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Masterclasses Spring 2019
Saturday  Masterclasses
We are delighted to offer Saturday Workshops and Courses for Adults. Aimed at actors, teachers and drama students, these Masterclasses offer cutting edge professional development and are led by industry specialists.

FEES for these Masterclasses can be paid using PayPal  here 

Sophie Cottle
SATURDAYS 12th January + 2nd February 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Are you auditioning for LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) this year? Creating your two-minute devised piece can be daunting. Don’t worry - we are here to help you!

Back by popular demand, these sessions with LIPA Graduate Sophie Cottle and The Actors’ Workshop Director Clara Marullo will help you hone your work, getting your ideas from your brain into your body, finding new ways to tell your story making sure you meet the audition requirements.

Cost This class is FREE for current students of The Actors’ Workshop.
All others £25 for a single session or £45 for both sessions.
Clara Marullo
SATURDAY 26th January 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Locked within the pages of any great script are all the ingredients you need to produce an engaging, informed and exciting piece of theatre. In this workshop for actors and theatre makers, Playwright and Director Matt Grinter will take the play from first read through to first night.

Using Chekhov’s masterpiece The Seagull, we will use the techniques of well-respected practitioners such as Stanislavski and Katie Mitchell to take the playwright’s words and translate them to performance. Whether you want to improve your own practice as an actor, learn how to dissect a play or learn the practical steps that inform an actor or director, this workshop will introduce you to the skills required when creating arresting plays and performances.

Matt Grinter - Director/Playwright    Matt Grinter 

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
  The Seagull  
DEVISING FROM SCRATCH – with John Nicholson  

SATURDAY 9th February 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

If you already have a grounding in Commedia dell’Arte and would like to put your skills to the test, join us for a ‘play day’ with the characters. Just like the actors of this Renaissance form, the group will work from a simple scenario to create a 20 minute performance by the end of the day. During this intensive session, you will:

• Sharpen and refine your mask performance skills
• Rehearse speeches, songs, routines and comic devices, such as lazzi, burle
  and concetti
• Develop stagecraft, considering pacing, timing and proxemics
• Extend your understanding of the style

Can you juggle, perform acrobatics, walk a tight rope, dance en pointe, play an instrument or perhaps, stage fight? Many commedia actors were multi-skilled, so if you have a special skill, please bring your instrument or tools! Whether or not you bear additional skills, everyone should be prepared to sing, dance and laugh – a lot! You will need a good practical knowledge of the commedia dell’arte stock characters to benefit fully from this masterclass. The day is entirely practical and fast paced requiring a good level of physical fitness and stamina and culminates in the performance of a play to which you are welcome to invite friends.

Cheryl Stapleton has been working with Commedia dell’Arte for over 20 years as a performer, director and teacher. She has taught and performed internationally and has been directing theatre productions and tours for 10 years.

Cheryl’s passion for Commedia dell’Arte was ignited at University when she spent several summers studying in France with John Rudlin, author of Commedia dell’Arte: An Actor’s Handbook. She then deepened her knowledge and further honed her performance skills in comedy, masks and physical theatre through training at École Philippe Gauliér. Cheryl has also trained in Commedia with Antonio Fava, Michael Chase and Olly Crick. Working with her own performance company, Kabosh, in the mid-90’s, Cheryl developed Commedia dell’Arte street theatre shows that played festivals in London, Edinburgh, France and Ireland.

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
SLAPSTICK AND FARCE with Cheryl Stapleton  
Alison Reid SATURDAY 23rd February 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Alison Reid
is an actor, director and teacher who trained at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has performed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse - Globe Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Bristol Old Vic, National Theatre and BBC. She has worked with leading theatre-makers and story-tellers including Robert Lepage, Tim Supple, Melly Still, David Fielding, Adrian Noble, Michael Morpurgo and Filter Theatre. She has taught in the UK and in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. She has also worked with Tim Supple in an experimental workshop setting at Adishakti Theatre, Pondicherry, India and with actors from all over the world at Warwick Arts Centre as part of a Global Theatre Shakespeare project. Recently Alison returned to study at Adishakti Theatre Laboratory participating in their ‘Source of Performance Energy’ training for actors.

Based on the laboratory work from Adishakti, this workshop will introduce a new performance methodology developed by Adishakti: involving breath, emotion, centres and voice.

Exploring the 9 basic emotions we will look at a new and different way of approaching the emotions for performance on stage. What is the best way to find the truth of an emotion; inside-out – or outside-in?

The workshop will involve some physical and breath work to open the emotional centers and then an exploration of a range of emotions from Shingara (love/beauty) through Karuna (sorrow) to Raudra (anger).

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
Creating physical Performances  

SATURDAY 2nd March 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

In this masterclass, playwright and director Matt Grinter will introduce you to telling stories that resonate on stage. From narrative structure to character, this workshop will introduce the budding playwright to what it takes to write an engaging and exciting play. We will look at the practical steps to planning and preparing through to populating your piece with characters, locations and a plot that will tell your story and stay with an audience. This workshop is an overview of the processes a playwright should undertake whilst writing their play, from its early conception, to the drafting process. Each participant should leave with synopsis and plan for their next piece.

Matt Grinter has worked as a Writer/Director in both Film and Theatre and is currently forging a career within both media. His work has appeared in a number of prestigious venues across Britain and beyond including Trafalgar 2, The Bristol Old Vic, The Pleasance, The Finborough, Tate Gallery, The Royal Academy Summer Show, Encounters, Palm Springs, Leuven, Corona Cork, New York Metropolitan, Zagreb FilmFestival and Glastonbury Festival and have earned him a number of accolades including a Kodak Award, an Honourable mention at the New York Metropolitan Film Festival, Lost Theatre Company’s One Act Play and winning the Papa Tango New Writing Competition with his play Orca. Matt’s second play ‘The Dog and the Elephant’ recently ran at the Bristol Old Vic Studio and Vault Fest and was produced in conjunction with Ferment. Matt is currently one of the Open Session Writers on attachment at The Bristol Old Vic.

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35

  Matt Grinter  
Expressionist Theatre  
  SATURDAY 9th March 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

This masterclass will transport you from reality to the dream-like – sometimes nightmarish – world of expressionist theatre, where characters are distorted and stylised; language becomes heightened, rhapsodic and rhythmic; narrative becomes disjointed and episodic reflecting the internal struggles of the characters. This physical theatre day will stretch and challenge you, covering all this and more:

• A range of physical and vocal techniques (from Lecoq, Brecht, Grotowski,   Berkoff)
• The expressionist ‘mask’ – using body, face and voice to create exaggerated   characterisation
• The chorus of heightened expression
• Grotesque human-animal work
• Soundscaping, vocal patterning and the physicalisation of language
• The actor-spectator dynamic

Extracts from Sophie Treadwell’s expressionist drama, Machinal, as well as Berkoff’s plays, such as Metamorphosis will be examined practically. Handouts will be provided to accompany the masterclass. Ideal CPD for teachers and directors or intensive physical training for actors wishing to extend their expressive capacity.

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
SATURDAY 6th April 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Following on from John’s excellent masterclass on devising last term, this workshop will explore approaches to adapting (and scripting) existing stories for the stage:

• We will look at how and why texts might be suitable for adaptation.
• We will consider how theatre can best serve and bring to life the original text.
• We will look at approaches for discovering fresh ways to present events and   characters contained within well known/loved stories.
• We will also consider ways to subvert and derail the original source material in   order to highlight themes/events/characters in surprising ways.

John Nicholson is a Bristol-based actor/writer/director and has adapted 10 classic texts into radio plays for BBC Radio 4 and written 20 or so stage plays, including Baskervilles which ran in the West End. Three of his plays are published by Nick Hern books and are regularly licensed world-wide. 

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
Call Clara on 07970 748640 
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