Friday, June 7, 2013

SCR Favorite in a New Role: A Heart for Storytelling, A Gift for Acting

There’s a new face in the classroom at South Coast Repertory’s Theatre Conservatory. At least, it’s new to students in the Adult Acting Program.  But if you’ve been around SCR during in the past 20 seasons, the face is very familiar. It belongs to Richard Soto, who will teach Fundamentals of Acting: Act I Basic Skills during summer session.

Here are just some of the places Soto has been seen at SCR over the years:  as Young Ebenezer in A Christmas Carol for 11 seasons, as stage manager of the Educational Touring Production for 13 years, in various Hispanic Playwrights Project roles for 3 three years, as an instructor in the Neighborhood Conservatory for another 3 three years and the Teen and Kids Acting Programs for 10 years.

Besides being an actor and teacher, Soto is an artist, writer and director. He has performed on stages throughout the Southland and in numerous film, television and web series roles. Acting is in the family, too: he’s married to Theatre Conservatory Director Hisa Takakuwa, whom he met when they appeared as Claudio and Hero in the Grove Shakespeare Festival production of Much Ado about Nothing. Later, the couple became resident artists with the classical repertory theatre A Noise Within and joined the cast—for the first of many seasons—as Young Eb and Sally in SCR’s A Christmas Carol.

Hisa Takakuwa and Richard Soto.
Soto’s teaching philosophy is simple and positive. “I love storytelling, acting, and people!”In his new role as Adult Acting Program instructor, he is just as encouraging—and challenging—as he is with younger students, urging them to find their own “voices.”

“By using imagination and emotion, they’ll be able to create a character that will move people to laugh or cry through a great story.  That’s what I live for—helping find the freedom to ‘play!’”

And that’s what his students appreciate most.

Learn more about acting classes for any level.

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