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"I can't recommend [Norman Taylor] highly enough, to beginners as well as aficionados."
David Landon, Professor of Theatre Arts, Sewanee: The University of the South
"Norman's extreme talent and rigor in observing the body in motion and translating it to theatre is inspiring. He is a master."
Eva Burgess, Director
"I experienced the pure joy of physical imagination in Norman Taylor's workshop. Never has the intense hard work of physical acting been so much fun and useful at the same time."
Craig Bacon, Actor & Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts, Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film, SUNY Purchase

SUMMER PHYSICAL THEATER INSTITUTE 2017

An exciting month of programs focusing on the creation of original theater and the physical actor.

Four-Week Intensive | One-Week Workshops

 

Four-Week Intensive

MTS continues its summer residencies in conjunction with the Brooklyn College Theater Department at their beautiful Flatbush campus. Focusing on the Actor as Creator, this four week full-time program is based on key elements of the Lecoq pedagogy in approaching the creation of original and physically-told narratives. The four weeks are taught by a world-class faculty and take the student on a voyage built around three areas:

  • The Playful Actor: Using Clown and le jeu to find pleasure on stage in order to be free from physical and psychological doubt.
  • The Physical Actor: Studying the Neutral Mask to gain a greater control over the body in movement, and bringing a dynamic quality to the actor's presence on stage.
  • The Actor/Creator: Creating original theater through an understanding of character, dramatic motor, rhythmic mount and the dynamic of text.

All classes will run alongside each other and during the second half there will be considerable 'studio time' for participants to start to use the tools they have gained in creating an original piece of theater that will be presented to a small invited audience.

Faculty include: Norman Taylor (Lecoq Master Teacher), Richard Crawford (Actor, Broadway's War Horse), Adrienne Kapstein (Associate Movement Director for War Horse), Virginia Scott (Chris Bayes designated Clown Teacher).

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Housing available

US STUDENTS: School credit available

Space is Limited

One-Week Workshops

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
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: June 26th - 30th, 5pm - 9pm
  • Location: Brooklyn College Campus
  • Fee: $380 (A deposit of $100 is required to secure space and is refundable until 6/12. Remainder of fee is due 6/19.)
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: 15% off if deposit received by Feb. 17.

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.

Click here to apply.

Lecoq Master Class with Norman Taylor
Teacher: Norman Taylor

MTS is delighted to announce the participation of the inimitable Norman Taylor in this summer's Physical Theater Institute at Brooklyn College! Norman will be a part of the larger faculty teaching the four-week intensive but we are also staging a one-week Lecoq Master Class. This is an advanced class for those with extensive physical theater experience. Students do not necessarily have to have studied Lecoq before.

Norman Taylor is widely regarded to one of the finest international ambassadors of the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq. As a first generation Master Teacher he taught alongside Lecoq at the famed Parisian school for almost 20 years. He has taught in over 30 countries at some of the world's finest theater conservatories and is currently on the faculty at the Lassaad school in Belgium.

Clown 1
Teacher: Virginia Scott

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.

Clown 2
Teacher: Virginia Scott

This ongoing class is for students who have taken Clown 1 with either Virginia Scott or a Chris Bayes-designated teacher and is designed to take the student towards the creation of their own pieces. We'll start with the little red nose and jump into the comic world together working towards further development of your clown as well as creating material and learning to move from improvisation to rehearsed performance (that won't seem rehearsed!). We'll work individually and in groups to create relationships, families, groups, games, tricks, flops, and shows. At the end of it we'll have a little performance! This workshop will build directly upon the work begun in the introductory clown class and so all students must have completed that workshop with Virginia, Chris or another teacher trained by Chris. Students with different clown experience may apply by interview. 

More Information

For more information, please Contact MTS.