Winter Workshops

Two excellent workshop/classes starting in Dublin next month:

Freedom to Express What Lies Beneath with Actors Training Ireland

Voice and Body Class Inspired by Roy Hart Techniques with Helena Walsh
November 7th to 12th December
Time: 7 – 9pm
Cost: 150 euro
Venue: To Be Confirmed (Dublin City Centre)

This workshop will be a class of play – stretching language to the limits of human voices:
◆  work on ‘wrestling’ text until we’ve squeezed every possible meaning out of it
◆  work on timing, volume, pitch and colour in a playful and surprising way,
◆  moving from sustained sound into the spoken voice to discover what is revealed inside.

Participants are asked to bring a monologue, preferably from Shakespeare – to open up, tear apart and enter in a new way.
This is a highly physical, and we hope, invigorating class. Focus is on the ensemble moving to the individual voice.
Please contact us on: 086 8548885 or e-mail actortrainingireland@gmail.com for further information.

Commedia Workshops with Corn Exchange

Annie Ryan invites you to come for five days of intense and rather terrifying improvisational play with the Corn Exchange ensemble.

Nov 5th – 9th
Leinster Cricket Club, Rathmines
9am to 5 pm
Cost: €225.00

Please send a CV or if we know you already, an update of recent work to hello@cornexchange.ie. Closing date for applications is Thursday, 25 Oct.

Please note that places at the Workshops are strictly limited to 16. Successful applicants will be notified by Halloween.

Four-day Workshop with Actors Training Ireland

Acting Training Ireland, who I have done workshops with and am very enthusiastic about are doing a four-day workshop in voice and acting at the beginning of June. It’s €200 for 4 full days which is a little bit out of my price-range at the moment but they are very, very good. If you do get a chance to go along, please let me know how you get on!

Here are all the details. Contact details here.

VOICE & PLAY

A four-day workshop

with Helena Wash and Andy Crook

Tuesday 5th June – Friday 8th June

10.00 – 17.00

€200

City Centre Location

This workshop is an exploration of acting using text, voice and improvisation combining the ideas of Jacques Lecoq and Roy Hart. It will be highly physical and playful using the energy of the individual working within the ensemble to challenge and encourage each participant to explore more deeply their craft and purpose as a performer. It will look at how we can be alive and spontaneous whilst being true to a text and connecting and responding to those around us.

Learning to work with our whole body and mind together produces work of depth, colour and great sensitivity. We will focus on wakening ourselves up physically and mentally, sensitising ourselves with others and then connecting to text and to playful situations.

The first part of each session will focus on physical and vocal technique that will open up the body and voice, grounding the actor and preparing for improvisational ensemble work in the afternoon. Techniques are inspired from Feldenkrais, Astanga yoga, Lecoq and Roy Hart.

The second part of each session will be spent on understanding acting through choral voice and sung pieces and through active imaginative play and work on text. Songs will be used to encourage a greater range of expression in the spoken voice and choral pieces will be sung and spoken. The emphasis will be on the physicalisation of song and the word. We will learn to embody the gesture of a phrase, or ground the feeling of a word through clear energised thought and a dynamic articulate and expressive body. This is taken through to the acting with text and improvisation work allowing physical action to take us into the discovery of situation and meaning.

This is a course that is suitable for anyone with some acting experience. Having a trained singing voice is not necessary and the course is designed for actors who would like to explore moving freely from spoken to sung text . The work is challenging but always fun.

Things I’m doing this week

This week I am mostly:

1. Attempting to get the supporting documents for my MA application organised so I can (finally) send them off to Galway. This includes writing a personal statement. Why is it so hard to write 600 words about myself? I should have sent all this stuff off last week but I was waiting for college transcripts from the UK and avoiding my personal statement.

2. Working on this year’s V-Day production of The Vagina Monologues! This should be Number 1 because it’s much more exciting! I am currently casting the show which will be on in The Sugar Club on April 13th. We will be raising money for Ruhama and V-Day and you can expect to hear lots more about that between now and then! If you’d like to get involved, leave a comment or email VDayDublin @ gmail.com. You can also like our Facebook page.

3. Spending lots of time in Project and seeing lots of plays! The Theatre Machine Turns You On, Vol 2 starts tonight! (Project Real Deal – Four plays for €22!) I’m seeing two plays tonight and two or three more at the weekend. I’m hoping to go and see Connected before it finishes this weekend as well.

4. Looking forward to tomorrow’s text class with ATI. First class was last week and I really enjoyed it. It’s made me think a lot about monologues and I’ll try and write down some of those thought here soon!

But for now, it’s back to the dreaded personal statement!

Daily Voice & Movement Classes with ATI

Actor’s Training Ireland are doing daily voice and movement classes starting at the end of the month. I’ve done a number of workshops with ATI and always found them really interesting and useful. I also just enjoy being in a room full of actors or people who are interested in acting and performing, because it makes my interest in it seems much more normal!

These classes sound great because you can do them whenever suits you and I think the cost is really reasonable. I promise they’re not paying me to advertise them, I just want someone to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity because I can’t!

Daily Voice and Movement Classes
Monday – Friday
22nd November – 17th December (except 6th & 7th)
2 hours – 10.00 – 12.00

Up to 9 classes – €100
Up to 18 classes – €180

Dublin International Hostel, 61 Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7

These daily 2 hour classes offer an integrated approach to voice and movement and give actors the chance to fully engage their mind and body, to be centred, open and vocally and physically connected. They are a way of becoming imaginatively and physically flexible, of being vocally strong and adaptable and mentally liberated.

These daily classes will provide a strong framework for actors to engage with thought, action and emotion and prepare them for acting work, working on text or improvisation. They encourage actors to be playful, spontaneous, thoughtful and purposeful.

Do as many as you like, whenever you like!

Back to School

Since tomorrow is September 1, which means back to school for a lot of people, I thought I’d do a little round-up of drama-related courses for adults coming up in the next few months.

The main place doing courses is the Gaiety School of Acting. As well as the full-time acting course, they have lots of short courses in Dublin and Cork. The courses from now until Easter are now up on the website. They have a really wide selection from introductory acting classes to writing and directing classes, as well as acting for camera, stage combat, stand up comedy and loads more. I have done a couple of courses with the GSA before and enjoyed them. I’m not planning on doing any more right now because I don’t think I can commit to a three month term at the moment. When the classes cost so much, and you’ve paid for them up front – you don’t want to miss any!

I am considering a couple of the one-day courses – Directing with Paul Meade (who taught one of my Practising Playwriting classes and was very informative and easy to listen to!) and the Casting & Audition Workshop. I’m also tempted by the Shakespeare Workshop because that language is so much fun to work with but money is an issue!

GSA has courses for people who want to write for the stage – the introductory course Dramatic Writing, and the year long course The Writer’s Room. The one that I did last year was the second part of The Writer’s Room but that doesn’t seem to be an option this year.

Fishamble also run playwriting courses, which concentrate specifically on writing for the stage. Their nine-week evening course is full (though you can ask to be added to their waiting list) but there still spaces on the three-day October Bank Holiday course.

The Irish Writers’ Centre also has two-day course on Playwriting.

Actor’s Training Ireland may have some more voice, acting and singing courses coming up in the next couple of months. I didn’t get an e-mail announcing the new courses and I’m not sure if the dates listed are for this year or last year! I’m easily confused! But I’ve sent them an e-mail and will let you know.

Workshops and classes

I didn’t see that many shows in the Dublin Theatre Festival but I did get to see Freefall by Corn Exchange and I loved it. I like Corn Exchange a lot and I was raging when I missed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof last year so I had pretty high expectations for their new show. I wasn’t disappointed. It was fantastic; wonderful actors and a great story, beautifully told. I found it a bit of an emotional roller-coaster of a show and felt drained by the end of it but there was still some very funny moments and a few moments which were painfully, tragically funny. I don’t know if they are touring the show, but if you get a change to see it – I highly recommend it.

I did a workshop with Corn Exchange about seven or eight years ago and I really enjoyed it. It was three evenings classes and we got to build our own Commedia del’Arte character each evening, picking out clothes for them to wear and painting on own mask. We spent the rest of the class creating scenes with our characters.

I have been dying to do another workshop with them ever since but whenever they came around, I either didn’t have the money or I couldn’t get time off work or I was in England. Even just a few months ago, I didn’t have enough days leave left to take the week off work and go and do yoga every morning instead. Maybe 2010 will finally be the year that I get to do another Corn Exchange workshop!

At the moment, I’m doing a voice class with Actors Training Ireland, who I would also highly recommend. I did a weekend workshop with them in July (it included voice, acting and moment work, as well as some singing). I enjoy it and got a lot out of it. It’s not really a beginners class; the aim is to remind you about the things you already know and maybe pick up a few new skills. Acting is something that you need to practice but unlike other performance arts like playing an instrument or singing, it’s very difficult to practise on your own. You need other people, you need an audience. Going to class let’s me practice and remind myself what I’m trying to do. It also helps me to feel like an actor, even though I spend all day in an office.