Learning Acting and Life Skills at The Playground

Gary Spatz’s premier conservatory for young actors.

By Keldine Hull 

In 2005, the Playground began as a conservatory for young actors to learn the craft of acting, specifically on-camera for film and television, with three studios on the sixth floor of Avenue of the Stars. As actors evolved and became more skilled, the Playground built three more studios and created their Professional Program. By 2012, the conservatory opened across South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa to better serve the Orange County community. In 2014, following Westfield Century City’s expansion, the Playground built six brand new studios on the ground floor at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Glen where they’ve remained for nearly six years. 

Gary Spatz, founder of The Playground, oversees the program, which helps facilitate an atmosphere dedicated to each student’s growth. “Our specific curriculum would challenge each student at every age and experience level,” Spatz said. “What is most important is the environment of The Playground studio/classrooms; a safe and nurturing space for kids to take risks as they explore the joy of acting.”

The core of The Playground’s philosophy and curriculum is teaching the principles of acting through “Creative Play.” The Playground offers a two-year program, which can be taken in steps, designed to take students from the beginner level, to advanced and ultimately to the professional level. Spatz continued, “Our second-year program, called Professional, includes the shooting of a short film on location that the young actors all star in. Parents enjoy watching these productions at our Annual Graduation at the AMC Century City where all the graduates interview on the red carpet prior to screening the films with their families.”

Spatz continued, “The concept is to have the students working and playing in our specifically designed studios/classrooms, with studio lighting, high definition cameras and professional monitors. We also have two sets, so they have a better understanding, and then comfort zone, of what it’s like to work on a real film or TV production.” Spatz added that learning articulation exercises, relaxation, as they learn to hit marks and work on memorizing scenes, commercials and monologues provides a practical and creative way of developing a technique for working in this medium.

Students learn audition skills at The Playground.

Acting classes provide more than just the skills and techniques needed to pursue careers in entertainment. “The wonderful thing about the craft of acting, especially when it comes to children and most importantly in this day and age, is they are learning to be present, in the moment, listening and reacting to the given circumstances of the material,” Spatz said. “This obligates them to really connect with the person they’re talking to without using a device or technology. This develops their communication skills as well as empathy that will have a ripple effect regardless of what path they take in life.”

The Playground encourages their students’ growth both inside and outside of their studios. Spatz explained, “Parent and teachers in their schools should see improvement in their reading comprehension, focus, listening and memorization. They will be better able to stand up and express themselves, whether to one person or group of people. This allows them to become more confident within themselves.”

Above all else, The Playground is dedicated to every student that walks into their studios. “Besides developing the skills and the fundamental good habits that make up a technique for acting, they are acquiring skills that stimulate their imaginations, build their confidence and ability to communicate, which is basically the job of an actor,” Spatz said. “Underneath it all we’re nurturing their empathy, which is certainly something we need now more than ever.”

To learn more, visit: https://www.theplayground.com

in News
Related Posts

Girls Learn Self Defense at Empowerment Summer Camp for Girls

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, girls are invited to explore practical self defense training at SHIELD Women’s Self Defense’s 2024 Empowerment Summer Camp...

Marina del Rey Apartment Shooter Faces 20 Felony Charges, Could Spend Life in Prison

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The Self-Employed Chef Is Being Held in Lieu of Over $5M Bail By Zach Armstrong A man accused of firing over...

Brentwood Art Center: Kids Explore Fundamentals of Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The beloved Brentwood Art Center is hosting summer camps at its new location at Olympic and 17th in Santa Monica. ...

Camp Integem: Explore, Design and Innovate with Future Tech

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, kids are inviting to make magic as they journey into the fun-filled, hands-on world of artificial intelligence (AI),...

(Video) Mayor & Vice Mayor of Santa Monica Speak Out Against Needle Exchange Program

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Demonstration was Organized by the Santa Monica Coalition @palisadesnews A Santa Monica rally has held against the needle exchange...

Los Angeles County District Attorney Announces Charges In Brutal Venice Sexual Assaults

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Charges Filed Against Suspect in Venice Canals Case by LADA George Gascon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has...

Ye Slashes Price of Malibu Pad by $14M

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Ye’s real estate investment hasn’t yielded positive returns Controversial rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West, now known as Ye, continues efforts...

Measles Infected Traveler Visited Santa Monica Pier, Public Health Officials Warn

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Authorities Urge Individuals Who Were at The Specified Venues to Monitor Their Health The California Department of Public Health notified...

GoFundMe Raises Over $84K for Venice Canal Attack Victim

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Victim Received at Least Eight Fractures to Her Jaw, a Large Laceration to the Back of Her Head and...

Kids Learn Local Waters in Aquarium Science Camp

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

This summer, kids have the opportunity to engage in science and learn about the fascinating water systems in Santa Monica...

Saint Monica Prep: Mariner Sports Camps Focus on Fundamentals

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Teams at Saint Monica Preparatory took big wins this winter season.  The coaches leading an undefeated girls’ soccer team, winning...

Sophie Dance West Dance Camp Enrolling Now

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Calling all Swifties! Sophie Dance West, an all-inclusive kids dance studio that welcomes any skill level from beginner to highly...

Earth Day Cleanup Coming to Will Rogers Beach

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Attendees Are Encouraged to Wear Active/Comfortable Clothing and Bring a Reusable Water Bottle By Zach Armstrong The Will Rogers Beach...

Ulta Beauty Burglary Suspects Apprehended

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Detectives Suspect These Individuals Are Part of a Larger Organized Retail Theft Ring Several suspects in a recent burglary at...

(Video) The LAPD Announces the Arrest of a Suspect in the Horrific Attacks on Two Women on April 6 in the Venice Canal Area

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

At a press conference on Friday, City leaders announced an arrest. @palisadesnews The LAPD Announces the Arrest of a Suspect...

Comments
Leave a Reply