I was fortunate to be able to participate in a workshop held at the McManus Theatre, especially for the London One Act Festival participants yesterday, taught by the LOAF adjudicator Alan K. Sapp. There were 15 participants, ranging in age from 11 to late 60’s. We did a number of improvisation exercises from the book “Action Theater: The Improvisation of Presence” by Ruth Zaporah, which is designed for dancers to learn about acting, to get you out of your brain and into your body and voice. We worked individually, with partners, and in small groups, acting silly and letting ourselves really be open and willing to explore and experiment.
To be perfectly honest, it’s been quite a while since I’ve participated in a workshop as a student; I’ve been teaching and directing for what seems like a long time, and it was really good for me to be back in the student mindset. As a teacher/director, I frequently ask my students to just follow along and trust the process, and I really had forgotten what it’s like to have to do that myself. At the beginning of the workshop, I felt vulnerable, and I was nervous at first to look silly or stupid.
I really needed to be back in the role of student and allow myself to be in the mindset of learning, experimenting and being open to trying new things. I was able to finally let go and have some fun!
The workshop ended with a conversation between the participants about playwriting, acting and directing, which was interesting and enlightening. It’s always great to share ideas with like-minded people, and to get feedback and share thoughts and opinions. I’m really happy I was able to participate in this workshop! There is another workshop coming up at the end of the month at the McManus, being presented by Theatre Ontario and the Grand Theatre… I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend (the cost is a concern), but it’s something to consider! It’s important to take advantage of every opportunity you’re able to and to never stop learning!