Luxembourg European Annual Theatre Summer School

2013 Skills Projects

Theatre demands different muscles and different aspects of one's personality.

Victor Garber (actor)

Graeme Du Fresne (singing): MAKING SENSE OF SONGS
When learning a song singer/actors often ask things such as “What can I do in this song, should I move my arms or keep them by my side?” A better approach would be for them to ask: “What do I see in this song, or what do I hear, or what do I smell?” Using a wide range of exercises we will attempt to ‘alert’ our senses as appropriate to the given material.

For example, in order to ‘see’ what we are singing about, we will concentrate on working to develop the actor/singer’s visual imagination, utilising our instincts and knowledge to help provide a creative basis for discovering and developing any particular song’s meaning through the images contained in the song or images/paintings and so on relevant to the world of the play the song comes from. If, for instance someone was working on Eliza Doolittle’s ‘Wouldn’t it Be Loverly” from ‘My Fair Lady’, what in their imagination would they see in the detail of a London street. Additionally, we will use the internet to supplement our research of places, events, history, costume and so on to enhance our work at finding connections between the lyric’s meaning and our senses .

Keith Myers (directing): THE DIRECTOR'S LANGUAGE
The directing course this year will concern the relationship between actor and director: How to establish a common creative vocabulary and dialogue between the director and actor to facilitate their co- operative and symbiotic working process.
There are many good directors and there are many good actors, but problems often arise in rehearsals simply because they cannot communicate with each other very well. Sometimes this is because the director is too arrogant or insecure and sometimes because the actor is insecure or resistant to direction, but most often it is simply because they are not speaking the same language, in fact they lack a common vocabulary.

This option will cover all the basics of the craft of directing; exploring different methods and theories, but the emphasis will be on the creation of a dynamic dialogue between director and actor. We will discuss their necessarily different approaches to the creative process and explore ways we can help a director share his or her ideas with the actor without resorting to ‘line readings’ or other narrow, dictatorial methods.
We will examine ways of creating not only a co-operative verbal dialogue but also a physical and psychological vocabulary to enable the director to help the actor to release and focus his or her creative energies.

The module will be suitable for all experience levels and as practical and ‘on your feet’ as possible, using a variety of short scenes.

Janice Dunn (acting & devising): THE INS & OUTS OF SITE SPECIFIC THEATRE
We will look at making solo and group work for specific spaces, inside and outside, at Clairfontaine; and how to make this work resonant within a given environment. We will use the spaces around us as both our stage and our inspiration.
We will also look at existing texts and presenting them in a new light by staging them in a variety of suitable, challenging, juxtaposing situations. There is the opportunity for solo and group work, based on both existing texts and devised work on this course. It will be experimental and collaborative in nature, and involve a great deal of practical exploration.
There will be a variety of methods used to create and develop.  

Fundamental to the actor’s craft is the requirement to develop a voice that can communicate in a clear and expressive manner the ideas of the writer, the needs of the character and can be heard in a variety of theatrical spaces. In this course, we will begin by looking at the foundation of all things spoken namely the breath. Some simple exercises to help you find a ‘supported’ vocal quality will lead into warm-ups where we develop a warmer, potentially fuller sound, as we begin to play with ways of speaking that give you different options as an actor. The work will be physical, and is highly connected to the whole body, so this is going to involve you, your body, your voice and your speech organs. We will talk as we walk, working with a variety of texts to support the vocal work explored. We will use texts from Shakespearean rhetoric, some modern ‘heightened’ writers such as Bond or Lochhead, and get you working through a process that looks at how vocal skills integrated physically and creatively apply to text, both dramatic and the everyday.