The Prague Summer Theatre School
This course immerses students in three fundamental authorial and alternative theatre forms: authorial performance, devising site-specific theatre, and puppet and object theatre, each with a different teacher. During the first two weeks, you will try each component three times meeting with students of the Authorial Performance, Devising Site Specific Theatre, and Puppetry Intensive courses. At the end of the second week, you choose one of the three subjects to focus on exclusively during the third week. See below for a detailed description of each component and the course descriptions for the Authorial Performance, Devising Site Specific Theatre, and Puppetry Intensive.
This course is ideal for students who are seeking a general introduction to theatre and performance and a rich sample of what DAMU has to offer. Presenting Performance and Enlivening the Performer are separate courses that have been designed to complement each other. You may enroll in one course, but students are encouraged to take both. There is a discount for taking two courses.
Students work toward a final performance at the end of the third week in their chosen component.
June 3rd to June 21st 2013. Three teaching hours every weekday afternoon.
Component A - Authorial Performance
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? Beyond the personal, what is the social, political, and pedagogical significance of our work?
We will pose and reply to these questions through some readings and discussion, but primarily through work “on the floorboards” - solo, pair and group open improvisation exercises exploring spontaneity, expressivity (including vocal expressivity), psychosomatic awareness, and authentic presence; what it means to be a partner to yourself and others; identifying and communicating personal themes; and understanding basic dramaturgical and directorial performance principles. Our explorations will also involve practicing (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner. (For more information about (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner, its creator, and how it is studied, please click here.)
Students who chose this component for the third week will join the Authorial Performance through (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner course and work toward an open class/performance.
Alexander Komlosi, MFA, Ph.D, is a Czech-American authorial actor, director, researcher and teacher who has performed internationally including the Sandra Gering Gallery (NYC); Prague Quadrennial 2003; Théâtre Toursky, Opera of Dijon (France); the Hunter Mountain Culture Festival; Wroclaw’s International Festival of One-Man Theatre. His solo and group theatre projects (e.g., The Office of the Professional Human Being) have received grants in the USA and the Czech Republic (Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Czech Ministry and Prague City Grants, etc.). He has collaborated with various artists and companies internationally including: William Pope.L, Maggie Siff, Martha Wilson and Franklin Furnace (U.S.A.); HoME theatre, Přemysl Rut, Vladimir Javorský (Czech Republic); Golem Theatre (France); Otso Huopaniemi, Hanna Raiskinmäki, Milja Sarkola (Finland).
He has taught regular and Erasmus students at the Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy at DAMU (authorial performance), and has worked as a scientific researcher at the Institute for the Research and Study of Authorial Acting. Alexander has led been studying (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner since 1998 and teach it since 2001, having led workshops at DAMU and internationally (Columbia University, Yale University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Brighton, Rose Bruford College, Central School of Speech and Drama, Theatre Academy in Helsinki). He received his MFA and Ph.D. studying under Ivan Vyskočil at DAMU. Alexander is Program Director for the Master’s program in Authorial Acting (in English) at DAMU and the Director of the Prague Summer Theatre School. Alex is also teaching the Authorial Performance through (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner course.
Component B - Devising Site-Specific Theatre
This is a group collaborative, spatial, and historical 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).
Students 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). Students who chose this component for the third week will develop solo and group projects with pedagogical supervision toward a final group performance at Nekazanka 18 with the Devising Site Specific Theatre course.
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.
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 Devising Site-Specific Theatre 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 Devising Site-Specific Theatre
Component C - Puppet and object theatre
What are the basic approaches to animating puppets and objects in order to create performance? How can stories be told through collaboration between actor, object and space? This course presents students with principles and techniques for work with puppets and objects in alternative theatre.
Students who chose this component for the third week will join the Puppetry Intensive group to create a short performance with the puppets made during the course.
Doc. Karel Vostárek is a visual artist, set designer, actor and director who graduated from DAMU. He has worked in amateur and professional companies as well as with Czech TV. He has taught internationally, including the Volkskunstschule Leipzig in Germany (1982-1988), Granau Workshop and Kirchdorff Workshops in Austria (1985). He has exhibited across the Czech Republic and remodeled well-known theatres and churches in the Czech Republic. He has been teaching at the Department of Drama in Education, DAMU since 1990.