San Francisco, CA– MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best across a wide range of subjects, today announced that award-winning actor, director and beloved host of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton, will teach a class on the power of storytelling. Featuring his characteristic warmth and authenticity, Burton will help members unlock their ability to tell deeper and more compelling stories to communicate effectively and connect with others. Burton’s class is now available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 100+ instructors with an annual membership.
“An award-winning actor, director, author, television host and one of the most beloved voices in storytelling, LeVar’s career has been defined by his ability to connect with and educate people of all backgrounds,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In his class, he ignites member’s passion for words, empowers them to find deeper meaning in stories and enhances their communication skills to give voice to their own story.”
In his class, Burton will explore the motivation behind storytelling, sharing his approach and philosophies to empower members to activate their imaginations, rethink the way they approach communication and gain confidence as speakers. Tapping into a diverse range of formats, from acting to podcasting and more, Burton will teach members how to connect with their audience and use performance skills such as timing, tonal inflections and rhythm to become more intentional storytellers. Burton also offers his personal insights on the value and impact of storytelling, particularly as it relates to representation. He shares how diverse stories present an opportunity to empathize and connect with people and why sharing those stories makes the world a better and more true place. Pulling back the curtain on some of the experiences that defined his path, Burton shares case studies from his time in the revolutionary television mini series Roots, as well as excerpts from his children’s book, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. From sparking the imagination of a child through literature to presenting in a boardroom or engaging in a coffee shop conversation, Burton’s class will challenge members to rethink their approach to communication, inspiring them to confidently bring his same passion for the power of storytelling to their own lives.
“Stories are the universal language of humanity,” Burton said. “Every one of us has a personal story to share, and in my class, I want to help members find those stories from within and have the courage to share them with the world.”
Burton’s career as an educator and storyteller has been defined by his ability to use storytelling to communicate effectively. Throughout his career, the multi-hyphenate actor, director, author and television host has been recognized with some of the industry’s highest honors, including winning Emmy, Grammy and Peabody awards. Early in his career, Burton was most notably known as the indelible Kunta Kinte in the 1977 miniseries Roots. Expanding his scope of culturally significant roles, he went on to star as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He ultimately solidified his place as a household name through PBS’ iconic educational television series, Reading Rainbow. Serving as the show’s host and executive producer for more than 20 years, Burton earned 12 Daytime Emmys and a Peabody Award. During his time on the show, he was beloved by children and adults alike for using the platform to educate, connect and communicate the power of words and imagination. Most recently, it was announced that Burton would be a guest host on Jeopardy! July 26 – 30, 2021.