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Pericles All At Sea - Bill and Gill with balloons

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Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud, Creating a Character

Physical theatre, Greek theatre, Writing and Devising

Using the Voice, Shakespeare's Verse

General workshop info - prices, comments
Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud, Creating a Character

Physical theatre, Greek theatre, Writing and Devising

Using the Voice, Shakespeare's Verse,

General workshop info - prices, comments
 

Stanislavski

The super-objective is to find a personal connection between the system and the student - an individualised emotional memory of Stan the Man!  We take a physical approach to kick-starting character development allied to a close examination of the text.  We generally use extracts from Uncle Vanya to work on but are open to working on specific texts that students are studying if this is helpful.

Brecht

Students explore Brecht's techniques for achieving maximum clarity and impact - the actor as an effective demonstrator.  We start with Brecht's description of witnessing a road accident in order to examine in a practical manner Brecht's notions of the actor as demonstrator.  We explore techniques for actioning the text in order to clarify not only the results of actions that are taken but also the result of actions not taken.

Artaud

A physical approach to disturbing the audience - reaching those parts that text-based theatre can often leave untouched. We use warm-up exercises as a way into looking at elements of ritual and disjunction.  And we use passages from Ubu Roi - a seminal work for Artaud - to animate ideas about provoking the audience to experience theatre in a more visceral way.

Creating a Character

Physical, imaginative and intellectual approaches are all valid pathways to creating character - finding the hooks that work best for each of us. We marry a number of approaches associated with particular practitioners - Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud - in a practical approach to acting that reflects the mixture of intuition and technique that marks out the British approach. We are very happy to relate the work to specific texts or projects if this is appropriate.

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Physical Theatre

Exercises that focus the actor's energy - encouraging the performer to respond to ideas in a visceral way. We pass on a series of exercises that we use in our own training.  They are designed to sensitise the body.  They also require a certain amount of physical courage that often transfers into a more profound emotional courage - vital for effective acting.  And we look at how we can use some of the physical work to create compelling drama.

Greek Theatre

This workshop originally accompanied Medea but we have also applied it to other texts.  It examines themes and styles of classical Greek Theatre, exploring their relevance to today's theatre practise.  We look at the basic dynamics of argument and counter-argument.  We examine how the mythic context informs the debate and the drama.  We look at how chorus, mask and formal physicality heighten the drama and their place in a contemporary piece of theatre.

Writing and Devising

Developing and structuring ideas to maximum effect - squeezing the most drama out of every situation.  We combine illustrative extracts from contemporary plays - focussing particularly on what theatre can do that film and television can't - with practical work on developing a dramatic scenario through pressures of time and place.  The workshop will be of use to groups devising work as well as to individual writers.

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Using the Voice

Working through the physical, emotional and intellectual blocks that impede effective communication - releasing the easy, authentic voice that we all possess.  We use a primarily physical approach to enjoy the sensuality of language and the full-body experience of using our voices.  If you wish we can relate the work to specific texts.

Shakespeare's Verse

Exploring Shakespeare's text as a guide for the actor - characterisation through the verse form and emotional resonance through the music and muscle of the words.  An extension of the Voice Workshop, locating sounds and emotional responses within the body before taking on the muscle of Shakespeare's verse.  We're more than happy to relate the work to particular texts but can also look at the general principles, using sonnets as well as extracts from the plays.

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general information


numbers

a preferred maximum of 30

cost

100 for an hour session, 140 per two hour session - other prices on request

comments

In the workshop that followed, the children began to find the potential of their own imaginations and drama skills.  multi story is very experienced at working in schools; they know the day-to-day pressures and plan their work and manner appropriately.  We recommend this company unreservedly.
Ruth Robson (Literacy Consultant), Simon Taylor (Drama Adviser) - Cheshire LEA

The pupils really enjoyed the challenge of the physical movements.  One girl, in particular, conquered her demons while more acrobatic pupils found a new outlet for skills they already possessed. Your encouragement to all abilities was greatly appreciated by the pupils who commented on the way you helped them believe they could do these movements.  Absolutely everyone came out feeling exhilarated and good about him of herself. Thank you!
Jane Bunclark, West Buckland School

I was amazed at how well it succeeded.  I think that Gill's encouragement and leadership were hugely important in giving us confidence but I also thought that Bill was vital in providing a male role model - so many boys think that "drama's for girls".  All the initial whole gropup work was crucial. I think that all teachers (and TAs) should have to join in - it's very scary but HUGELY rewarding! THANK YOU.
Penny Kite, Foxton Primary School

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