This class introduces improvisational physical theatre methods: rasaboxes, and The Expressive Actor to explore character building from the ground up. The Creative Performer is an active investigation into the process of creating believable characters for stage and screen. Because of its versatility it is useful for actors, directors, dancers, musicians, artists and theatre practitioners alike.
The Expressive Actor technique prepares and integrates the actors voice, movement and breath so that each expression is a full-bodied experience. An integrated character is compelling to watch and can respond dynamically and believably to the given theatrical situation.
Rasaboxes trains participants to express eight key emotions first identified in classic Indian theatre:
wonder – pride – fear – sorrow – rage – disgust – love – and joy. “Rasa”is Sanskrit for “essence/flavor” – like a great meal, all great performance has a distinct flavor you can digest. We’ll use breathing, moving, vocalizing, drawing, and psycho-physical movement to create character that is visceral and alive.
Week 1: Actor Awareness for Character Study
Introduction to vocal and physical warm ups through The Expressive Actor, and Rasaboxes techniques.
Week 2: Character Sensation
Working with shape and form – focusing on developing impulse, spontaneity and kinesthetic awareness.
In class 3 each student selects a character & text to work on for next 3 weeks.
Week 3: Character Expression
Working with gesture and character behavior – exploring dynamics and playing actions (Actions: the psycho-physical choices actors make moment by moment to convey the nuances of their character and the story itself).
Week 4: Characters Relating
Improvised scene work for characters relating directly and indirectly with other characters and situations.
Week 5: Character Composition
Solo and Scene creations – Final showings.
Shelley Lynn is an adjunct theatre instructor at UNLV and the College of Southern Nevada teaching beginner acting, physical and devised theatre. Shelley spent sixteen years between the UK, Boston and Colorado making original theatre and directing while earning her BA in Performing Arts from DeMontfort University, Leicester, and a Masters in Performance Studies at Queen Mary University of London. In this time she worked with numerous professionals as a dramaturg, coach and director including Obie award winning Robbie McCauley, writer, director Tim Etchells of Forced Entertainment, and Paula Murray Cole and Richard Schechner in their development of physical theatre practice, rasaboxes. In 1998 she co-founded Performance Works theatre dance company based in Colorado, with choreographer Katherine Hooper – and launched the East Coast version, BoSoma, with Hooper in 2004. She is a certified Expressive Actor teacher in the Lugering method and a Yoga Alliance 200 hour Ashtanga yoga instructor. Today, along side running The Vision Space, Shelley directs emerging artists from the local community as well as seasoned performers from Cirque and other national touring companies.