ISC collaborates with LAMDA

Building on the momentum created by the visit of Shakespeare’s First Folio of plays from the Folger Library, the ISC is hosting instructors from one of the most prestigious acting schools in the UK, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). LAMDA will present workshops for both actors and a general audience in February while the Folio is in town.

1]  Romeo and Juliet: Clues on Creating Character:

Using the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet as our starting point, this fun and interactive workshop demonstration explores two of Shakespeare's most famous characters and investigates how character can be discovered from the text. Members of the Ducdame Ensemble will support and demonstrate some exercises. This workshop includes a tea & scones reception. • This workshop is suitable for an audience of readers, beginners, non-actors, and actors. Be prepared to join in with discussions and questions!

Joanna Read notes:
“An actor’s job is to mine the text, to approach any role with an open view, not to pre-judge or impose upon the character but to make them speak freshly for the audience. When playing Shakespeare’s iconic famous characters, this can be difficult. How can the actor tackle these well-worn roles anew? Using Romeo and Juliet’s famous balcony scene as its starting point, this lecture/demonstration exploreS how an actor can build character from the text. We will use some simple exercises with the text to explore and compare the language of Romeo and Juliet and take a fresh reading on the Romeo and Juliet relationship.”

Taught by Joanna Read and Judith Phillips.
Tea and Scone reception, plus workshop.

Tuesday, February 16, 5 p.m.
$30 per person
$15 for students


2]  Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Finding Meaning in the Text

This workshop involves an exploration of Shakespeare’s sonnets through voice and body, breathing life into the literary form. It will start with shared exercises designed to help actors and readers experience words in the oral/aural dimension, rather than as literary “shapes” on the page, focusing on breath, sound and articulation, and the practice of active listening.
     We will reappraise form—rhythm, rhyme, the image, rhetorical shapes, the texture of language in assonance and alliteration—through speaking and listening. How do rhyme, the variation and quick change of rhythm and thought, the choice of image, the specificity of the word, affect the actor and listener?
     If time permits, shared exercises will then be applied to workshopping sonnets with individual actors.

Note from Judith Phillips:
The workshop reflects a typical class at LAMDA, and shows exercises I have developed to helpactors explore the demands of language and form in Shakespeare’s sonnets, with specificity and with imagination. I do not propose to present answers, but to share ideas and stimulate questions, and I hope that the work will invite the audience to consider the practical challenges that these texts present to the young actor: the demands of rhythm and rhyme, the balance between the forward drive of the thought and the detail of each word, the specificity of the image and how it links into one’s own experience and imagination, and how all the above affect the body, breath, and voice.

Taught by Judith Phillips.
The workshop runs two hours and is open to both actors and observers.

Thursday, February 18, 1:30 p.m.
$25 for actors
$15 for students and observers


3]  Masterclass: Shakespeare’s First Folio

This master class takes students through a lively history of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; explores questions of Elizabethan staging in contemporary performance; delves into Shakespeare’s First Folio; and uses these discussions to approach Shakespeare’s text by working select scenes from the complete plays, with special attention to the opening of King Lear. 
     This workshop is interactive, stimulating, and a great deal of fun! It runs three hours and is geared to all levels of experience, with something in it for everyone—from those just starting out to old pros. All are welcome, and the more who attend, the merrier.  
     No special preparation is required, but if you can, participants should please bring copies of Shakespeare’s complete works, any edition. ISC will have extra copies on hand.

Note from Rodney Cottier:
“Look, what is done cannot be now amended.”
Thus spoke Shakespeare’s King Richard the Third. Yet, for the past four hundred years, we have been doing precisely that. I hope that anyone attending this class will take away a greater confidence when approaching these great works, by examining what is on the page and by exploring the historical context of the Elizabethan and Jacobean world.

Taught by Rodney Cottier, Head of Drama at LAMDA.

Friday, February 19, 5 p.m.
$30 per person for actors
$15 for students and observers


Participating staff from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art 

Joanna Read: Joanna is Principal of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. Prior to that, she was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Salisbury Playhouse for eight years. Freelance work includes the number one tour of Brassed Off for the Touring Partnership and Sheffield Theatres, TALENT for the Palace Theatre Watford, and an outdoor production of the Tempest
     Joanna served as Associate Director at the Octagon Theatre Bolton where she won a Manchester Evening News award, Education Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.   
     As a writer, Joanna's work includes the libretto of Two Cities for a new musical with music by Howard Goodall. She has also written five pantomimes, all performed at Salisbury Playhouse.

Rodney Cottier: Rodney, Head of Drama School, has thirty-one years’ experience as a stage director and teacher of stage combat, acting, and text at LAMDA, where he has directed twenty-five plays from Shakespeare’s canon. He has also taught in the U.S. as a guest lecturer at Citrus College in Los Angeles and at the University of Connecticut, as well as conducting an annual workshop tour of top North American universities (to date he has visited twenty-seven states), focusing on Shakespeare’s First Folio.
     As a fight director, Rodney has worked at Shakespeare’s Globe as Master-of-Fight, choreographing several productions, including Mark Rylance’s Hamlet, as well as at the Royal Opera House, the English and Welsh National Operas, the National Theatre Studio, and many regional theaters.

Judith Phillips: Judith, Head of Voice, teaches Voice Skills to National Broadcasting School Presentation and News students as a group and on an individual basis. She also teaches professional actors and students at the London Academy of Dramatic Art where she has been Head of Voice since 2007. A graduate of Cambridge University, she has an MA in Voice Studies from the Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London.

Also involved in these presentations is the Ducdame Ensemble, an acclaimed LAMDA-trained theater company from New York City with members of the troupe in New York, Canada, London, and Los Angeles.

Dames of Thrones: Women in Shakespeare's Histories

Please see detailed info and a link to buy tickets here!