What is action? What is character? What are gesture, timing, rhythm and stakes? How do actors, playwrights, and directors collaborate to create an experience in space and time? This seminar offers theater artists the chance to examine their craft from the inside out. Throughout the course everyone participates in all exercises and assignments. Non-writers make up stories, non-actors act, and those who have never directed direct. We begin by exploring the energy in the body, focusing on stillness and release. We continue with physical exercises from both the eastern and western traditions leading into improvisation as a method for tapping the source of impulses. We touch on the Viewpoints as a tool for creating kinetic compositions spontaneously in space. In the text analysis section, we study the expression of action through structure, dialogue, and the importance of “events.” By mid-term, everyone directs a short scene from one Chekhov play. In the second half of the term, students choose one contemporary play from which they will direct individual scenes. Directors and actors will work together to rehearse, design, and present a public performance of the play.
Corequisites: Stage Management is strongly encouraged. It strengthens the director’s ability to organize time and work efficiently.