‘Viewpoints’ workshop with Theatre Foundry 6th-7th July
I was unfamiliar with the US method of theatre composition, Viewpoints until our Swallow director, Helen Tennison told me about a workshop she was running for Theatre Foundry in London.
Here’s the Wikipedia definition: Viewpoints is a technique of composition that acts as a medium for thinking about and acting upon movement, gesture and creative space. Originally developed in the 1970s by choreographer Mary Overlie as a method of movement improvisation, The Viewpoints theory was adapted for stage acting by directors Anne Bogart and Tina Landau.
I soon discovered that it was quite a well known theatre practice, although until recently not much explored in the UK. Louise Amos and Helen Tennision are changing all that and plan to run a weekly Viewpoints Impro class in London so watch this space!
For myself I had a ball – I love impro and responding to outside impetus, so the workshop felt really real and powerful. We explored all of Overlie’s Viewpoints including shape, space, time, emotion, movement and story. Although we had a lot to get through it never felt rushed and we had time to explore these different areas in enough detail to get a sense of each of them. Helen was also very articulate and clear in her instructions and you always felt supported in the space. I had just come from the first week of Swallow rehearsals and was truly daunted at the prospect of doing this workshop but I have no regrets and would jump in again gladly. We worked hard and played hard. What’s not to like?!
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