Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Prague Summer Theatre Program

June 13 – July 4, 2010

Last summer I was accepted into The Prague Summer Theater School, a three-week theater program, directed by Alexander Komlosi, and hosted by DAMU and AMU in Prague, Czech Republic. I participated in both sections of the program: Enlivening the Performer and Presenting Performance. Each section was composed of three courses:

Enlivening the Performer : (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (Instructors: Ivan Vyskocil, Alexander Komlosi and Howard Lotker), Contact Improvisation (Instructor: Monika Rebcova), and Non-Verbal Performance (Instructor: Nina Hlava).

Presenting Perfomance: Puppet and Object Theater (taught by Marek Becka), Solo Authorial Presentations (Instructor: Alexander Komlosi) Outside the Box (Instructor: Howard Lotker)

I chose to participate in the Prague Summer Theater School because of the performative nature of my artwork, and because I am in the process of creating a large-scale theatrical production that would weave my jointed figures, sculptures, installations, and performances into a larger story - one that I envision taking place on a stage. I had been craving the opportunity to further experiment with movement, storytelling, object manipulation, and audience participation and The Prague Summer Theatre School presented the perfect opportunity for me to enter into the world of puppetry and theatre, continue to develop my production, and make connections with others in the field. All in the birthplace of Puppetry and Stop Motion Animation!

The PSTS exceeded all of my expectations. I was one of only about 13 amazing students from all over the world, and we are all still close friends! I loved all of the instructors, each gave us their all. They shared a wealth of knowledge, gave us full access to the facilities and made us all feel very comfortable. I really feel it was essential to take both sections of the program, as putting together an original production requires an understanding of all of these areas.

We studied the body compositionally in space; movement of body in space; how to convey meaning/feelings/emotions with the body & movement; how to build a story and engage the audience; and how to Interact with our Inner Partner. (A class that turned out to be one of the hardest, most fun and possibly my favorite)

When I was not in class, I spent lots of time drinking champagne & cappuccinos, and eating chocolate cake at Café Louvre and pastries at Jan Paukert bakery. And I went to lots of shows! My favorite was “Yesterday” by Jasmin Vardimon Company at the Karlin Theater (across the street from my apartment) as part of “Tanec Praha 2010.” I also really enjoyed performances at The Ponec Theater by Dora Hostova, Tore; Company Decalage, Appel; Jarek Cemerek, Void Amongst Humans; La Macana. And I loved the Mucha Museum.

Please feel free to contact me if you are considering applying to the PSTS, I would be happy to share more information about my experience there.

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