Actor's Movement Studio Conservatory
Summer Theater Intensive Curriculum
Five week (full-time program ) June 1st to July 1st

Period Style


Viewpoints &Composition


NEW RasaBoxes


Ensemble Mask
View Video Here
Photos Summer 2006 Click Here

Curriculum: 35 hours per week 5 days 

Core Curriculum: Rotating 4 day schedule            
· Williamson Physical Technique
· Williamson Period Style
· Michael Chekhov Technique
· Viewpoints & Composition

 


Guest Artist Curriculum: 1-5 day Workshops
· Fitzmaurice "Voicework" Technique
· Mask  
· Mime
· Laban & Character

· Feldenkrais Method
· Portrait Exercise


 NEW RasaBoxes click here

New Guest Artist
Andrew Wade 
Voice and Classical Style Text “Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde”

Verse Consultant on the film SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Click here

 
CORE CURRICULUM
 
Williamson Technique

Guest Artist Loyd Williamson
Featured  in “Acting Teachers of America”

"The body and voice...are already one instrument that is activated by the same source with one result: the production of behavior. Integration [of the body and the voice] is not an issue. As a physical specialist, I'm often asked to 'just deal with the actor's body.' Experiential life and physical life, acting impulses and physical impulses are all part of this single relationship. Sensory contact, experience, and behavior are all parts of one event occurring in one indivisible place, the actor's body." - Loyd Williamson, Movement for Actors 

Janice Orlandi Certified Teacher of the Williamson Technique for Actors This course will teach the basics of Williamson Technique, through a series of exercises that train the actor's ability to listen and communicate with the whole body while developing a stronger awareness their own experience and the experience of being part of an ensemble. Two major aspects of the work are freedom and connection. Total physical freedom in the actor's behavior leads to his or her complete connection with the relationships and circumstances of the imaginary world.

Exercises Include:
A preparatory exercise: described by Mr. Williamson as, "a time for being with one's body in quiet and stillness." It is a guiding principle designed to enhance the student's awareness of the sensations and experience that are present within his or her own body.

Open Phrase Choreography: A sequence of "open" movement or vocabulary that expands the body and the voice and is designed to enhance the actor's ability to process their experience into behavior. The Open Choreography leads to movement improvisation that can flow in any sequence, in any rhythm that rises out of the connection that the actor has with their inner and outer experience. The form and its sequence or tempo is created out of a total freedom of expression.

Circles of Energy: A Williamson concept involving skeletal alignment and muscular release that expands the student's ability to; release and receive experience, it expands the muscles and breath. Locating the body's organic sense of balance, the "Circles of Energy" are then applied to the basic activities of standing, sitting and walking.

 
Period Style - Edwardian Salon
Janice Orlandi
"The most outstanding value of a Period Style class is that it produces actors that move and live within the style of a period with total truthfulness, vocal freedom, physical grace and ease. Actors learn to create an expansive character free from the limits of their everyday physical and vocal habits. Immersed in the circumstances of the place and time of an era, the actors as an ensemble create an imaginary world."   - Janice Orlandi, SHOWBUSINESS

A Style Salon is an exercise that takes the student into the world of the play creating a character from the period in which a playwright sets the play. Students experience both the inner and outer elements of a specific period(e.g. Edwardian).

Outer elements of style include: the costumes, the dances, the social language, and all of the objects that outwardly inform the student's treatment of environmental elements such as the set and props.

Inner elements of the style include: a sense of space, grace and ease in formal situations, and all that creates the upper class, aristocracy, and royal class.

The students explore the inner and outer life elements of the characters in their gestures, deportment, dances, etc. this work culminates in an improvisational Period Style Salon Presentation. Because students work with images of real people that were actually connected to one another historically, their meeting, and the Salon itself, could theoretically re-write history.

Elements covered are:

  • Period Character
  • Period music
  • Period costume
  • Period text
  • Period props
  • Period Games
  • Period social protocol
  • Period dance 

Curriculum includes: A Baroque and Elizabethan Period Style workshops. The emphasis of the workshops will be on the many differences between the eras presided over by Elizabeth I of England (1586), Louis XIV of France (1670), and Queen Victoria of England (1894).

 

Voice, Verse and Classical Style Text


Andrew Wade
Head of Voice at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1990 - 2003.

Verse Consultant on the film SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE              

Voice, Verse and Classical Style Text

“Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde” Workshop Intensive

Master teacher and coach Andrew Wade will lead a Master class

From vocal warm-up to articulation to language and the application to text of

Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde.

 
Viewpoints & Composition
Janice Orlandi

This course will teach the basics of Viewpoints, through a series of exercises that train the actor's ability to listen and communicate with the whole body while developing a stronger awareness of stage space, a sense of spontaneity, and the  ability to excel as part of an ensemble.

Through the exploration of structured Viewpoint improvisations (Jam Sessions) and the use of specific compositional tools, students will learn how to transform an idea, a few props, and a bit of dialogue into a theatrical event and create original theatre pieces from source materials which integrate text, story, movement and music.



The class will cover Anne Bogart's Nine Viewpoints.

· Kinesthetic Response
· Tempo
· Duration
· Repetition
· Shape
· Gesture
· Spatial Relationships
· Architecture
· Topography

 
Lecoq Technique for an “Actor-Centered Theatre”

Master Teacher Lavinia Hart  

Jacques Lecoq believed in movement-based training for actors that would equip them to be playful, spontaneous and creative. His training also holds that the generation of ensemble is crucial to a working process that is collaborative. His emphasis is on the actor-as creator rather than an interpreter of text. Lecoq work is somatic and openly connected to the spectator. It is through this visceral connection that events occur that can only happen in the medium of live theatre. This workshop will focus on “actor-centered theatre” – with the actor-as-creator and collaborator; by practicing the exercises and group explorations somatically; and, finally, by maintaining an open and direct relationship with the audience.

Solo exercises and small group work include:

Exploration into the 4 principle elements – water, fire, wind and earth with use of the neutral mask.
Neutral mask encounters with unlikely elements.
Gestural Language”, silent and vocal, including figurative or transformational mime.
Profound Mimage” in connection with the genre, style and text of the summer intensive: for example, finding the inner gestures of primary Edwardian characters.
 
Michael Chekhov Technique

Guest Artist Master Teacher  Mala Powers  

“ The psychophysical approach is most fully exemplified and realized in the work of Michael Chekhov, considered by Stanislavsky to be his "most brilliant student," and widely recognized as one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. Chekhov developed an approach to acting that affords the actor access to resources within himself-feelings, will impulses, character choices-that are based not merely in personal experience as they are in "Method" training, but of the actor's imagination and physical life.” - (MICHA – The Michael Chekhov Association)
“Our Bodies can be either our best friends or our worst enemies.” - Michael Chekhov
"The idea of the play produced on the stage is its spirit; it’s atmosphere is its soul, and all that is visible and audible is its body” - Michael Chekhov

Andrei Malaev-Babel Teaching Class in Psychological Gesture
Michael Chekhov’s Five Guiding Principles

The Five Guiding Principles of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique as described by Michael Chekhov in a series of lectures given to a group of professional actors in Hollywood. These Five principles lay the foundation for the entire work. If these principles are practiced and understood one has an overview of what Michael Chekhov's view of the actor is.

Students will explore Michael Chekhov's "psycho-physical" approach to acting, through the basic principles and exercises outlined in Chekhov's book "To the Actor", including psycho/physical exercises, character work and ensemble improvisation. Each class begins with a warm-up specifically designed to develop the organic connection between the actor's inner life, creative imagination and expressive body. Through the rigorous practice of Chekhov's core exercises students will explore; Archetypes, Imaginary Centers, Imaginary body, Character Atmospheres, Overall scenic Atmospheres, Qualities of Movement, Imaginary Place and Psychological Gesture, along with on camera adjustments, and more .

The Chekhov Acting principles will be explored through the means of psycho/physical exercises, character work and ensemble creation.

Basic Exercises: Expanding/contracting  Staccato/legato, Radiating/receiving  Ease, form, beauty and a sense of the whole Molding, floating, flying, radiating

Character Work: Imaginary center Imaginary body Psychological gesture Quality and sensation

Ensemble creation: Atmosphere and Improvisation

 
 
GUEST ARTIST CURRICULUM

RasaBoxes Workshop

Become an athlete of the Emotions!

Taught by Master Teacher Paula Murray Cole

Participants will be introduced to theory and philosophy of the RasaBoxes™ Vocal and Physical techniques that support the basic steps of the exercise. Students will learn to embody eight basic emotional states and how to change instantly from one emotional state to another.

The RasaBoxes
The RasaBoxes are a psychophysical approach devised by ECA Artistic Director Richard Schechner and developed by Executive Director, Michele Minnick and Director of Education, Paula Murray Cole. Inspired by Artaud’s dictum that the actor should be an “athlete of the emotions” and based on the classical Indian theory of rasa, and contemporary theories of psychology and neuroscience, the RasaBoxes train performers to generate specific emotional states in themselves and audiences, to develop character and score performance.  is a psychophysical form of performer training.Based on ideas and practices from the classical Indian treatise on dance/music/drama, the Natyasastra, and contemporary studies on emotion from research scientists such as Paul Ekman and Michael Gershon. The RasaBoxes™ is an innovation for many Western performers. This unique approach trains them to work holistically with mind, body and emotion to produce work that is viscerally engaging in a wide range of performance contexts, from the subtlety of film acting to the boldness of Commedia del'Arte, from the most naturalistic to the most stylized or poetic, from the most text-based to pure dance and movement.

This unique psychophysical technique begins with finding form for eight basic emotional states (fear, rage, love, wonder, laughter, the heroic/courage sadness/pity, disgust) and their combinations through the use of body and the breath. The RasaBoxes™ is improvisational, but offers performers specific tools and techniques for finding truthful, fully embodied sense of presence and emotional specificity through direct physical engagement. It integrates rather than separates acting, movement and voice, engaging the whole performer in one approach.In this Ten hour workshop, Paula Murray -Cole a master teacher of the RasaBoxes will lead participants through the basic steps of RasaBoxes training, encouraging them to discover connections between the rasic, emotional juice of feelings lived from the gut and played out/expressed through the body, breath and voice, and the flow of action.

 
Fitzmaurice "Voicework" Technique
Catherine Fitzmaurice

Fitzmaurice Voicework is a comprehensive approach to voice training that can include, as needed, work on breathing, resonance, speech, dialects, impromptu speaking, text, singing, and voice with movement. Fitzmaurice Voicework explores the dynamics between body, breath, voice, the imagination, language, and presence. It encourages vibrant voices that communicate intention and feeling without excess effort. The work brings together physical experience and mental focus.

Destructuring, the first phase, promotes awareness of the body, spontaneous and free breathing, and vocal expressivity.
Restructuring, the second phase, encourages economy of effort while speaking or performing. The resulting freedom and focus allow for a wide range of vocal expression without strain.

Physicality: we develop awareness of patterns of vocal effort through a series of gentle and/or rigorous exercises, accessing the body's own healing systems for deep release.

Breath: we explore the central role that breathing plays in both voice production and the imagination, encouraging whole body oxygenation without forcing the breath.

Vocal Quality: we cultivate the ability to accurately communicate our thoughts and feelings while meeting the demands of text, space, and the immediate moment, through both spontaneity and choice.

Practical Results: we reduce strain in the voice, increase vocal range and expressivity, make speech easy and clear, and communicate intention more effectively, allowing creativity to flow.

Vocal Rehabilitation: we can help to resolve many functional vocal difficulties.

 
Mime
Bill Bowers
Mime and Pantomime with BILL BOWERS offers an introduction to these art forms, include a brief history of Mime, physical warm-up, and movement improvisation. Participants will learn illusory skills, and have the opportunity to incorporate mime technique into their acting work. Ideally students will begin to gain an awareness of how pantomimic skill and corporeal style enhance and impact actor training.
 
Mask
Shelley Wyant

The Neutral Mask:

Exploring Transformation:

  • Transformation Exercise: A comprehensive hands-on introduction into the world of the mask.
  • Explore the Room: Further discoveries using the freedom provided in the mask world.
  • Chairs: Integration of the full body and the mask.

Character Mask:

This section utilizes the 3/4 or half mask with the actor's own mouth exposed. With the return of the voice, a vast array of characters populate the classroom. Actor muscles flex and develop.

The Four Stages of Man:

  • Toddler. Adolescent, Adult, Elderly
  • Scales

Hinge Moments:  

Using the breath and focus finding the elements that allow the body to speak. Choreography of grand moments of change from Shakespeare, Mythology, The Bible and Fairy Tales.

 
Laban and Physical Creation of Character
Deborah Robertson and Ted Morin
Using Laban/Bartenieff Studies, with emphasis on the Laban Effort Dynamics Workshop: All acting is physical. As we move we reveal ourselves. In this workshop we will use elements of the work of movement artists Rudolf Laban and Irmgard Bartenieff, primarily the effort dynamics and spatial harmony, to support the transformation of your physicality, its mannerism's and habits, vocal quality, alignment, rhythm, and quality of motion, into  that of your character. Please bring a monologue and a character to explore.
 
Margolis MethodTM
Kari Margolis ( TBA)
The Margolis Method is a dynamic approach to acting that expands the actor's expressive and creative capabilities.  Reflecting over twenty-five years of studio research by award-winning theatre artist Kari Margolis, the Method is inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski, Etienne Decroux and Bertolt Brecht.  Margolis Method centers on the dramatic force and emotion that emanate from the actor's physicality, uniting instinct and creative action.  Actors are trained comprehensively, exploring and strengthening the vital connection between physical and vocal expression.  Workshop includes exercises for strengthening the actor’s physical and vocal instrument as well as improvisation structures for developing playwriting and performance skills.  The universal principles of Margolis Method  are applicable to any theatrical style or aesthetic, ranging from abstract experimental theatre to linear text-based plays.
 
Feldenkrais Method
Lesley-Ann Timlick

This workshop will explore many of the different Awareness Through Movement Lessons developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, founder of the Feldenkrais Method. These lessons will assist the student to create new forms of movement which reduce tension & physical imbalances. The work also promotes a clearer unity of the body & mind which may produce movement that is more articulate, economical, dynamic & varied. In addition, the method may help the student-actor to become more transformational & spontaneous because he/she is no longer bound by a limited image of the self & habitual movement patterns.

Units of Study

  • Self-Image
  • Pelvis
  • Reaching
  • Extension & Bending
  • Walking
  • Breathing & Expanding the Throat
 
Master Class in the Portrait Exercise
Gene Terruso

Students will be guided through the various phases of “the portrait exercise”
Developed and popularized by Bobby Lewis.