Body Without a Brain
is a high risk, physically demanding dance for camera filmed in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). In it, Rianto seems to be in a trance as he creates a spontaneous encounter with the elements. He describes the work as like a tree without roots. The piece embodies anxiety as the natural world becomes ever more threatened.
stars Gavin Krastin, a choreographer and performance artist. He describes himself as “a gay, white, South African of a certain privilege and class in relation to other bodies.” He suggests that BODY/BAG deals with race and is intended to “expose and speak to the larger politics that affect us all.”
is an excerpt from a half hour documentary shot in Grahamstown, South Africa during the annual National Arts Festival (https://www.nationalartsfestival.co.za/2016-festival/). Interviews were conducted with a wide range of choreographers. This selection focuses on up-and-coming artists Julia Wilson, Lorin Sookool, Athena Mazarakis, and Kamogelo Molobye. The works are inspired by challenges facing women and the LGBT community in contemporary South Africa.
Mark Freeman is a Professor of Television, Film and New Media at San Diego State University. He has produced and directed, written and edited programs for broadcast on public television. Freeman's films have won numerous awards. They have screened at museums including the Museo do Oriente (Lisbon), Weltmuseum (Vienna), Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei), Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History (Washington), the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art (NY).
These videos were uploaded as companions to The Physical Actor, a comprehensive book of exercises for actors. It is carefully designed for the development of a strong and flexible physical body able to move with ease through space and interact instinctively on stage. Annie Loui draws on her training with Étienne Decroux, Carolyn Carlson, and Jerzy Grotowski to bring contact improvisation (CI) into the theatrical sphere. She explains how it can be used to develop alert and embodied listening skills in the actor, and how to apply it working with texts on stage. These videos will be accompanied by an excerpt from The Physical Actor.
Contact Improvisation for Actor Training
is documentation taken from a weekly contact jam session with the actors in the MFA Actor-Training program at UC Irvine. Contact Improvisation is a large part of the movement arc in the first year of actor training, and weekly jam sessions are held weekly integrating all three years of MFA actors. Annie Loui gives a brief description of our use of contact as a tool for actor training in the voice- over.
Contact Improvisation for Actor Training- Movement with text
is documentation of an exercise with 3rd year Graduate Actors at the UC Irvine Actor-Training program, speaking a monologue while contacting with a silent partner. At a moment of heightened activity, the silent partner is removed, and the resulting delivery of the monologue is focused and intensely communicated.
Annie Loui works as a director/choreographer and is the Artistic Director of CounterBalance Theater. Her original physical theater pieces have been seen in France, Monaco, West Germany, Italy, and the United States. She runs the Movement Program for MFA Actor Training at the University of California, Irvine.
In Directions for Directing -Directing Shakespeare at “Hamlet’s Castle”
, Lars Romann Engel, artistic director of “HamletScenen”, in conversation with Dr. Anne Sophie Refskou, Lecturer at University of Surrey, describes his process of working on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. He analyses the process of working with the text and understanding the context of the play and its significance today.
Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method –Adapting the Classics
features snapshots from two different directing workshops conducted in October 2017 with two groups of directing students at RESAD (Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid) in Madrid, Spain. The workshops focused on strategies of recontextualization of classical works and of determining directorial point-of-view. Special thanks to Dr. Ana Contreras for making this possible! Video editing by Emy Tzavra Bulloch.
Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method –Building Character
features director-performer Kate Mueth of Neo-Political Cowgirls, focusing on Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. This workshop took place at East Hampton, NY, in October 2016, part of an attempt to address different ways of looking at the character of Blanche du Bois in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method –Can Directing be Taught
features Vanessa Christodoulou, graduate of the M.A. in Theatre Studies Program at the Open University of Cyprus, talking about her experience of being taught directing in a distance-learning context. She shares audio-visual material taken from her directing work, which was produced especially for class projects. This video was shot in Athens in October 2017.
Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method –Making Robot Theatre
features playwright and director Oriza Hirata’s concept of robot theatre. Making Robot Theatre: An interview with Oriza Hirata of Tokyo-based Seinendan. Video editing by Emy Tzavra Bulloch. Following course to a live interview with the author at Agora Theatre in Tokyo (March 2016), this video was prepared for the purposes of this book in August 2017.
Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method –Movement Work for the Actor
is of a workshop, which brought together performer Miranda Manasiadis and choreographer Malia Johnston. The workshop took place at Footnote Dance and Deirdre Tarrant Studios in Wellington, New Zealand, in May 2017, in preparation for the work on Phaedra I—a solo multimedia performance piece by Avra Sidiropoulou, based on the myth of Phaedra and Hippolytus. Miranda and Malia worked with a number of challenges that Avra had set up, in order to explore different possibilities of embodying Phaedra today.
Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method –Working with a Lighting Designer
New-York based lighting designer Maria Cristina Fusté discusses in detail her process of lighting a theatre production, and the different stages involved therein. She focuses on the multiple aspects of the director-designer collaboration and illustrates her thoughts with images from her own design work. This interview took place in the Centro de Bellas Artes de Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, in October 2017.
Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method –Working with a Set Designer
This video workshop, which took place in Athens, in July 2017, is the result of a process of working on possible ideas for set design for Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea. Athena Stourna shares her intuitions in front of a model she built for the purposes of this book, shedding light on fundamental questions that permeate the director-scenographer collaboration.
Each of these videos were created as part of the web companion of the monograph Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method
, written by Avra Sidiropoulou, and published by Routledge in September 2018. The book lays out contemporary concepts of directing practice and examines specific techniques of approaching scripts, actors, and the stage. Addressed to both young and experienced directors but also to the broader community of theatre practitioners, scholars and dedicated theatre goers, the book sheds light on the director’s multiplicity of roles throughout the life of a play – from the moment of its conception to opening night – and explores the director’s processes of inspiration, interpretation, communication and leadership. The companion website explores the work of international practitioners of different backgrounds who operate within various institutions, companies, and budgets, providing readers with a wide range of perspectives and methodologies. These videos will be accompanied by a chapter of Sidiropoulou’s book.
Avra Sidiropoulou is Assistant Professor at the M.A. Program in Theatre Studies at the Open University of Cyprus. She is Artistic Director of Athens-based Persona Theatre Company, and has worked internationally.