know that your classes help to forge a community in Portland. More than once I have turned to your student roster when I needed readers/performers. And beyond connections for potential work opportunities, it is so encouraging to know people who have shared artistic experiences and collaborated in similar circles. So, in addition to all that you give us in class, thank you for helping to forge this creative community. It is so important for all of us.” ~ Olivia (actor, playwright)