Notions of Beauty, Harmony, and Composition in Theatre (67402)

Session Information: Workshop: Notions of Beauty, Harmony, and Composition in Theatre

Saturday, 27 May 2023 14:05
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type:Workshop Presentation

I train actors, utilizing a system of theatrical composition called Viewpoints. In the process of working with actors in multiple countries: China, Morocco, Romania, Russia, and Poland, I discovered that my American/Western perspective has taught me a very narrow view of what harmony, balance, and effective composition in theatre is. “Make the space beautiful,” I would tell my Shanghai students as they created a theatrical composition with all the players clustered, unpleasingly to me, in the center of the space. “This IS beautiful to us,” said my Chinese actor; an eye-opening moment. The more I worked with actors in different countries, the more I recognized that there was no singular, universal understanding of beauty and harmony in theatrical space, and that the training tools that I was using were biased. I recognized the need to develop a way of encouraging performers to explore composition in a more freeing way that honored their cultural and aesthetic perspective. In this workshop presentation, I will introduce participants to a way of exploring and understanding theatrical tension and harmony in stage-space that has cross-cultural application. Through a series of photographic images and corresponding stage exercises, I will introduce participants to the tools that I developed in response to my observations. My goal is to provide other practitioners with a way of discussing and exploring stage space with performing artists that enables and honors differing cultural perceptions of harmony, tension, and balance and to raise awareness of our inherent biases, mitigating them in artistic conversation.

Laura Wayth, San Francisco State University, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Professor Laura Wayth is a University Professor/Principal Lecturer at San Francisco State University in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00