Past Workshops

2Man Theatre is a duo of Physical Theatre practitioners, formed in the final year of their Drama and Performance degree. They aim to instil a sense of physical Actor-training in schools, allowing the students to explore their bodies as a form of communication and giving them a toolkit to continue developing this movement training beyond the workshop.

We have experience creating a Physical Theatre Ensemble and performing in various physical and immersive productions. We are offering a Physical Theatre workshop designed specifically to suit teachers who are looking to employ practitioners such as Frantic Assembly, Gecko, Grotowski and their methodologies in the classroom. Our approach focuses on putting the teacher at the heart of the ensemble, educating their students through a physical experience. Teachers should be able to leave the workshop confident in leading Physical Theatre Ensembles in the classroom and creating risky, confident and precise physical work for performances.

 

Topics to be covered include:

 

  • Exploration of physical choreography, teaching choreography confidently.

  • Exhaustive States – The power of synchronicity.

  • Basic to Advanced lifts including safety points.

  • Floor & Partner work.

  • Body as Puppet.

  • Starters and activities to enhance physical work

 

'Engaging and dynamic Physical Theatre workshop that wholly engaged and introduced my students to the possibilities of physical performance. 2MAN Theatre challenged the students to consider how and why they use their bodies in performance, building their confidence and ability in a very short time. A fantastic opportunity'  Drama Teacher, Dorothy Stringer School.

Physical Theatre Workshop

with 2Man Theatre

Shakespeare Workshop

with Peter Basham

Teaching Shakespeare: Practical Approaches to Shakespeare in the classroom

 

Peter Basham is an actor, director and an Education Practitioner.  He has appeared for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 'Love's Labour's Lost', 'Love's Labour's Won' and 'The Christmas Truce at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Other notable acting credits include: 'As You like it' (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory), 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (Bristol Old Vic), 'Yerma' (West Yorkshire Playhouse), 'Burial at Thebes' & 'she Stoops to Conquer' (Nottingham Playhouse), 'A View From the Bridge' (Duke of York's, London), ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ (Swan theatre, RSC). Screen highlights include: 'The Promise' (Channel 4) 'Skyfall' (EON Pictures), 'Inception' Warner Bros), 'Sherlock' (BBC) and more recently 'Agatha Raisin' (Sky One) and 'Berlin Station' (Paramount).  Peter is passionate about Education work.  He works regularly as an RSC Education Practitioner and also an acting teacher for a Performing Arts school in Kent. 

 

This workshop has been designed for English and Drama teachers alike.  The course content has been devised by RSC Actor and Practitioner, Peter Basham.

 

The first part of the day covers a general introduction to Shakespeare’s text, including an exploration of form, verse speaking, prose and a look at some of the voice exercises that an actor might use in rehearsals.  We shall then explore a range of activities intended to help your students unpack the playwright’s language, exploring:  plot, character, themes and rhetorical devices present in Shakespeare’s work. The latter part of the day consists of an exploration of the major texts on both the A-Level and GCSE Syllabus (from a range of exam boards).  

Mask Workshop

with StrangeFace Theatre Company

Award winning mask company StrangeFace have been performing nationally and internationally for over a decade. Using Russell Dean’s trademark masks they have forged a unique blend of mask, puppetry and live music.

 

Russell is a performer, director and maker who started his career working alongside Trestle Theatre before forming his own company. He has taught mask from many different perspectives, to schools, performers, special needs groups and mental health units.

 

This day long workshop aims to introduce participants to various styles of mask – full and half character mask, commedia dell’arte and greek chorus. The emphasis will be on exploring how masks can be used to inspire students and create memorable devised pieces of theatre.

 

Whether the end result is a piece of masked theatre or not, this workshop will demonstrate the techniques by which masks can be used to develop physicality, vocal dexterity, team work and imagination.

 

 

 

 

Sophie Watkiss BA (Hons), MA has over twenty- five years’ experience of designing and delivering theatre-based training, ranging from managing the continuing professional development programme for the Royal National Theatre’s Learning Department, to working at senior management level as Head of Education and Training at the V&A’s Theatre Museum, where she was responsible for leading a team of over thirty creative professionals who delivered the museum’s education programme.

 

Sophie currently runs her own Theatre Education and Training Company, JSW Creative. She is also a freelance practitioner for the awarding winning Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden.   The most recent digital resources that she created for the Donmar’s production of Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui are viewable at  https://www.donmarwarehouse.com/about/past-productions. She is currently working on the Donmar’s forthcoming production of Ibsen’s Lady From the Sea, in a new version by Elinor Cook.  She also teaches LAMDA at Mayfield School, East Sussex.

The aim of this one day workshop is to explore how voice can support the actor when working with movement and text. The morning session will look out how the voice works by exploring simple exercises that focus on breathing, resonance, articulation and how to create the right voice for a character. The afternoon session will apply these ideas to working with movement and text, exploring how different genres of text require varying approaches to finding a suitable voice and movement style to support the work in performance. 

 

The texts used in the workshop will include Sophocles’ Antigone, Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, Berkoff’s Metamorphosis and April de Angelis’s Playhouse Creatures. By the end of the workshop, it is hoped that participants will have a ‘tool kit’ of ideas to take back into the Drama Studio or Classroom to support learners in using voice with movement and text.

 

The workshop is designed to support the teaching of GCSE and A Level courses in the Performing Arts, as well as LAMDA qualifications.

Using Voice with Movement and Text workshopwith Sophie Watkiss

Meyerhold's Biomechanics Workshop with Stephen Hudson

Stephen is a director, actor and teacher working within conservatoire training. He currently works at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, and at East 15 Acting School. He also set up the Sussex based, award winning theatre company The Brighton Laboratory. He has trained extensively in Biomechanics under the Russian Master Gennadi Bogdanov, himself trained by Nikolai Kustov, who collaborated with Meyerhold on the development of Actor’s Biomechanics.  Stephen teaches Biomechanics both as a way to develop the actor’s physical capabilities in relation to strength, flexibility and specificity, and the corresponding emotional and psychological responses to eternal stimuli, but also as a means to a greater understanding of a Stanislavskian approach to text and character.

 

Biomechanics, created by Russian director Vsevolod Meyerhold (1874-1940), is a rigorous physical training based on the premise that in order to be imaginatively free the actor must by physically free. It trains the actor’s physical dexterity, elasticity and responsiveness.

Meyerhold, a renowned actor and director with the Moscow Art Theatre, regarded movement, gesture, space and rhythm, as the primary elements of the ‘language of theatre.’ He dreamed of retheatricalizing the theatre, of creating a theatre that would give its audience truthful images of life but that wouldn’t seek to imitate or copy life, a theatre capable of revealing ‘inner dialogue by means of the music of plastic movement.’ Meyerhold’s work over three decades resulted in his system of Theatrical Biomechanics.

 

Berkoff's Expressionist Theatre Workshop with Cheryl Stapleton

Cheryl Stapleton founded Learning Through Theatre in 2013 and has since delivered educational workshops nationwide as well as providing one to one training and professional development courses. Cheryl has been working with Commedia dell’Arte for over 20 years as a performer, director and teacher, has taught and performed internationally and has been directing theatre productions and tours for ten years. For more information about Cheryl please visit www.learningthroughtheatre.co.uk.

 

Cheryl will deliver a workshop focusing on Expressionist Physical Theatre, specifically on the work of Steven Berkoff. This practical workshop will provide teachers with a set of tools and techniques that will be easily transferable to the classroom. These can then be practiced and applied to the students’ own performance and portfolio work. The workshop will include:

 

  • The Expressionist Mask – exaggerated characterisation using body, face and voice to create a stylised total character mask without the need of the physical item of the mask (Grotowski).

  • The Chorus of Heightened Expression: The Berkoff Wall. Creating psychological and physical environments with a group of performers; using tension states and ‘masks’ to create choral tableau that mirror, amplify, comment on the emotions of the protagonist (Lecoq).

  • The Grotesque Human-Animal. Individually, and as a chorus we will work with animal states and exaggeration to link to Metamorphosis and the creation of the human beetle (Lecoq/Artaud).

  • Corporeal Mime (Decroux) starting from isolations and plastiques (Grotowski) leading into rhythm and synchronisation (Meyerhold). Working with the metronome beat to control and syncopate movement, finding precision, choral movement, expressive ‘mie’ (Kabuki). This is about working from the body to the mind, bridging the gap between impulse and image, allowing the body to create the image for the mind; wearing the emotion on the outside.

  • Physicalisation of Language – vocal patterning, vocal effects, range, emphasis, exaggeration, soundscaping, choral voice, taking the imagery into the voice.

  • The Actor-Spectator Dynamic (Brecht) direct address; illeism (3rd person voice); asides and comic timing.

Acting in Restoration Comedy Workshop with Sophie Watkiss

Restoration Comedy is enjoying a revival on our contemporary stages. The aim of this one day workshop is to explore the vocal and physical skills required for performing the genre. 

 

The morning session will briefly contextualise the role of Restoration Comedy in British theatre and consider its legacy today.  It will go on to explore the vocal demands of the texts, such as verbal agility, dissembling and wordplay. This practical work will then be applied to ‘finding a voice’ for the range of character types found in the plays.  The final part of the morning session will explore the physical style of movement required for the genre, including posture, stance and gesturing. The afternoon session will marry the voice and movement work explored earlier through working with longer extracts taken from Restoration Comedies. It will conclude by looking briefly at how subsequent playwrights have drawn on the style in their own writing.

 

Texts used in the workshop will include Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal – on the Edexcel A Level Drama syllabus, William Wycherley’s The Country Wife, George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer, William Congreve’s The Way of the World, Mary Pix’s The Beau Defeated as well as Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and April de Angelis’s Playhouse Creatures. LAMDA also specifies Restoration and Post Restoration as one of the periods that learners can select pieces from at Level 3 - Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal.

By the end of the workshop, it is hoped that participants will have a ‘tool kit’ of ideas to take back into the Drama Studio or Classroom to introduce learners to performing Restoration Comedies and subsequent plays written in the Comedy of Manners style. The workshop is designed to support the teaching of GCSE and A Level courses in the Performing Arts, as well as LAMDA qualifications.

Workshop Facilitator:  Sophie Watkiss BA (Hons), MA:

Sophie has just finished working on the Donmar’s revival of Congreve’s Restoration Comedy masterpiece, The Way of the World, creating the digital education resources for the production. The resources are viewable at www.donmarwarehouse.com/about/past-productions

Sophie has over twenty- five years’ experience of designing and delivering theatre-based training, ranging from managing the continuing professional development programme for the Royal National Theatre’s Learning Department, to working at senior management level as Head of Education and Training at the V&A’s Theatre Museum, where she was responsible for leading a team of over thirty creative professionals who delivered the museum’s education programme. She currently runs her own Theatre Education and Training Company, JSW Creative.  She also teaches LAMDA at Mayfield School, East Sussex.

Teaching and Delivering Improvisation Techniques with Helen Halliday

This improvisation workshop will focus on the teaching and delivering of techniques to stimulate creativity and inspire exploration of the process. Being a teacher in creative arts can exhaust your own creativity and this workshop is designed to give you fresh and exciting ideas at the point of delivery.

All creative art starts with an idea. We all have ideas ergo we all are creative beings. Some of us are lucky in that we have the time, space and capacity to expand an idea into a whole thing, whether that’s a picture, an object, a piece of music, a dance or a story. For some, the process is more challenging. With the increased demands of the new specifications it is even more important that students have the tools to devise/improvise quickly and effectively.

To play make believe, or role play as the dramaturgs call it, is to explore and experience. It gives students confidence and tools for communication and installs in them a sense of familiarity, preparing them to be an adult in a complicated world. It enables them to become proud creators of work, a feeling that will linger with them as they grow and mature, bolstering their future confidence in the world of employment. Improvising and devising has a far reaching effect on a student’s development.

Teaching young people to improvise is a challenge. It takes planning, creativity and in depth knowledge of the process. You must be a facilitator. A guide. You must try to remember how it feels to have your mind go blank or be out of control, to not have words to explain your feelings or to be able to express your wishes clearly. Because teaching improvisation is about understanding vulnerability and allowing that nakedness, that openness or emptiness to be the start of something.

Workshop Facilitator: Helen Halliday

Helen Halliday has taught Drama and Musical Theatre for 25 years, including being a tutor at Guildford School of Acting, and Head of Drama at Mayfield School. She previously acted professionally and now writes and directs throughout the country, having had 10 plays performed. Most recently she has worked with Diane Samuels (Kindertransport: The Play of the Monster Garden) facilitating improvisation to explore and expand Diane’s latest play.

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