We think in pictures or impressions and in everyday life we tell our stories using words to convey the pictures of our experiences. We also use actions and objectives and most definitely experience events…By provoking a curiosity in how we ‘live’ Stansilavsky’s terminology in our day to day lives, we felt that directors could gain a greater ease in understanding the analysis process. We were keen to share our knowledge of director Maria Knebel and her pupil Sam Kogan on text analysis and through directors Katie Mitchell, Ian Rickson and others that work has trickled down in various ways into the profession.
We realised that many directors had never experienced being on stage or experienced taking direction. This was the start of ‘Directors Acting’ – an opportunity for a group of directors to gather to learn about methods experientially as actors on courses using tried and tested methods by leading directors. We also felt that directors needed to practice their learning and with the support of the Jerwood Space we launched the Book Club initiative.
Since the early days we have invited all kinds of philosophies into our training field from Boal, Laban and LeCoq to Sandford Meisner and Michael Ckekhov and have merged these methods into our own rehearsal process. We have welcomed world class directors who bring their unique sense of process who are willing to share and guide a new generation. That was important too – for leading directors to defy the notion of being ‘mysterious’ and share their experience and wisdom in an accessible and practical way.
We encourage directors to make connections between these methods so that clarity in rehearsal room practice is respected and actors feel supported. This is crucial as any method or exercise needs to fundamentally help the actor and the play grow.
Natalie Abrahami has taken part in past Living Pictures workshops and we’re really happy and pleases that she will be leading some for us in the New Year (2017). Full circle.