Different Every Night – A rehearsal Process with Charlie Cousins
8 weeks: August 7 – September 25, 2021
1pm – 4pm
Inspired by the work of Mike Alfreds and his rehearsal process (outlined in his extraordinary book – Different Every Night) explore ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams over 8 weeks. There will be a focus on several scenes in the play to use as the foundation and framework for a deep dive into TEXT, CHARACTER, and THE WORLD OF THE PLAY in an ensemble environment.
Mike Alfreds’ process has brought together the best elements of Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Viola Spolin, and Rudolf Laban (to name a few) to create a whole new way of rehearsing a play so that it can truly come alive and be… Different Every Night.
The processes are a wonderful balance of specific exercises and instinctive improvisations that are designed to help the actor anchor deeply and viscerally into the given circumstances of the play – this ultimately gives the actor a tremendous amount of confidence and freedom with the text.
Actors no longer need to seek safety in the rehearsed blocking nor control every moment and emotion, which can strangle the life out of the acting and the play. Instead, they are free and alive to the immense possibilities of each moment (while absolutely honouring the world of the play). It is similar to watching a great ensemble of improvised jazz – the play can go in any direction and it is thrilling to experience.
Some of the major processes we will work on are:
- Actions – how to clarify and sharpen them, how to land and sustain them, and how to broaden and deepen our palette of choices.
- Objectives – how to identify and truly connect with them, how to deeply embody and live with them, and how to place all of our attention and needs on our fellow actors/scene partners.
- Obstacles – how they enrich the performance and make the objectives much more specific, complex and crucial.
- Character lists – making sure the character is built up from a solid foundation of facts.
- Laban – a transformational technique that helps actors physically explore characterisation using different energies and ‘efforts.’
- Feeding-in – a process of slowing down and stretching out a scene so that the actor can dare to be braver, and truly play and discover in the moment.
- Specific Improvisations – where we get to uncover and explore the world of the play and learn of its specific rules and conventions that make up this particular reality.
- Points of Concentration – a process of applying the given circumstances to the action of the play. It gives the performance richness of texture, complexity and resonance. Whole new worlds of possibilities open up with how the moments can be played.
Who is the class for?
Ideal for people 18-65 years with some acting experience either through several acting classes/workshops or doing several plays or short films.
Participants must be able to move freely, jump, move from floor to standing easily etc.
Please note: There is quite a bit of homework in the first 3-4 weeks (getting to know the scenes being explored) but after that, it is just the commitment of the classes and the classes will be very much explored on the floor.
What will I need to bring?
For the class – bring a water bottle, notebook/laptop for notes. Please wear clothes you can easily move in (workout gear or tracksuit or loose fitting clothing etc).
You will be emailed a digital version of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ upon enrolment.
In addition to the class, there will be some ‘homework’ to complete in between sessions to ensure you get the most from in-studio time. You will need internet access to complete this.