Spontaneous. Genuine. Connected. This is how best to describe The Barrow Group’s approach to acting. The Barrow Group is a theater company and training center located in midtown Manhattan, offering programming in all dimensions of storytelling, including acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking, screenwriting, and improvisation.
Since its founding in 1986, Barrow has maintained that the strongest performances are those that are truly alive, that grip audiences, and feel almost real. This becomes nearly impossible, however; when an actor is struggling with the language.
Situated in one of the most diverse cities in the world, The Barrow Group aims to reflect and serve the needs of its student body. It was through student feedback the Barrow launched the ESL Beginners Acting Class series which takes the ensemble building games, improv exercises, monologue work, scene study, and script analysis covered in the Beginners Acting classes and combines it with ESL essentials. That means that students tackle concepts like pronunciation, intonation, vocabulary building and stress through exercises and activities that, over time, allow students to think less about the individual English words and phrases and more about delivering a compelling performance.
That said, classes are comprised of students from all over the world with a range of English proficiency and acting goals. Some are working to add "American dialect" to their résumé as they continue their acting careers in the United States while others hope to apply skills like creative thinking and public speaking learned in class to their jobs and social lives in a new country. In either case, when the challenge and restrictions of a new language have the potential to make someone feel inhibited, an acting class, of all things, can help you be more yourself.
Music: Los Domingos by Jiony