Following her hugely well-received classes on Commedia dell’Arte last term, Cheryl Stapleton returns for a masterclass on the work of Steven Berkoff and the Theatre of Expressionism:
Expressionism as a style of acting takes you to the polar opposite of Realism where vivid, dream-like worlds are created. Characters are distorted and stylised; language becomes heightened, rhapsodic and rhythmic; narrative becomes disjointed and episodic driven more by the internal struggles of the characters in relation to a central theme, than by logical narrative progression.
This entirely practical day is ideal for actors, drama teachers or drama students. The masterclass will:
• Stretch your range and ability to explore the vast expressive potential of your physicality and voice, so that you can perform at the height of your powers
• Enable you to reach the level of exaggeration and the intensity of performance required for Expressionism
• Provide you with a set of techniques that you can apply to both text and devised work
• Ground techniques in theory, linking to key practitioners throughout.
Cheryl Stapleton draws on her theatrical training with Philippe Gaulier, Marcello Magni and Annabel Arden (founder members of Theatre de Complicité) along with her passion for the work of Steven Berkoff, to lead this intensive masterclass that will immerse you in the Theatre of Expressionism.
The workshop will cover:
• Corporeal Mime starting from isolations and ‘plastiques’ this will lead into rhythm and synchronisation. Working with the metronome beat to control and syncopate movement, finding precision, choral movement, expressive ‘mie’ (Kabuki). This is about working from the body to the mind, bridging the gap between impulse and image, allowing the body to create the image for the mind; wearing the emotion on the outside.
• The Expressionist Mask exaggerated characterisation using body, face and voice to create a stylised total character mask without the need of the physical item of the mask.
• The Chorus of Heightened Expression Creating psychological and physical environments with a group of performers; using tension states and ‘masks’ to create choral tableau that mirror, amplify, comment on the emotions of the protagonist.
• The Grotesque Human-Animal Individually and as a chorus we will work with animal states and exaggeration, exploring extracts from plays such as Metamorphosis.
• Physicalisation of Language Vocal patterning, vocal effects, range, emphasis, exaggeration, soundscaping, choral voice, taking the imagery into the voice.
• The Actor-Spectator Dynamic Direct address; illeism; asides and comic timing.