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Teacher Tribute Series

We interviewed Richard Crawford, MTS Founder

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MTS On the
Road!

MTS comes to Los Angeles!

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Spring Workshops 2017

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: March 27 - May 1, consecutive Monday evenings from 6:30 - 10pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studios, 250 W 54th St. btw Broadway & 8th Ave., Manhattan
  • Fee: $340 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 3/13. Remainder of fee is due 3/20.)
  • Click here to apply
Theater of Objects New!
Teacher: Geoff Sobelle

Hot off the international success of his hit-show The Object Lesson, Geoff Sobelle teaches a three day workshop exploring the world of the inanimate and its potential drama. From James Thiérrée to Mummenschanz the power of materials and objects through manipulation, animation and the actors interaction has the ability to make powerful and breath-taking images that take an audience on a poetic journey wholly different from that of text based theater. This workshop is for actors who want to create story through image and movement by breathing dramatic life into objects of the everyday. Students will have the chance to surround themselves with a playground of objects and materials in this dynamic three-day workshop with a master teacher and actor of some of the most exciting physical theater of the last 15 years.

Questions posed during this workshop:

  • How does the object 'want' to move? What rhythm and weight does it propose?
  • What is the most playful 'alternative' life of an object vastly different from the one it was designed for? What stories come from this 're-birth?'
  • What is the most fantastical interpretation versus the most realistic an object can propose?
  • How can the manipulation of a chorus of objects/material create space and affect sudden and dramatic changes of space?
  • How is emotion, space and time portrayed through the 'breath' of an object and an actors interaction with it?
  • What are our emotional connections to objects that surround us and how can we work outwards from these responses to playful and dramatic effect.
  • Hours: March 31st, 6:30 - 10pm; April 1st & 2nd, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studios, 250 W 54th St., Manhattan Location changed: 1 Pace Plaza, Manhattan (enter at 3 Spruce St. between Gold St. and Williams St.) and go to Layton Studio
  • Fee: $310 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 3/17. Remainder of fee is due 3/24.)
  • 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: April 7th, 6:30 - 10pm; April 8th & 9th, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studios, 250 W 54th St. btw Broadway & 8th Ave., Manhattan
  • Fee: $290 (A deposit of $100 is required to secure space and is refundable until 3/24. Remainder of fee is due 3/31.)

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: April 21st, 6:30 - 10pm; April 22nd & 23rd, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studios, 250 W 54th St. btw Broadway & 8th Ave., Manhattan
  • Fee: $290 (A deposit of $100 is required to secure space and is refundable until 4/7. Remainder of fee is due 4/14.)

Click here to apply.

Contemporary Puppetry in Practice
Teacher: Tom Lee

A unique two-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: April 28th, 6:30 - 10pm; April 29th & April 30th, 10am - 3pm
  • Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studios, 250 W 54th St. btw Broadway & 8th Ave., Manhattan
  • Fee: $290 + $10 materials fee = Total: $300 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 4/14. Remainder of fee is due 4/21.)
  • Click here to apply

MTS on the Road: L.A. 2017

Lecoq Master Class with Norman Taylor (Los Angeles)
Teacher: Norman Taylor

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.

This three-day Master Class aims to give the actor a physical approach to text. Through an intense study of Lecoq's 20 Movements, students will apply the dynamic of human and natural movement to illuminate scenes from Shakespeare, Chekhov and Edgar Allan Poe. The workshop proposes a playful and rigorous study of the inherent rhythm, shape, speed, weight and dynamic of character driven text via the actor's body.

Specific areas of study will include:

  • Natural Movements: undulation, reverse undulation, eclosion
  • Movement Analysis: articulation, action mimé, effort: pushing/pulling
  • Identification: the dynamic of the four elements

  • Hours: April 21st - 23rd, 10am-5pm. (Please be aware that this is a correction from the originally published dates of 4/27 - 4/29)
  • Location: BPStudio 618 B Moulton Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031. Parking available on-site.
  • Fee: $395 (A $100 deposit is required to secure space. Refundable until 4/14. Remainder of fee is due 4/21.)
  • Click here to apply