Umbria 2017: International Symposium for Directors

July 17, 2017 - August 16, 2017

Now Accepting Applications

Deadline: May 15, 2017

Symposium Session One

July 17 - July 31, 2017

Tamar Rogoff

Chiara Guidi

Andrea Adriatico

Caden Manson

Symposium Session Two

August 2- 16, 2017

Motus

Moisés Kaufman

Lee Brock

Sam Trubridge

Session 1

About The Artists

Tamar Rogoff
BODY SCRIPTING FOR DIRECTORS

Body scripting is an investigative approach I have been developing for decades to connect my fascination with anatomy to the process of making choreography and directing physical theater.  It looks at the circular nature of mind/body, as the brain directs and the cells/senses respond by returning information back to the brain.  Places and spaces go into body scripts---the sternum, the space between the nose and the pubis, the cheekbone and the window. Our course in Umbria will include experiential anatomy, both performing and making body scripts and discussions about how all this applies to directing.. It’s playful, investigative and a way to be specific as well as in the moment. I use body scripting in my job as movement coach to actors, as it heightens their sensitivity and enhances their sense of body empathy for themselves, others on stage, and the audience. We are often stuck in bodies and postures we’ve aligned at an early age in response to our psychological environment. This added to rigid dance/theater training, can homogenize individuality, lessen range and dampen the imagination. For the last decade in my work with performers with disabilities I’ve begun learning about the nervous system, our mirror neurons and how the energy of imagination is an organizing physical principle.
TAMAR ROGOFF is a choreographer and filmmaker who explores the outer limits of how people negotiate extreme circumstances. She combines unlikely company members, always on the lookout for ways to tell difficult stories and explore disparate bodies. The Ivye Project (1994) took place in a forest in Belarus, surrounding the mass graves of Rogoff’s relatives. This became the subject of Summer In Ivye, a documentary made by Rogoff and Daisy Wright, screened at the Hamptons Film Festival. Demeter’s Daughter, a large scale site-work on the streets of the Lower East Side, used a cast and crew of 100, community gardens, rooftops, and schoolyards. Daughter of a Pacifist Soldier was based on the year-long relationship between the company and a community of veterans with PTSD. Rogoff choreographed Christina Olson: American Model, a full-length solo at P.S. 122 for actor Claire Danes and Edith & Jenny (2007), an interdisciplinary work for Danes and Ariel Flavin. Diagnosis of a Faun premiered at La MaMa (2009) and the Kennedy Center before touring. For this piece, Rogoff trained Gregg Mozgala, an actor with Cerebral Palsy, to dance. Mozgala and Rogoff were invited to Harvard and Johns Hopkins to talk about his unexpected transformation and Rogoff’s choreographic method she’s named Body Scripting. Enter The Faun, Rogoff and Wright’s documentary, premiered at Sarasota, Margaret Mead, and Dance on Camera, among other festivals worldwide.March 28th 2017 it will be broadcast on PBS. Rogoff was movement coach to Danes in HBO's Emmy-winning Temple Grandin, to child actor Thomas Horn in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and other actors. She is a five-time recipient of grants from the NEA, and has been funded by Dancing in the Streets, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Rockefeller MAP Grant, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Harkness Foundation, Sundance and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Chiara Guidi
THE "PRESENCE" IN THE REPRESENTATION | BETWEEN CHILDHOOD & THE VOICE

I have the feeling that every theatrical action put in place a question about the theater itself and its need.
Which theatre do I look for? Which representation of the world?
To deepen this question, we have to act and, through the experience,  discover further  questions. Continuous discoveries…but this process takes time.
The same time the craftsman needs,
Because only the experience and the practice can design a clear picture while remaining obscure.
But how we can feel  a presence in the representation?
How do we search a theatrical action that could present and take off, that could remain central and dominant in the representation but also faithful to the ‘uncertainty’ principle?
How can we combine what we see and what we do not see?
Because we cannot limit ourselves only to what we ‘see’!
The audience, then, may refrain from immediately explaining everything.
In the drama, in the scenic rhythm, in the actions,  in the theater, an Empty time has to enter, in which the viewer and the actor may spend more time, without being immediately carried away by the narrative pace. A double, triple look that allows you to experience the representation through all your senses: childhood knows it very well
Through four figures: Buchettino from Perrault, Glimmung from the novel by P. Dick "Galactic Healer", Macbeth from Shakespeare, Oedipus from Sophocles we are facing the questions and, by acting, we will seek other questions that, like the Delphic oracle,  do not tell, do not hide,  but show signs.
“I believe that my work lies essentially between childhood and the voice, due to both of their ability to rise towards something that cannot as yet be seen, and to believe in that which has not yet come about. This is why I want to remain within the type of culture that children carry inside themselves. Spending time with small children, who live prior to language, I as well can rediscover my voice and wrap up within myself the mystery of life.” C.G.
CHIARA GUIDI, one of the founders of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio with Romeo Castellucci, now simply the Societas, has been honing her ideas on children’s theatre and vocal experimentation for over twenty years, in order to raise questions as to the nature of theatre and see how, through childhood and the voice, it can become a sonorous experience of language and the word. Between childhood and the voice, there lies an intuition: theatre needs the revolutionary force of children, because through them it is possible to leap into the void opened up by imagination and play; this allows language to be put to the test, and thus adopt a way of listening to that which is not present, but is present. Language, upon a closer look, does not come across to children as a whole. Children act on it, conditioning it; and thus the voice, which, as a pure will to speak, is sound, and carries with itself the unveiling force of music. In this way, the voice leads the word to gain a glimpse, within that which is said, of the force of that which is not said. The practice of theatre in which Chiara Guidi is engaged, from a vocal perspective and with particular attention to children, turns to play in its search for the possibility of experiencing another vision of the world in which sound becomes palpable and forms are transformed, one passing into the next, just like when children look at a chair and see a horse. Just like play, art as well, as Chiara Guidi tells us, does not aspire towards knowledge, and yet generates it. A bit like fables, which are not intended to impart knowledge, and yet teach. And the knowledge that emanates from this process, in which the voice delves deep and lifts veils, generates experience and stresses the process of work. The presence of the child and the unknown horizons of the voice also activate an unexplored path for actors, now called towards a “scenic play” with the same necessity and urgency expressed by children’s games. Theatre, for Chiara Guidi, is never a form of entertainment held on the stage, nor does it  turn to an audience in order to inform it. It is a gesture that has to do with wonder, not communication, and searches for the ideal spectator’s vision in children. Young children express that pristine condition of the gaze that theatre demands; they are the original and  originating spectators. Chiara searches for this when she creates performances for adults as well. The theatre of this director, performer and dramaturge – who often holds encounters in schools – requests educators and adults to adopt an attitude of listening, asks children to act according to the rules of the game, and calls for spectators to rediscover their own role of responsibility in seeing and feeling, so as to make their way further, disarmed, into the birth of beauty.

Andrea Adriatico
DOCUMENTARY THEATRE: OF FIRES & BATTLES, OF LOOKS & MASSES

Can history be told through theatre - the history that moves and hurts, that amuses and transforms us, the history that develops, explains and makes existence magical?
The workshop develops as a personal reflection of the artist's professional journey. Andrea Adriatico, both in his film and theatre works, has always dealt with the history of his time. The history of simple men and women, busy investigating the present within the expressionist dichotomy that juxtaposes “man and mass," the individual viewpoint versus the collective issues.
ANDREA ADRIATICO was born in L'Aquila in 1966. He has worked extensively in theater, imposing an unscrupulous style merger between genders, facing complex authors and topics with visual and narrative inspiration from cinema. Among the authors staged: Beckett, Brasch, Koltès, Pasolini, Mishima, Cocteau, Copi. His shows were presented in theaters and Italian and European festivals (France, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Macedonia) with important co-productions, from Santarcangelo of Theatres at the Venice Biennale. In Bologna he founded in 1991 the International Centre for Life Theatres. From 2000 also he began a career in film. Between 2000 and 2002 he created three short films hosted in numerous international festivals, where they won several awards. In 2004 he directed his first feature film, The Wind in the Evening, invited by the Berlin Film Festival. The film was subsequently screened at over twenty international festivals around the world and won the Roseto Opera Prima Film Festival. His second film, Andres and (Andres and me), was presented at the 2007 London International Film Festival. He won the Special Jury Prize at the Annecy Festival. In 2010 he signed, along with Giulio Maria Corbelli, director of the documentary film + or the confused sex, tales of worlds AIDS era, which takes stock of the situation on the pandemic that swept our century. Just released, the film won the International Prize Emilio Lopez in Pescara and the award for best documentary film at theMix  of Milan. Andrea Adriatico is also a professional journalist and lecturer the film section of the DAMS  of Bologna.

Caden Manson
FRAMEWORKS: DIGITAL DEVISING FOR CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE

Frameworks is a set of techniques in digital devising for contemporary performance. It incorporates a new and expanding vocabulary for performance that reflects and embodies our hyper-connected world; it includes exercises for creators, collaborators, and participants in performance works; and it engages in working with contemporary technology. Some of the concepts and exercises that will be introduced are: The Hybrid Body - training the body for simultaneous presence. This topic incorporates movement based training in an awareness of the video camera and its frame; learning multiple presence, or how to accomplish overlapping performance goals through moment-to-moment acting; dramaturgy of the Image; and technical discussions about evolutions in media and the use of technology in performance. Post Internet and New Aesthetic - This topic includes developing and coding algorithmic prompts for devising; exercises in aesthetic qualities of reenacting, montage, sampling, looping, and distortion; and embodying the concepts of the timeline, frame rate, and edit.
Caden Manson is a director and media artist. He is co-founder of the media ensemble Big Art Group, editor at Contemporary Performance, and curates the annual Special Effects Festival in NYC. He has co-created, directed, media and set designed 22 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s Le Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Manson is a Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, Pew Fellow, and MacDowell Fellow. He has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, Theater der Zeit, and Theater Journal. Manson currently heads The John Wells Directing Program MFA at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

Session 2

About The Artists

Motus Workshop by Enrico Casagrande e Daniela Nicolò (Motus Company, Italy)
FURIOUS DIASPORA

This workshop is part of an open reflection, of a new much broader research path around the human necessity of moving, traveling, exploring, meeting... of undertaking new existential adventures Elsewhere, far away from one's land or from one's registered identity.
At the heart of this process, the inalienable claim of a Right for all the planet's human beings to be able to do this. Either because they are “forced” by climate catastrophes or by armed conflicts, or simply because they are moved by the desire to propel themselves into the unknown of a new existential/work-related experience in unfamiliar territories.
Furious Diaspora, a quote from Paul B. Preciado's “We say Revolution” - mentioned in the performance MDLSX – is the attempt, at times clumsy, to share a moment of escape from one's own image, age, social condition, sex... to transform ourselves, become something/one else. Sometimes small changes create big transformations.
In Furious Diaspora we want to similarly trace the biographies of artists who are participating by emphasizing the places where they were born and now live. We seek to trace their journeys and connect their personal experiences to their theatre, an all-inclusive space where they can share their experiences and find ways to connect their lives and reflect on the notion of freedom. We see the theatre as the space of multiple transformations, a genuine metaphor to illuminate the societal constraints that we face in our lives.
MOTUS, the company founded by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, an important one for this group that burst onto the scene in the Nineties with productions wielding great physical and emotional impact and has always anticipated and portrayed some of the harshest contradictions of the present day. It has explored and created hyper-contemporary trends in the theatre, performing authors such as Camus, Beckett, DeLillo, Rilke or their beloved Pasolini, leading to their radical reinterpretation of Antigone in the light of the Greek crisis, or Shakespeare’s The Tempest, interpolated by Aimé Césaire, which powerfully evoked the tragedy of emigration and created instant communities around the world. They’ve received numerous acknowledgements, including three UBU Prizes and prestigious special awards for their work. Silvia Calderoni - their tireless protagonist - has worked with Motus since 2005 and is the winner of many awards that include “Best Italian Actress” honors UBU Prize, Elizabeth Turroni, Marte and Virginia Reiter Awards. Freethinkers, Motus have performed all over the world, from Under the Radar in New York, to Festival Trans Amériques in Montreal, Santiago a Mil (Chile), the Fiba Festival in Buenos Aires, as well as all over Europe.

Moisés Kaufman
INTRODUCTION TO MOMENT WORK

In this Lab, participants will learn the basic principles and exercises of Moment Work - the devising method used by the award winning Tectonic Theater Project. Participants will learn to think theatrically, discovering the multitude of ways that the elements of the stage can communicate. They will explore the elements of the stage - lights, sound, costumes, movement, character, and architecture — to discover their full theatrical potential. Participants will also gain insight into how to analyze and critique the work from a practical and theoretical Moment Work perspective. Towards the end of the workshop, participants create a short a piece. This experiment in theatrical language and form encourages participants to think theatrically, to unlock their theatrical imagination, and to discover the multitudes of ways that the elements of the stage can communicate. Directors are taught to analyze and critique the work from a structuralist perspective.
MOISÉS KAUFMAN was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in September. He is also a Tony and Emmy nominated director and playwright. Prior Broadway credits: The Heiress with Jessica Chastain, 33 Variations (which he also wrote) with Jane Fonda (5 Tony nominations); Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams; the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own WifeHis plays Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project are among the most performed plays in America over the last decade. Kaufman also co-wrote and directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, which received two Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer. He is currently directing and writing a new Broadway-bound adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen with Grammy-winning composer Arturo O’Farrill. He’s the artistic director of TECTONIC THEATER PROJECT and a Guggenheim Playwriting Fellow.

Lee Brock
ENCOURAGING SPONTANEITY

Lee will work with directors, refining their communication skills with actors.  She will focus on techniques that make the actors’ work more spontaneous and unpredictable.  She will share ways for directors to achieve results without directly asking for results. Through a process developed by The Barrow Group over the past 30 years, Lee Brock helps directors help actors find the freedom to be spontaneous on stage. The exercises she will share during this workshop are the cornerstone of the Barrow Group method which has trained thousands of actors and directors. The acting that results from her work is the most natural, open and real form. Actors attain a presence on stage that allows anything to happen in the moment. Lee's unique ability to present the work combines her keen perceptive skills with a humanistic approach to working with actors. To prepare, please read, An Actor's Companion by Seth Barrish.
LEE BROCK is Co-Artistic Director and a founding member of The Barrow Group with whom she has appeared in and directed numerous plays.  Directing: Abigail’s Party, The Pavilion, Art, Orange Flower Water, The Timekeepers, Uncle Vanya and others. Acting: The Kennedy Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Playhouse 91, the Lucille Lortel Theater, the Perry Street Theater, La Mama e.t.c., and others.  Her television appearances include ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, LAW & ORDER, LAW & ORDER: SVU, LAW ORDER: CRIMAL INTENT and guest spots on SEX & THE CITY, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE GUIDING LIGHT, and THE DOCTORS. Film: TADPOLE, IMAGINARY HEROS, EXTREME MEASURES, & LABOR PAINS.  She has been a professional acting coach and teacher based in New York City for the last twenty years.

Sam Trubridge
A THOUSAND WORLDS: MAKING THEATRE FROM IMAGE & ENCOUNTERS 

Working in the landscape and buildings of La MaMa Umbria, this workshop looks at how curatorial and design processes can lead the composition of performance works: looking at how theatre worlds can become physical experiences, and how images can take on the dramaturgical weight and the power of words. Drawing on Trubridge’s directorial processes and oceanic background, this workshop exposes the strategies behind a unique practice that works across disciplinary boundaries to reimagine performance and theatre. This has produced large-scale projects like The Performance Arcade festival in Wellington, New Zealand, through to intimate solo performance art works and acclaimed design led productions that have toured the world. “No image satisfies me unless it is at the same time knowledge” – Antonin Artaud (1931) A Manifesto in a Clear Language
Sam Trubridge works between the roles of performance artist, director, designer, and curator. He is known for his strong visual style and creation of genre-carking new event formats for the performing arts, chiefly in his role as the artistic director for the trans-disciplinary performance company The PlayGround NZ Ltd, and founder of The Performance Arcade: an annual festival of performance art on Wellington Waterfront, New Zealand. With The PlayGround Sam has directed and designed The Restaurant of Many Orders at London’s Sadler’s Wells, Wellington’s Te Whaea National Centre for Dance + Drama, and for a tour of three venues around Italy. In 2008 he collaborated with Professor Philippa Gander at Massey University’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre to direct and design the award winning Sleep/Wake (Wellington, Auckland, and New York). Sam’s work has been published and exhibited in various international contexts, including the Prague Quadrennial and World Stage Design. He has presented work at festivals and venues in Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas; and has written articles on performance for various publications worldwide. He is currently the Oceanic editor for World Scenography, a survey of performance design from 1975-2020. Sam conceived, directed and curated The Performance Arcade, a new performance festival on Wellington’s waterfront that has run annually since 2011. The success of this concept continues to support the growth of experimental performance practises in NZ, and has received various awards, citations and commissions.

About La MaMa Umbria Director's Symposium

A training program for professional directors, choreographers, actors and others. Internationally renowned theatre artists conduct workshops and lecture/demonstrations. During the Symposium, participants will travel to Umbrian towns such as Orvieto, Perugia  or Assisi to get a taste of Umbrian art and culture. Performances at local arts festivals and community fairs are also included.  In addition, participating directors may conduct their own workshops to share insights and techniques with their colleagues.
Participants will be exposed to a variety of theatrical perspectives during the Symposium, from instructors who will expand their sense of what is possible in the theatre. Directors attending the Symposium see how prominent artists on the international scene create their unique productions. The workshops are participatory, and it is expected that all attendees will engage actively in the processes of the various teaching artists.  

Frequently Asked Questions

EXCURSIONS: While most of the time will be spent in workshops at La MaMa Umbria, at least one day has been set aside for excursions to nearby cities. We will attend at least one performance event at a local arts festival, which may include Umbria Jazz in Perugia, Spoleto Estate, Todiarte Festival in Todi, etc. There may also be opportunities to see additional performances on an ad hoc basis. The group will visit nearby towns such as Perugia, Umbria’s capital, Deruta, where world-famous ceramics are still painted by hand or Assisi, where the famous Cathedral of St. Francis has reopened after extensive renovation and reconstruction. In addition, we will share an old fashioned Italian tradition, a sagra, or community celebration dedicated to celebrating the specialties produced by small Umbrian villages (such as truffles, olive oil and wine.) Sagras typically include an abundance of locally prepared specialty foods, local wines, entertainment, costumes and games.
EXTRA WORKSHOPS: In addition to our internationally renowned guest teaching artists, there will be an opportunity for you and your colleagues to share exercises and techniques with each other in late night sessions. You may propose a special workshop to offer in one of the late (after dinner) sessions. Use the space on the registration form to describe what you would share. Not all proposals will be accepted based on time and space availability.
CREDIT: The La MaMa International Symposium is accredited through Sarah Lawrence College. While the Symposium is geared for working professionals, some slots may be filled by university students, who may get credit (2 credits for one session of the Symposium and 1 credit for the Retreat) for their participation through an arrangement with Sarah Lawrence College. For more information, please contact La MaMa at (212) 254-6468.
FEE: $2,800 for one session / $5,400 for both sessions. Fee includes all workshops, housing and meals, ground transportation from the Rome airport to and from La MaMa Umbria, excursions by bus, van or car, including tickets to performances at a local festival, entrance fees to museums and other points of interest.
APPLICATION PROCESS: Space is limited. Registrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants must fill out the Registration Form. Space is secured with a deposit of $1,000 due with the registration form. $100 of the deposit is a non-refundable processing fee (unless the Symposium is already full when we receive your registration). All fees should be paid in US dollars in the form of checks or money orders payable to La MaMa ETC. In the case that a participant cannot attend the Symposium after having paid, 50% of the fee will be refunded if the participant cancels by June 20, 2016. After this date, the fee will not be refundable.