Tag Archive: uta hagan

Dec 01

Back in K-S

That’s right, we were back in the space in Kanagawa-Shinmachi last night for our rehearsal.


I’ve been waffling on several things recently. Will we have some kind of showcase/presentation this calendar year? If we do, what will the content be? How much should that content be prepared and polished?


At the moment, I’m trying to figure out a way we can do a showcase for invited guests in the final few days of December. That means I’ve got to deal with venue and content.


For venue, we will probably rent the Kanagawa-Shinmachi space for the day.


For content, well, nothing’s ready just yet. The Elements piece is a no-go. For one thing, we haven’t had the whole group together for a long time now, and for another, the group needs a lot more training (probably guest training; I don’t really have the skills to train actors for physical Theatre) before that piece becomes do-able. We’ve started working on people’s personal stories, and have started running some improvs and Object Exercises in order to support them.In this rehearsal improv, Mari Kawamura enters her room to find it in a shambles.


I was doing the “Three Entrances” exercise with Mayu (just one entrance, though), to create the environment of her shared house in England—a location that features prominently into the story she wishes to tell.


Working on that showed me that, really, I need everyone in the group to do this exercise, so I’ll be assigning it one by one.


We then moved on to an improvisation in which Mari and Mayu dealt with the question of how to deal with a slob roommate.


It was a good evening of rehearsal. We got back to what, to me, were basics, but to them were new ideas. It showed me more clearly that with group being small these days, maybe it’s these things that I should be working on. It will be good practice for me, too, since I hope to be teaching all this stuff in the new year.

Feb 05

Respect for Acting

I’m currently nursing an intense headache while trying to come up with a curriculum for the acting class that I intend to teach in the spring.


To do this, I’ve pulled my Uta Hagan off the shelf and have started flipping through her acting exercises.


It’s amazing how much she and the also-late Michael Shurtleff (only found out today they’ve both died since I left Canada) influenced the way I thought about acting and Theatre.


What they wrote about is still useful for actors, even outside the context of film or the well-made play, but I think those ways of thinking hobbled me for a while as a Theatre-maker.  Actors should all be able to work technically, but playwrights and directors who focus solely on technique are limiting themselves.


My class will be a technical acting class, because I do think that’s where actors should start.  After learning how to play, they need to buckle down and learn discipline in their craft.  A lot of classes, especially here, where they are targeted at people who just want to have fun, neglect the discipline and concentrate instead on entertaining the students at the expense of education.


Anyway, I should stop trying to write this, and get back to my curriculum…