Necessary theatre – Complicite

By Monday, December 12, 2016 No tags 0

When you start to make a piece of theatre do you ask yourself why you are doing this? What is the point of it? What do you really want to say? What needs to be said? Why? Why now? And….have I got my facts right? These are questions that are addressed by Complicite when they start their devising process, another area that Simon Mc Burney brings up, in his interview at the Barbican, is exploring the things we don't understand. He ...

Working with Laban technique

Recently I have been working in schools in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, and one thing I did with the students was explore ways into theatre creation and character work using some Laban technique. This blog will outline some of the ways in to using movement as a starting point for creating work, and will also provide readers with some movement vocabulary they can use with other people they are working with. Stage 1 - Understanding your own space When working ...

A gallery of images

This week I have been working with IB Theatre students in Stratford at TaPS (Theatre and Performance Symposium) for ISTA (The International Schools Theatre Association). I had a group of 23 students that were a huge range of nationalities, ability and knowledge. As a result the work I do with them aims to equip them with skills that they can immediately apply in the ensemble session, and take back to use in their own work at school. During the three day ...

How do you see the world… and then how do you collaborate?

By Friday, September 23, 2016 No tags 0

This month I have been in Dharamsala in the Himalayas of India, staying in Bhagsu, a little village just a stone’s throw from the Dalai Lama’s monastery and temple (he is here on Monday, so I am going to hear him speak). I have been here intensively studying to be a yoga teacher, and today I taught my first lesson of Vinyasa flow yoga for my exam. What has yoga got to do with theatre, or collaboration? I hear you ...

Collaboration and the Learner Profile

This month in the student blogs I wrote about my current exposure to yoga Philosophy, as I have been in Dharamsala in the Himalayas of India, staying in Bhagsu, a little village just a stone’s throw from the Dalai Lama’s temple. I have just qualified as a yoga teacher and part of Patanjali’s yoga principals seemed very relevant to devising work in theatre. One of the eight essential elements of yoga practice are the YAMAS. These are the first limb ...

Using a place as a starting point

The other day I went to see the wonderful devising company HIGHLY SPRUNG working with young people. They had been running what is called a Physical Theatre fellowship, where students worked from 2 days to 2 months on devising original theatre from a starting point. The piece that grabbed me the most, for its ingenuity, was the piece based on the place that the students were from. That place is Coventry. You may not have heard of Coventry, in the centre of ...

Research Presentation Tips for teachers

When trying to decide what to put in this blog I thought that the best thing would be some tips for Research Presentations (RPs). I am the Principal examiner for this, so have watched over 100 of these to decide how to best reward the students for the marks and also help examiners understand the assessment criteria. How well do you know the requirements of the Research Presentation? Look at the questions below and see if you can answer them. The ...

How to spark ideas in devising

The other day I was working with a group of adults, where we were all starting to devise from a starting point. They ways in we used could be used by anyone that is starting to create original theatre, or is working using a collaborative approach. This blog will share ideas from our own starting point and also some ideas about how to share our own reactions to the starting point. Our starting point was THE DRAGON, and below are some ...

Ways into Topeng

By Wednesday, February 17, 2016 , , , 0

Last weekend I was running a Category 3 TaPS workshop in Dubai, where we were looking at Theatre of the Unfamiliar. I was training the teachers in Kathakali, but we also had a visiting expert in Balinese theatre forms (Rucina Ballinger) run 3 different master classes with us. One master class focused on Topeng masked dance drama from Java. If you want to read more about the form itself, then see the students blog on Topeng, and the resources list ...

Devising and ensemble ideas

Last week I was working in Istanbul as an Artist in Residence, and ran two workshops with teachers on how to use Drama in the classroom to teach English, but also to develop skills and create performance. With the students, I had worked on Laban technique and devising skills based on Viewpoints and devising companies such as Frantic Assembly and Teatro dos Menestreis (a physical theatre company I used to be part of in Sao Paulo, Brazil). Below are some ...