The Character’s Voice: The Physical Approach Into Creating TheatreMay 5th & 12th 10:30-5:30Two Day WorkshopLead by Martha RossZuke Studios1581 Dupont Street, TorontoMartha Ross, co-founder of the award-winning Toronto-based theatre company, Theatre Columbus, is offering a weekend class that will change how you create theatre.Your creator’s voice will be tapped by way of character work: a physical approach Martha adapted from her training at Ecole Jacques Lecoq and her years of experience of creating original theatre.
This class exposes the student to Lecoq’s technique of physically identifying with the rhythms and dynamics of the four elements and then transposing them into the dramatic dimension of character and story.
But the process has an interesting hitch: The ‘universality of tree’, is an impossible quest. By looking for this “universality”, you fail. It is through this ultimate failure that your personal imagination and voice is revealed. Your characters begin to talk and therefore you begin to talk. What you want to bring to the empty stage or the empty page becomes evident. Theatre is born.
As Lecoq wrote, ‘When a student has experienced this starting point, his body will be freed, like a blank page in which drama can be inscribed.”As Martha says: “It’s a time to enter the empty space, it’s a time to play, it’s a time to find out what you want to say.”Martha’s long list of collaborative creations include “The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine”, “The Attic, the Pearls and three Fine Girls”, “Paranoia”, “Hotel Loopy”, to name just a few, and the plays she wrote “solo” include “And Up they Flew”, “Dr. Dapertutto”, “Ratbag”, “The Bog” that was part of the Blyth Theatre Festival’s play, ‘HomeTown’ and more recently, “The Story”, a retelling of the Nativity produced by Theatre Columbus at the Brickworks. Martha has taught across Canada and at the University of Toronto UC Drama program.
What People Have Said about The Character Voice WorkshopThank you so much for guiding, inspiring, pushing, drawing out, witnessing, celebrating, questioning, appreciating…. – SherriThis weekend was artistically-spiritually such a breath of fresh air.. – DaveThanks again for a great workshop! It was way too short…I want more!! You are such a generous and insightful teacher – Sharon
Dates: Saturday May 5 and Saturday May 12 @ 10:30-5:30Location: 1581 Dupont StreetFee: $200Please send a very short bio and any questions to email@example.com
Call for Submissions for the GYM Playoff
We are seeking submissions for short works in development for this year’s GYM Playoffs on Wednesday, May 9 at 8:30pm. The annual playoffs are a chance to flex your athletic artistry and present your budding new works and collaborations to Gym members, Canadian Stage staff, friends, family and members of the artistic community!
We encourage all submissions but especially those inspired by the focus of this year’s festival: music and sound in performance practice.
If you are interested, please send:
– A short description of the piece you wish to present (please note: Presentations must be 10 minutes or less)
– A list of artists involved
– An excerpt or sample of your piece (if applicable)
Submissions are due no later than Friday, April 20
Please send submissions to Kathryn Binnersley, Hannah Rittner and Mairin Smit, Festival of Ideas and Creation Interns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now lace up those submissions and hit send! We look forward to hearing from you!
Eroca Nicols is a woman soaked in charisma and energy. She is deliberate and playful – the perfect combination for an artist that disarms and changes her audience.
Eroca loves boldly, she honours her impulses, and is audacious with her words, thoughts, and feelings. She has a gift for making the strange become familiar, through humour and cutting insights. This way of being is the driving force behind her festival Badass Dance Fun, which was showcased at Habourfront centre last week.
I saw Natural choreographed by Meg Foley and Karaoke Dance Project choreographed by Eroca Nicols. Consequently, our interview was shaped by the playful, provocative, and community inspired vibe that permeated both these pieces.
In this interview you will discover Eroca’s gifts in laughter, conversation, and building communities. Look out for this artist that sticks to her choices – is inspired by failure – and is armed for success.
I know you will have fun reading this interview.
AN INTERVIEW WITH EROCA NICOLS
Why do you think dance suits what was being said in this festival?
I do not think the work is a narrative thing. Everybody has a body, everybody moves it. We all know how to dance because we all know how to move – people get really uncomfortable with it because dance has been presented as this elitist form of art, and that has to do with the way it is presented, and it has to do with the kind of training the people get. So, with Karaoke I felt I could hear and feel an art where it is culturally acceptable for people to fail and to be cheered on by a bunch of drunk people, you know what I mean? I find that pretty interesting – it is about the layers of performance we allow people to do or not do. It is less about a narrative and more about highlighting bodies that are both trained and not trained to move. It is about celebrating bodies that are at different places.
There’s a lot of layering of perspective in the piece, what was your intention with this?
I feel like a lot of interactive work forces people to participate in a very controlled way, it is not about people finding an experience together, it is that I decided what your experience is going to be and I am going to make you have it. As opposed to we can find a way to interact with the space as audience and performer by watching each other and engaging with each other on your own terms, you can choose your level of participation.
There seems to be a yearning in the performance community to change the audience’s experience – I noticed this sense of play with the audience in your piece,so, then, what questions did you hope the audience would leave with after seeing your pieces?
I feel like our show has a series of surprises, where people go, oh shit they are doing that now? But I also think that in my work I try to do some fart jokes, you know sometimes it is a ridiculous fart joke fest. I also believe when there is a certain level of comfort, they start to be themselves when it is not a big anonymous group of people, and then when you get to be yourself and define the role a bit more, and through humour and complete absurdity, and asking the question: wow is that happening? people then become vulnerable in a way that is fun. By having that initial disarming experience the whole experience becomes acceptable and not scary.
What human experience were you testing/examining in this work?
I feel like working with people that are not performers is a huge challenge – I mean they don’t have the codes we are trained to know as artists.
There are a couple of things that came up when the dancers said they were not nervous because they were having so much fun. It puts me in a very different space as a performer when people say they are having fun as a person and as a performer. So I think I tried to create that kind of environment for artists and the audience. I feel like I am trying to treat the audience and the performers as having a shared experience.The performance of observation is something I am finding interesting.
When did the craft begin with this work?
Early – beginning with discussions and people. Some times it began with images. I began with the thought that I want people to be having a good time and then the performance evolved from there.
What kind of spaces inspire you to create?
I am interested in social dances, I am interested in places where people come together to have a good time and are also performing for each other.
Discuss why Karaoke fascinates you.
It’s an exercise in failure. There’s this line of making work that isn’t supposed to be perfect. The intention is not to be perfect. It is to ask questions. I am fascinated by karaoke because it is a melting pot of what it is happening. People are watching, and drinking, and are nervous about going up, and other people are shining when they perform, while others are sad, and it’s just a cultural activity. It’s huge here, and it’s huge in other places. It’s taken so seriously in some places too. Being a good karaoke singer doesn’t mean you are a good singer, it is about people rooting for each other. It’s about people saying dude I have weird skills and listen to them.
What new questions were you inspired to ask yourself while creating this piece?
I just finished working on a solo piece this summer, which was pretty intense. I think after being kicked out of schools and experiencing life, and going to a slightly darker work which was hard I had to ask different questions. I think then it was nice to get back to working with fun – even my solo piece there has fun parts, but it is also majorly emotional shit.
One of the big concerns that I had was to make the people that were not performers feel good, I wanted them to feel like this was a fun thing they wanted to do. I really wanted them to trust me. I wanted them to know I believed they had an artistic voice, and that they felt supported. I also was thinking of the idea of the herd, and what that does to people.
Discuss how you wanted to treat the audience’s conception of engagement.
The whole point of the festival is that we want to change the terms of engagement for people who are watching, for people who are dancing, for people who are being watched. Dance, of the art forms in Toronto is pretty traditional. That’s why the festival happened because we are trying to figure out how to change it. We wanted to ask the questions: What would one do if they didn’t know all the rules of the art form? What it would be like for them?
Discuss the element of surprise in this work.
Yeah we worked with it with warning the audience about the splash zone in the first two rows, and then it turns out to be just a little splash. And that’s about showcasing how we get stressed about things happening that we do not usually experience during a performance. I am just not interested in the relationship where the performers are there for a passive audience. I am interested in an active watching, I think the element of surprise promotes active observation. I wanted people to feel like the piece was really for them. I wanted them to feel included as a member of the performers and as a member of the audience.
What do you say to people who are afraid of being addressed so personally as an audience member?
What I say to them is I want them to come on the journey with us to the point where they become comfortable.
When people feel frustrated and when people feel like this isn’t the right thing, you have to ask: why? They are going to be asking the same questions that I am asking, they are just going to be finding the answers in a different way which is totally fine.
What artists are inspiring you right now?
I think people that are working with democratic pedagogy in teaching, in how do you get information across to people without being dogmatic about it. This in the same way of making inclusive art while making bad ass dancing, how do we make something seriously cool without being elite about it.
How do you want Karaoke Dance Project to develop?
I think as a tour it would be awesome because it would give us the opportunity to see the different kinds of karaoke singers around the world. Karaoke is such a different subculture in so many different places and means so many things to these different places. In different parts of the world it would become a completely different show. The project is a queer project – so that would also be a big political question involved in a tour of this show. It is an outsider project, but that is a lot of my work.
Story by: Hannah Rittner
Website in a Day (aka WordPress for Beginners)
Saturday April 28,201210am – 4pmNeville Studio, Toronto Fringe Offices720 Bathurst Street, Toronto$129.00 per person
delicious catered lunch included
New: all attendees will receive a special promotion from our friends at Pink Elephant Communications!
Learn how to build a website using WordPress – the popular blog and website publishing platform. Whether you’re trying to set up a simple website for your small business, indie arts company, a personal blog, or perhaps you use WordPress at work and would like to learn more, this workshop is for you. You’ll learn how to install, customize, and maintain WordPress on your own website.
We will cover:
- the difference between WordPress.com and hosting WordPress on your site
- how to install WordPress
- selecting and installing a WordPress theme
- building webpages and your site’s menu bar
- adding a blog to your website
- plugins and widgets – how to customize WordPress
- a few lines of code that are handy to know
Bring your laptop, your enthusiasm, and appetite (delicious catered lunch is included!), and by the end of the day, you’ll have built your own website from start to finish.
The workshop is limited to a small group, so there will be lots of time for questions and one-on-one support.
The not-so-fine print:
- Workshop registration is non-refundable, however, your ticket is transferable to a friend or colleague if you can’t make the event at the last minute.
- You must bring your own laptop and power cord – computers are not provided.
S.L.I.P 2012 Application: http://www.summerworks.ca/2011/applications-slip.php
Now in its fourth year, the SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program (S.L.I.P) is a
unique professional training intensive for emerging artists, placing a specific focus on
the business of arts professionalism. This two week program, coinciding with the
SummerWorks Theatre Festival, will take place August 9-19th, 2012.
This unique intensive offers emerging artists and arts workers insights into the thinking
behind producing and how to approach an artistic career from a practical business
perspective. (S.L.I.P does not place focus on performance or on auditioning. We do
not discuss how to get an agent or where to have headshots taken.)
Past points of focus have included: Professional Etiquette, Marketing, Publicity, Grant
Writing, Fundraising, Touring, Financial Planning, Artistic Directing and How To Do
Everything All At Once. Some past professionals who have led S.L.I.P sessions are:
Philip Akin, Gideon Arthurs, Franco Boni, Pat Bradley, Derrick Chua, Ted Dykstra, Jon
Kaplan, Nina Lee Aquino, Jackie Maxwell, Ross Manson, Allyson McMackon, Any McKim,
Yvette Nolan, Kelly Thornton and many more.
Participants also have the chance to be mentored by an artist producing at
SummerWorks. S.L.I.P members and attend an extensive amount of work presented at
Ideal Candidates Are:
– Emerging artists who have a strong interest in producing and artistic leadership.
– Graduating from post-secondary theatre programs or artists who have been in the
industry for up to three years since graduating.
– Available for the entire duration of S.L.I.P (August 8-19, 2012). P.O. Box 12, Station C, Toronto, ON. M6J 3M7. http://www.summerworks.ca 2
There is a $25.00 non-refundable submission fee. Applications will not be accepted
unless this fee is included. Cheques can be made payable to the SummerWorks
Theatre Festival and dated for April 6, 2012.
All applications must include ONE copy of the following.
1. Letter of Intent: Maximum 2 pages, explaining why you would like to be part of
S.L.I.P 2012 and how you think the program will aid in your development as an
2. A Resume
3. Support Materials: Maximum 2 pages. This can include letters of support from
professional artists, examples of your work etc.
4. $25.00 non-refundable submission fee
5. Application check-list found on the next page
The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 6, 2012 by 5:00 p.m. All submissions
must be received or postmarked by this date.
Applications can be mailed to:
SummerWorks Theatre Festival
P.O. Box 12, Station C
If you have any further questions with regards to your application or the program in
general, please contact Jordi Mand, Program Director, at email@example.com
We look forward to reading your application.
Michael Rubenfeld Jordi Mand
Artistic Producer S.L.I.P Program Director
SEEKING VENUE OPERATIONS MANAGER
The SummerWorks Theatre Festival is seeking a Venue Operations Manager for the 2012 Festival.
The Venue Operations Manager reports to the General Manager and Artistic Producer, and is responsible for coordinating Front of House for all the venues that the festival uses.
In addition to the duties listed below, the Venue Operations Manager is expected to attend all scheduled production meetings, staff meet and greet (date TBD), rehearsals and performances as required by the Festival schedule, and any such which directly affects their duties and responsibilities between June 1st to August 31st, 2012.
Specific Duties include:
- Overall responsibility for Front Of House management of the Festival, including delivery of FOH records at the end of the Festival
- Hiring and training for all front of house managers
- Update FOH Information Book for companies
- Contact and communicate with all theatre companies to discuss any special needs
- Coordinate a working policy with FOH Managers from the rental theatres
- Coordinating and running of Volunteer training, in conjunction with the Assistant Venue Manager & Volunteer Coordinator
- Helping to organize and run ancillary events (parties, etc)
- Updating the Front of House Manual
- Liaise with Box Office representative and PR Manager for any ticketing requirements
- Liaise with Production Manager for scheduling
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Superior customer service skills with strong time management and stress management
- Leadership experience with staff and volunteers
- Exceptional organizational abilities
- Ontario Driver’s License
Please email resumes and cover letters to Lucy Eveleigh, General Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Salary – $3000 (You will be required to do some preparation in May with part time hours in June and July and Full time hours in August. You MUST be available for all the dates of the Festival. (9th-19th August)