The Darien Arts Center is offering an opportunity for burgeoning actors in middle school and high school to study with professionals Matt Porretta and Nick Sadler.

"Connecting with the Camera: The Keys to Delivering Truthful Acting on Camera" is a two-day workshop that will cover techniques and trade secrets for performing on camera in film, television and commercials.

The workshop takes place Feb. 1 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DAC, 2 Renshaw Road.

Participants will learn the fundamentals of acting on set, including being believable and relatable, where to focus, eye lines, audition techniques, and more, while using professional acting scripts. At the end of the workshop, participants will receive a digital copy of their work.

Porretta, a native of Darien, has spent much of his professional life alternating between Broadway and Los Angeles. His big break came when he was cast in the role of Marius in the national tour of "Les Miserables," eventually landing on Broadway. He subsequently landed the part of Will Scarlet O'Hara in Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," and Brooks recast him in his next film, "Dracula: Dead and Loving It."

Porretta had a recurring role on "90210," playing Dan Rubin, and later returned to Broadway, where he played Count Ludovic in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's "Passion." Back in Los Angeles, he starred in the title role in TNT's "The New Adventures of Robin Hood."

Sadler is a Juilliard-trained actor who has worked in film, television and theater for the past 20 years with such artists as Barry Levinson, Joel and Ethan Coen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Danny Glover, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas and Elizabeth Ashley. As a writer and director, his work has aired on HBO, Cinemax and Canal Plus, and has been screened at Denver, Slamdance, Deauville, Hamptons and Sundance International film festivals. He is also the founder of Present Actor Workshop. As an educator and private teacher, he has helped students and professionals at all stages of their careers in theater, film and television.

"The camera is the unseen character that the best actors know how to play with, keeping it invisible and the performance intimate. We use an approach that is both technical and organic to develop the tools to best attain this balance," Sadler said. "This is a fun and engaging experience that takes the mystery out of the work."

To register or for information, visit or call 203-655-8683.

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