With yet another April snowstorm bearing down on Minneapolis, plannning for summer is starting to seem like an act of faith. So sing a halleluia and mix up the kool aid because we are about to look at some places you should spend part of the hot weather months. Because they ARE coming.
Summer is a busy time for theatre types. Besides festivals and summer stock, it’s also a great time to seek out some intensive training. There are many programs out there, but when it comes to physical theatre training, there are a few stand out options.
I start with this because it is the one I will be attending. Held in an old white country church building in scenic Spring Green, Wisconsin, this summer intensive is the US presence of London-based Theatre de l’Ange Fou (which translates as ‘Crazy Angel Theater’, in case you were wondering). Steve Wasson and Corrine Soum are masters of the technique of Etienne Decroux, which forms the foundation of my own work even though stylistically I take a different direction.
Watch these excerpts from an Ange Fou remount of Decroux’s work:
Steve and Corrine are offering two workshops this summer: three weeks July 8th – 26th, and two weeks July 29th – Aug 9th. Spring Green is also home to the American Players Theater and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin.
My hometown of Minneapolis is fortunate to have the great talents of Barbara Burlovitz and Robert Rossen, formerly of Jeune Leune Theater. They are joined by Shawn McConneloug, with whom I am not really familiar, for this three-week summer intensive. Barbara and Robert are LeCoq based actors, and they excell at physically and emotionally engaging theater.
Their summer intensive stresses play, observation and improv to open the actor’s imagination, body and voice.
This school in Boulder, CO I know only by reputation, so I can’t give a first-person review, but they have been around for quite a while and have been recommended to me numerous times. Their four-week summer intensive is, not surprisingly, centered on mask work. From their website:
“…the prevailing metaphor in our training at Dell’Arte is the Mask. Whether it is an atmosphere, like one of our foggy mornings here on the North Coast; a “character,” like our former postmaster; a place, like the café across from the school; a play … or a covering for the face”
Can’t Wait for Summer?
Or don’t have two to four weeks to devote to training? Twin Cities performers can check to my three hour workshop this Saturday. And check back for more in the fall.
PS Some of you may know of the Mime School in Gambier, Ohio. Unfortunately, it has been hit hard by the recession and will only be offering a limited youth program this summer