A Saturday and Sunday playing around with more physical improv. This is an excellent introduction to physical theatre and an important addition to your performing and comedy skillset.
What you’ll be doing in this class
This class is all about movement, and communicating with your body what you might normally communicate with your words. You’ll be introduced to concepts and methods that are crucial to good movement and be given the time to play and put it into practice throughout the weekend.
The full mask frees the actor from having to speak any words. It can seem like a limitation but in reality it often leads to improved nonverbal communication. You will discover how you are able to communicate emotions more clearly by minimising gestures, even when the emotion contradicts the fixed expression of the mask.
The trance mask covers only the top half of the face, leaving the mouth free. Sound is central to working with these masks and there are no given characters. Performers are guided through the process to help them discover a character instead. This technique aims to help performers discover a way of performing that relies more on instinct and was developed by Keith Johnstone at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
The process can sometimes be likened to the development of a child as they discover how to speak, and relate to the world and different experiences.
What you’ll get out of the class
A fun and playful introduction to physical theatre. You’ll also leave with a better undertanding of how to communicate using nonverbal methods, which is extremely valuable in your performances and a crucial addition to your skillset.
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Teacher: Simone Tani
Simone Tani graduated at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris where he studied Theatre, Clown and Bouffon. Recently he founded the bouffon company “Teatro Pomodoro” and performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014.
Earlier, he studied improvisation at the school Verba Volant in Rome, and with Keith Johnstone, Shawn Kinley and Dennis Cahill at Loose Moose theater in Calgary, clown and physical comedy at Second City Theater in Chicago and in London with Mark Bell and Peta Lily (Dark clown), trance and full masks with Steve Jarand (Calgary), commedia dell’arte with Carlo Boso and Onda D’Urto Teatro in Rome, mask making and wood carving in with Anom Ida Bagus in Bali.
He’s one of the founding members of the improvisation company i Bugiardini in Rome and performs and teaches improvisation, trance masks and drama in Italy, UK, France, Finland, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. His workshops have been selected also by Finland International Improvisation Festival, New Zealand Impro Festival, Melbourn Improv Festival and Taiwan National University of Arts.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the masks even for?
The masks are mostly a way to help you as the student focus on your movement rather than what your face is doing or saying. Different types of masks are used for different purposes: full masks free you from having to think about what you're going to say; half masks encourage simple sounds to help you discover your mask's character.
Can't we learn physicality without masks?
Of course you can! But this class will focus on a little more than movement on its own, and on movement as a way of discovery and development. The masks are a way to free you from feeling like yourself, making it much easier for you to discover new characters you didn't know you had in you.
I'm pretty funny. Why do I need to bother with physicality?
There are times when doing is better than saying. You might be able to drop some clever lines about whatever's going on, but having your audience witness a scene unfold in front of their eyes — through action, what you do rather than what you say — is an easy way to make your performance truly memorable.
Regardless of all that: there's surely no harm in adding yet another way you can be funny to your skill set.
Do we wear the masks the whole time?
Nope. That would be sweaty and uncomfortable. You only wear the masks when it's needed.
We can be flexible with payment and so if you’d rather not pay in full now, you can pay a deposit to lock in your place and pay the rest later. If you need further flexbility we can accommodate, just give us a shout.
“Highly enjoyable, engaging, enlightening and above all EXCELLENT!”
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