SITI Summer Theater Workshop

Suzuki Method
Suzuki Method Training, 2014 Workshop

About the Workshop

June 7 - July 4, 2015 - 2016 dates and details coming soon!

Sixty artists are invited to take part in an intensive workshop that includes hard, physical work, theoretical research, and the generation and performance of new work by each participant. The program’s objective is to develop courageous theater artists who are able to integrate into their work new influences from many disciplines. The curriculum is designed for pre-professional and professional artists. All classes are taught in English. If English is not your first language, and you have questions or concerns, please contact the workshop office. This is not an introductory theater training program. The applicant pool varies from year-to-year, but typically applicants range in age from upper-level undergraduate students to seasoned professionals in the field.

Five days a week, the morning classes consist of Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. Afternoon classes alternate between Composition class and additional aspects of creation and performance which may include Speaking in Practice, Movement, Design and Dramaturgy, or Playwriting. Major theories from art forms such as music, painting, and architecture are applied to the creation of new work for the stage. This work involves cross disciplinary cooperation and the application of new ideas and approaches. Each participant is expected to generate and perform in compositions. The remainder of the evenings and weekends are spent in rehearsals, symposia, or specially arranged classes with guest artists. Participants are expected to attend all classes and be available for weekend rehearsals on campus. SITI’s training is physically challenging. Applicants should come in good health and prepared to work hard. Those with questions or concerns regarding participation should contact the workshop office and their own physician.

The Suzuki Method
The Suzuki Method is a rigorous, physical, and vocal discipline for actors created by internationally acclaimed director Tadashi Suzuki and his company. Drawing on such diverse influences as ballet, traditional Japanese and Greek theater and martial arts, the training seeks to heighten the actor’s emotional and physical power and commitment to each moment on the stage. Attention is on the lower body and a vocabulary of footwork, sharpening the actor’s breath control and concentration.

Viewpoints is a technique of improvisation that grew out of the post-modern dance world and was first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie. She broke down the two dominant issues with which performers deal - time and space - into six categories; hence, the name Six Viewpoints. Since that time,Artistic Director Anne Bogart and SITI have expanded her notions and adapted Viewpoints as a basis for actor training. Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to quickly generate bold theatrical work. It develops flexibility, articulation, strength in movement and speaking, and makes ensemble playing a reality.

SITI Company welcomes guest artist Wendell Beavers to the 2015 workshop. Wendell Beavers joined the faculty of Naropa University in 2003 as the founding Chair of the MFA Theater, Contemporary Performance Program. He was a founding faculty member and early director of New York University's Experimental Theater Wing (ETW) where he taught from 1978 to 2003 and was named a Master Teacher at Tisch School of the Arts in 1996. He is one of three major teachers and developers of The Viewpoints, along with originator Mary Overlie, with whom he danced from 1977 to 1985, and the director Anne Bogart. He began choreographing his own work based on somatic techniques in the early '90s, eventually creating Developmental Technique™ from the Body Mind Centering® material of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.

In his teaching, Beavers presents the basic conceptual framework for developmental movement and experiential anatomy and applies this to both structured improvisational exploration and repeatable movement sequences. The immediate goal of somatic technique is to extend and deepen the range of psycho-physical response. These techniques have their basis in material presented by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen in her approach encompassed by Body-Mind Centering®.

The Setting

Workshop classes are held in the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater on campus. Program participants will be housed in one of the College's residence halls. Dormitory rooms are spacious and feature free Internet access and cable television. Participants must purchase the College's board (meal) plan for the duration of their stay. Cooking is not allowed in the dormitories. Our dining hall has an award-winning culinary staff that offers a broad array of freshly made items, including ample vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other special dietary options. Participants will have access to the College's Scribner Library and recreational facilities, including swimming pool, weight and fitness rooms, lighted tennis courts, track, North Woods hiking trails, and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. More information on the accommodations will be provided to accepted candidates in the spring.

Skidmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college known for outstanding academics, a rich cocurricular life, and challenging and caring faculty mentors. It is a place where creative thought matters, as evidenced by its more than 60 majors; its arts-infused, interdisciplinary focus; and the fact that half of the College's 2,400 undergraduates carry two majors or at least one minor with a major.