May 6th was Spring Teacher Day at the Shaw Festival. This exciting day of inspiring workshops was led by top artists in the areas of playwriting, movement, musical theatre and literary connections with Alice in Wonderland. Participants chose two workshops for the day. Our Northern Reps - Cheri-Anne Byrne and Jennfier Giancola were there! Find out about their day!
Rob Kempson's Playwriting workshop focused on Discovering Identity: Helping Students find their voice as a writer. Rob led us through a series of writing exercises: Stream of consciousness exercises as well as composed writing. He challenged us to get out of our heads and helped us to find starting points for writing. We delved into the process of editing and revision and differentiated between the Playwright's voice and the Character's voice. Within our story writing we examined relationships, power dynamics, the inciting incident and the "lynchpin" the piece that changes everything we knew before. After having completed some of our own writing, Rob used his DJ exercise with four participants to create a beautiful intro monologue that could be used as a starting point for playwriting!
Intro to "Viewpoints"- Moving the body naturally and dynamically was originally to be led by Jane Johanson, Shaw Choreographer (this workshop will be offered at CODE's fall Annual Conference.) Due to illness, it was instead led by Marc Richard Coordinator of the Music Theatre Program at Sheridan and past CODE Board Dance Liaison! We began the workshop learning the "Brain dance" and did some shadowing, mirroring and travelling. The BrainDance is based on fundamental movement patterns of infants. Through a variety of exercises we learned the nine physical viewpoints: Spatial relationships, Kinesthetic Response, Shape, Gesture, Repetition, Architecture, Tempo, Duration and Topography. Marc led us in some very physical exercises like Entrances, Gestures, Grid Exercises and Lanes. This was a wonderful workshop for any teacher who has difficulty getting students to move!
Doug Price led the Acting through Song-Developing Characters for Musical Theatre. A young and innovative musician, music director, composer teacher and so much more brought characters to life through song. Doug guided participants through his process for helping his actors find the true voice of the roles they play through analysis of music and lyrics. He went through the music highlighting cues from the composer such as pauses, tempo and key changes and how we can use these to help performers understand the deeper intentions Of song and character. Doug also discussed how to monologue a song so that actors gain insight into characters thoughts and emotions. Much like scoring Shakespeare Doug price taught us to find the gems to make a performance stage ready and innovative. Rounding up the workshop with a song writing session the opportunity to work with this young music theatre savant was inspiring. Watch for him on Broadway as it would be no surprise should his work find it's way to 42nd street.
Finally a Literary Connections with Alice in Wonderland was offered by Debra McLauchlan. This participatory workshop provided participants with fun and engaging activities and techniques that tie directly to concepts and themes within Alice in Wonderland. A perfect way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of this classic tale.
Niagara-on-the-Lake was a gorgeous backdrop for this professional development day! The day was a huge success with inspiring workshops, a delicious lunch and some final wine tastings (it is wine country after all) at the end of a long exciting and active day.
Join us in this serene setting at White Oaks Resort and Spa Oct 21-23, 2016 when CODE works again with Shaw at our Annual Conference! www.codeconferences.ca