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Directing Actors: A Participatory Workshop

DIRECTING ACTORS WORKSHOP: Understanding the Actor’s Process, Terminology, Script Analysis & How to Effectively Give Direction


This 3.5 hour workshop is designed for directors (or anyone) to learn more about the actor's process, concepts, terminology, and how to communicate better with actors in order to become better directors. This workshop leaves the technical aspects of the camera, lights, and sound aside to hone in on the important process of directing actors.

As a result of this workshop, directors will learn to communicate more effectively with actors, improve their actor-director relationships, have a better understanding of the actor’s process, and learn how to get the results they want from their actors.

Participants will all be given a scene to analyze. The scene will be broken down by learning Acting Technique & Concepts. Participants will be led through the process of analyzing a script from an actor’s point of view (as well as making directing discoveries.) Script analysis of a scene is crucial to good acting and directing and participants will build their skills and understanding of the differences in the ways those on the other side of the camera may approach their work.

Participants will learn tips on how to effectively (and non-effectively) communicate with actors when giving direction.

Volunteers will then work with actors & give direction as they perform the scene.

This workshop is open to anyone who would like to learn. Writers, Actors, and Directors should find this workshop extremely valuable to their process. Actors may sharpen their analytical and choice-making skills, as well as learn how to better take direction.

Participants will leave with a greater understanding of:

  • how actors approach a script
  • acting concepts and terminology
  • how to communicate effectively with actors
  • what kind of direction to avoid and to implement
  • how to analyze a scene/script
  • how to be a better director that actors will want to work with

The workshop is $16 per person in advance or $20 at the door.

To pay in advance go to my website and scroll down to the Directing Actors Workshop info and use the Paypal option. Here’s the link: Or go directly to PayPal at this link to pay in advance: Buy On PayPal. You can pay there with PayPal or Credit/Debit card.

The workshop will take place on 3/27 from 6:30-10pm at:

The Holiday Club

4000 N. Sheridan

Chicago, IL 


You will be emailed a link to print out some materials to bring to the Workshop prior to 3/27.

This is a cross-meetup with The Chicago Female-Focused Film Meetup & Festival.


Janet B. Milstein is an actor, acting teacher, award-winning acting coach, best-selling author, director, produced screenwriter and playwright, independent casting director, sometimes producer, and series editor. She received her MFA in Acting from Binghamton University in New York (SUNY), and her BA in Theatre with Distinction from the University of Delaware.

Janet has appeared numerous independent films, including the award-winning film Power Singles which she co-wrote with Barbara Lhota. She produced/directed/co-wrote the film Meredith's Magic Wand with Bold Vision Films. She also produced and directed The Sleepover for Fearless Flicks in association with Glass City Films and most recently co-wrote, produced and directed the comic short, Sick Smelly Dirty PoliticsJanet co-wrote, co-produced and acted in the film, Blindsided for Fearless Flicks. Janet also wrote and directed the short film Not Scene with Filmmakers in Action. Acting-wise, Janet's most recent projects include the web series 3 Squares: "Exposure" and the film Mr. GoodmanJanet is cast in two upcoming features and working on a one-person show with director Regina Buccola.

Janet has an extensive background in theatre as well, having performed at numerous theatres with a variety of companies, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the Organic Theater, Collaboraction, Bailiwick, The Artistic Home, ImprovOlympic, Tinfish Productions, Stage Left Theatre, Mary-Arrchie Theatre, Speaking Ring Theatre, Stockyards, Point of Contention, Women’s Theatre Alliance at Chicago Dramatists, Writers’ Block at the Theatre Building, Symposium at National Pastime Theater, Theatre Q, and more.

Janet has been directing actors as an acting teacher for the past 16 years. She currently teaches acting classes at the Stage 773. She has taught for universities, acting studios, schools, theaters, and summer camps. Janet has also taught various acting workshops around the country.

Janet is the Founder of the Chicago Female-Focused Film Meetup & FestivalBold Vision Films and the Co-Founder of Fearless Flicks. She is also a Co-Organizer of Filmmakers in Action, and a member of Women in Film and The Chicago Acting in Film Meetup. Janet has published 14 books for the Acting Industry through Smith and Kraus Publishers, Inc. and is a best-selling author on Barnes & Noble. She has had 6 of her screenplays produced so far as well as many of her plays.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a great time with great people. This was a crash course on how to communicate with actors and I learned quite a bit. Recommend this to anyone who is even remotely thinking of directing or acting.

    March 28, 2012

  • SGFoxe

    theater people are ALWAYS interesting

    March 28, 2012

  • Janet

    Hi All! Just a note that I will be giving out handouts at the workshop, so no need to print anything out to bring (as mentioned above). Don't forget you can pay ahead at the PayPal link above to save some money if you wish. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow! :)

    March 26, 2012

  • Janet

    @ SG-you too!
    @ Neil-, it will be at The Holiday Club.

    March 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Janet, is this going to take place at the Holiday Club (this page) or Riverview Tavern (as your home page says)? Thanks!

    March 14, 2012

  • SGFoxe

    I look forward to meeting you

    March 14, 2012

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