Shakespeare: Meter, Meaning, and Action
The Shakespeare Actors Gym provides New Mexico actors an ongoing community in which to hone your skills in performing Shakespeare.
Discover what Shakespeare tells you, the 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.
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.
Sessions are two-weeks in length, meeting twice a week for three-hour blocks, a total of twelve hours of work. Sessions are held Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons for the first two weeks of each month, with a performance night held the Wednesday evening following the workshop with friends and family invited. Each session provides actors with the opportunity to work with a different director/acting coach.
Cost is $75 per session (twelve hours of work plus one performance night).
Anyone can audit a three-hour block for $22.
Sessions are limited to ten participants.
FIRST SESSION April, with scenes from a comedy: April 5, 9, 12, 16, and performance on the 19th. Wendy Chapin is Director; Robin Williams, dramaturg. Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m.; Sundays 2 to 5 p.m.
SECOND SESSION May, with scenes from a tragedy: May 3, 7, 10, 14, and performance on the 17th. Talia Pura is Director; Robin Williams, dramaturg. Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m.; Sundays 2 to 5 p.m.
THIRD SESSION June, FOR READERS WHO DON'T PLAN TO BE PROFESSIONAL ACTORS, but would like to more fully engage with the text: June 7, 11, 14, 18, and staged reading on the 21st. Caryl Farkas is Director, with Greer Dubois and Lukas Brasherfons; Robin Williams and Caryl Farkas, dramaturgs. Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m.; Sundays 2 to 5 p.m.
Various aspects of the Shakespeare Actors Gym are led by:
Wendy Chapin has taught acting for more than thirty years to aspiring actors aged 7 to 70. She has taught acting at the College of Santa Fe, in the Santa Fe Public schools, at the Santa Fe Community College, and privately here in Santa Fe for twenty-five years. She loves working with Shakespeare’s verse.
Greer Dubois, visiting artist, is a writer, performer, and prop/puppet designer from the Chicago area. She has directed young people at the Young Shakespeare Players, Children’s Theater of Madison, and Northwestern Lovers and Madmen Youth Shakespeare Project. She has worked as an actor and puppetry designer in Chicago. Credits include Northwestern University and City Literature in Chicago, and Forward Theater and Fermat’s Last Theater in Wisconsin. Greer holds a BA in theater from Northwestern University.
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.
Talia Pura recently relocated to Santa Fe after many years as an EQUITY and ACTRA (Canadian equivalent of SAG-AFTRA) actor, as well as a director of both stage and screen, and an instructor of theatre at the University of Winnipeg. She published two books on teaching drama and directing (Stages and Cues) and has conducted theatre workshops around the world.
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.
Lukas Brasherfons completed his MFA in Dramaturgy from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where he was dramaturg, director, or fight-director for more than thirty plays. Lukas also has a BFA in Acting with a minor in Stage Combat from Columbia College Chicago. Dramaturgical projects in Chicago include work with Northlight Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, Raven Theatre, Next Theatre, the Den Theatre, and Writers Theatre. Earlier in his life, Lukas spent nine years as an actor and student with the Young Shakespeare Players of Madison WI.
Additional artists such as Robert Benedetti, Lynn Goodwin, Ariana Karp, Matt Sanford, and others to be announced.
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