The Actors Centre

The Readiness is All: Acting Shakespearean Text

WHAT IS IT? An exciting, spirited, adventurous approach to how Shakespeare’s extraordinary language can effortlessly activate the actor’s body and imagination. A journey into what makes acting Shakespeare uniquely glorious, this hands-on, dynamic workshop will reveal the gifts packed into Shakespeare’s plays that set the actor free. The workshop will focus on working from the text, the voice, and the body in a way that demystifies Shakespeare, making it accessible and easy to master. HOW WILL IT WORK? Shakespeare's plays are practical and actor-friendly, doing much of the work for you once you know how to use the tools they provide. They are the product of an oral/aural culture, meant to be said, not read, and everything the actor needs is right in the language itself - a language that is muscular, visceral, soaring, deeply grounded in human psychology and emotion, and eminently 'actable'. We will explore the notion of manuscript as score, teaching how to use the techniques of scoring and sight-reading a Shakespearean text to create an immediate, informed, and powerful performance. By following the clues to be found in the facsimiles of the First Folio and some of the Quartos, we will see how the original punctuation, verse structure, and other elements can lead to unexpected and thrilling discoveries about meaning and character, guiding and freeing the actor and inspiring individual creative choices. We will examine how to 'map' a monologue or soliloquy, and how to find the clues to blocking, movement, and stage directions that are hiding in plain sight. WHAT YOU WILL GET OUT OF IT? A reliable, effective technique to acting Shakespeare that will give you confidence, fearlessness, and creative freedom in auditions and performance. Price: £30

Tutor

Erica Gould

Erica Gould is a theatre director and teacher from NYC.  She recently directed a 15-theatre UK tour of a play she developed and directed about Muslim-American women that has been featured in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and on Radio 4 Woman's Hour.  Her directing credits include three world premieres of plays by Neil LaBute and productions at The Public Theatre, Cherry Lane, and The New York Musical Theatre Festival.  She has directed numerous works of Shakespeare, Restoration, Jacobean, and Georgian plays; original opera-theatre; and radio-theatre for National Public Radio.  She has taught at Yale, NYU, Fordham, Pace, Bard, Red Bull Theater, and the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Art; has been a returning guest director at the O’Neill National Theatre Institute, and has directed productions for educational institutions including The Shakespeare Theatre's Academy of Classical Acting, Yale University, Pace University, Connecticut College, and University at Buffalo.  She is also a fight choreographer, and has been a featured speaker for the American Theatre Wing’s Masters of the Stage Series on fight direction and physical staging.

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