By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Theater and Performing Arts
Dying is easy, comedy is hard, says the old adage, but according to the "acting is easy" philosophy of the Barrow Group, maybe comedy isn't so tough, either. This theater company runs a midtown acting school and studio, offering instruction in script analysis, theatrical clowning, Shakespeare, and other subjects, as well as a formal two-year program. Graduates include Anne Hathaway, Vera Farmiga, and one of New York's theatrical treasures, Denis O'Hare. barrowgroup.org
Sure, you can take your fill of ballet, modern, tap, and theater dance, but those grand jetés, jazz hands, and ball changes probably won't impress at the club. (Unless, of course, you go to very particular clubs.) But Broadway Dance Center has your back. This revered Theater District studio offers all those, plus classes—for rank beginners or advanced artistes—in "Street Styles," a category including "Breakin'," "Funk," "House," and "Stiletto Heels." broadwaydancecenter.com
In the Village Voice's Fall 2013 Education Supplement:
Jackson Connor on Tech Track: ITP Launches Entrepreneurs, Dreamers.
Neil deMause on the ROI on Your B.A.: What's the Value of a College Degree?
Jessica Campbell on Warning Signs: City Wages War on Scam For-Profits."
And, Alexis Soloski with Class Action Listings.
If you've ever thought about replacing a button with a dab of glue or fixing a fallen hem with Scotch tape, it might be time to improve your way with a needle and thread. Sew Moni, a sewing and crafts company with locations in Williamsburg and Ridgewood, can help. They offer four-week sessions in beginning sewing and, for more experienced stitchers, seminars in lingerie, dress construction, children's clothing, and denim mending. sewmoni.bigcartel.com
These days, only the chilliest storms or hottest beach days really require headgear. But why should that stop you from crowning your crowning glory? This fall, the Textile Arts Center in Park Slope will offer an introductory course in "Millinery 101." Although the class focuses more on theory than practice, studio time is included for students to fashion a topper of their own. textileartscenter.com
If you stood in line for an audience with Marina Abramovic during her stint at MOMA but didn't get to sit opposite, you might have another chance. In August, Long Island City's P.S.1 hosts its summer school, a free symposium for arts students. In addition to Abramovic, who will school students in the Abramovic Method, this summer's faculty includes Judson Dance Theater's Steve Paxton and Throbbing Gristle's Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. momaps1.org
It has been a while since the Harlem Renaissance, but uptown still hosts a thriving art scene, much of it centered on the Studio Museum in Harlem, a gallery devoted to artists of African descent. In addition to its exhibitions, the museum offers classes, talks, and explorations. Upcoming events include a walking tour of important sites of the Harlem Renaissance on September 29 and Uptown Fridays one evening per month, which include guided gallery tours and cocktails. studiomuseum.org
For Children and Teens
The screaming, the sulking, the nighttime incontinence—ah, the hilarity of children. But if you think your offspring have real comic chops, you can sign them up for nine-week workshops at Kids 'N Comedy on the Upper West Side. In these sessions, beginning September 22, youths learn "to write, workshop, and perform your very own stand-up routine at the world-famous Gotham Comedy Club." Let's hope they don't teach the tweens to work blue. kidsncomedy.com
It can be a real hassle getting kids to wash dishes. So why not encourage them to dirty them instead? Creative Kitchen, with two locations in the financial district and two in the Flatiron, attempts to turn your tot into a nascent gourmet. These classes, designed for children ages two to five, teach a hands-on approach to good-for-you foods with attention also paid to colors, numbers, and shapes. And at the end of class, you and your progeny get to eat your efforts. thecreativekitchen.com
Perhaps you thought the camera function on your iPhone existed only for snapping pictures of cute cats and decadent cheeseburgers. Brooklyn's Pratt encourages you to think again. "Handheld Filmmaking: Your Story—Inside and Out" teaches students how to film stories with just their iPhones (or digital cameras or "flipcams"); how to edit those stories; and how to upload them to platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo. Now if you can only get your cat or your cheeseburger to take direction. pratt.edu
"Movies are a fad," Charlie Chaplin insisted. "Audiences really want to see live actors." We would never contradict the Little Tramp, but this fad seems particularly enduring. If you'd like to get in on the trend before it passes, you might consider the workshops hosted by Mono No Aware film school in Williamsburg. Dedicated to film—as opposed to digital video—Mono No Aware offers courses in 16mm, Super 8mm, animation, and various processing techniques. Classes culminate in a screening party. mononoawarefilm.com
Food and Drink
The emperor Nero enjoyed a good fire, but he liked to cool off, too: The invention of ice cream is sometimes attributed to his reign. If you'd like to see how Italian ice cream has improved over the past two millennia, you can enroll in workshops at Mia Gelato in Murray Hill. Weekday and weekend sessions instruct you in the arts of gelato- and sorbet-making, with vegan options covered, too. Homework: scarfing the four different pints you produce. gelatomia.com