Greetings from the 2018 Voice, Body Shakespeare Workshop!
Voice, Body, Shakespeare is The Linklater Center’s 6-day June Intensive workshop. It is a time when our faculty gets to work with each other, and go deeper to expand the work we do through the year. It’s always one of our favorite workshops, and one of our most popular.
This year we had a wonderful and diverse group from around the USA and the world, who were all ready to explore how a free voice and mindful body can allow more presence and open creative inner doors to inhabiting the complexity of human experience, the depth of feeling, and the delight of Shakespeare’s text.
Our week began by focusing on an authentic sense of self that can be fully inhabited physically and vocally, in order to bring that personal connection to enliven the verse. This sensitive interplay between inner experience and outward expression was explored through all the classwork. Every morning started with a movement class taught by Merry Conway and a voice class with Tamala Bakkensen. The River Stories exercise on the second day helped the actors bring their personal narrative to allow the fullness of their own lives to flesh out their Shakespeare character’s life in the monologues.
As the week went on, the vocal, physical and text work found a more dynamic expansion of self. The sound and movement progression guided the actors to be more responsive to imagery, and to allow their unexpected impulses to find expression through their whole self. This series encouraged the players to be more courageous in tapping their inner psychological and emotional lives, and more free in their expressive release in order to meet the often epic demands of their Shakespeare characters’ text.
Daniela Varon delved into Structure of the Verse to look at the rhetorical devices that support the text’s emotional intensity and clarity of intention from moment to moment, and to find the liveliness of wordplay. In the text classes, Benjamin Moore and Andrea Haring coached the participants in smaller groups, helping them to synthesize the week’s work and identifying each actor’s area for growth. The groups were generous in spirit with each other in class, were very open to new suggestions, and made great strides in finding more engaged and expressive performances.
It was a terrific week – thanks to all who made this such an amazing experience!