This March, local performers can enhance their knowledge and performance of Shakespeare by participating in a masterclass led by Steve Cleberg and Amber Frangos. The masterclass, Auditioning for Shakespeare, will take place in the Black Box Theater at 400 E Mt Vernon St, Somerset, KY. The masterclass will take place over 3 days: March 7, 9, & 10, 2023.

Auditioning for Shakespeare will take place over the course of three sessions, which will last two hours each. Each day will include focused discussions on structure, syntax, and synergy of the language of the bard. With the focus on auditioning with Shakespearean material, this masterclass will equip actors with the tools to read, understand, and thus, perform Shakespeare with ease. For maximum efficiency, attendees need to attend each session, as each one will build from the previous.

Leading the Auditioning for Shakespeare masterclass are Flashback Theater Co. veterans Steve Cleberg and Amber Frangos. The pair have years of experience in the realm of Shakespeare, as well as playwriting and screenwriting. 

Steve Cleberg retired as the Director of Theatre & Film from Somerset Community College in 2020. He has written a series of plays following the history of a fictional radio company from the golden age of radio entitled Radio Suspense Theatre.  Two from the series are published by Playscripts, Inc. He also penned the librettos for the musicals, Tin Pan Alley Tavern and All the Boys Love Mary. Cleberg has written and produced over a dozen produced screenplays including the award winning, A Simple Arrangement.

Amber Frangos’s work as a playwright is extensive: her play Rosies: The Women Who Riveted The Nation received a grant from The Kentucky Foundation For Women for development that lead to its world premiere at Flashback Theater in May 2018. Her screenplay (short), Take It For A Spin, launched at the Autumn Shorts Film Festival at Somerset Community College in the fall of 2018. She has directed her own musical Mary: Her Story, and directed The Lady’s Not for Burning at FbTC.

Cleberg and Frangos are teaming up to offer this educational opportunity in advance of FbTC’s Somerstage production of As You Like It by William Shakespeare. Cleberg’s adaptation of the bard’s Arden forest comedy will be directed by Frangos in July, with auditions occurring in April. Interested actors are encouraged to attend the Auditioning for Shakespeare masterclass as a way to prepare for the audition. 

Auditions for staged plays typically require a memorized monologue, and are usually followed with a callback session to read scenes with other auditioning actors. Participants of the masterclass will gain experience in interpreting and performing from Shakespearean text, giving them a foundation for the audition experience. 


Tuesday, March 7, 2023 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Session 1. Acting Shakespeare’s Power

Working with a single line of Shakespearean dialogue, participants will discover a path to the power of Shakespeare’s language.

Thursday, March 9, 2023 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Session 2. Acting Shakespeare’s Structure

Working with a short passage from a Shakespearean speech, participants will discover how the structure of Shakespeare’s writing leads to the inherent “music” in his language.

Friday, March 10, 2023 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Session 3. Acting Shakespeare’s Scene

Working with a scene from Shakespeare’s, “As You Like It,” participants will discover how to weave the power and structure of Shakespeare’s language into a stageworthy scene.

Special Note: 

The character of Dennis will play guitar, sing and act in the play As You Like It. Sheet music is provided. We are looking for someone to be in the play as well as sing at the workshop. If you or someone you know are interested in this role, please email [email protected] for the sheet music.

A very special thank you to our 2022-23 Spotlight Sponsors: Applied Behavioral Advancements, City of Somerset, M&W Printing, and Footlight Sponsors: David Daring Rentals, Kinetic by Windstream, United Cumberland Bank, T. Ronald Kidd Trust, Fireborn Energy, and HealthMarkets for their continued support of FbTC’s production of theater that speaks to the soul.