Spring School Holidays – Physical Theatre Week

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Program Overview

These Spring School Holidays, the National Drama School opens its doors to primary and secondary school students wanting to explore a career in acting or to develop their imaginations and express themselves creatively.

Suitable for children 8-18 years old, the Spring School Holiday Physical Theatre Week is held in The National Drama School studios in St Kilda. City of Port Phillip concession card holders may be eligible for assistance with fees.
Email enquiries@nationaltheatre.org.au to find out.

Physical Theatre Week

A week of inspiration, creativity and play. 

Over five fun-filled days, this exciting, hands-on, school holiday program will introduce participants to a range of Physical Theatre techniques from all over the world.

During this highly energised school holiday program led by expert industry teachers Dr Jaime Dörner and Selene Beretta Grande, you’ll develop your

  • spatial awareness and self-discipline
  • physical awareness and the ability to find relaxation under pressure
  • physical and vocal presence, power and expressivity 
  • Composition and ensemble skills. 

Participants will become more aware of their bodies in space and time and will explore the ways actors communicate with their audience and fellow performers.

The week will culminate in a presentation for family and friends. 

Class Details

Monday 18 to Friday 22 September 2023

Junior: School Years 3-6 | 5 days | 10:00-4:00pm | $595

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The Physical Theatre Techniques

Techniques explored will include The Suzuki Method, Laban,  Viewpoints, Meyerhold Biomechanics and Eutony based training techniques.

Suzuki Method
The Suzuki Method of actor training is a world-renowned technique that develops physical and vocal presence, precision and power. The technique works to:  Ground yourself in the present moment;  Develop spatial awareness and self-discipline;  Heighten your awareness and find relaxation under pressure.

Exploring the movement principles or “efforts” as created by Rudolf Laban, Laban movement techniques assist with developing movement vocabulary and discovering new ways to physicalise character. 

The viewpoints created by dancer Mary Overlie and developed by theatre maker Anne Bogart is a fun and dynamic training that connects ensembles by awakening students’ instincts through impulse work and play.  It also provides a shared language for the creation and discussion of theatre.

Vsevolod Meyerhold
Developed in the 1920s this biomechanic training for theatre allows the actor to become aware of the body in space and time. Some of the key aspects we will be exploring are: Expressiveness, how the actor communicates with his audience and Responsiveness, the responsive attitude to what is happening to you on stage.

Originally developed by Gerda Alexander, Eutony is a dance training aimed to develop body awareness and lead to deepening the physical possibilities when moving for dance and theatre. Using Eutonia we will work on moving from different parts of our body, using different tempos and levels.

Dr Jaime Dörner is a professional actor and director who has trained in Chile and New Zealand. In 2019 he completed a Doctorate in Theatre and Performance at Monash University, Australia. His practice based Performance project involved research and autoethnography as methodological tools to delve into the concepts of solo autobiographical performance, catharsis, liminality and gender. His curiosity as a practitioner constantly leads him to question the craft of making theatre; what the purpose of theatre is and how effective theatre can be. Jaime believes theatre to be a trigger and a provocateur of emotional/intellectual processes. During his career Jaime has twice been awarded Artists in Residency at Massey University directing King Lear 2015 and A Midsummer Nights’  Dream 2012. He has been Invited to participate in Festivals as a performer and panellist (TAHI: New Zealand Festival of Solo Performance, Makhampom Theatre reunion Thailand), and extensively directed theatre and movement-based shows at BATS Theatre in Wellington including:  Together All Alone, Dancing Until We Drop and The River. Jaime’s latest work Birthday Book Of Storms, was performed at La Mama Courthouse and in August 2023 and will debut at the Hannah Playhouse in Wellington.  As an educator Jaime was the Director of a Diploma in Performing Arts at UCOL in NZ for 5 years teaching acting and movement, alongside teaching in different Universities such as Victoria University of Wellington NZ, Massey University NZ and Monash University in Melbourne. Finally he has also participated in several international projects, workshops and conferences in countries such as: New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Thailand and Italy.

Selene Beretta Grande is an international theatre director and teacher having previously worked in the UK, USA, and Switzerland. She is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London, where she completed a Masters in Theatre. Previously, she completed her conservatory training in New York City as an actress and performed in and directed classical and contemporary works in the United States. Her teaching spans acting methodologies such as Stanislavsky, Hagen and Meisner to experimental practitioners such as Grotowski, Laban, Meyerhold and more. She trained with Anne Bogart and SITI company extensively in the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Viewpoints. Selene began her teaching career in NYC and has since taught and mentored actors professionally as well as youth theatre and children’s theatre programs across the world. She was the Head of Acting in Switzerland’s premier youth acting academy and taught and directed professional actors and students that now appear in the West End and on Broadway.