All year long, I teach classes and Labs to new performers, professional performers and fellow teachers.
I believe an artist, or a creator, must filter every character through her or his self.
I use collaborative exercises, experimentation, and emotional exchanges in order to develop body intelligence and awareness. All of this inner knowledge will move each performer towards discovering their own unique creative process.
Each of these workshops seeks to extract that singularity in each student that makes them who they are as a human, and to teach them the tools to hone and use it in performance.
While theatre isn’t always outwardly political, it is always inherently political. An audience will situate itself in the world it lives in and we are a part of that world. We must create a balance between taking risks and providing entertainment.
Workshops are proposed in Physical Comedy, Bouffon and Storytelling. These high-intensity sessions will provide students of all acting levels with the tools to dig into the Self; to start from the body and the primal desire to laugh and to make others laugh.
Physical comedy training is focused on sharpening specific tools for performers to ground themselves on a stage and really connect with themselves and their audience. It thrusts the actor out of their comfort zone – a zone in which she or he clings on to fear and ego. We learn how to maintain constant motion inside of even a still body because in performance, every moment should be an event.
In this workshop, we play many different games and improvisations to keep each performer in a state of urgency, serve the moment by reacting to and playing with the space, surrender to our id and, most importantly, make each other laugh. There is no fourth wall in physical comedy!
In this workshop we meet the darker, more disturbing side of clowning – the Grotesque. These performer-training classes and laboratories focus on physical and emotional games, games that help us discover the defining element of the Bouffons. How do we let go of fear and surface impressions of what it is to make someone laugh? How willing can we be as artists to dig into our own darkness, our own desire to oppose power, and our ability to thrive in the face of failure?
The Bouffons are the outcasts of society, the ones who mock and spit in the face of it. They play with our fear of death and they magnify the reality of oppression. The believe in nothing and make fun of everything; they take no sides and rejoice in conflict. Your audience will laugh, and judge themselves for laughing because they are shown who they really are. As the artists, we put ourselves in the Bouffon, and find the Bouffon in ourselves.
Storytelling is a workshop where we reach into the past and use mythology to tell stories surrounding our modern lives. This can be as simple as learning how to tell a story to as active as embodying fantastic beasts and creatures to develop characters.
What are archetypes and why are they so embedded in the psyche that we see them in stories thousands of years old through to this day? How can we use our bodies to tell stories and elicit hope or darkness, excitement or terror, in an audience? These questions, while not tangibly answerable, are explored in these classes and labs.