2-DAY CLASSICAL ACTING WORKSHOP

DEEP DIVE: JULIUS CAESAR

THE TENT SCENE

Saturday & Sunday, December 14 & 15, 2019
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: MTC
Instructors:
KATHLEEN CHALFANT, GIGI BUFFINGTON, ETHAN MCSWEENY an MICHAEL SEXTON

Through Red Bull Theater's unique Deep Dive Scene Studies, we maximize each actor’s growth by having all participants investigate the same scene selection. Instead of attempting to plumb the depths of multiple different scenes in quick intervals, our methodology begins with collective table and voice work before establishing scene partners for on your feet exploration and presentation. Each iteration of the scene informs the next, leading to a richer understanding of the characters, the scene and the language of one of Shakespeare’s iconic scenes. The skills you learn through this workshop can be applied to any scene that comes your way.

This intensive will explore Act 4: Scene 3 of JULIUS CAESAR.

‘You have done that you should be sorry for’’

For four hundred years Shakespeare’s convoluted contemplation on assassination, democracy and the bonds of friendship have kept us riveted. Come dive into one of the most famous scenes of friendship in all of literature and learn how to make some of Shakespeare’s most famous language come to tense, riveting life with American Shakespeare Center Artistic Director ETHAN MCSWEENY, celebrated classical actor KATHLEEN CHALFANT, vocal coach GIGI BUFFINGTON and Director and Dramaturg MICHAEL SEXTON.  Whether you’re interested in brushing up your Shakespeare chops for your next production, or simply in having a good time this is the intensive for you.

Essential Question:

How do actors use Shakespeare’s text along with their physical instruments to fully explore the potential of a scene? How can we utilize those same skills to be more effective actors, listeners, and creative communicators?

 

Course Objectives:
  • Increase the flexibility of your physical and vocal instrument

  • Develop a greater awareness of your body and voice

  • Explore techniques for delivering language from Shakespeare’s plays with nuance and truth

  • Explore how Shakespeare utilizes prose or verse to create complex characters

 

Enduring Understandings:

Shakespearean Plays are universal and have stood the test of time. A flexible, confident voice and body are essential for effective presentation of a character on the stage. A deep understanding of Shakespeare’s prose and verse, his use of rhythms and rhetoric is essential to finding the timing, honesty and humor in his plays.

 

Instructors:
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GIGI BUFFINGTON

AEA, SAG/AFTRA, VASTA specializes in voice, text, and performance.

For the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet (with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (with David Tennant)  She toured with Director Tim Carroll’s production of The Merchant Of Venice. She led Voice & Text workshops from the season’s plays to directors, teachers, and university students at Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, and led teacher- training workshops in Voice & Text in the RSC Rehearsal Studios.

She coached the international cast and site- specific production of The Merchant Of Venice, directed by Karin Coonrod, for the five hundred year commemoration of the Jewish Ghetto and the four hundred year anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. 

Broadway credits include: The Minutes (upcoming) and Linda Vista, by Tracy Letts; Straight White Men, by Young Jean Lee; King Kong Live On Broadway book by Jack Thorne. 

Selected Off Broadway Productions include The Thin Place by Lucas Hnath; Heroes Of The Fourth Turning, by Will Arbery; Our Dear Dead Drug Lord, by Alexis Scheer; Dying City, by Christopher Shinn; Mary Page Marlowe, by Tracy Letts; Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet, Adapted by Eric Tucker; Elizabeth: Texts & Beheadings, Brooklyn Academy Of Music and The Folger; Coriolanus, Red Bull; The Tempest, (with Reggie Cathay), at LaMama. 

Three seasons at Steppenwolf Theater include:  BUG by Tracy Letts, (upcoming, with Carrie Coon); Downstate, by Bruce Norris (co-production with the National Theatre Of London.

For American Players Theatre: She directed the highly critically acclaimed production of Jean Genet’s The Maids; Director of Voice and Text from 2013- 2017; Pericles, Othello, An Illiad, The Seagull, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet and Richard III, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merry Wives Of Windsor.

She is an Associate Arts Professor at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

www.gigibuffington.com

KATHLEEN CHALFANT: BROADWAY: Angels in America (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Racing Demon, Dance With Me. OFF-BROADWAY: Wit (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Connecticut Critics Circle, and Obie Awards), For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, A Walk in the Woods (Drama Desk nomination), Talking Heads (Obie Award), Nine Armenians (Drama Desk nomination), Henry V (Callaway Award). LONDON & LOS ANGELES: Ovation Awards for Wit and Red Dog Howls. FILM: Isn’t it Delicious?, R.I.P.D., Lackawanna Blues, Perfect Stranger, Kinsey, Laramie Project, Random Hearts. SELECT TELEVISION “The Affair,” “The Strain,” “The Americans,” “House of Cards,” “The Book of Daniel,” “One Life to Live”; “Madam Secretary,” “Elementary. AWARDS: 1996 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, 2004 Lortel Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Professional Women, and the 2018 Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement. She received the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards and an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Cooper Union

ETHAN MCSWEENY was named Artistic Director of ASC in June 2018. His internationally acclaimed work over the past two decades has been distinguished by both its remarkable diversity and breadth of achievement. In New York, his direction includes the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards) and the premiere of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill; the off-Broadway premieres of John Logan’s Never the Sinner (Outer Critics and Drama Desk awards) and Ellen McLaughlin’s adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Persians, as well as world premieres by Kate Fodor, Jason Grote, and Thomas Bradshaw, among others.

Nationally, his work on new plays, musicals, and revivals has been seen at most of the major institutional theatres in the country including the Guthrie, the Goodman, the Old Globe, the Denver Center, the Alley, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Rep, Center Stage, the Wilma, the Pittsburgh Public, Westport Playhouse, the Arena Stage, and the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, DC, where his string of acclaimed classics includes: The Tempest, Much Ado about Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Ion, and Major Barbara.

Internationally, he has spent two seasons at the celebrated Stratford Festival in Canada, staged multiple productions for The Gate in Dublin, and recently toured his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Macao Arts Festival in China. His productions have been nominated for more than 75 awards and claimed 30 wins, including four for Best Director: Twelfth Night (Helen Hayes Award, 2017), A Streetcar Named Desire (Irish Times Award, 2013), A Body of Water (San Diego Critics Circle, 2006) and Six Degrees of Separation (Star-Tribune Award, 2003).

Ethan served as the Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Theatre Company from 2004- 2011; as a Trustee of SDC, the national labor union representing directors and choreographers, from 2005-2017; and as Treasurer on the inaugural board of the SDC Foundation since 2018. He received the first-ever undergraduate degree in Theatre and Dramatic Arts from Columbia University.

MICHAEL SEXTON (Director, the Public Shakespeare Initiative) was the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society for over twelve years. He is also prolific director, teacher, and dramaturg. The Public: As director, Titus Andronicus (w/Jay O. Sanders); as dramaturg, Hamlet (w/Oscar Isaac). Off- Broadway: As dramaturg: Othello. As director: Coriolanus, The Winter’s Tale, Orange Lemon Egg Canary, Intermission, Trudy Blue, So Close, Birdseed Bundles, Stealing Sweets and Punching People, Wildlife, Learning Curve, Far Away. Regional: As You Like It, Henry V, Edith, Closer.

Schedule:

Saturday
12:00 - 2:00: Table Work with Michael Sexton
2:00 - 3:00: Meal Break
3:00 - 6:00: Scene Work with Kathleen Chalfant 

Sunday
10:00 - 12:00: Open Rehearsal Space
12:00 - 2:00: Voice Work with Gigi Buffington
2:00 - 3:00: Meal Break
3:00 - 6:00: Scene Work with Ethan McSweeny


Preparation:

You will be sent the scene a week before.

 

Materials:

A journal is recommended to record notes and observations. Comfortable clothing that you can move and breathe freely in and a water bottle is strongly encouraged.

 
Concerns? Questions?

Contact Nathan Winkelstein.

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