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Fall Workshops 2016

Clown 1
Teacher: Justine Williams

Your clown is unique and specific to you, he is the regretless and enthusiastic expression of your comic nature, and he cannot be crafted but must be discovered! And once he is discovered he will weasel his way into every performance you give, bringing newfound abandon, specificity and playfulness.

In this class we will begin by strengthening the muscles necessary to prepare the performer to discover this clown. Through physically oriented exercises, games and improvisations we will begin to use the whole body in performance and find a unity of psychological and physical intention. We will encourage the impulse to seek the pleasure and playful spirit of performance and find expression on a grand scale. We will learn how to enter the comic world without tricks or text and in complicity with the audience, find hilarity. Ultimately, there will be the creation of something(s) funny and beautiful that serves the clown rather than forcing the clown to serve a formula that we devise with our big and powerful brains.

This workshop will use the pedagogy developed by Christopher Bayes (Head of Physical Acting at Yale School of Drama) from the work begun by Jacques Lecoq in his Paris School. This technique focuses on helping the performer to become more physically alive, grandly expressive and ferociously honest on the stage; qualities they can translate to theatrical performance of all kinds. It is less focused on developing the skills associated with circus clowns.

  • Hours: Monday evenings from 6:30pm-10pm
  • Session A: Sept. 26 - Oct. 31
  • Location: Spaceworks (Williamsburg), 240 Division Ave. Brooklyn
  • Session B: Nov. 7 - Dec. 12
  • Location: Spaceworks, 33-02 Skillman Ave (Enter on 34th Street), Long Island City, Queens (20 minutes from Times Square)
  • Fee: $350 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Session A: Refundable until 9/12. Remainder of fee is due 9/19. Session B: Refundable until 10/24. Remainder of fee is due 10/31.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.

Click here to apply.

Lecoq 101
Teacher: Richard Crawford

This workshop provides an opportunity for physically curious actors to explore the core principles of Jacques Lecoq's pedagogy for the first time. It is an over-arching introduction in a playful, intensive setting and will cover such areas as Neutral Mask, Le Jeu, Gestural Languages, Lecoq's 20 Movements, Identification work and ensemble created theater.

The workshop is led by MTS founder and Co-Director, Richard Crawford who studied under Lecoq in Paris and who has been teaching this approach for 15 years in New York and around the world. Richard strives to create an atmosphere of meaningful abandon and physical precision. He is gifted in teaching to each student's particular needs and will help the training actor identify the areas of future physical theater training he thinks they will benefit from.

This workshop is intended to be a jumping off point for those actors who have identified themselves as physically based performers and who want to know how to nurture this impulse. To this end, MTS will provide 20% off EACH of the next two workshops the participants may decide to take.

  • Hours: Sept. 30, 6:30pm - 10pm; Oct. 1 & 2, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studio, 250 W. 54th St. NYC
  • Fee: $290 (A deposit of $100 is required to secure space and is refundable until 9/16. Remainder of fee is due 9/23.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9.

Click here to apply.

Neutral Mask
Teacher: Richard Crawford

The study of Neutral Mask challenges the actor to use their entire body in expressing themselves on stage. Working with the mask enables the performer to discover essential gesture and an economy of movement as well as create a foundation and reference point for character. Through a series of improvisational and technical exercises the actor confronts their physical habits in order to move past the 'daily' body and enter the theatrical realm. The mask has no opinion but is alive and desires to engage, requiring the actor to undo their knowledge and bring their senses to bear in re-discovering the world around them. The study of the Neutral Mask is vital for actors wanting to gain a greater control over their body in movement, develop their imagination and bring a dynamic quality to their presence on stage.

  • Hours: Oct. 14, 6:30pm - 10pm; Oct. 15 & 16, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studio, 250 W. 54th St. NYC
  • Fee: $290 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 9/30. Remainder of fee is due 10/7.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.

Click here to apply.

Character Mask New!
Teacher: Richard Crawford

A dynamic and playful weekend workshop exploring the fundamentals of mask play and the creation of mask theater. From the nascent and oversized forms of Larval masks to the heightened archetypes of Commedia del'Arte, the theatrical mask has the unique and dynamic ability to portray the human condition in a both profound and accessible way.

This workshop provides an introduction to various character mask forms and the techniques needed to play them. Questions posed over the weekend include:

  • What makes a good mask?
  • How can the actor's body compliment the lines that exist within the mask?
  • What is the speed of mask play and how does it differ from unmasked performance?
  • How do multiple masks play at the same time?
  • How can we draw upon universal archetypes to play and understand a mask?
  • How do you approach the broadness of play that mask often requires while giving the character depth, nuance and specificity?

Types of masks covered: larval, expressive and commedia and utilitarian. This workshop is open to all levels and can serve as both an introduction to mask theater and a comprehensive refresher for the more experienced physical actor. The weekend will culminate in the creation of small 'passages' performed for a small, invited audience.

The aim of the workshop is give the actor the most inspiring experience in the making of masks and the ability to start to create stories using them.

  • Hours: Oct. 28, 6:30pm - 10pm; Oct. 29 & 30, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studio, 250 W. 54th St. NYC
  • Fee: $290 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 10/14. Remainder of fee is due 10/21.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.

Click here to apply.

Director's Track
The Ensemble Director: Creating Original Theater
Teacher: Emmanuelle Delpech

This workshop addresses the role of Director in an ensemble setting. A seeming contradiction, how does a director inspire joint ownership of the generation of new material and at the same time maintain creative autonomy in order to sculpt the final product? We will look at the tools of devising where the traditional boundaries between actor/director director/writer are blurred and where the ensemble enriches the creation of original material, giving rise to a joint vision.

Throughout the workshop students will work in small groups to create original material, alternately wearing the hat of director, writer and actor. We will look at the ideas of theme, structured improvisation, creation and use of space, character, narrative arc and mise en scene.

Questions asked include:

  • How can you best provoke and inspire actors to serve your vision?
  • What exercises will best illuminate the themes you are exploring?
  • What games and approaches can help create trust, playfulness and inspiration within the group?
  • How do you "quiet your brain" while material is being created and surrender momentarily to the actor's instinctive impulse—knowing that your chance to organize and edit will come?
  • How do we create trust and creative equality in the room while still adhering to the guiding role of director?
  • What are the stages of ensemble creation? — Provocation, Development and Organizing
  • Hours: Nov. 11, 6:30pm - 10pm; Nov. 12 & 13, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studio, 250 W. 54th St. NYC
  • Fee: $290 (A deposit of $100 is required to secure space and is refundable until 10/28. Remainder of fee is due 11/4.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.
  • Click here to apply
Contemporary Puppetry in Practice
Teacher: Tom Lee

A unique three-day course in contemporary puppet manipulation with renowned War Horse puppeteer and designer Tom Lee. Using principles of traditional Japanese puppet theater as a starting point, this workshop is for puppeteers and movement based actors to study the art of bringing a figure to life through focus, breath and fixed points of intention.

In addition to Bunraku-style puppetry, participants will have an opportunity to construct a puppet head and experience how the act of sculpting a character informs its movement. Ideal for directors and performers interested in devised work and a collaborative approach to theater making this workshop is primarily for new puppeteers to gain a hands-on launch into the genre—and come away with the start of a puppet!

As part of the workshop, students will:

  • Study the concepts fixed point, effort, weight and intention
  • Explore the basic techniques of 3-person manipulation inspired by the division of labor in traditional Japanese puppet theater: head operator, left hand operator and leg operator
  • Create a full, raw style puppet from paper and, through various études, explore its character
  • Build a puppet head from basic materials and have the opportunity to manipulate that head using a puppet body provided for the workshop
  • Hours: Dec. 2, 6:30pm - 10pm; Dec. 3 & 4, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: Spaceworks, 33-02 Skillman Ave (Enter on 34th Street), Long Island City, Queens (20 minutes from Times Square)
  • Fee: $290 + $10 materials fee = Total: $300 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 11/20. Remainder of fee is due 11/27.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.

Click here to apply.

Director's Track
Melodrama - The Emotion of Story
Teacher: Emmanuelle Delpech

This workshop is for directors who want to gain a larger arsenal of storytelling techniques through the study of melodrama in a devised theater setting.

In opposition to the verticality of tragedy where the fate of humanity lies in the hands of the gods, melodrama moves on the horizontal plane, often between family members who suffer under the indignation of societal or familial injustice. Told with the bold use of archetype and, importantly, music, melodrama swells to tell the most heart-breaking of stories in the most sensational way.

How do we tell stories that make people cry in a world saturated with violent images? What is sad today? What enrages us to the point of making us bawl and feel devastated by someone's story? Where is the injustice? Who is the innocent that pays for everybody else?

Specific areas of study will include:

  • Mimodynamic: using the actor's body to create space, emotion and atmosphere
  • Music: the integration of live music and sound effects with action and space in furthering the emotional build of narratives
  • Emotion and Storytelling: embracing the theatrically sentimental and finding appropriate styles to convey them
  • Archetype: developing emotionally truthful, physically embodied characters
  • Narrator: working with different styles of direct address in search of the right balance of narration, music, space and characters to tell the most efficient and provocative story
  • Space: searching for an essential language of design that helps us create poetic theater rather than purely realistic

Each participant plays both director and actor throughout the class creating a dynamic environment of playfulness and discovery. The aim of the class is to give generative theater directors tangible tools they can use in their artistic life.

  • Hours: Dec. 9th, 7pm-10pm; Dec. 10 & 11, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: Spaceworks, 33-02 Skillman Ave (Enter on 34th Street), Long Island City, Queens (20 minutes from Times Square)
  • Fee: $290 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 11/18. Remainder of fee is due 11/25.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.
  • Click here to apply

Los Angeles

Neutral Mask
Teacher: Richard Crawford

The study of Neutral Mask challenges the actor to use their entire body in expressing themselves on stage. Working with the mask enables the performer to discover essential gesture and an economy of movement as well as create a foundation and reference point for character. Through a series of improvisational and technical exercises the actor confronts their physical habits in order to move past the 'daily' body and enter the theatrical realm. The mask has no opinion but is alive and desires to engage, requiring the actor to undo their knowledge and bring their senses to bear in re-discovering the world around them. The study of the Neutral Mask is vital for actors wanting to gain a greater control over their body in movement, develop their imagination and bring a dynamic quality to their presence on stage.

  • Hours: Nov. 11 - 13, 11am - 3:30pm
  • Location: BPStudios, 618 B Moulton Ave LA Ca 90031. Parking on-site.
  • Fee: $250 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 10/28. Remainder of fee is due 11/4.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off available through Sept. 9th
  • Click here to apply.
Lecoq 101
Teacher: Richard Crawford

This workshop provides an opportunity for physically curious actors to explore the core principles of Jacques Lecoq's pedagogy for the first time. It is an over-arching introduction in a playful, intensive setting and will cover such areas as Neutral Mask, Le Jeu, Gestural Languages, Lecoq's 20 Movements, Identification work and ensemble created theater.

The workshop is led by MTS founder and Co-Director, Richard Crawford who studied under Lecoq in Paris and who has been teaching this approach for 15 years in New York and around the world. Richard strives to create an atmosphere of meaningful abandon and physical precision. He is gifted in teaching to each student's particular needs and will help the training actor identify the areas of future physical theater training he thinks they will benefit from.

This workshop is intended to be a jumping off point for those actors who have identified themselves as physically based performers and who want to know how to nurture this impulse. To this end, MTS will provide 20% off EACH of the next two workshops the participants may decide to take.

  • Hours: Nov. 11 - 13, 4:30pm - 9pm
  • Location: BPStudios, 618 B Moulton Ave LA Ca 90031. Parking on-site.
  • Fee: $250 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 10/28. Remainder of fee is due 11/4.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off available through Sept. 9th
  • Click here to apply.

Click here to apply.

Chicago

Lecoq Master Class with Norman Taylor
Teacher: Norman Taylor
In Collaboration with Physical Festival Chicago

Beginning with the premise that everything moves, this workshop is an exploration into the inherently physical nature of theater and the dramatic potential of the world around us. It will explore three fundamental components of Jacques Lecoq's approach to artistic training: the analysis of movement, physical storytelling, and the actor-as-creator. By drawing upon the inspiration of music, painting and poetry, the actor will explore styles of storytelling that include spoken word, pantomime blanche, the language of gesture and sound. Working from short stories by Chekhov and Poe, the workshop will culminate in the collective creation of original physical theater pieces.

This workshop offers the actor a unique opportunity to develop a heightened sense of their body in performance with one of the world's greatest teachers of Physical Theater.

Norman Taylor is widely regarded as one of the finest international ambassadors of the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq. He taught alongside Lecoq at the famed Parisian school for almost 20 years and has taught exclusively with MTS for the last 8. Norman has given Master Classes in over 30 countries at some of the world's most prestigious theater conservatories and is currently on the faculty at the Lassaad school in Belgium.

Participants do not need to have studied Lecoq technique but do need to have a working familiarity with one or more theatrical movement techniques.

  • Hours: Oct. 14 - 16; 10am - 5pm
  • Location: TBA
  • Fee: $275 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 9/30. Remainder of fee is also due 10/7.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.
  • Click here to apply
Contemporary Puppetry in Practice
Teacher: Tom Lee

A unique three-day course in contemporary puppet manipulation with renowned War Horse puppeteer and designer Tom Lee. Using principles of traditional Japanese puppet theater as a starting point, this workshop is for puppeteers and movement based actors to study the art of bringing a figure to life through focus, breath and fixed points of intention.

In addition to Bunraku-style puppetry, participants will have an opportunity to construct a puppet head and experience how the act of sculpting a character informs its movement. Ideal for directors and performers interested in devised work and a collaborative approach to theater making this workshop is primarily for new puppeteers to gain a hands-on launch into the genre—and come away with the start of a puppet!

As part of the workshop, students will:

  • Study the concepts fixed point, effort, weight and intention
  • Explore the basic techniques of 3-person manipulation inspired by the division of labor in traditional Japanese puppet theater: head operator, left hand operator and leg operator
  • Create a full, raw style puppet from paper and, through various études, explore its character
  • Build a puppet head from basic materials and have the opportunity to manipulate that head using a puppet body provided for the workshop
  • Hours: TBA
  • Location: TBA
  • Fee: $225 + $10 materials fee = Total: $300 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Sept. 9th.

Click here to apply.