SUZUKI METHOD OF ACTOR TRAINING & VIEWPOINTS
Instructor: Ellen Lauren
Dates: Tuesday September 14th, Thursday September 16th, Friday September 17th
Time: 11:00AM – 1:00PM
The Suzuki Method of Actor Training and the practice of Viewpoints are distinct from one another, however, they share hallmarks that include collaboration, rigor and addressing the meeting point where the individual encounters the ensemble. The influences on both these trainings range from classical Greek theater to post modernism. Together they offer an alternative to current practices in actor training that focus primarily on psychological and emotional approaches. The trainings are not intended to dictate a stylistic approach, rather they serve as a foundation for any avenue a theater artist wishes to pursue artistically. With over 40 years of experience with the Suzuki Company of Toga based in Japan under the direction of Tadashi Suzuki, and as a founding member and co-artistic director of SITI Company based in New York, Ms. Lauren is uniquely qualified to share these invaluable vocabularies to artists from all disciplines.
Online training is specifically designed to challenge first time practitioners as well as experienced artists. The training is shared using physical demonstrations, graphics, and individual guidance. This intensive will take advantage of what distance learning does best by adapting to serve participants in their own space while celebrating the act of training together across distance.
Suzuki Method Training
Developed by internationally acclaimed director, Tadashi Suzuki and the Suzuki Company of Toga, the Suzuki Actor Training Method's principal concern is with restoring the wholeness of the human body and voice to the theatrical context and uncovering the actor's innate expressive abilities. A rigorous physical discipline drawn from such diverse influences as ballet, traditional Japanese and Greek theater and martial arts, the training seeks to heighten the actor's emotional and physical power and commitment to each moment on the stage. Attention is on the lower body and a vocabulary of footwork, sharpening the actor's breath control, Vocal Strength, focus and concentration.
Originally developed by the choreographer Mary Overlie, the Viewpoints is a philosophy of improvisation that grew out of the postmodern dance world. Ms. Overlie broke down the dominant issues of time and space into six categories, calling this approach The Six Viewpoints (www.sixviewpoints.com). SITI Company has continued to research these notions, adapting and expanding them for theater artists. The language of the Viewpoints allows artists to create together spontaneously and intuitively. It fosters a sense of ensemble, as well as deepens the individual’s sensitivity while onstage. The practice of the Viewpoints develops an artist’s awareness how to read what is being made in the process of making. It strengthens an artist’s articulation, and clarifies emotional, intellectual and physical flexibility.
About Ellen Lauren
Ellen Lauren is one of the three Co-Artistic Directors for SITI Company, which she helped found with directors Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki. She is a member of the acting company, and the head of SITI ’s educational programming that includes New York based studios, SITI’s annual Summer Intensive, national and international residencies, and the design of SITI's bi-annual Conservatory.
She is also an associate artist with The Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) under the direction of Tadashi Suzuki for over 34 years.
She has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School of Drama at Lincoln Center for the last 20 years where she received the President’s Award for Excellence on the occasion of Juilliard’s 50th Anniversary.
Performance credits with SITI include: Falling and Loving (with Elizabeth Streb SLAM Dance Company), Bacchae, Chess Match #5, the theater is a blank page( with Ann Hamilton),Persians, Trojan Women (After Euripides), Variations on A Rite of Spring (with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), Café Variations, Under Construction, Radio Macbeth, Who Do You Think You Are, American Document (with Martha Graham Dance Company), Death and the Ploughman, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Room, bobrauschenbergamerica, Hotel Cassiopeia, systems/layers, War of the Worlds, Cabin Pressure, The Medium, Culture of Desire, Going, Going, Gone and Orestes.
Festival tours with SITI include Bonn Germany, Iberoamericano Bogota, BAM Next Wave, Humana, Bobigny, Melbourne, UCLA Center for the Art of Performance, Yerba Buena Arts Center, UNC Chapel Hill Arts Center, Edinburgh, Singapore, Wexner Center, Krannert Center and Walker Art Center; In New York: New York Live Arts, Montclair State Peforming Arts, New York Theatre Workshop, Classic Stage Company, The Women’s Project, Miller Theatre, The Public Theater, Westbeth Arts Center, Under the Radar Festival, New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum and the Joyce Theater, Regional credits with SITI include San Jose Rep, ART Cambridge, Court Theatre Chicago, Alabama Shakespeare and Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Getty Villa Museum in Museum.
Additional credits include The Creative Gesture program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Force Majeure Dance Company in Sydney, The Women (Hartford Stage), Seven Deadly Sins, New York City Opera (Kosovar Award for Anna II) Marina,A Captive Spirit, and Agammenon with Lauren Flanigan, Steve Schick and Roger Reynolds for the 2004 Theater Olympics.
Performance Credits with SCOT include: Clytemnestra in Electra, Agave in Dionysus, Goneril in King Lear, Jocasta in Oedipus, and Juliet in Waiting for Romeo.
Tour venues with SCOT include, Gu Bei Great Wall Theater in Beijing China, Kitchijoji Theater Tokyo, Moscow Art Theatre, Toga International Festival, Alexandrinsky Theatre Russia, The RSC, Theatre Olympics in Athens and Delphi, and the Olympic Arts Festival in Shizuoka, Japan, Buenos Aires Festival, The Carnuntum Festival in Vienna, Bogota Festival, Vienna Festival, Harbour Front Festival Toronto, Istanbul Festival, Festival Mundial Chile, Teatro Olympico Italy, Montpelier France, and Hong Kong Festival.
For over 6 years she headed the Toga International Suzuki Training Summer Program in Toga, Japan, and is a founding member of the International Symposium Committee on the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. In 2017 she produced the International Symposium on SCOT and the Suzuki Training for Actors at Skidmore College in upstate New York and presented SCOT’s last US tour of their acclaimed Trojan Women.
Ms. Lauren has taught for over 300 schools, companies and universities including TEAC National Academy Helsinki, Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Carlos Universidad and Vertiço in Madrid, Soif Compagnie Paris, Maastricht School of the Arts in Holland, Windsor University, Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, St Edwards University, Moscow Art Theatre, Sfumato Theatre Bulgaria, Iceland National Academy, Casa Teatro de Bogota, Beijing Academy, UCLA, OSU, UNC, Toronto University, Columbia University, UNC Chapel Hill, Fordham University, Harvard University, Yale University, and the Beijing Academy.
Ms. Lauren was a Resident company member at StageWest Theatre, Mass, The Milwaukee Repertory and the Alley Theatre, Houston, Texas.
Her directing credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UCLA TFT Graduate program) Iphigenia (The Juilliard School) and Trojan Women (The Juilliard School)
She was the first recipient of the TCG Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement in the United States and is published in American Theatre Magazine (“In Search of Stillness”) and the Modern Masters series edition on Anne Bogart. She is currently working on her book, The Invisible Body.