ABOUT SESSION TWO WORKSHOPS
August 2 – August 16, 2019
Rediscovering Shakespeare by Andrei Serban
We need to rediscover again for every generation the old values contained in Shakespeare, and experimentally create a shock that opens us to the unknown and makes us feel stronger. As Peter Brook suggests “ a tiny group in a tiny space can create something unforgettable; a vibrant energy. This world, limited in time and space, can be changed and sometimes so unforgettably that is can change an individual’s life”. So let’s search together to find our own Shakespeare.
Andrei Serban studied at the Theatre Institute in Romania. Invited by Ellen Stewart to La MaMa Experimental Theatre Center, he directed Arden of Faversham, Ubu,Fragments of a Greek Trilogy, which won several Obie and international Awards and has been performed at more than twenty international festivals. He worked with Peter Brook at Brook’s International Theatre Institute in both Paris and Persepolis. At New York’s Lincoln Center he directed Aeschylus’Agamemnon and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, the latter of which won a Tony Award for Best Revival. He has directed at the Public Theatre, Yale Repertory, the Guthrie, Circle in the Square, and Delacorte, San Francisco’s A.C.T., the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, at the Royal National Theatre in London, Shiki Company in Tokyo, Schauspielhaus Bochum, the Comedie Francaise in Paris, and National Theatre of Korea, Seoul, among many others. He acted as general director of the Romanian National Theatre and has staged opera productions all over the world from the San Francisco Opera to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Opera de Paris, Grand Theatre de Geneve, Zurich Opera, or the Vienna Opera. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2004 with Benvenuto Cellini and returned in 2005 with FAUST. Among his many recent productions: Andrei Serban’s Different Chunhyang, at the National Theatre of Korea, Seoul; G.B. Shaw’s Arms And The Man (Chocolate Soldier – Russian title) at the Malyi Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia; Carousel, an original adaptation after Molnar’s Liliom at the Bulandra Theater; Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow; Don Giovanni by Mozart at the National Opera Bucharest, Romania; Richard III by Shakespeare at Radnoti Theater in Budapest, Hungary; MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by Shakespeare; THE SEAGULL by Chekhov, etc.
His awards include the highest Romanian national order – the „Romanian Star”-, as well as the „Life Achievement Award”, the Eliott Norton Award in Boston, the George Abbott Award in New York, the Robert Brustein Award (2009), New England Theatre Conference MAJOR AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THE AMERICAN THEATRE (2010). He has taught at schools worldwide, including the Yale School of Drama, Harvard University, Le Conservatoire de Paris, University of California (San Diego), and the Pittsburgh Carneggie Melon.
Professor & Director, Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY in New York from 1992 to 2018. A book about his involvement in the American Theatre, The Magic World Behind the Curtain, by Ed Menta, was published. In Romania, Polirom Publishing House published his autobiography, “O Biografie” in 2006, which was translated in Hungarian in 2010, and in 2012 its Romanian language 4th edition was printed, by popular demand. A photographic retrospective of Serban’s theatre and opera career, „My Journeys”, was published in 2008. A photography book by Mihaela Marin with texts by Andrei Serban, in Romanian and English, was published by Romanian Cultural Institute in 2012: “CHEKHOV, SHAKESPEARE, BERGMAN SEEN BY ANDREI SERBAN”; “OPERA DIRECTING – THOUGHTS AND IMAGE” – a photography album of his most recent opera productions (photo by Mihaela Marin, text by Andrei Serban), NEMIRA PUBLISHING HOUSE, Bucharest, Romania. Recipient of several Doctor Honoris Causa titles.
The Art of Curiosity by Liesl Tommy
A rigorous exploration of the director’s process, from the page to the stage. Looking at process through both new works and reframing classics, exercises will be structured around the questions: How deep is the artist going? How dangerous is their work every step of the way?
Liesl Tommy is a Tony-nominated (ECLIPSED) and Obie/Lortel award-winning director. She’s currently developing THE OUTSIDERS, a musical based on the novel by S. E. Hinton. Recent off-Broadway credits include: Public Theater: Eclipsed, Party People, The Good Negro; Signature Theatre: Appropriate (Obie Award) MCC Theater: Relevance and Vineyard Theatre: Kid Victory. Feature films in the works: RESPECT, about the life of Icon Aretha Franklin (at MGM), and BORN A CRIME based on Trevor Noah’s autobiography. Television directing credits include: Queen Sugar (OWN), Insecure (HBO), The Walking Dead (AMC), Mrs. Fletcher (HBO) and more. Liesl is a Program Associate at The Sundance Institute. She is a proud native of Cape Town, South Africa.
Challenging the Idea of What Puppets Can Do by Basil Twist
The workshop focuses on the dramatic and dramaturgical importance of the background, whether visual or acoustic, on which the actors play. The tools for the study will be literature, images of figurative art, music, and film that lead to practical exercises in writing, design, and mimic action.
Basil Twist is a designer, director, performer, puppeteer and the sole American to graduatefrom the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts dela Marionnette in France. Select Broadway design outings, he created and staged the puppetry in The Addams Family & Charlie and The Chocolate Factory for which both he won a Drama Desk Award. He was honored with a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship. He guides The Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE and he is completing a year-long residency at the American Academy in Rome.
Harmony in Theatre Space by Jean-Guy Lecat
Harmony in theatre space is difficult; there is duality between to turn to fast to technology which is a temptation and the sensation that we are missing something essential. Nothing should be there without a reason.
The idea of this workshop is to discover that telling it not only a question of words. Human been, costumes, set, lighting, video, sound and walls to have their part to play. We have to take away those things that create distance; in simplicity anything it’s an importance, than we can see with more intensity things that otherwise cannot be seen. In workshop I suggest the surrounding in which the plays of each group will take place will be at the same time the set and the auditorium, following the Elizabethan idea to have only one space with the play right in middle of the social life, receiving all contradictory energies.
Jean-Guy Lecat’s workshops don’t have a real pedagogical message, but he wants to open the ears and eyes of the participants. He wants to show and teach them things, not tell how they are supposed to be.
To work together, to hear each other, to help the others in a group to stepping over certain thresholds, don’t remain motionless so that you escape, or not to use techniques that could be used to mask this fact that we have nothing to say is another aspect of this workshop.
In 1965, after having been a fitter model maker, then draughtsman, in Thomson-Houston’s factories, J.G. Lecat completed 6 months of training at the Television Studios Les Buttes Chaumont. In 1966, he left the factory and became stage manager in Festival du Marais and in Théâtre du Vieux Colombier. He met Claude Perset, set designer and theatre-architect and became his assistant; they drew several set, theatres and festival’s spaces, amongst them the famous Théâtre d’Orsay (Théâtre du Rond Point today).
From this date he practiced at same time, every technical and artistic job in theatre including being an actor. He took part in more than 100 productions for many directors as : J. L. Barrault, R. Blin, J. M. Serreau (Opening Cartoucherie de Vincennes), Living Theatre, La MaMa ETC…He also works with several other architects, from the beginning of his theatre carrier as he always keeps at same time a foot on architecture and the other one on theatre stage.
From 1976 to 2000 technical director and set/space designer for Peter Brook Jean-Guy Lecat was charged by particularly with research, the transformation or creation of more than 200 spaces throughout the world. Some of them are still kept as:Harvey-Majestic Theatre and La MaMa in New York, The tramway in Glasgow, The Gaswaerk in Copenhagen, The Mercat de les Flore in Barcelona, Boulbon quarry in Avignon, Nationnal Theatre in Strasburg, Bockenhaimer depot in Frankfurt etc…
A book that tells his work with P. Brook around the world is published:“The Open Circle” A. Todd J.G. Lecat Faber and Faber London, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. New York. “El Circulo Abierto”Alba editorial, s.l.u. Barcelona. He left Peter Brook Company in 2000. From that time he has served as Theatre-Consulant on dozens of projects involving transformation and building of theatre spaces in addition to work as a Set, Lighting and Costume Designer and Director around the world.