For College & University

Devising New Work

In this residency students, with guidance, start from zero and build a performance. They experience and learn: the importance of guideline-setting; multiple techniques for mining for ideas and themes; approaches to agreeing on a theme; crafting a mission and a statement; determining the desired effect on the audience; creating the world; gathering and creating material using various methods in the studio and outside it; tracking and communicating progress; decision-making processes; organizing material; cutting; attending to technical needs; rehearsing, and, finally, performing.

Improvisation

Based on recent work and thinking of Keith Johnstone, participants play games to learn improvisation skills like pleasing their scene partner and staying happy when they fail. For high school, college, & professional performers. Here is a handout for a short improv workshop: NC Thespians 3:22:14

NC Theatre Arts B.C.2.1 Use improvisation and acting skills, such as observation, concentration, and characterization in a variety of theatre exercises. I.C.2.1 Use improvisation…to demonstrate given situations. P.C.2.1 Use improvisation…to create extended scenes. A.C.2.1 Use improvisation…to perform for a formal audience using prompts provided by the audience.

 

Body Language and Non-verbal Communication

For students of theater and communication, and anyone who wants to understand what people are saying beyond their words, this workshop breaks down and demonstrates the elements of body language and non-verbal communication. Participants observe and qualify movement in others, learn to bring their unconscious reactions to body language into consciousness, change specific aspects of their own movement, and observe how their feelings and thoughts change as they change their own body language.

NC Theatre Arts Standards: 6-8.C.1 Use movement, voice, and writing to communicate ideas and feelings. 6.C.1.1 Use movement and acting skills to express a variety of emotions to an audience. 7.C.1.1 Use movement and acting skills to express a variety of characters to an audience. 8.C.1.1 Use physical movement and acting skills to express stories to an audience.

 

Mime and Movement for Actors

For drama students, amateurs, and professionals, this residency or workshop helps  create strong, believable, fully-physicalized characters. Participants experience a variety of physical approaches to character development such as image work, energy work, animals, honing kinesthetic awareness, sharpening focus, developing a presence, exploring rhythm and dynamics, and studying and practicing body language principles. Sessions begin with a warm-up, continue with guided physical approaches to character, improvisation-based physical explorations, reflections on character discoveries, and end with reflection on learning and growth. By the end of the residency, participants  will have a sense of how physicalization can strengthen their focus and enlarge their stage presence.

Ms. Kerrigan’s residency was very beneficial and enriching for my 8th grade Movement class. It complemented our unit on gesture and made valid in very obvious ways how vital gesture and expression are to movement and choreography. Sheila presented very well and maintained a good rapport with the students. I was impressed with her clarity, humor and thorough approach to the material.      –Mary Grady Norkus, Durham Academy

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Collaborative Creative Process for Performers

DancersThis residency leads participants through a collaborative creative process from choosing an initial idea and gathering material about it to performing their finished piece. They follow a structure for making progress on the piece. They learn about group dynamics and healthy group practices such as equitable power-sharing and consensus building. They practice giving rigorous, positive critiques and revising their work-in-progress. As people progress from a simple idea to a composition in time and space that communicates intellectually, kinesthetically, and emotionally with an audience, they learn the fundamental, liberating truth that they can create their own worlds with their bodies, voices, and imaginations. This is the power, and the empowerment, inherent in participation in the performing arts.

National Core Arts Standards: Cr.1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. Cr.2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Cr. 3 Refine and complete artistic work. Pr.6.1 Convey meaning through artistic work.

 

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Community-Based Performance: Where Art and Activism Intersect

This is a semester-long interdisciplinary course for performing arts and public policy students that investigates the potential for performance as a catalyst for social change by pursuing the question, “How can the process of creating a performance clarify community conflict, create dialogue around issues, unite people to oppose oppression, and/or effect change in people’s lives?” Working alongside a community group, students harness the power of performing art to create positive change around a social issue. This is a hands-on, participatory course.

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