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.

March 2018 Session on King Lear, Act 1.1

Was the Fool there? Did Edmund hear everything? What were the sisters thinking? Was Cordelia appealing to Kent?

Join a special Shakespeare Gym devoted to performance aspects of the first scene of King Lear. Find answers to these questions as you dig into the text and discover the stage directions Shakespeare gives us within the text as we bring the beginning of this profound play to life.

This Gym includes close-reading, acting games, a short rehearsal process, and a staged performance for friends and family. There are parts for every level—from Cornwall and Albany’s one line each, to Lear’s 121 lines (this part may be split between two actors if no one wishes to take on that much memorizing).

Robin Williams and Caryl Farkas facilitate dramaturgical exploration and performance.

Sessions are 2.5-weeks in length, meeting twice a week for three-hour blocks, a total of twelve hours of work.

Sunday • March 4 • 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday • March 11 • 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday • March 13 • 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Sunday • March 18 • 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday • March 20 • 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Sunday • March 25 • 7 p.m. performance for friends and family

Cost is $75 per session.
Sessions are limited to ten participants.

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.

Various aspects of the Shakespeare 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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