M.A. in Authorial Acting
DEPARTMENT OF AUTHORIAL CREATIVITY AND PEDAGOGY
Nurturing Authorial Personality, Developing Expressive Potential
The study program in Authorial Acting develops a student’s capacity to conceive and perform solo and collaborative performances. We study what it means to be an author and an actor – an authorial actor.
The program views acting and performance in a multidisciplinary manner as creative public behavior. This encompasses “artistic” performance, but students are also encouraged to go beyond traditional forms of performance and even go beyond the limitations of “artistic” performance as such, crossing boundaries and drawing on personal experiences in other fields like education, social work, psychology and the visual arts, in order to devise new creative spaces and situations where participants encounter vibrant themes. This program seeks individuals with a distinct individual voice who are willing to take the risks involved in personal creative development, assume responsibility for the meaning and effect of what they share with others through performance, and can cooperate with others in developing creative communication in artistic fields and beyond. Students are expected to grow as authorial personalities during the course of their studies.
The study program centers on a practical and theoretical exploration of the following questions: What is authorship and creativity and what does it mean to be an author, a creator? How does one discover and cultivate personal themes? How can we share them in a performance situation with the self fully and authentically present? What sort of psychophysical fitness does that require? How can we study and develop such a preparedness? What is the social, political, and pedagogical significance of our work?
Students will acquire a core base of knowledge and develop skills and capabilities needed to discover, develop, and express authorial potential. This means: cultivating an ability to act and interact spontaneously and consciously in performance situations; learning what it is to be a supportive partner for yourself and others; discovering your own themes through open improvisation and how to communicate them; working with language and writing to create and perform texts; performing others’ work (texts, situations, characters); understanding the social, political and pedagogical significance of our work. We pursue multidisciplinary studies, both practical and theoretical, rooted in a psychosomatic (psycho-physical) understanding of the individual (e.g., Stanislavski, M. Chechov, Brook, Donnellan, Vyskočil, Zarrilli) and a philosophical foundation rooted in humanism, personalism, and the dialogical self (e.g., Buber, Frankl, Fromm, Hermans).
Practice and Theory, Knowledge and Capability
The main program immerses students in a studio-based (experiential) course. Students enhance their potential to perform creatively, learning to confront personal obstacles and artistic challenges along the way.
Coursework includes acting/improvisation, performance presentation, voice, speech, movement, writing, devising, theatre pedagogy as well as the program’s integrative discipline – (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (IwIP). IwIP is a multidisciplinary methodology of disciplined study developed by celebrated artist and teacher, Professor Ivan Vyskočil at DAMU. The discipline opens up a range of directions for studying and practicing dynamics fundamental to creative public behavior. Through its process of guided and reflected solo open improvisation, students rehearse and reflect on key acting principles; e.g., paying attention, modulating corporeal suspense, directing action towards a partner, spontaneity, authentic response, play, and discovering and developing personal themes. Please the (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner website for a detailed description of the discipline and its founder: www.interactingwithinnerpatner.org.
Studio classes are complemented by a theoretical strand that introduces students to the fundamental principles of authorship, creativity, dramaturgy, directing, and pedagogy through seminar classes. Thanks to these, students can make educated choices in their creative endeavors. Additionally, the study program engages students with professionals through internships with local artists and institutions, so students gain real world experience and contacts before completing their studies. Visits from international practitioners further enrich the program. Students are also be encouraged to take enrichment trips to cultural hubs near Prague (Berlin, Vienna) as well as collaborate with the program’s partners internationally (e.g., London, Helsinki, New York). DAMU also offers wide range of vocational subjects (e.g., preparing budgets, grants, etc.). As a DAMU student, you may also participated in selected open classes (some taught mostly in Czech) offered by AMU and its sister faculties (HAMU, FAMU) like Pilates, tap dancing, acrobatics, and fencing.
– Nurture and develop the expressive capabilities of acting (improvisation), voice, speech, movement and writing
– Cultivate the capacity and maturity to discover, develop and share personal themes in performance situations
– Facilitate a greater understanding of theatre, performance, philosophy, psychology and pedagogy as relevant to authorial acting
– Impart practical knowledge and skills for producing performance work by providing:
– opportunities for individual performance practice with the support and guidance of trained and experienced teachers/professionals
– hands-on immersion in contemporary theatre/performance in Prague and the Czech Republic through in the field internships
– practical skills and information on how to realize and fund creative work (particularly in the Czech Republic and E.U.)
Admission to the Program
To apply, students must have a B.A. or equivalent degree in theatre/performance or a related field and demonstrate an appropriate level of spoken and written English for creative university study.
Applicants must submit:
– motivational letter (including the reasons why they have chosen the program in authorial acting; a reflection of their practical experience to date; and a vision of their future professional activities)
– creative writing sample in English
– portfolio (presentation of previous works including photos, videos, website, etc.)
– CV with photograph
– relevant qualifications (undergraduate degree or equivalent, transcript of studies)
– completed written application
– appropriate letters of reference (3)
– proof of English language proficiency (e.g., CAE, CEFR Level C1, or similar qualification)
Selected applicants will be invited to attend an audition. In special cases, an online video audition may be arranged (e.g., via Skype).
Application Deadline: April 30th
Invitation to Entrance Exams Delivered to Qualified Students: May 8th
Entrance Exams/Auditions (a Skype session may be allowed by special permission): Late May/early June
Assessment during the program
Students are assessed regularly throughout the two-year program, primarily through evaluations of written and studio work. Students must complete a final performance and written thesis in order to graduate and must defend this work in final an oral examination. Students may take an additional year to prepare and present their final performance and write their thesis if they have fulfilled all other graduation requirements.
After completing the program, students may pursue a variety of different creative paths, for example: developing performance practice individually or in groups in the Czech Republic or internationally (one man shows, performance art, site-specific, creative situations, etc.); sharing their knowledge and experience in educational or social contexts (e.g., teaching, social work); pursuing scholarly research in fields such as theatre, performance and education.
Course Leaders & Selected Faculty
Doc. Jan Hančil is a Czech translator, dramaturge, teacher at the Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy, and Dean of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He worked as a dramaturge at the National Theatre for ten years on over twenty productions. He has been teaching at the Department – acting and (Inter)acting with The Inner Partner – since 1994. He also teaches dramaturgy at the Department of Classical Theatre. Additionally, he has translated numerous books and plays from English to Czech (e.g. Peter Brook’s, The Shifting Point). He is the Chair of the Prague City Arts Council Grant Committee for theatre. Doc. Hančil has co-led workshops on (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner at the Dartington Intensive (2001); Czech Center New York/ Bohemian National Hall and Columbia University (2007); Theatre Academy of Finland (2008); and Rose Bruford College, England (2009); Yale University, University of Colorado Boulder (2011).
Courses taught: (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner, dramaturgy.
Alexander Komlosi, M.F.A., Ph.D. (Program Director) is a Czech-American actor, director, author, translator and teacher who has lived in the Czech Republic since 1998, where he is now a permanent resident. He received his B.A. from Bates College, where he studied under William Pope.L, and an M.F.A. in Authorial Acting and a Ph.D. in Authorial Acting and the Theory of Authorial Creation from DAMU. He began studying the (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner with Professor Vyskočil in 1998 and teaching it in 2001. His dissertation was the first exhaustive study of (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner. In addition to working as adjunct faculty at the Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy at DAMU (IwIP, authorial performance), he has worked as a scientific researcher for the Institute for the Research and Study of Authorial Acting. He is also the Director of the Prague Summer Theatre School at DAMU.
Komlosi works as an actor and director internationally. He has collaborated with various artists and companies including: William Pope.L, Maggie Siff, Martha Wilson and Franklin Furnace (U.S.A.); HOME, os., Přemysl Rut, Vladimir Javorský (Czech Republic); Golem Theatre (France); Otso Huopaniemi, Hanna Raiskinmäki, Milja Sarkola (Finland). His performance practice explores the authorial, multilingual and multicultural. He has preformed at venues internationally, including the Prague Quadrennial 2003; Théâtre Toursky, Opera of Dijon (France); the Hunter Mountain Culture Festival; Wroclaw’s International Festival of One-Man Theatre. He has been awarded the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art twice and numerous Czech Ministry of Culture and Prague City grants. He is currently performing in love.abz, an act of digitally mediated, collaborative live writing premiering in Kiasma Theatre, Helsinki in 2013. His work has received critical praise in Czech and Parisian press.
He has presented or co-presented (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner as follows: Dartington Intensive Project (2001); International Federation for Theatre Research’s 2006 conference in Helsinki; Tisch School of the Arts, NYU (2006); Czech Center New York/ Bohemian National Hall and Columbia University (2007); University of Brighton, England (2007); Theatre Academy of Finland (2008); Rose Bruford College (2009, 2012), Central School of Speech and Drama (2012), England; Yale University, University of Colorado Boulder (2011). He is translator and co-editor (with Michal Čunderle) of, (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner: Principles and Practice, a collection of seminal texts about the discipline into English to be published in 2013.
Courses taught: (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner, acting/open improvisation, authorial performance presentation, speech.
Howard Lotker, M.F.A., is an American performer, director, pedagogue, and translator living in Prague, Czech Republic. He received his MFA studying under Ivan Vyskočil at the Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he currently teaches (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner, improvisation, site-specific performance, devising theater, and acting. He received his BFA in acting from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Lotker is the artistic director and one of the founders of the award-winning critically acclaimed theater company HoME, known especially for their meta-theatrical experimental performances which include site-specific and interactive work. He has co-created and directed, or performed in all of their performances including DoMA/at HoME, Oedipus (complexly), Little Man, and Flush. DoMA/at home won the Next Wave award for “Project/Performance of the Year” in alternative theater in the Czech Republic in 2006. HoME theater is also involved in international exchanges of performances and workshops – in San Francisco and Santa Barbara, California and Prague in 2009, and in Prague and Mexico City in 2010, through its Change/Exchange program. HoME regularly receives grants locally and internationally for its projects.
In Prague he has collaborated with Czech theatre artists (either as an actor, director, or both) such as, KREPSKO, Miroslav Bambusek, Nora Sopkova, Kristof Kintera, Four days in Motion, Tomas Zizka, Jan Nebesky, Stage Code, and Misery Loves Company. Lotker has worked with international artists such as Dogtroep (NL), Joao Fiadero (PT); Carol Brown (UK); DAH Theater (YU); Sachiyo Takahashi (JP). In the US, he has worked as an actor with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, PCPA Theaterfest (CA), and the Lobero Theater (CA) among others. He also has experience acting in films, voice overs, and video games. With Sodja Zupanc-Lotker, Lotker has translated the plays It’s time for IT to Change, I Promised Freddy, and Je Suis by Egon Tobias, and Bliss by Vojta Svejda, from Czech to English.
Courses taught: (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner, acting/improvisation, devising for site-specific performance.
Additional Core Faculty
Nina Hlava, MFA, Ph.D. studied at HAMU (DAMU’s sister school) at the pantomime department under the leadership of Boris Hybner. She specializes in the theatre of Vaudeville, pantomime, clownery, grotesque and tap dance.
Nina has been a member of the theatre group “Bühne Heidenreichstein” since she was 5 years old. She studied under the Bühnenfachverband Austria, at the Scuola Teatro Dimitri (Switzerland), Atellier de Belleville (France) and with Tap dancer Katherine Kramer in Miami (USA). Her goal is to keep pantomime and comedy theatre alive and to pass on the art of solo performance in the tradition of her teachers, who influenced her the most: Clown and mime Boris Hybner, tap dancer Petr Zamostny and Katherine Kramer, mime Martin Sochor and clown Stevo Capko.
Courses taught: Movement, nonverbal performance.
Emmi Komlosi, BA, MA (expected spring, 2013) graduated from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Helsinki, Finland) in 2007 from the performing arts program specializing in community theatre. She studied at DAMU in 2005-6. Currently, she is completing her MA studies in theatre pedagogy at the Theatre Academy of Helsinki, Finland. She has taught and led various workshops in cultural and youth organizations, schools, etc. over the past ten years.
Courses taught: Theatre pedagogy.
Monika Rebcová, MFA, is a dance teacher and choreographer. She graduated from the Department of Dance at HAMU (DAMU’s sister school). She participated in numerous workshops in modern dance, djembe (African drum) internationally. She teaches modern dance at HAMU and contact improvisation at DAMU. She also leads private classes and workshops for professional dancers, mimes, actors as well as the general public. Her dance group, Monika Rebcová Dance as performed internationally since 1991. In 1993, she won the Prix Volinine in France. In 2000, she founded Batocu, an African dance and music group.
Courses taught: Contact improvisation.
Alexander Komlosi, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the program in authorial acting.
For more information on the web, please see:
MA Authorial Acting on Facebook
www.interactingwiththeinnerpartner.org: Further information about (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner and its founder as well as and current activities and downloads.
www.damu.cz/international/the-prague-summer-theatre-school: Prague Summer Theatre Schoo (PSTS) provides theatre students and practitioners with a diverse, hands-on immersion in the principles and practices of authorial and alternative theatre forms, puppetry, set design, and mask making & performance. The PSTS is an excellent way for non-Czech speaking students to acquaint themselves with DAMU, especially for those who may be interested in applying to its Erasmus program and/or the M.A. programs in English.
www.divadlohome.net – HoME Theatre’s website.
Photos used by permission
(Inter)acting with the Inner Partner Collage © Pavel Filip, Nonverbal Play © Alexander Komlosi