Now available: Volume 8.2 – Training the Popular Performer

We are delighted to announce that the latest special issue for TDPT has just been published online: Training the Popular Performer.

TDPT 8.2 offers a fantastic line up of essays curated by Adam Ainsworth, Oliver Double & Louise Peacock, with Training Grounds materials edited by Kate Craddock.

You can read the editorial here for free and find the whole issue online here.

We hope you like it!

Call for Sources: Embodied archives – capturing the work of our teachers and our teacher’s teachers

Further to the very successful Practice, Reflect and Share day at Rose Bruford, TDPT would like to offer a bespoke call for practitioner-researchers interested in capturing the work of significant practitioners and teachers who have had a demonstrable influence both personally and in the training sector. The urgency to record some of this work we think might profitably be met by considering the section we call Sources in the TDPT journal:

In its Sources section TDPT provides an outlet for the documentation and analysis of primary materials of performer training, whilst the Articles section allows for discursive contributions in a range of critical and creative formats, including visual essays.

Sources are normally between 5500 and 6500 words and are treated in the same way as discursive article with full peer view by two experts. Our full submission directions are here:

http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rtdp (click on the ‘submit an article’):

Submissions are through our peer review portal, Scholar 1:

http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rtdp

You may also of course want to consider publishing to this blog space for the journal  – either in association with a Source or separately. We also offer a platform for video materials on this blog if you have appropriate materials:

http://theatredanceperformancetraining.org

Help and support in the development of these papers is available and we are keen to offer a mentoring service for those new to academic publishing. For further details please contact David Shirley (D.G.Shirley@mmu.ac.uk) or speak to any of us below.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Jonathan Pitches, Libby Worth, David Shirley  and Paul Allain

 

New Publication and Book Launch: Stanislavsky in the World

I am delighted to announce that, after five years of work,  Stanislavsky in the World: The System and its Transformation across Continents, has just been published, co-edited with Dr Stefan Aquilina of the University of Malta.

 

More information can be found by following this link: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/stanislavsky-in-the-world-9781472587886

The book maps the movement of Stanislavsky’s system across five continents, revealing undiscovered paths of transmission and examining wider questions of embodied history and tradition building. To make its point, it focuses on practices beyond Russia and the US – for too long accepted blindly as the two most-developed seats of Stanislavskian practice – and introduces readers and practitioners to new routes in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and South (Latin) America. We were joined by an internationally broad network of 18 scholars and practitioners to take on some knotty and current questions – of transformation, translation, appropriation and resistance. The book will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to Stanislavsky studies but recent research on theatre and interculturalism, globalisation, and postcolonialism will also be boosted by these findings.

 

Contributions include:

  • Marie-ChristineAutant-Mathieu’s discussion of selected affinities between Stanislavsky and the French Theatre Tradition;
  • Franco Ruffini’s detailed account of the 1960 court case in Bari that questioned the reach of Elizabeth Reynolds’ copyright claims on Stanislavsky’s books;
  • Stefan Aquilina’s exposition of how the System was processed in the amateur theatre context of Malta;
  • Ina Pukelytė’s discussion on a heavily institutionalised reading of Stanislavsky in Lithuania;
  • Maria Gaitanidi’s elaboration of Stanislavsky’s impact on both modern theatre and contemporary actor training in Greece;
  • Siyuan Liu’s analysis of Stanislavsky’s impact on a Chinese School of Performance and Directing;
  • Raúl Serrano’s teacher-perspective on current Stanislavskian teaching at the Escuela de Teatro de Buenos Aires inArgentina;
  • Kene Igweonu’s exposition on Stanislavsky’s interaction with the Nigerian cultural environment as a series of convergences and counterpoints;
  • Hilary Halba’s account on the System experienced through the Maori World in New Zealand;
  • Syed Jamil Ahmed’s articulation of the System as postcolonial appropriation and assimilation in Bangladesh.

The book’s official launch will be held as follows:

Date:                5th June 2017

Time:               17:00

Venue:             Alec Clegg Studio, stage@leeds building, University of Leeds

For more information please contact us on j.pitches@leeds.ac.uk or stefan.aquilina@um.edu.mt

 

Edward Braun Obituary

Remembering Edward Braun

(1936-2017)

Terence Mann

Whilst at Drama School in 1994, during rehearsals for Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide, I read Meyerhold on Theatre. At that point in time I had never heard of Vsevelod Meyerhold or Theatrical Biomechanics but that book was to be the start of a fascination with Russian Theatre, Meyerhold and in particular his actor training system Biomechanics, which has continued to this day. Little did I know back then, that some 20 years later I would be delivering a workshop and a paper on Meyerhold’s Biomechanics at Hull University in the presence of the book’s author Edward Braun.

I was a little nervous when I heard that Edward Braun would be there. After the presentation I was introduced to Edward (Ted) and much to my relief, he had some very kind things to say about the workshop. He talked about the time he spent in Russia in the 1960’s and how he had met Meyerhold’s daughter. Some weeks later we were hosting a series of workshops at the University of Central Lancashire with the world’s leading exponent in Theatrical Biomechanics, Gennady Bogdanov. I asked Ted if he would like to meet Gennady and he accepted the invitation.

Ted sat for several hours totally absorbed in the work. As he watched, I was acutely aware it was highly likely that he had seen Meyerhold’s daughter perform the same exercises some forty years earlier. We spent the evening in an Italian restaurant talking about Russia, Communism, Meyerhold, Biomechanics and….life. So, for a brief moment in our lives serendipity had brought us together; Gennady my teacher, his interpreter Svetlana, Edward Braun and I. I felt very privileged and quite humbled just being there. As the evening drew to a close and we walked Ted back to his hotel, I was struck by the fact that, had it not been for him, the four of us would never have met and I for one would certainly not be doing what I do today.

On hearing the sad news that Ted had died, I recalled the time I had spent in his company in 2015. He was extremely generous, courteous, erudite, enthusiastic, warm, and witty.

Listening to Jonathan Pitches last interview with Ted, as he talked about Biomechanics, I was quite surprised and rather moved to hear Ted talk about “being in Preston with Terence and Gennady.” It was as if he had known us for years and in a way, via Mr. Meyerhold……. I suppose he had. Although I only met Ted briefly; I will always remember him. RIP Ted.

 

Terence Mann (Chapman) is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for BA Acting at UCLAN.  He has worked with some of the most innovative theatre companies and directors in Europe and is regarded as one of the country’s leading practitioners in Meyerhold’s Theatrical Biomechanics.

Call for Contributions for Special Issue: Digital Training

Please find all the details of this exciting call for TDPT Vol 10.2 (2019) as a PDF in the link below

Digital Training cfp

Guest coedited by Professor Paul Allain (University of Kent), Stacie Lee Bennett (University of Kent and freelance film-maker) and Professor Frank Camilleri (University of Malta) with blog and Training Grounds editor James McLaughlin.

To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue please contact Paul Allain for an initial exchange of ideas/thoughts or email an abstract or proposal (max 300 words) to Paul Allain: paa@kent.ac.uk. Questions about purely digital propositions can be sent to Stacie Lee Bennett: slb73@kent.ac.uk. Ideas for the blog and/or Training Grounds can be sent to James McLaughlin: jimmyacademy@gmail.com.  Firm proposals across all areas must be received by Paul Allain by 30 November 2017 at the latest.

Interview with Edward Braun

Below is a transcription and the audio files of the interview I conducted with Edward Braun in March 2015 at his home, as the new edition of the enormously influential Meyerhold on Theatre was being prepared.  Ted died a few days ago and this is posted with his wife Sarah’s blessing, to celebrate his brilliance as an academic and his generosity as a human being.

Below is the pdf of the transcribed interview and the audio files. Please share this widely and feel free to use any of the material if it is of use to your research.

Ted_Braun_Edited_Interview_4-3-15 corrected

 

Part 1: How was Meyerhold on Theatre conceived and put together?

 

Part 2: What binds the writings of Meyerhold on Theatre together?

 

Part 3: What are  Edward Braun’s favourite, or most significant, sections?

 

Thanks for listening

Jonathan Pitches

 

Feedback requested for new online digital performer training resource

A pilot has been launched by Profs Paul Allain and Frank Camilleri which promises to be a rich resource of training with a nice balance of student, teacher, trainee voices. To feedback on its development go to:

https://thedigitalperformer.co.uk/2016/10/04/test/

Their full message is below:

Our Leverhulme-funded project for Methuen Drama Bloomsbury is well underway. We are now seeking your input ahead of our second stage of filming in early January.
Please go to this website https://thedigitalperformer.co.uk and click on the Physical Actor Training section to view our films and provide your responses. All feedback will be anonymous. Do please share this as widely as possible.
The digitalperformer website will be developed further over the course of 2017 to house our research material and encourage dialogue.
Many thanks in advance for your contribution, which will make a vital difference to our resource.
Best wishes,
the A-Z team
Paul Allain, Stacie Lee Bennett, Frank Camilleri, Peter Hulton

 

 

Register for the TDPT Symposium: On Showing and Writing Training

 

 

Please join us for an afternoon of discussions and ideas to celebrate the launch of a special issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training ‘On Showing and Writing Training’.

  • What is the difference between what you do and how you talk about what you do?
  • What remains unsaid? What remains undone? What gets undone?
  • What is impossible to explain?
  • Who do you think you’re talking to?

The issue brings together writing, improvisation, experimentation and images to explore how performance is made, represented and reproduced through training. In doing so, it addresses wider questions about pedagogy, the live and the remembered in relation to the practices of art.

This symposium will feature an artist’s response from the performer Karen Christopher, as well as talks and provocations from contributors Katrina Brown, Paola Crespi, Franc Chamberlain, Emma Cocker, Ysabel Clare, Joa Hug, Ben Spatz and John Hall.

‘On Showing and Writing Training’ was edited by Dick McCaw and guest-editor Mary Paterson.

 

Wednesday 30th November, 2 to 5 pm

Room 261

University of London, Senate House,
 Malet Street
, London, 
WC1E 7HU

Directions:  http://www.london.ac.uk/map.html

Tickets are free. Reserve them via  ShowingWritingTraining.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Any queries please contact: Libby.Worth@rhul.ac.uk

 

Issue 7.3: Training and Interculturalism is now available

The editors of TDPT and of this special issue on intercultural training (7.3) are delighted to announce that it is now available online. Check it out here:

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rtdp20/current

If you don’t have institutional access the articles by Electa Behrens and Tara McAlister-Viel will be free-to-access very soon. In the meantime, the editorial by Phillip Zarrilli, T Sasitharan and Anuradha Kapur and the Training Grounds editorial by Royona Mitra are free-to-access permanently.

Please do let us know what you think.

Stanislavsky symposium – booking and call for papers

Dear Colleagues,
A brief update on information about The S Word event in Prague (24th to 26th March 2017).
The deadline for receiving proposals for papers, practical sessions or panels is 30th November 2016.
Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words.
Papers should be of a maximum 20 minutes, practical sessions 45 minutes, and panels with a minimum of 3 presenters, 60 minutes.
Proposals should be sent to me at this address (paul.fryer@bruford.ac.uk).
Online booking is available now.
There is an early-bird booking rate of £140 (representing a 30% reduction on the full rate) available up to 2nd January.
Please visit:

http://store.bruford.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&deptid=10&catid=115&prodvarid=229

Information on accommodation will be available at the end of November.
I shall look forward to seeing some of you in Prague.
Regards,
Paul.

Professor Paul Fryer FRSA, FHEA.

Associate Director of Research

Head of The Stanislavski Centre

Research Degrees Coordinator

Editor in Chief, Stanislavski Studies (Routledge/Taylor & Francis)

Futures (and pasts) of Performer Training: by Murray, Evans and Pitches

Anyone attending the Future of Performer Training conference at Coventry on November 4th and 5th 2016, might want to take a look at this joint paper by Simon Murray, Mark Evans and Jonathan Pitches.

And if you’re not coming, then we’d love some feedback. It’s a layered vision, imagining the pasts and possible futures of performer training.

Download it here: theatre_training_beyond_theatre_ideas_ch

 

Michael Chekhov Survey on behalf of MICHA

Please consider filing in this survey, designed to track the impact of Michael Chekhov and Chekhov training.
When MICHA formed in 1999 there were comparatively few places to practically engage the Chekhov technique. As our Association approaches our 20th anniversary we decided we want to understand more about how and where the work is adapting and thriving around the world. Toward this end we have created the ‘Michael Chekhov Survey’; and I am writing to invite you, as one of the leaders in the Chekhov community, to share the link to our survey with your community.
We will be gathering responses to our survey through October 31 and hope you can help us to reach out to all the corners of the Chekhov world. While some of the questions in the survey relate to MICHA directly, many do not and the individuals taking the survey can choose to answer only the questions that are relevant to their experiences. We hope to hear from performers, teachers, directors, scholars, art activists, art therapists and any others who are engaging the Michael Chekhov work in meaningful ways.

Thanks to those of you who have already answered the survey personally – and if you haven’t yet completed the survey, please do!
Here is the link to forward to your community so that they can connect with the survey:  https://www.cvent.com/d/yfqh6p
We look forward to sharing the outcome of the survey with the Chekhov community in the coming year.
Sincerely,
Jessica & Joanna
—-
Jessica Cerullo
MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, Managing Director

 

Joanna Merlin
MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, President

Call for Papers: TDPT Special Issue: Training for Immersive, Interactive and Participatory Performance

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT)

Special issue entitled Training for Immersive, Interactive and Participatory Performance to be published July 2018

Call for contributions, ideas, proposals and dialogue with the editor

Guest editor: Dr Campbell Edinborough, University of Hull (a.edinborough@hull.ac.uk)

Background and context

This will be the eighth Special Issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) following issues on sport, Michael Chekhov, politics, Feldenkrais, writing training, interculturalism and popular theatre. TDPT is an international journal devoted to all aspects of ‘training’ (broadly defined) within the performing arts. The journal was founded in 2010 and launched its own blog in 2015. Our target readership is both academic and the many varieties of professional performers, makers, choreographers, directors, dramaturgs and composers working in theatre, dance and live art who have an interest in and curiosity for reflecting on their practices and their training. TDPT’s co-editors are Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Training for Immersive, Interactive and Participatory Performance

The twenty-first century has seen a significant growth in the popularity of theatre forms that invite audiences to interact and participate with performers – often in unconventional performance contexts.  This diversification within the landscape of contemporary performance has been accompanied by a blurring of traditional boundaries between theatre, cabaret, live art, installation and dance. This special issue of TDPT will question the impact of immersive, interactive and participatory forms of performance on training.

The special issue will:

  • analyse innovations in the field of performance training with reference to the growing need for performers to work in immersive, interactive and participatory contexts.
  • question how (and whether) historical training methods might be used and adapted within one-to-one performance, immersive theatre and participatory contexts.
  • explore the value of ‘cross-training’ in different performance modalities.
  • question whether existing training programmes should be developed to meet the evolving needs of contemporary performance culture.

Expressions of interest

We are particularly interested in (but are not limited to) submissions in the following areas:

  • Articles that analyse and contextualise approaches to training developed by companies and practitioners working in immersive, interactive and participatory contexts.
  • Articles that question how audience participation and interactivity reframe the performer’s role and, therefore, the training s/he requires.
  • Analyses of existing and historical models of performance training in the light of the performer’s need to function in participatory/interactive/immersive contexts.
  • Articles that reflect on how the creative and critical dialogue surrounding participatory aesthetics (seen in the critical writings of Rancière, Bourriaud, Bishop, White etc.) have led (or might lead) to new ways of thinking about performer training.
  • Articles that explore training for one-to-one performance.
  • Articles that explore training for improvisation in participatory/interactive/immersive theatre.
  • Reflections on acquiring training/skills during the development of participatory/interactive/immersive performance.
  • Analyses of primary source documents related to training in participatory, immersive and interactive contexts: manifestos, training regimes, archival gems, appropriately contextualised and analysed.
  • Essays which use photos and video materials to examine participatory/ interactive/immersive theatre training, in tandem with the TDPT blog.

We welcome submissions from authors both inside and outside academic institutions and from those who are currently undergoing training or who have experiences to tell from their training histories. To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue in any one of the ways identified above please email an abstract (max 250 words) to Campbell Edinborough at: a.edinborough@hull.ac.uk  

Our first deadline for these is 30th November 2016.

Training Grounds: we will also be seeking contributions for the Training Grounds section of this special issue edited by this Special Issue’s Training Grounds editor, Thomas Wilson. Within TDPT, Training Grounds represents a playful space for shorter and perhaps more provocative and rhetorical contributions. Thus in our generic issues we have postcards (Training and …), responses to an ‘answer the question’, essais and reviews of events, workshops, conferences as well as books. Our Training Grounds section in special issues does not always follow this model so please contact Thomas Wilson (thomas.wilson@bruford.ac.uk) and Campbell Edinborough if you have ideas and suggestions.

Approximate timelines for this issue

Mid-September 2016: Call for papers published

30th November 2016: abstracts and proposals sent to Campbell Edinborough

February 2017: Response from editor and, if successful, invitation to submit contribution

March to mid September 2017: writing/preparation period for writers, artists etc.

Mid Sept to end October: peer review period

November 2017 – end January 2018: author revisions post peer review

End March 2018: All main articles into production with Routledge

Mid April 2018: Training Grounds articles into production

April- June 2018: typesetting, proofing, revises, editorial etc.

July 2018: publication as Issue 9.2.

We look forward to hearing from you.

2nd ‘S word’ symposium: Merging Methodologies: Call for papers

The S Word: Merging Methodologies

Co-conveners: Prof Paul Fryer (Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance),
and Jakub Korčák (DAMU).
Creative Adviser: Prof Bella Merlin (University of California Riverside).

at DAMU Theatre Academy, Prague – 24th, 25th and 26th March, 2017

Keynote speakers – Professor Anatoly Smeliansky (Moscow Art Theatre School), Professor Jan Burian (General Director, Czech National Theatre).

Following on from our first international symposium (The S Word: Stanislavski and the Future of Acting) we are very pleased to announce the first Call for Papers/Presentations for the second major event which will take place in Prague, Czech Republic in March 2017.

Merging Methodologies invites you to explore how Stanislavski’s work and teaching has been adopted, adapted, developed and re-invented since his death in 1938.
How did Stanislavski’s disciples use his approach to theatre, and how did they make it their own; how has this approach been translated into other methods and how much have we lost in translation; who carries the torch for Stanislavski today and why; how do other (newer) methodologies compare and how much do they owe to what has gone before?

We invite written proposals for contributions in the following formats:
individual papers (20 minutes’ duration), practical/workshop sessions (45 minutes’ duration) and panel presentations (60 minutes’ duration).

In the first instance please send a short written proposal (no more than 300 words) to Prof. Paul Fryer: paul.fryer@bruford.ac.uk

Registration for this event is now available online, please visit:

http://store.bruford.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&deptid=10&catid=115&prodvarid=229

There is an early-bird booking rate (saving 30% on the Full fee) available until 1st December.

Michael Chekhov New Pathways Event – 9th-11th September

Details are below of an event in September looking at wider applications of the Chekhov technique.

Contact Tom Cornford or Cass Fleming directly for more information

NEW PATHWAYS LEAFLET

In search of an Editorial Assistant (or two)

Call for Editorial Assistant (s)

Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT), Routledge

 The editorial team of the international journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training is seeking to recruit at least one Editorial Assistant to work closely with our two Editors, Professor Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Dr Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London) on this very successful journal, published by Routledge. Now in its seventh year, the journal runs to 3 issues annually and attracts contributions from scholars and practitioners across the globe.

Working on TDPT will offer you unique insights into academic publication and provide you with opportunities to develop your own networks with scholars and practitioners, as well as to contribute to discussions about the content and continued development of the journal. It will offer you good grounding for editorial projects you might want to take on in the future and help demystify the process of journal publication.

You should be:

  • A UK-based PGR student or Early Career researcher working in a relevant discipline.
  • Interested in contemporary debates concerning training and performance and committed to the principles of ethical research
  • Highly organised, efficient with excellent communication skills

Editorial Assistants’ responsibilities include:

  • Acting as an advocate for the journal at conferences and symposia
  • Liaising with Editors to provide regular updates on the status and content of submitted manuscripts, forthcoming articles and enquiries from authors
  • Liaising with authors during the publication process and directing enquiries to Editors as necessary
  • Managing the submission of manuscripts through the web-based peer review tool ScholarOne and helping to source peer reviewers.
  • Compiling the Notes on Contributors section for publication in each Volume issue
  • Assisting with the organisation and administration of the Assistant Editors’ AGM and annual Training Grounds team meetings
  • Attending and recording the Associate Editors’ AGM and annual Training Grounds team meetings and disseminating these amongst participants and the Editorial Board
  • Maintaining accurate records of contact details for Associate Editors and the Editorial Board members
  • Liaising with publishing staff at Routledge Taylor and Francis as required

Candidates with appropriate skills and interests may also offer assistance to the journal’s blog team led by Dr Laura Bissell (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

The post is unpaid but all travel and expenses will be paid.

To apply please send a one-page statement of your relevant skills, interests and aspirations for the journal with an accompanying CV to tdptassistant@gmail.com.

For more information and an informal discussion please contact: Professor Jonathan Pitches j.pitches@leeds.ac.uk and/or Dr Libby Worth libby.Worth@rhul.ac.uk

Deadline is 8th September 2016.

Stanislavsky Symposium on Translation in July

The Stanislavski Centre and The University of California Riverside
in collaboration with The University of Westminster present

The S Word: Translating the Art/The Art of Translation

Wednesday 13th July, 10.00 to 16.00
@ Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA.

Guest speakers:
Geraldine Brodie (University College London) is a Lecturer in Translation Theory and Theatre Translation at University College London.
Mark Stevenson (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), actor, director and teacher.
Noah Birksted-Breen (Sputnik Theatre) is Artistic Director of Sputnik the only British theatre company dedicated to staging contemporary Russian plays for British audiences.
Alexa Alfer (University of Westminster) is Senior Lecturer in Translation at the University of Westminster, where she is Course leader for the MA in Specialised Translation, MA Translation and Interpreting, and MRes Translating Cultures.
Anna Shulgat is a theatre scholar and translator, and Research Associate at The Stanislavski Centre.

Morning session: presentations from three guest speakers who each have a different perspective on the task of translation. They will share their experiences and take questions on their work.
Afternoon session: an open forum/debate will address the many issues that face both the translators and those who use their translations: how has the role of translator changed in the digital age? Translator or co-author? How do we maintain the author’s original voice? Should the translator act as a kind of editor/censor when dealing with sensitive material?

Places for this event are limited: £30 (full), £25 (concessions – student, unwaged, retired), which includes tea, coffee and a sandwich lunch.

on-line booking is now available at:

http://www.pushkinhouse.org/events/2016/7/13/the-stanislavski-centre-and-university-of-california-riverside-the-s-word-translating-the-artthe-art-of-translation

For further details, please contact Prof. Paul Fryer (paul.fryer@bruford.ac.uk)

A digest of the TaPRA PT interim event: Training to Give Evidence

Hi Everyone!

Here’s my (inevitably flawed and holey) summary of the fascinating day dedicated to training in verbatim practices, hosted by Kate Craddock as part of a TaPRA Performer Training interim event at Northumbria. Any confusions are all my own.

First Provocation from Tom Cantrell

Where does imitating end and performing begin? “Imitating is a less noble art than acting” But nevertheless close observation and mimicry is part of the craft of verbatim work and of faction. What terminology do we need to capture this strand of the work? And how do we manage the bias towards emotional, empathic acting (from Stanislavsky). What is our ‘craft terminology’ Cantrell asks?

Second Provocation from Lexi Strauss

Developing a growing discomfort about some of the ethical approaches in verbatim work. So how to use the same techniques in paint and fine art? A life time body of work might be the closest to a definitive self portrait? What’s the problem with recorded delivery verbatim then? Perhaps because the original ‘darkness’ of the material might not translate and might be reinterpreted by an audience. Perhaps because its claim to objectivity is specious. Lexi only interviews people with whom she has ‘a specific connection’.  The result is a hybrid of the subject and the interviewer/artist.  How would you describe your verbatim practice, Lexi asks, is it closer to the journalistic or the immersive – or something entirely different?  Either way it needs to acknowledge its hybridity.

Third Provocation from Richard Gregory

How to show our hands? Questions from the work of  Quarantine:

No such thing   Buying people a free lunch in exchange for a conversation. (No documentation of any part of the conversation, no evaluation, no  public airing). Monthly themes: on hope, on risk, on utopia, on what’s new. The work retains the ‘considered rigour’ of the more formal work of the company but invisibly.  Dramaturgy based on Starters, Mains, Afters, Today’s special.

Wallflower: Can you remember all the dances you’ve ever danced? How do you develop the facility to be responsible for the dramaturgy and the whole mise-en-scene? All that is possible is to set ‘a delicate architecture’ and be alert to what the possibilities are. One of the biggest questions about training and preparation is ‘How do we know how we are being seen’ [by an audience]?

Summer, Autumn Winter, Spring: 7 hours, (Part 1 – Summer – 40 people on stage from across the age range, without experience, responding to questions and a projected score). As the questions are unseen how do you rehearse the performers?  Feed them, make them familiar with the idea of responding to a structure – training for ‘becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable’ Continue reading

New Edition of Meyerhold Classic out in Bloomsbury now

Link

Click here to see the details of the 4th edition of Meyerhold on Theatre, edited by Edward Braun and with a new Introduction by TDPT editor,  Jonathan Pitches.

 

The S word symposium on Stanislavsky – new booking details confirmed

Link

The S Word: Stanislavski and the Future of Acting – online booking now available!

We must embrace the digital: Massive Open Online Courses as performer training tools.

I’d like with my first ever blog entry to offer a challenge to the field of performer training. Let’s face it the current state of secondary drama education is in crisis. Much quoted figures include a drop of 23% in GCSE numbers in Drama from 2003-13, an 8% drop in Drama teachers in schools since 2010 and a 23% drop where an arts subject has been withdrawn. All of us will have anecdotal evidence from our colleagues of falling numbers at A Level and of systematic closures of (very successful) courses. How are we to arrest what many have called an ideological attack on the creative arts through changes to education? How are we to respond to the assessment of the Chair of the Warwick commission’s report on cultural value, that: “not enough is being done to stimulate or realise the creative potential of individuals, or to maximise their cultural and economic value to society. Improvement requires a greater degree of investment, participation, education and digital access’ (2015: 9)?

In this context, my assessment is stark:

Performer training will not survive in any guise of inclusiveness unless it diversifies its infrastructure and fully embraces the rise of digital culture.

Let’s consider this statement by considering the development of Massive Open Online Course, and specifically, one I have recently run on Meyerhold’s Biomechanics.

Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs – short, free-to-access, learning modules, delivered entirely online – are particularly interesting in terms of their organisation of ‘studio’ time. MOOCS are first and foremost ‘an EVENT’ and yet they also endure in perpetuity, contributing to students’ lifelong learning.   This interesting mixture of momentary eventness and longitudinal impact is one of a number of temporal idiosyncrasies associated with Massive Open Online learning or what I have called elsewhere digital training [1]. These include

  1. Time as it is constructed within the MOOC platform (e.g. FutureLearn).
  2. Time as it is designed by the educator (including the improvement of user engagement using learner analytics).
  3. Time as it experienced by the teacher during the MOOC.
  4. Time as it experienced by the participants during the MOOC, within and beyond the MOOC itself.
  5. Differing time zones of the participants.
  6. Differing ages, backgrounds and trainings of the participants.
  7. Time as it is experienced after the MOOC finishes.
  8. Time as historical content in the MOOC itself.

For now, let’s focus on points 3-6.

The eventness of MOOCS is created by the time-limited delivery of the courses – normally anywhere between 2 and 8 weeks, with specific content associated with each week. In some platforms this content is no longer available after the the course has concluded; in others, including the FutureLearn platform I used, the materials are available indefinitely – to review, download, rehash and reuse without restriction. The time-limited delivery of the course, allows for students to have a level of parallel experience, building to the same goals at the end of each week and opening up conversations about the same learning materials in the comment threads alongside materials:

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