PUPPETRY IN PERFORMANCE ACTING MASTERCLASS

ABOUT THE COURSE

In this three-week long revamped Masterclass, award-winning theatre practitioner Oliver Chong will guide participants through a rigorous process of contemplating physicality, movement and gesticulation through puppet manipulation, drawing reference from notable actor training and performance-devising methods such as Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Viewpoints. This process draws parallels from the philosophy of The Finger Players, incorporating the rigour and micro-awareness of the puppeteer-actor*. This mastery of presence and ease in communication is essential for all practitioners who are looking to advance their virtuosity in performance.

ABOUT THE LECTURER

The most recent winner of Best Actor at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards 2020 for A Fiend’s Diary, Oliver Chong is a multi-award winning and published playwright, director, actor and designer. Some of his memorable works include A Fiend’s DiaryRootsI’m Just A Piano TeacherCat, Lost & FoundThe Book of Living and DyingCitizen Pig and Citizen Dog. His numerous nominations at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards include Production of the Year and Best Director for I’m Just a Piano Teacher, Production of the Year for Off Centre, Best Director and Best Script for Citizen Pig, Best Actor for RootsInvisibility/Breathing and Art, Best Supporting Actor for Itsy, the musicalFlare, Best Ensemble for SenangShit HoleFirst FamilyRashomon, and A Cage Goes in Search of a Bird respectively, and Best Set Design for TwistedCitizen Dog and A Fiend’s Diary.

Oliver was the Resident Director of THE FINGER PLAYERS (2004 – 2018), currently the core member of the company and also the founding member of A GROUP OF PEOPLE (2008 – 2012). He is the founder and Artistic Director of ODDDCROP Theatrical Productions (2019 – present). His published works include RootsI’m Just A Piano Teacher and Cat, Lost & Found.

WHO THIS COURSE IS FOR

You should attend this Masterclass if you:

  • Would like to be introduced to various forms of actor training methods/performance devising methods, that can be employed in Puppetry performance, and/or your practice as a performer
  • Would like to understand your strengths and weaknesses in performance, in a safe and constructive space.
  • Would like to be introduced to like-minded peers and mentor(s).
  • Would like to work on a monologue in a comprehensive and wholistic manner.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

Week 1: Neutrality

In this week, participants will be working on neutrality through improvisational activities, exercises and games; preparing their bodies and setting a foundation together for the Masterclass.

Elements include:

  • Neutral Walk
  • Sensitivity and awareness of space
  • Muscular isolation
  • Wall work, floor work, lane work
  • Introduction to Suzuki Method of Actor Training, Meyerhold’s Biomechanics and Viewpoints

Week 2: Story

Participants will get to rehearse and work on excerpts from selected plays to discover an effective and creative process to dynamic characterisation. Using storytelling and recounting as entry points, participants will also be guided through the process of creating personas for a monologue* presentation.

Elements include:

  • Introduction to Viewpoints
  • Introduction to Meyerhold’s Biomechanics
  • Introduction to Rod Puppet manipulation
  • Contemplating physicality, movement and gesticulation through puppetry
  • Story-telling – theory and concept
  • Retelling the story in performance
  • Adopting the story in performance

*The selected monologue should be submitted to Oliver three weeks before the class commences.

Week 3: Character in Performance

Participants will learn to develop and deepen characterisation and delivery, incorporating actor training methods learnt in the previous weeks to examine the physicalisation of text through puppetry. At the end of this week, participants will be presenting their selected monologues with a rod puppet, and will get to observe, critique and learn from observing one another.

Elements include:

  • Deepening: Meyerhold’s Biomechanics
  • Approaching the Monologue
  • Physicalising performance in the Monologue through puppetry
  • Stabilising the Monologue

The elements introduced in each week would be incorporated in a scaffolded manner.

This workshop will be conducted in English.

REQUIREMENTS

  • You need to have at least 1 year of professional experience in theatre acting.
  • Full attendance is compulsory.
  • Please attend the masterclass in comfortable clothing.

Registration for this Masterclass has closed.

If you have any further queries about this Masterclass, do email us at admin@fingerplayers.com.

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DATE & TIME

23 – 27 August 2021
30 August – 3 September 2021
6 – 10 September 2021

7 – 11pm

VENUE

The Finger Players Rehearsal Studio

COURSE FEE

$700 nett per person

Course fee is applicable for subsidy under SkillsFuture Credits.