Theater teacher to host series of workshops at Kimball Jenkins

Actor, director and stage instructor Michael Cobb (right) coaches an MFA student on some Shakespeare at the National Theatre Conservatory.  Eric Laurits / Courtesy of Michael Cobb
Actor, director and stage instructor Michael Cobb (right) coaches an MFA student on some Shakespeare at the National Theatre Conservatory. Eric Laurits / Courtesy of Michael Cobb

When Michael Cobb and his wife, Nola Rocco, decided to move to New Hampshire last year, they had two dreams. One involved the Pilates studio business they had purchased in Tilton, now Pilates Etc., on Laconia Road, which Rocco, with a background as a professor and dance and theater artist, would run as a continuation of her recent Pilates business in Denver. The other surrounded Cobb’s dream of drawing on his background of teaching and coaching actors in major conservatory and university programs, and as a professional theater actor, coach and director/ producer himself. Tto lay the foundations for a regular offering of conservatory-based acting and voice, speech, and text (effective use of language, including Shakespeare, etc.) classes, in concert with a theater producing arm, under the name of Truepenny Arts (stylized as truepenny arts).

A year later Pilates, Etc. is thriving and Cobb is beginning to offer workshops at Kimball Jenkins School of Art and several times a year as part of Hatbox Theatre’s Performance Lab Series as a prelude to offering ongoing classes.

“My hope is to be able to provide a service to the community both as a teacher and artist,” Cobb said, “by offering adult-level conservatory-based training, to both aspiring actors and anyone else who makes/aspires to make presentations using their voices and bodies, which has the capacity to take their performance to a higher level.”

Cobb’s background looks to provide him the experience and knowledge to do just that – including training and work as an actor and coach at multiple Tony Award-winning theaters across the country, including the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., Trinity Rep in Providence, R.I., The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the Denver Center Theatre Company, where he also served as head of voice, speech, and text at the National Theatre Conservatory.

“Since drawing up the rotating set of workshops I’ll be offering this September and October, both for their own sake and as a way of generating interest in future more-ongoing classes, I’ve gotten a bit concerned that someone might wonder whether I could really offer all of these different things at the ‘conservatory’ level advertised. Then I realized that I’d been lucky enough to both study, teach and coach consistently in each of these areas at just that level for most of my life, and that moving here, now outside of an umbrella institution, along with my wife’s support and backing, has provided me the opportunity to follow this dream of creating something called Truepenny Arts based on a conservatory theater type of model.”

Having presented a Shakespeare conservatory workshop (one of his specialties) this past fall at Hatbox, Cobb/Truepenny Arts will be offering a rotating set of workshops upstairs in the Carriage House at Kimball Jenkins on Thursday nights in September and October from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., including “Moscow Arts Theater Games and Exercises” (Oct. 11), “Action-based Acting: Introduction and Refresher” (Sept. 27, Oct. 25), “Voice, Speech, and Text Work for Actors, Presenters, and All!” (Sept. 20, Oct. 18), “Tricks With Text: Using Spoken Language Effectively” (Oct. 4) and a “Shakespeare Conservatory Workshop” (Sept. 13).

The cost for each workshop is $20 or Pay-What-You-Can. The “Action-based Acting” and “Moscow Art Theatre” workshops will also be offered as part of Hatbox Theatre’s Performance Lab Series on Sept. 22 and Feb. 9, 2019, respectively. See Hatbox for specifics.

For more info on these workshops, future ongoing classes and Truepenny Arts, call 545-8351.

Michael Cobb

Author: Insider Staff

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