Workshops

CIMG5332I’ve taught extensively over the past 14 years.  This has included Visiting Lecturer and Director at Middlesex University and Central School of Speech and Drama.  I’ve directed shows for BAC’s youth theatre and After Hours programme for adults and for Lyric Young Company.  Recently I directed a large scale show based on Nikos Kazantzaki’s Zorba The Greek for Central, with a cast of 48 undergraduates at the legendary Minack Theatre in Cornwall.

Along with running workshops and production based residencies for youth theatres, schools groups and drama schools I’ve been developing workshops with ITC (Independent Theatre Council) around independent theatre practices and reimagining theatre beyond regular theatre spaces and practices.  This includes Introduction to Rural Touring.

For reviews and testimonials check out this page

What I want participants get from the workshops –

•Clarity and purpose around what they do and why they do it

•The ability to ask better questions

•Encouragement, kindness and support to get up and try things on out their feet

•A safe environment to take risks, fall flat on your face and get up and laugh about it

•The opportunity to work with an experienced artist and workshop leader who’s engaged with cutting-edge theatre practice

•Understanding about what resilience and leadership really involves when working in the industry as an independent artist or company

•Personal feedback regardless of size of group/project

•The chance to develop focus, and more precisely articulate their artistic vision

•Inspiration and empowerment through a strength’s-based positive approach

•Fun!

Complicity and Presence

Some actors can just ‘be’ on stage and be so totally watchable. We’ll look at how all actors can find this pleasure to be present in front of (and with) the audience – and why this is important in all sorts of theatre.  Using techniques from my training at Ecole Philippe Gaulier including the keystone Lecoq/Gaulier concept of Le Jeu we’ll explore play, complicity and finding lightness.  Be prepared to laugh, run about, play games and take risks.

No experience necessary but a commitment to openness is a fundamental requirement.

Some contemporaries typically using this work; Told by an Idiot, Complicite, Kneehigh

Ages 12-16, 16-18, Professionally training/trained actors

Collaborative writing and Devising for Story

What happens to the actor and the devising process if the focus is on story? Who is the ‘writer’? Who has the ideas?

Practical and provocative devising for actors, writers and directors, which includes key considerations in managing and editing non-script based process towards production.  Participants should bring source material, stories or hunches they want to explore, but also be prepared to try everything!

Some contemporaries typically using this work; Unlimited, Frantic Assembly, Kneehigh

Ages 12-16, 16-18, Professionally training/trained actors

Clown

Theatre Clown is brilliant training for actors who want to explore their fragility and spontaneity with the audience.  It’s about finding your naivety and enjoying the ridiculous in yourself. We look at status, physical comedy, direct audience contact and timing. It is about being funny and not being funny.  The work is always personal and revealing, often emotional, which is why I only teach it to grown ups.

Some contemporaries typically using this work; Spymonkey, Told by an Idiot, Angela de Castro. For professionally training or trained actors.

Long Form Improvisation

Based on techniques popular in the states and rarely practiced in the UK, I’ll show you how to walk out on stage with nothing but your imagination and create a whole story. We’ll look at narrative, location, character and ensemble. Basic Keith Johnstone impro knowledge is a pre-requisite although we will revisit the basic tenets of ‘Yes and’ which all improvisors share, right from Improbable through to Showstoppers.   The Salvo’s have pioneered their own style of long-form that is not gag-based, commits to only a title from the audience and has no structural safety nets.

Suitable for all apart from young teenagers.

Making it work as an Independent Theatre Company

A practical starting-out workshop for those who’ve thought about starting a company, or about formalising their work as a group of practitioners.  We’ll look at how you refine and articulate your artistic vision and have a go at creating a mission statement or manifesto. We’ll touch on funding, financial management, legal structures, PR and marketing and explore the importance of building a network of stakeholders and partners.  One of the most neglected and vital elements of such set-ups however is leadership; this path isn’t easy and we’ll look at how strengths-based leadership and authentic, assertive and brave communication skills can be the most important things in your toolbox – particularly when trying to create professional working relationships with peers or friends.

Making it work as an Independent Artist

You may or may not have an agent, you will have a portfolio of different kinds of work and you may sometimes feel isolated and vulnerable.  You will however have creative freedom.  We’ll look at the choices available to theatre practitioners today and how you can navigate a path that suits your idiosyncratic voice.  Before the course bring a few ideas about what sort of artist you think you are and there’ll be a chance to practise refining and articulating your vision and goals. We’ll look at drive, resilience and the transformational power of a strong support network.  There’ll be practical advice about organizing your portfolio in a more business-like manner and how to keep growing and learning within your career. We’ll explore how you can put yourself across and build contacts over various platforms including social media…and of course the dreaded concept of n*tworking.

FAQS

How long do the workshops last?

From 3 hours –  to 1 or 2 days for the practical skills

Long-form and the two Independence workshops need at least one day and can be expanded to longer courses

Do we need to provide anything?

No, just a warm, clean, clear space

What should participants wear?

For practical workshops loose comfortable clothing, trainers ideally, no skirts or heels

How many participants?

25 max, for larger bookings I might enlist an assistant or 2nd workshop leader

How to book

Via the contact form on this website

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