SESSION ONE 2014

Session One: June 30 – July 14, 2014

Teaching Artists: Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichorn, Dijana Milosevic,
Natalia Koliada, Nicolai Khalezin, Vladimir Shcherban (Belarus Free Theatre)

 Workshop Descriptions:

Theatre of the Oppressed & Playback Theatre (Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichorn)

The Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback Theatre are two of the most engaging, participatory and forward-looking theatrical methods in the 21st century. Founded in Brazil and the United States of America, respectively, TO and PT aim at creating opportunities for the democratisation of the theatre by handing over the theatrical means of production to the people with the aim to make a contribution to the peaceful transformation of our oppressive realities.

In TO and PT, every human being is theatre in the sense of all of us being both the main actors and spectators of our own lives. At the same time, the word “to act” is seen in a more comprehensive manner: to act on stage and to take action in real life. Action that will help unleash our untapped creative potential. Action that will transform fear into friendship, disappointment into hope, knowledge into understanding, hesitation into action and individual efforts into collective power for the purpose of building a peaceful, just and democratic society.

Concretely, during the individual sessions participants will familiarise themselves with the theory and practice of both the Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback Theatre. Combining different techniques of TO such as Image Theatre, Forum Theatre and Rainbow of Desire with the different artistic PT forms, the participants will take away a great deal of artistic and socio-political inspiration that will enrich their theatre practice while also providing ample opportunities for human development.

From Personal To Collective History (Dijana Milosevic)

A Workshop for Directors and Actors conducted by experienced director and founder of DAH Theatre, Dijana Milošević. The workshop is designed for professionals offering each the choice to work as director or actor. The starting point is to work with different skills and techniques, which help in the formation of the actor’s physical and vocal training. This leads to the creation of material that can be used for a performance. The central theme to be explored in the workshop is connection of the history that we all share in relation to the personal history of each participant.

Artist’s Own Experience  (Belarus Free Theatre)

Central to our creative method of Total Immersion is the artist’s experience of their own in-depth examination of personal and social taboos; psychologically, locally and globally. Therefore the theatrical material is made from the first-hand experience of its creators. The Total Immersion method is central to BFT’s artistic interpretation of the classical texts through contemporary material. It is also a key to the development of BFT’s creative language of combining contemporary documentary and classical material.

Belarus Free Theatre offers a model of training previously tried out with students of The Young Vic Theatre and Almeida Theatre, London, the Nottingham Playhouse – UK; ENSATT, Lyon – France; Brown University, New-York University, California Institute of Arts , CalArts – USA; European Humanitarian University, Vilnius – Lithuania and the School of Arts DasArts, Amsterdam – the Netherlands. This model combines individual and collective work, ensuring maximum involvement in the learning process for each student.

One of the foundations of the training is the work with documentary material, when the student researches first hand information and presents it to the group for them to work on it throughout the devising process. During a cycle of work, the student develops their abilities in various roles: a journalist, playwright, actor, artist, and producer.

Subjects from the developed material are chosen on the first two days of the course, when students, together in a group, determine the pressing current zones and the sore points of the region, or a specific group of people. As a result of this work individual segments of each student will be singled out to participate in a collective project. This experience will enable students in the future to proceed expeditiously with the analysis of actual fields in the creation of products.

The parallel courses of individual and collective work allow students to get interested in different models of interaction – along the lines of “the playwright-actor”, “actor-director” and “actor-actor “. With the workshop it will be possible only to touch base on what is usually achieved within a monthly workshop, when the result of the work is presented in a performance, a film, and an exhibition. The practices learnt in this workshop will become one of the building blocks that with further training allow the students to build the best model for relationships while working on the show, based on documentary material including personal and society taboo zones.

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