international shakespeare center santa fe • shakespeare actors gym

Shakespeare: Meter, Meaning, and Action

The Shakespeare Gym provides an ongoing community in which to hone your skills in performing Shakespeare at a basic level.

Discover what Shakespeare tells you, the reader or actor, from inside the text. Explore it deeply, looking at the rhetorical figures, the rhythm of the lines, the rhyme, the prose or verse, the internal stage directions, the forms of address, the social rank juxtapositions, the emphases that Shakespeare has built in, the irony and subtext, and more. Then take what you discover and put it into action with an experienced director/acting coach.

Current session is 2.5-weeks in length, meeting twice a week for two-hour blocks, a total of ten hours of work. Sessions are held Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons for the first 2.5 weeks of March, 2018, with a performance night held on the Sunday following the workshop with friends and family invited. We will be working with King Lear, Act 1, scene 1.

Cost is $75 per session (ten hours of work plus one performance night).
Sessions are limited to twelve participants.

Sunday • March 4 • 4 to 6 p.m.
Sunday • March 11 • 4 to 6 p.m.
Tuesday • March 13 • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday • March 18 • 4 to 6 p.m.
Tuesday • March 20 • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday • March 25 • 7 p.m. performance

The ISC believes that the key to a successful performance comes from the actors and directors sharing a deep understanding of the play, actors thoughtfully speaking the speech, and the cast demonstrating an ability to tell the story while honoring the nuances in the text. We believe the complexity of characters and the ambiguities in the plot are things to celebrate—not dumb down. The ISC hopes to develop a local community of actors with expertise in performing Shakespeare with understanding.

Various aspects of the Shakespeare Actors Gym are led by:

Caryl Farkas worked with a youth Shakespeare group and the Madison Savoyards for a decade in Madison, Wisconsin. She directed young actors and adults in numerous Shakespeare productions with the Young Shakespeare Players, the Shakespeare Circle, and Upstart Crow Productions, and was a founding board member of and performer with Fermat’s Last Theater, a Madison company that takes an experimental approach with classical theater. Caryl’s Shakespeare and Gilbert-and-Sullivan outreach programs reached numerous schools, libraries, and community centers where she introduced young and old alike to the joys of Shakespeare. Since 2014 she has been training youth and directing productions for Upstart Crows of Santa Fe.

Robin Williams holds a masters and a doctorate in Shakespeare studies from Brunel University London and specializes in meter, rhythm, rhetoric, and what Shakespeare tells the actor (or reader) from inside the text.

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