Luxembourg European Annual Theatre Summer School

2015 Skills Projects

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

Victor Garber (actor)


Helen Ireland - Vocal Vitality & Choral Confidence
(Songs, Games & Excercises for the Choral Singer)

This may be the course for you if you want to enjoy some choral singing drawing on material selected from a wide range of musical styles and cultures. It is for all-comers, those with some singing experience or those with little or no background in singing . This course also might suit you if you have always been a bit ‘song shy’ but wish to break the mould; or maybe you haven’t sung for a while (except in the bathroom) and would like to take this opportunity to refresh your skills with a view to joining a choir.

I will be leading you through all the elements of music – rhythm, melody, harmony – by way of singing together.  My approach is quite physical, but not technical. There will be a warm-up at the start of every session and there will be songs in unison, graduating to songs in two, three and perhaps four-part harmony.  We will take a break from singing by practising rhythmic exercises, reading from rhythmic and melodic notation, recognising sol-fa signs, getting to grips with the structure of the major and minor scales and generally de-mystifying some musical ‘terms’.

Chris White - Plans. Processes & Preparation

(The Dirctor's Toolbox)

What belongs in a director’s toolbox?  I will be looking at the various skills a theatre director needs to successfully take a play from page to stage.  I will start by looking at the casting process and then move on to the first part of the rehearsal process where you break down a scene so that the actors can “get it on its feet”. This will involve identifying the units of a scene, a discussion of themes and an exploration of a character’s previous and current circumstances.  Once on the floor I will look at how a director helps actors to emotionally and physically connect to the character, create meaningful relationships and sustain a coherent through-line.  I will look at how to problem solve when an actor struggles to engage with a moment and how to get an actor to be specific and avoid generalisation.  Finally, how does a director give notes that are sensitive and yet robust?

Mitch Michelson - Routine Timing

(Slapstick & Timing)

  • “Slapstick is grotesque, situational poetry- like the slapstick film comedies.”- Kurt Vonnegut
  • “So make the choice of thy own time,” - All’s Well That Ends Well, William Shakespeare.

This will explore slapstick routines and comic timing. The two are connected and there is something poetic in their relationship. Techniques involving comic fighting, mishaps and the clowning heroics within a hostile world will be explored and the embodiment and textual exploration of stops, pauses, suspensions and rhythm will be navigated - with a sense of how the tragic and the comic inform each other through timing of delivery and the art of the playwright. There will be references to the world of the silent movie comedians and scene studies of playwrights as diverse as Brecht, Shakespeare, Chekhov and Martin McDonagh.  The course is envisaged as a playful dissemination of techniques and skills relevant for actor, writer and director alike.

Janice Dunn - Character Building

(Techniques for Developing a Role)

We will examine different methods of physical, emotional and psychological character development, on and off text. It will not adhere to one specific style or method, but would offer an interesting range of approaches for experienced and inexperienced alike. We will stay with fairly modern texts , and there will be some nice meaty stuff for people who want to get their teeth into something challenging.