Seattle acting classes – open for enrollment

Seattle Acting classes - short course descriptions

  • Our Seattle Acting Classes meet on the University of Washington campus.
  • They are not-for-credit, which means the focus is on learning and having fun, not grades or tests.
  • They are open to everyone 18 or older. (If a student is younger than 18, please check with us first before signing him or her up,  to make sure the class is a good match.)




In this enjoyable introductory class, you’ll learn how to create characters; memorize dialogue; and use your voice, body and emotions as acting tools. Plus: we’ll do theater games and warm ups, improv and scene work.

Whether you’re looking for a class just for fun, or have professional aspirations to act in movies or on stage, everyone is welcome. The instructor, a Seattle filmmaker, has directed both feature films and stage plays, and has taught acting since 1995. His movies have played at international film festivals.




Acting 102 (Intermediate Acting) is a follow-up for students who’ve taken Beginning Acting or a similar
 class, and would like to continue learning and developing their foundation acting skills. Exercises include working on emotion, objective, intention, and movivation. You’ll have fun and take the next steps forward in developing your acting skills. You can take this class on either Tuesdays or Sundays:



cam2In this fast paced, five week class, students will practice acting in front of a camera, then make a short film suitable for an actor’s reel. Note: This class is for students with previous acting experience. Please do not sign up unless you have previously taken Acting 101 or a similar class.



Seattle film classes - documentary filmmaking - picture 1: Man holding camcorderEver dreamed about acting in a movie, or making a movie of your own?  In this fun, hands-on course, we’ll create and film a short independent movie from scratch. You can participate as an actor, member of the crew, or both.  It’s an acting class, a filmmaking class, and an involving immersive experience. (Most students take this class along with Crash Course in Filmmaking.) Fun times!  



In this information-packed workshop, you’ll learn where to find auditions for acting gigs in the Seattle area; how to find acting jobs; how to prepare; “red flags” to watch out for; what to expect in stage or camera auditions; how to find the “good” acting agencies, and avoid the scams; and more.  Plus, you’ll learn about head shots, reels, resumes, and more.  



ACCENTS2-234x300In this Seattle acting class, students will learn how to speak in a wide range of accents and dialects. You’ll learn French, German, Russian, high and low British, and more!   Note: This class is open to actors of all types and levels of experience (voice actors, stage actors, actors for the camera, and total beginners.)  



Voiceover 101: Voice Acting for Games, Commercials & Animation

Voice acting is fun!  In this Seattle voiceover acting class you’ll learn how to create a range of interesting voices and characters, learn about the business side of voiceover acting, and learn how to have the best odds of making it in the business. Great for those interested in acting in games, animation, and commercials.  You can take this class on weekends or a weeknight:

Basis Makeup for Actors: Looking Good!

15795415270_800c4304e3_kIn this Seattle makeup class you’ll learn how to use easily-available makeup to bring out your inner beauty, or go for a Hollywood look.  You’ll learn what kind(s) of makeup to use and which to avoid. Basis Makeup for Actors: Looking Good is a great class for actors, independent filmmakers, women, men, makeup artists (professional), makeup artists (in training), and the just-curious. ➩ More information  ➩  Sign up now!

  • Where and when:   

    Sunday Nov. 22 only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (1 meeting) UW campus (Seattle)



Looking for Improv classes in Seattle that are fun, fast-paced and energetic? This enjoyable introductory class, taught by an instructor with years of experience, is a great place to start. 

You’ll play, laugh, focus and have fun while learning how to let go of preconceptions and let go of worrying about failure.

  • Improv 101   

    Sat. 12 noon-2:30 p.m. 
10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21 (4 meetings) UW campus (Seattle)


Monologue Class for Actors

Monologues are fun! Learning how to perform one is an essential step for actors of all levels.  In this class, students will learn how to choose, memorize and perform both comedic and dramatic monologues, have an opportunity to rehearse them with the help and guidance of the instructor, then perform them in class.

  • Monologue Workshop    

    Wed. 7 PM-9 PM (5 meetings) 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/18, 11/25
 (no class on 11/11) UW campus (Seattle)


Stand-Up Comedy!


In three class sessions followed by a public performance, students will learn to learn to unleash their inner funny with confidence and skill.  Seattle has a booming stand-up comedy community, so there will be lots of opportunity to continue to use what you learn even after the class has concluded.

  • Stand-Up Comedy    

    Tuesdays 7 PM-9:30 PM
. 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16. (Four meetings) North Seattle College campus. Last meeting is at a comedy club.


Beginning Acting Classes

There are three classes in the Beginning Acting Series: 101, 102 and 103. If you’re new to acting, we recommend starting with this series.

ACTING 101: “Beginning Acting” 
(Can be taken on Sundays or Tuesdays)

  • Sunday class – when and where: 

    Sundays 6-8:30 PM. 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8
. 4 meetings. UW campus (Seattle)

  • Tuesday class – when and where: 

    Tuesdays 7-9:30 pm. 
10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10. 
4 meetings. UW campus (Seattle)

ACTING 102: “Intermediate Acting”
(Can be taken on Sundays or Tuesdays)

  • Sunday class – when and where:  

    Sundays, 6-8:30 p.m.
 11/15, 11/22, 11/29, 12/6. 
4 meetings. UW campus (Seattle)

  • Tuesday class – when and where:  

    Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. 11/17, 11/24, 12/1, 12/8
. 4 meetings. UW campus (Seattle)

ACTING 103: “The Next Step”

  • Where and when: 

    Saturdays 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
, 12/12 and 12/19. 2 meetings. UW campus (Seattle)



Camera-Acting Classes

It you’re interested in acting in movies, TV shows, commercials or webisodes, learning some camera acting techniques can help.  Both classes below (Acting for the Camera, and, Let’s Make a Movie) end with the students filming a short movie, with the goal being to end up with a nice clip you can use in your actor reel.  (Note: If you’re brand new to acting, take a “Acting 101” first.)

 Acting for the Camera

  • When and where: 

    When: Thurs., 7-9 p.m. (last 2 meetings will run late)
 11/5-12/10. No class on 11/26. 5 meetings. UW campus (Seattle)

Let’s Make a Movie  

  • When and where:  

    Saturdays, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM. 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21
. (5 meetings)
 Last two meetings will run late. UW campus (Seattle)


Voiceover Acting Classes

Our voice acting classes (Voiceover Acting, and, Accents and Dialects) are focused on students who would like to develop the skills needed to act in voice commercials, cartoons and video games. (They can also be helpful in a general sense, as a place to develop your voice even if you’re doing stage or filmed work.)  Note: You do NOT have to take the “Beginning Acting” series before taking these classes; feel free to sign right up. 

Voiceover Acting
Can be taken on Thursday or Saturday: 

  1. Thursday class – when and where:  

    Thurs. 7-9 PM (5 meetings)
 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19. UW campus (Seattle)

  2. Saturday class – when and where: 

    Saturdays 10 AM-12 PM (Five meetings) 
10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21. UW campus (Seattle)



Accents and Dialects for Actors

  • When and where: 

    Tuesdays 7-9 pm. 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17. (5 meetings)
 UW campus (Seattle)


Improv and Comedy Classes

Ron Reid’s comedy class and Chad O’Bara’s improv classes are open to everyone 18 or older; no prerequisites.

  1. Stand-Up Comedy    

    Tuesdays 7 PM-9:30 PM
. 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16. (Four meetings) North Seattle College campus. Last meeting is at a comedy club.


  1. Improv 101   

    Sat. 12 noon-2:30 p.m. 
10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21 (4 meetings) UW campus (Seattle)

  2. Improv 102    

    Sat. 12 noon-2:30 p.m.
 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21. (4 meetings). UW campus (Seattle)


More Classes for Actors

  1. Basic Makeup for Actors: Looking Good   

    Sunday Nov. 22 only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (1 meeting) UW campus (Seattle)

  2. Putting on a Play 

    Sat. 1 PM-3 PM (5 meetings) 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21. UW campus (Seattle)

  3. Monologue Workshop    

    Wed. 7 PM-9 PM (5 meetings) 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/18, 11/25
 (no class on 11/11) UW campus (Seattle)

  4. Auditioning 

    Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
 12/5 only. 1 meeting. UW campus (Seattle)


Headshots for Actors! Need a headshot? Click here. 


“…I wanted to say thank you for your help and guidance in the early stages of my acting career. It has been a great journey that started in your beginning acting class. I am happy to report that I just met a very awesome goal. I will be a day actor in the TV series Grimm this week. It was your coaching that set and codified the foundation that helped get me where I am today. Thank you so much for your help.   If you would like to, please feel free to share my story with your other students and on the website.  Best wishes and with my sincerest gratitude, Joey Coverson”

I’d like to thank you.   After taking your (Beginning Acting and Let’s Make a Movie) classes last year, I now have had two acting gigs.   One in a movie called Sideways Japan… it was a Fox production…  and I was in a commercial in Hollywood, that was a Time Warner production.   The reel we made (in the Let’s Make a Movie class) was very useful helping me perform in front of camera and the fact (that I was) comfortable in front of camera got me the gigs. Tell  everyone to not give up and give it your all if you want to make it.   It was a slow start, but now I’m living in L.A. and loving it. Thanks again, your classes are good. – K. S.  (Hollywood)



Which class to take first?

Where are your Seattle acting classes held? 

Most of them take place on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Some are at the University Heights Center, or Phinney Neighborhood Center (great locations with ample parking for students). You’ll be given the exact location and driving directions for your class when you sign up.

Are your acting classes sponsored by the University of Washington? Or are they just held on campus?

Our courses are co-sponsored by our program and the ASUW Experimental College (the ASUW is the student government at the University of Washington, under the sponsorship of the U.W.). They are non-credit classes for personal enjoyment and enrichment. They are held on the campus, and registration fees are collected by the University of Washington. But you will not receive University of Washington credit for attending them.

Are these good classes to take if I’m brand new at acting? 


I want to act in the movies. Will your classes help? 

No one can promise you that a single acting class will get you a starring role in Hollywood. (If they do, they’re being silly.) You get there by hard work, commitment and a measure of good luck on the side. But good acting classes can start you moving toward your goals. What our classes will do — what any good acting classes will do — is give you a solid introduction to acting, a good foundation that will help you start developing your skills and moving toward your goals.

Have you had students who’ve gone on to work in Hollywood? 

Yes. We’ve have had students over the years who found work acting in movies, television and commercials (including major national commercials) in Hollywood and other places. We’ve also had students who started out in our classes and went on to act and star in independent films, locally or in other cities. (Some have even set up film production companies of their own, in Seattle and Hollywood, after taking the classes.) Succeeding as an actor takes hard work; our classes are a good place to start.

What if I want to take classes just for fun? (I’m not really into the acting career thing, just doing something fun and different!)

That is totally fine. Not everyone who takes the classes does so with career ambitions. Probably the majority do so just for fun, for personal enrichment. Whether you’re there for professional reasons, or just to do something fun and different, you’ll have fun and learn a lot, and are welcome in the classes.

I want to be able to speak in front of big audiences without freaking out. Will taking acting classes help?

Everyone is different, but many people have reported that acting classes can be helpful. Part of it is that in an acting class, you get a lot of experience getting up in front of a group, so being up in front of people in other situations starts to feel easier and more natural. We’ve had students who were shy about getting up in front of people, who told us they were much more comfortable and confident in that kind of situation after a class or two.

Hi Nils, I want to thank you for inspiring me to follow my dreams. I left Washington. I am down in California. I have started a television production company and I auditioned for a Harley Davidson Commercial yesterday as an actor. Everything is moving at light speed…and in a positive direction. It all started with you in that classroom at the U of W. – Robert C., Hollywood

What’s the difference between your classes? 

Beginning Acting is an overall introduction to acting, and to the acting scene in Seattle. Let’s Make a Movie is a Seattle acting/filmmaking class that gives students an opportunity to focus on participating in, and completing, an acting project (making a short film, that the students are acting in) Intermediate Acting and The Next Step are follow-up classes for students who’ve taken Beginning Acting and would like to keep learning and developing their foundation skills. The Improv class is a fun introduction to script-free acting, making it up as you go along. The Auditioning class provides a helpful overview of what’s involved in finding auditions, having fun in them and approaching them with confidence. They’re all good classes, focusing on different parts of the acting experience. If you are interested in several classes, check out our certificate program.

Which acting classes should I start with? 

If you’re new at acting, or getting back into it after a break, start with Beginning Acting. After that you can take our other courses in any order.

What will we be doing in the Beginning Acting class? 

We’ll start out with some warm-ups, then do some breathing and relaxation exercises and some exercises to help us get comfortable moving and performing onstage in front of others. We’ll learn memorization techniques that make it easier to learn lines, and do both scripted and unscripted scenes. The focus will be on having fun, learning new things, and getting a lot of experience acting.

Do students need to bring anything to class? 

Just bring a pen and pad to take notes. Other than that, just bring yourself, and come prepared to learn a lot, take some enjoyable risks and have fun.

What should I wear to class? 

Just wear something loose and comfortable that you can move freely in. Anything is fine.

Looking for fun, affordable classes and workshops in Seattle, that offer high quality instruction without breaking the bank?

Ready to move a little out of your comfort zone and have fun exploring other characters and situations, and discover what acting’s all about, in a safe supportive environment? Our Seattle acting classes can help! is an art school, acting school, writing school, and film school, all rolled into one. Our classes are non-credit, so they’re open to everyone. Our Seattle acting classes are fun, accessible, and provide hands-on instruction and training in a classroom environment (most classes are held on the University of Washington campus in Seattle). And we’re doing our best to keep them affordable. You can take a class just for fun, or work toward a certificate in Acting Fundamentals. Enrollments are now open for the classes listed on this page.  Our classes cover a range of topics and approaches, related to different aspects of the acting experience. There’s an old saying that “You learn to act by acting.” Our classes are designed to reflect this, and give students in Seattle both exposure to the theory and information they need to develop their acting skills, and an opportunity to perform scenes and exercises in class, in front of other students.

Don’t live in Seattle?

For those who live outside of Seattle, and are looking for something beyond what their local acting schools, colleges and training programs are able to offer, we’re working on developing online versions of our acting classes. Stay tuned!

More Student Comments

After just 2 classes with Nils, I auditioned for an independent film against actors with many years experience and I got the part. Nils teaches confidence and he freely shares his knowledge of the acting. – R.C. (Hollywood)


Hey Nils, thanks for the class – had a really good time this quarter.

I really came at the class from the direction of directing. I had successfully directed two plays back in Britain, but I always felt that I was on shaky ground when I tried to give advice to actors that went beyond “okay, say it louder this time”. There’s nothing that makes you feel a fraud quicker than standing up in front of lots of people who look to you for advice and not having any to give.  

The class definitely helped… I really enjoyed the improv element of the class. It always felt like just one step away from playing a childish game, which I always enjoy. It was also great to have a chance to work on a monologue with you, especially in front of a small, friendly audience. Your advice on the ‘business’ side of acting was also very useful.- Cheers, Mark (Seattle/London)

Hi Nils, I just wanted to thank you for a great class last night! Clearly, people were a little nervous about getting up to perform their monologues, but you have fostered a very supportive environment which makes it much easier to get up there. I think you did an excellent job at figuring out how to help each individual to take the next step with their piece, despite a wide range of skill levels. I’m looking forward to next week! – Marnie M. (Kirkland)

I really think you are a great instructor, and you seem to have a genuine interest in and enjoy helping people develop their skills. And it was fun! – Pritam (Seattle)

A week after your class (I) went to my very first audition! Talk about absolute terror. I did the same monologue I did in class, and guess what? I got offered not only one role, but two roles from two different directors, from that one petrified , shaking monologue. on my very first audition! I was shocked…I couldn’t have done it without your great class. Thanks! -Randy T. (Seattle)

I took it just for fun, and to move out of my stage fright.  It really helped.  I’m glad you have it open to everybody, whether they have professional ambitions are are just doing it for the fun of it. – Lee D., Seattle

I took a (beginning acting) class from you in 2008. I’m not sure if you remember me… I took that initial class because I was very camera shy and froze when I had a media opportunity with the Today Show… I’ve been doing great with on-camera stuff since then and performed well for NBC Nightly News and some other big ones.  I credit your class with helping me break the ice. – G., Seattle

Your class was the highlight of my week. I’m so sorry it’s ending. Thank you for making it a safe experience. I’ll see you in the intermediate class in the fall.  Peace! – Karen W., Seattle

I wanted to take a second to thank you so much for the wonderful knowledge you passed onto myself and the others in our Intermediate acting class.  Your classes have provided us all with a chance to have healthy friends outside of class that will carry us through to make our dreams a reality. – Lindsey B., Seattle

I took it ‘just for fun’ but I was also hoping to get a handle on my stage fright.  You were asking if (the beginning acting class) helped with that… I would say yes. The difference is I feel now like I don’t freeze up.  I can think.  I actually look forward to addressing big meetings and doing things that feel ‘scary’ because now I feel like I’m working through something…” – M.R. (Bellevue)

I checked out all the acting schools in Seattle, found that your classes had good reviews and decided to try Beginning Acting… glad I did! I don’t know if I’ll ever act professionally but your class really did improve my public speaking and help me feel more comfortable in groups.  And it was a blast.”– C.J (Seattle)