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Skidmore College
Summer Theater Workshop with SITI Company

 

About the Workshop

FALLING & LOVING, 2019, photo by Marina Levitskava

FALLING & LOVING, 2019, photo by Marina Levitskava

June 13 – July 2, 2021 

THE PROGRAM  

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 and 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.

SITI’s training is rigorous and physically challenging. All students are expected to fully participate and perform in all classes and rehearsals to the best of their ability. Applicants with questions or concerns about their own participation are encouraged to contact the Office of Special Programs. 

Morning Training:  Suzuki and The Viewpoints

The morning schedule will offer the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and the Viewpoints. Online training is specifically designed to challenge first time practitioners as well as experienced artists. The training is shared using physical demonstrations, graphics, and individual guidance. This intensive will take advantage of what distance learning does best by adapting to serve participants in their own space while celebrating the act of training together across distance. 

In the first week, artists will be split into training groups based on their experience level, which will allow each artist to get individualized attention whether they are training for the first time or returning for deeper exploration. In the final week of the program, the levels will be mixed to allow artists to learn from one another under the guidance and attention of SITI Company Members.

Suzuki Method of Actor Training

Developed by internationally acclaimed director Tadashi Suzuki and the Suzuki Company of Toga, the Suzuki Method’s principle concern is restoring the wholeness of the human body to the theatrical context and uncovering the actor’s innate expressive abilities. A rigorous physical discipline drawn from 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

The Viewpoints technique grew out of the post-modern dance world. It was first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie who broke down the dominant issues performers deal into six categories, the Six Viewpoints. Since that time, SITI Company has continued to research and explore her original work. The language of the Viewpoints allows the individual artist a way to practice observing the present moment with increasing sensitivity, and to respond with greater range. The Viewpoints also allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to generate bold, theatrical work quickly. It develops flexibility, articulation, and strength in movement for both the individual and ensemble.

Afternoon:  Composition and Ensemble

Afternoons include the generation of original work in Composition, which will offer participants the opportunity to practice the application of the skills learned in morning training. All classes will be taught by SITI artists who will provide personal feedback and dialogue at regular intervals. Throughout the program, artists will create solos and group pieces with the entire ensemble of participants.

Supplemental afternoon sessions offering additional aspects of creation and performance will be announced shortly.

Anne Bogart Lectures

In this singular moment of history, the obstacles to ensemble seem insurmountable, but the value of coming together in sophisticated ways is also heightened. Because of this, we want to examine the concept of ensemble, in all its complexity, as a pathway to the future.  

Each week, Anne Bogart will present from her extraordinary lecture series based upon significant moments in history, or ‘big bangs, that altered the course of theater making,” specifically looking at the development of ensemble. Rather than approaching the history of theater chronologically, this lecture series examines nine social, historic and cultural moments that engendered significant artistic eruptions. Each one profoundly affected the art of theater direction. Little by little, these creative breakthroughs came to form elements of the toolbox that contemporary theater makers have available to them. Topics covered may include: Ensemble, Gesamtkunstwerk, Devising, Political Theater among others. 

TRAINING AT HOME

Accepted students should plan for several hours of morning training, a break for lunch, several hours of afternoon sessions with additional time needed for collaborative work and study outside the online classroom.  The program will be held Monday through Friday; no classes will be held on the weekends. Participants will be expected to attend all classes and a detailed schedule will be forthcoming.  

Students should have access to a dedicated workspace with room to move and a computer or tablet. Additional details will be provided to accepted students in the spring. All classes will be taught using Zoom.