A program focused on the process of the work taught by Broadway, TV and film professionals.
Summer Performing Arts Intensive (SPAI) is an intensive program for B.F.A. in Acting and Musical Theatre students who have completed the first year of their three-year/two-summer theatre program at Stephens. During the program, students focus on the process of the work by learning new techniques from instructors who are highly respected in their fields.
Students take classes in Lessac Voice & Bodywork, Movement for the Actor, The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, and Self-Tape/On-Camera Techniques.
Learn From the Best: Meet Our Instructors
Bethany Caputo - InstructorBethany Caputo is an actress and a teacher in New York City who performs regionally across the country at such theatres as Arena Stage, The Goodman and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Ms. Caputo studied at the Moscow Art Theatre where she was introduced to the Chekhov technique in 1997. She teaches at the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio in New York City and with Stony Brook University Graduate Department. Ms. Caputo was an actor in the Master Classes DVD series produced by MICHA, and she has had the great pleasure to collaborate and perform with Chekhov-based theatre companies such as The Actors Ensemble and The Moving Dock Theatre Company.Visit Caputo's website
Jason Bohon - Instructor (MOVEMENT FOR THE ACTOR)Jason Bohon teaches in the UNCSA School of Drama after having previously taught in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Kansas and in the M.F.A. Actor training program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has also taught in the B.F.A. Musical Theatre program at Drake University and the B.F.A. Actor training program at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre. For 10 years, Bohon has been an actor-creator and producing director for Split Knuckle Theatre, a devising theater company based in New York and Connecticut. In addition to creating shows as an actor-director, he manages logistics of tours and residencies, both nationally and internationally. He specializes in mask, movement and devising techniques rooted in the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq. He also holds a 500-hour yoga instructor certification through the Yoga Alliance and is an executive business coach with Exec/Comm, a communication skills firm based in New York City.Visit his website
Robin Aronson, InstructorRobin Aronson is a Professor of Voice and Acting at the University of Southern Mississippi. As a Lessac Kinesensic Voice and Body Trainer, Robin was fortunate enough to teach a one-week workshop with Arthur Lessac himself at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. Aronson then returned to Croatia where she taught the Lessac curriculum for their new Post Masters’ Program in Acting, Media, and Culture Studies under the direction of the international film actor Rade Šerbedžija. Robin has taught the Lessac Kinesensic Training at such Institutions as Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England; Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Theatre; The Gaiety School for Acting, The National Theatre School of Ireland in Dublin; and The National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, Australia. Robin most recently engaged in International practice-based research leading Lessac voice and body workshops at the Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA) and Ateneo Del Manila University. In addition, she was the vocal coach for the production of Dolorosa with the Tanghalang Ateneo Theatre. Robin served as President for the International Lessac Training and Research Institute and was the recipient of the 2020 Lessac Service Award. Robin has also the Chair of the Voice and Speech Committee for the Southeastern Theatre Conference and is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainer’ Association.
While at Southern Miss for almost two decades, Robin has served as the vocal coach for all main stage productions at Southern Miss such as Dancing at Lughnasa, Hitchcock Blonde, Waiting for the Parade and Candida at Southern Miss. She has been the voice and dialect coach for A Member of the Wedding at Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC, and Our Country’s Good at the University of New Orleans. Robin has directed such shows as Next to Normal, Violet, Spring Awakening, Rent, Assassins, Talley’ Folly, Smokey Joe’s Café, Ragtime, Almost Maine, Urinetown The Musical, Voice of the Prairie, and Little Shop of Horrors. Ms. Aronson has served on the American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) regional selection team and has won four excellence in directing awards. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, Robin has performed such roles as Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She holds an M.F.A from the University of Connecticut and a Shakespeare Acting Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London where she had the privilege of studying under Nona Shepphard and performing in her production of Romeo and Juliet.Visit Aronson's webpage
Jennifer Hemphill - Program DirectorJennifer Hemphill, Stephens College Musical Theatre program chair, is an assistant professor who teaches all levels of Acting and Musical Theatre, and directs and acts in various productions. Prior to joining the faculty at Stephens, Hemphill was most recently seen on Broadway in “Mamma Mia!” She enjoyed three years of performing the hit ABBA show at the Winter Garden and Broadhurst theaters on Broadway and two years playing to full houses on the national tour. Hemphill has performed in New York, on tours across the U.S. and Canada, in Europe, with symphonies, and at sea for the last two decades. She enjoys adjudicating for Showstopper national dance competitions and is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association. Her academic focus is on preparing actors for the industry through solid technique and practical application. She earned an M.F.A. from Kent State University and a B.F.A. from Tisch School of the Art at New York University.
John Hemphill - Instructor (SELF-TAPE/ON-CAMERA)John Hemphill is an Assistant Professor of Acting at Stephens College. Most recently, he was in the first national tour of “Dear Evan Hansen,” playing the role of Larry Murphy. He starred as not one but two dads in the Broadway production of “Mamma Mia!” and was in the original Broadway company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock.” Hemphill also starred in the Broadway national tour of “Mamma Mia!” and the first national tour of “The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time.” His film work includes Paramount Picture’s “Zodiac,” directed by the Academy Award-nominated David Fincher. On television, he has had guest starring roles on ABC’s “Castle” and USA’s “Monk” and recurring roles on NBC’s “Las Vegas” and ABC’s “Commander in Chief.” Other TV appearances include NBC’s “The Black List,” USA’s “Mr. Robot,” HBO’s “Big Love” and “House of Cards,” and the HBO mini series “Show Me A Hero,” directed by Academy Award winner Paul Haggis.