Teacher: Abigail Hopkins

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Course date: 22 August – 26 September (6 classes)
Course time: Wednesday evenings 18:30-21.30
Location: The Monkey House, 97-101 Seven Sisters Rd, London N7 7QP, UK
Price: £300

The actor is the instrument through which the playwright’s/screenwriter’s words are given meaning. The actor must breathe life into the text, “lift the text off the page.” As actors, we need to deepen our understanding of ourselves, and our interpretation of life, in order to be able to fully interpret and understand the character we are playing. Acting is about being connected to the world we live in and to others, on all levels, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and is therefore a journey of self-discovery as well as the process of discovering a character.

The classes are deeply grounded in the Method, in naturalistic and realistic acting, and we draw from a combination of innovators, Constantin Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg, Augusto Boal, Viola Spolin, Susan Batson and Sanford Meisner.
In order to make acting truthful and to achieve believability in performance, the purpose of the exercises and improvisations is designed to release the student from limiting pre-conditioned habits, mannerisms, and defence mechanisms.

The work of Stanislavski and Lee Strasberg developed into a system, whereby the actor could recreate emotional authenticity in performance and not rely on “tricks” or fleeting and unpredictable flashes of “inspiration.” The System of Stanislavski and Strasberg, allows the actor to find inspiration in performance, consistently and repeatedly through the techniques of Sensory and Affective Memory and by a thorough understanding of the character and text and the ability to be fully in the moment and in communion with their fellow performers on stage and on set.

In the Six Week Course, we will begin with a warm-up or relaxation exercise, then move onto Technique, working through the Sensory, Affective Memory and other exercises of mainly Lee Strasberg, and other practitioners, such as Augusto Boal and Sanford Meisner. The latter half of the class will focus on scenes and/or monologues and improvisation.

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