The Prague Summer Theatre School

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Devising Site-specific Performance

This course is a group collaborative, spatial, historical, and performative adventure in the center of Prague - at Nekazanka 18 - a Baroque house whose most recent incarnation was as the home of Czech Federation of Women(Český svaz žen).

During this three-week workshop, participants will learn to see the potential performative, scenographic, and theatrical elements in various indoor and outdoor spaces at and nearby Nekazanka 18. We will explore ways to make scenographic and spatial interventions that thematise space. Students will also be introduced to different strategies using body, voice, and text performatively in these spaces (composition exercises). They will develop solo and group projects with pedagogical supervision toward a final group performance at Nekazanka 18. The experience, knowledge, and skills gained from this course will prepare students for further creative explorations in devised site-specific work.

This course will be led by two teachers, Tomáš Žižka and Howard Lotker, and include lectures and walking tours by other leading experts in the field.

Tomáš will lead scenographic research and intervention exercises that enable students to develop what they discover in the space into visual, spatial, and thematic material to use in performance. Howard will lead performative research, introducing students to different ways of using body, voice and text performatively to deepen understanding of site-specific material. Lotker and Žižka work from the devised theatre tradition, which involves a high level of collaboration among students. When devising, traditional roles are broken down and become much looser than in most other theatre work. Each participant will be challenged to go beyond their comfort zone, so they can discover new roles and material.

Schedule

June 3rd to June 21st 2013. Three teaching hours every weekday afternoon. Students in this course may also enroll in Enlivening the Performer.

Teachers

Howard Lotker, MFA, is an American performer, director, and a teacher living in Prague. He received his MFA studying under Ivan Vyskočil at the Department of Authorial Creation and Education at DAMU, where he also teaches (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner. He directs the critically acclaimed DoMA/at home, a site specific meta-theatre performance project which takes place in a different apartment every time, and is completely reworked each time to reflect the lives of the owners of the apartment. DoMA/at home won the Next Wave award for “Project/Performance of the Year” in alternative theatre in the Czech Republic in 2006. Howard is a founding artistic director of HoME theater company and he has directed, produced or performed in all of its productions. HoME's experimental and interactive performances have been seen in theaters, streets, in closed factories and apartments throughout Europe, in the U.S., Mexico, and beyond. He is Head of Performance for DAMU's new emphasis on Theatrical Creation in Non-traditional Spaces – Art of Place (DTNP –UMM). He has given workshops in site-specific theater and IwIP at Yale, Columbia University (USA), UVA UNAM (MX), and the School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem (IL), among others. In Prague he has collaborated with creators and groups like, KREPSKO, Kristof Kintera, Jan Nebesky, Stage Code, 4+4 Days in Motion. Howard is also teaching the site-specific component of Presenting Performance and will co-lead some (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner classes.

Prof. Tomáš Žižka, MFA. After graduating from the Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague in set design, Tomáš, who was born in Bratislava in 1963, has worked for various experimental theatres, including as artistic director and set designer for some of them. He still coaches freelance artists, museum staff, and contemporary dancers. He has participated in a range of TV and film. Since 1997, he has been a founding member and director of the experimental non-profitmaking performance facility and artists' community "mamapapa," an interdisciplinary-oriented laboratory that sees theatre not only as an art form but also as a forum for social and communicative interaction. Tomáš has worked as the curator of various dance and theatre festivals, including the Prague Quadriennial "Heart of Q" in 2003, and in performance workshops at home and abroad - for example in the Netherlands, France, Denmark and Brazil. Tomáš is also teaching the site-specific component of Presenting Performance