FREEDOM TO ACT

January 6 - 8, 2017   New York City

Developed by: Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger

Located at midtown studios in NYC

 

Join us for workshops, presentations, lively discussions, brunch... and a devised performance of Alexander Clowns!

The Actor’s Self and Personal Journey

Become a part of our growing AT and Acting community of artists and teachers for the quality of your personal and professional daily life.

Self-Care, Self Knowledge and Living Well

This theme includes preventing injury, working through vocal and movement problems, managing character requirements on stage, and recovering from the mental, emotional and physical demands of performing. The Alexander Technique helps actors recognize their own strengths and habits and provides a pathway to embody growth and change.

Pre-Conference for AT Teachers and Trainees

We will explore how we teach the AT to enhance the actor’s work and training. We will dialogue about how we can best relate the two disciplines in order to be most effective.

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm  

Pre-Conference Panel and Seminar
Location: Balance Arts Center, 34 West 28 Street

Exploring how we teach AT to actors

For AT teachers and Trainees

Location: Balance Arts Center, 34 W 28th St, 3rd floor

6:00 pm

Conference Registration Opens

Location: Pearl Studios, 500 8th Ave., 4th Floor

6:15-6:45 pm

Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Ariel Weiss

7:00-7:45 pm

OPENING SESSION:

Ease and Vitality in a Versatile Vessel

Nadine Mozon

7:45-8:15 pm

Social Hour

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7

9:00-11:00 am - SESSION 1

A.  AT Motion: Actor's Warm-up

    Belinda Mello

B. It’s All a Mix, Darling!

    Kathryn Armour

C. Working Together Mindfully: The Actor/Director Relationship

    Eli Sibley and Carrie Klewin

    

11:00-1:00 pm - SESSION 2

A. Liminal Moment Coordination

   Cathy Madden

B. Making Waves: AT and Momentum in Acting

    Belinda Mello

C. Seeking the Character Within

    Alex Farkas

 

1:00-2:00 pm - LUNCH

 

2:00-4:00 pm - SESSION 3

A. Inspired Breath

  Kathy Miranda 

B. The Alexander Technique Players - a Pop-up Theatrical Clown Performance Part I

   (2 part workshop and performance on Sunday)

   Jean Taylor

C. Your Voice is Your Use: You are the instrument                                           

   Ann Rodiger

 

4:00-6:00 pm - SESSION 4

A. Observation, Reflection, Analysis, Action: How can we learn using thoughtful observation?    

    Gabby Minnes Brandes

B. “To Thine Own Self Be True” Shakespeare and the Alexander Technique.

    Greg Seel

C. The Expanded Self in Neutral Mask

   Sheila Bandyopadhyay

 

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8

10:00-11:30 am - SESSION 5

Small Groups for the Actor’s Self.  

Meeting at Simple Studios 134 West 29th St., 2nd Floor

Personal attention in a small group setting lead by one of the following teachers:

Teva Bjerken

Belinda Mello

Cynthia Reynolds

Emily Whyte

 

12:00-1:00 pm - BRUNCH

Location: Pearl Studios, 500 8th Ave., 4th Floor

 

1:00-2:30 pm - SESSION 6

Location: Pearl Studios, 500 8th Ave., 4th Floor

A.The Alexander Technique Players - a Pop-up Theatrical Clown Performance (Part 2)

   Jean Taylor

B. ActorCare: Nurturing the Self as Instrument

   Margi Sharp Douglas and George Drance

C. Staying with Yourself while Acting

   Joan Frost

 

2:45-3:15 pm - The Alexander Technique Players

   Pop-up Theatrical Clown Performance

   Jean E Taylor

 

3:30-4:00 pm - CLOSURE

Conference Wrap-up

 

Conference Registration:

Pre-Conference (Friday) Fee:  $75

Conference Fee (EARLY ENROLLMENT EXTENDED TO DEC 12th): $240

After December 10th: $265

Students (with current ID) - (EARLY ENROLLMENT EXTENDED TO DEC 12th): $165

Students (with current ID) - registration after December 12th: $185

Pay-by-session: $45

Student pay-by-session: $30

Full registration includes attendance at Friday night events, one workshop in each of the 6 sessions, as well as the closing meeting.

 

Locations:

Friday evening and Sunday from 11:30 on:

    Pearl Studios 500 8th Ave., 4th Floor, (between 35th and 36th St.)

Saturday:

Balance Arts Center 34 West 28th St., 3rd Floor (between Broadway and 6th Ave.)

Episcopal Actors’ Guild 1 East 29th St., (between 5th and Madison Ave.)

Tada! Youth Theater 15 West 28th St., (between Broadway and 5th Ave.)

Yoga Union 37 West 28th St., 4th Floor, (between Broadway and 6th Ave.)

Sunday morning:

Simple Studios 134 West 29th St., 2nd Floor (between 7th and 6th Ave.

 

Contact:

Email: info@balanceartscenter.com

Voicemail: 646-526-6515

Full schedule information at  www.acting-alexander.com

Presented by:

Logo AT Motion   Logo Balance Arts Center

 

 

 

 

workshop archive:

 

Freedom to Act

Conference on Acting & the Alexander Technique

January 8-10, 2016    

Developed by:  Belinda Mello & Ann Rodiger

Location: Pearl Studios, 500 8th Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10033

 

Keep your acting vibrant and lively with an exploration of the Alexander Technique. You will discover new ways to enhance your performance toward more authentic and expansive experiences of yourself in relationship to character and text.

This year's theme is Meeting Text through the Alexander Technique.  We will explore how the technique is an integral part of approaching the challenges of text while highlighting the actor's voice in warm-up, production and expression. Special offerings include a Shakespeare Saturday session and a performance of Jean E. Taylor’s True Hazards of Childhood at The Barrow Group Theater.   

A full-day, pre-conference workshop will be offered by Jean E. Taylor on her unique integration of Alexander Technique with Theatrical Clown. The workshop is co-taught by Cynthia Reynolds.

A variety of workshops and presentations will be offered and useful to theatre, film and Alexander Technique students and professionals. All levels of of experience are welcome to attend.

 

SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8

 

10:00 am - 5:00 pm:  PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP

Accepting Your Wonderful Ridiculousness as a Way to Be Fully Present:

Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique

Co-Teachers Jean E. Taylor and Cynthia Reynolds

Location:  Balance Arts Center, 34 W. 28th St, 3rd floor

 

6:00 pm:  Conference Registration Opens

Location:  Pearl Studios, 500 8th Ave.  4th floor

 

6:15-6:45 pm  

Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Betsy Polatin

 

7:00-7:30 pm

Opening the conference with group experiences.

Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger

 

7:30-8:00 pm

Social Hour

 

 

SATURDAY JANUARY 9

 

9:00-10:50 am:  SESSION 1:  Voice and AT Warm-Up session

A. Vocal Play: Using the principles and pleasurable kinesthetic

sensations of healthy vocal use to warm up your speaking voice

Diane Gaary

 

 

B. The Dart Procedures as an Approach to the Actor’s Text

Kathleen Baum and Celia Madeoy

 

C. Awaken your Text

Margi Sharp Douglas and George Drance (Magis Theatre)

 

 

D.  The Actor’s Secret and Voice

Betsy Polatin

 

 

11:00 am-1:00 pm:  SESSION 2

A. Full Resonance

Melissa Matson

 

B. The Open Scene: Riding the Wave of Inhibition and Direction

Meade Andrews

 

C.  Packing Words with Moving Responses

Cathy Madden

 

D.  Freeing the Body, Freeing the Voice

Geordie MacMinn and Sheila Bandyopadhyay

 

 

1:00-2:00 pm LUNCH

 

2:00-4:00 pm: SESSION 3  Shakespeare Saturday

A.“To Thy Own Self Be True” Shakespeare and the Alexander Technique:

Relationships of Alexander Principles to Textual Devices

Greg Seel

 

B. “The Use of Actions Fair and Good”

Jed Diamond

 

C.  Liberate Shakespeare's Bawdy Body

Janet Madelle Feindel

 

D.  Freedom Born from Structure: Shakespeare’s Verse and Alexander’s Principles

Belinda Mello and Miriam Silverman

 

 

4:15-6:15 pm:  SESSION 4

 

A.  The Art of the Slate: Unifying our Senses for Successful Auditions

Ariel Weiss

 

B.  How Not to Act: Making Non-Doing Your Priority

Alex Farkas

 

C. Speaking and Space

Ann Rodiger

 

D. Performing Chekhov And Carver: The Poetry Of Chaos And Humanity

Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Kristof Konrad

 

7:30 pm: Performance of Jean E Taylor’s  True Hazards of Childhood  
The Barrow Group Theatre (tickets available at registration)

 

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10

 

9:30-11:30 am:  SESSION 5

 

A. Momentum for Intention - Where To Go From Neutral

Lindsay Newitter

 

B.  From “‘Whispered Ah' to Speech and Song"

Kathryn Armour

 

C.  Finding Choice...Sound and Voice Play for Actors

Molly Kampf

 

D. New to the Alexander Technique?: Questions, Answers and Experiences

Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger

 

11:30-12:30 BRUNCH

 

12:30-2:30 pm  SESSION 6

 

A. Motion/Emotion from Text: Applying Current Emotion Theory and Research to Acting with the Alexander Technique

Rachelle Palnick Tsachor

 

B. Imagination and Psychophysical History: Dynamic Fuel for Text Work

Cathy Madden

 

C. Deepening the Inner Life, Widening the Audience Grasp

Sarah Barker

 

D.  Whole Body/Whole Voice "Invite your Whole Self to the Party"

Janet Madelle Feindel

 

 

2:40 - 3:00 pm Closure and Looking Forward

Sarah Barker

 

Pre-Conference Registration:
with Jean E. Taylor $185 - limited enrollment

(includes ticket to True Hazards of Childhood)

 

Conference Registration:

By December 3:  $240

After December 3:  $265

Students (with current ID) registration by December 3:  $165

Students (with current ID) registration by December 3: $185

 

Pay-by-session:  $45

 

Student Pay-by-session:  $30

 

True Hazards of Childhood ticket:  $15

 

Full registration includes attendance at Friday night events, one workshop in each of the 6 sessions and the Closing event

 

Dates and Locations:

 

Pre-Conference  

January 8

Balance Arts Center

34 W. 28th St. 3rd floor

New York City

 

Conference:

January 8-10

Pearl Studios

500 8th Avenue, 4th floor

New York City

 

Contact:

info@balanceartscenter.com

Voicemail:  646-526-6515

www.acting-alexander.com

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom to ACT: 2015

Conference on Acting & the Alexander Technique

January 9-11th, 2015 - New York, NY

Developed by: Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger

Pearl Studios, 500 8th Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY

Explore, discover and experience ways to develop skills and awareness to keep your acting vibrant and lively. The Alexander Technique provides a foundation for your study and practice of any acting method.  It is fundamental and indispensable for the development and refinement of your craft.

This year we are pleased to offer a focus on The Art of Breathing with Jessica Wolf.  We will all receive instruction from Jessica and have the opportunity to work with our breathing in small groups.

We are also expanding the Conference to include a pre-conference full-day workshop with Jean-Louis Rodrigue on Acting on Camera for a limited number of students.

The variety of workshops and presentations offered at this conference are useful to both Acting and Alexander Technique professionals and students.   

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

FRIDAY - January 9, 2015

**PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - CLOSED FOR REGISTRATION**

9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Acting on Camera

Jean-Louis Rodrigue

Location:  Balance Arts Center

34 W. 28th St, 3rd floor

Conference Registration Opens

6:00 pm

Location: Pearl Studios

500 8th Ave. 4th floor

6:15-6:45 pm  

Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger

7:00-7:45 pm

Opening the conference with group experiences.

Ariel Weiss

7:45-8:30 pm

Social Hour

SATURDAY - January 10, 2015

SESSION 1

9:00-10:45 am  

1A.  The Actor’s Secret **CLOSED FOR REGISTRATION**

Betsy Polatin

1B. Dart and Acting

Kathleen Baum and Celia Madeoy

1C. Ensemble Building: How/Where To Begin

Meade Andrews

1D.  Up and Beyond the “Whispered Ah”

Kathryn Armour

SESSION 2

11:00 am - 1:15 pm  

2A. Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing

Jessica Wolf

There will be group sessions following presentation.

LUNCH

1:15-2:15 pm

SESSION 3

2:15-4:15 pm

3A. Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique, Level 1

Jean E. Taylor

3B.  Speaking the Same Language: Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing **CLOSED FOR REGISTRATION**

Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman

3C.  Movement for the Actor: Swings & the Alexander Technique

Sheila Bandyopadhyay

3D.  Panel Discussion: Alexander Technique and Actor Training: What can this collaboration look like?

moderator: Gabriella Minnes Brandes

SESSION 4

4:30-6:30 pm

4A.  Coaching Actors on Camera **CLOSED FOR REGISTRATION**

Jean-Louis Rodrigue

4B.  Coaching Actors on Stage

Sarah Barker

4C.  Coaching the Actor’s Voice

Geordie MacMinn

4D.  Physical Expression on Stage and Screen: Using the Alexander Technique to Help Create Unforgettable Performances

Bill Connington

SUNDAY - January 11, 2015

SESSION 5

9:00-11:00 am  

Small Group Seminars

5A. Inhibiting and Acting

Matthew Ventura

5B. The Art of Being with the Audience: A Signpost to Freedom

Emily Whyte

5C.  Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique Level 2

Jean E. Taylor

5D.  Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing Follow-Up Section 1

5E.  Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing Follow-Up Section 2

5F. Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing Follow-Up Section 3

BRUNCH

11:00-12:15

SESSION 6

12:15- 2:15 pm

6A. "The Latest Breath That Gave the Sound of Word..."

Greg Seel

6B.  Alexander Technique Meets Margolis Method: Empowering Theatre Artists

Belinda Mello with Jarod Hanson

6C.  Integrated Camera Acting

Cathy Madden

6D.  Voice and Text **CLOSED FOR REGISTRATION**

Ann Rodiger

SESSION 7

2:30-3:15 pm  

Closure

Highlights from the Conference

Ann Rodiger and Belinda Mello

Conference closing exercises

Ariel Weiss

__

Pre-Conference Registration:

with Jean-Louis Rodrigue ($175 - limited enrollment)

Conference Registration:

before December 12th:  $240

after December 12th:  $265

Student Registration (with current ID):

before December 12th: $165

after December 12th: $185

Pay-by-session: $45

Student Pay-by-session: $30

Full registration includes attendance at Friday night events, one workshop in each of the 6 sessions and the Closure

Dates and Locations:

Pre-Conference

January 9, 2015 - 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Balance Arts Center

34 W. 28th St. 3rd floor

New York City

Acting Conference:

January 9th, 10th and 11th

Pearl Studios

500 8th Avenue, 4th floor

New York City

Contact:

info@balanceartscenter.com

Voicemail:  646-526-6515

www.balanceartscenter.com

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS AND BIOGRAPHIES 

Ensemble Building: Where and How to Begin

Meade Andrews

In this workshop, we will focus on a series of movement-based explorations designed to introduce the AT within a group setting.  Alexander's core principles (observation and awareness, inhibition, direction) will be specifically addressed via movement etudes, in combination with ensemble-building work, to enhance the process of learning together (igniting and uniting the whole group).

Meade Andrews currently teaches AT, and Movement for the Actor, at Rider University and Westminster Choir College, in Princeton, NJ. Meade has taught in the graduate acting program at Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton), and continues to work at the Studio Theatre (Washington,DC). As a movement coach, she has brought the AT to 40 theatre productions in professional and educational venues.

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Up and Beyond the “Whispered Ah”

Kathryn Armour

My workshop will offer anatomical information, mapping etudes, and speech etudes to bring about internal vocal coordination. We will explore the meaning of “speaking up” as an internal direction with an acoustical result, rather than as an idea about “loudness” or volume.We will practice speaking and then investigate how we might make the leap into song--to melody carrying meaningful text.

Kathryn Armour (M.A. University of Chicago), studied voice in Florence, Italy for 5 years, and then returned to study voice and acting in New York City.  She was a finalist in both the Metropolitan Opera and Pavarotti Competitions and has extensive performing experience in all genres from opera to cabaret.  She was on the voice faculty of New York University for 17 years, teaching in the CAP21 Music Theater Studio.   She also has a busy studio in midtown Manhattan, where she teaches voice (for classical and Broadway singers) together with the Alexander Technique. She holds intensive summer courses in Voice and Alexander Technique at Lake Como, in the Italian Alps, and in late summer she runs a VoiceCamp in New Hampshire.  See details of these study opportunities at www.KathrynArmour.com   Kathryn is currently the Voice and Alexander Technique teacher for the Broadway award-winning Fiasco Theater Company.  Their production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods for the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ  (April-June  2013) won a rave review in the New York Times, and praise from Sondheim himself.    Kathryn was McCarter’s voice coach for the production. She was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 2003, and is a member of ATI. She has been a performer at the last 3 international Alexander Technique Congresses, and participated in the recent Dublin conference.  She has been a workshop presenter in voice and Alexander work at the October ATI convention in Canada, at Wheaton College (MA) Drama and Dance Dept., and  the University of Wisconsin Medical School Voice Clinic.  She will be on the faculty of the February 2014  Florida AT workshop with Meade Andrews and Martha Hansen Fertman.

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Movement for the Actor: Swings & The Alexander Technique

Sheila Bandyopadhyay

This workshop will be an experiential class in the Swings Movement work developed by Master Movement teacher, Trish Arnold. Developed specifically for actors, the Swings emphasize release, momentum, and proper support with ease. As an Alexander teacher who teaches swings, I have incorporated Alexander direction into practice and explanation of the swings technique. Structured as a movement class, participants will be guided through the beginning of the swings progression, have opportunities to do some partner exploration and have time to share their experience.

Sheila Bandyopadhyay is an AmSAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, actor, and theatrical movement specialist. Sheila is the interim Head of the Movement Department at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and spent the 2011-2012 academic year as Assistant Professor in Movement and Dance at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota, FL. Additional teaching with: Shakespeare & Company, NYU Gallatin, the Linklater Center, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Emerson College. Sheila completed her Alexander Technique Certification in 2008 under the direction of John Nicholls and Nanette Walsh at ATNYC, where she has subsequently served as an assistant faculty member. Recent acting credits include Romeo & Juliet (Nurse) and The Misanthrope (Dubois). She holds a Master's Degree in Movement and Physical Performance from NYU's Gallatin School and trained in physical theater with Dell'Arte International.

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Coaching Actors on Stage

Sarah Barker

Sarah Barker will demonstrate how she works directly with actors’ challenges in rehearsal. Drawing on 37 years of acting coaching for university and professional productions she will focus on using the AT as an acting approach, work closely with several actors as they rehearse a short scene or monologue.  Themes for the work include initiating actions with greater ease and economy, unifying voice and body with the imaginative action and including one’s acting partner in an expanded field of attention to strengthen connection.

A nationally recognized leader in movement training and a respected actor trainer, Sarah Barker teaches at the University of South Carolina. Recognized for her innovative work teaching the Alexander Technique for actors she trains Alexander Technique teachers in Japan and North Carolina.  Sarah’s book, The Alexander Technique, (translated in five languages) and her new DVD, Moving with Ease (also in Japanese) are used in many theatre-training programs throughout the US.

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Alexander Technique and Actor Training: What Can This Collaboration Look Like?

Moderator: Gabrielle Minnes Brandes

Panel Members: Kim Jessor, Cathy Madden, Belinda Mello, Desmond Price, Ann Rodiger

In this panel we will explore how we can continue to build a stronger collaborative role for AT in the process of training actors. Panelists represent a wealth of experience over years of teaching in acting conservatories, undergraduate and graduate programs or with individual performing arts professionals, and they will share their experiences, insights and challenges.

Panel Members:

Gabriella Minnes Brandes has been working extensively with performers for close to 30 years.  Much of Gaby's current work and research focuses on exploring the connections between Alexander Technique and creativity for performers. In particular she is seeking ways to work with performers on creating bridges between the “practice room” and the “stage”.  Informed by her Ph.D. and research in education, she is also exploring the connections between learning, collaboration, and performance. Gaby teaches in the Theatre department at Capilano University, Young Artists Program at the Vancouver Opera, Opera Nuova, Edmonton, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Pender Island Flute Retreat, and the Human Theatre Collective. She recently taught the Alexander Technique as a part of  “Grotowski: East meets West, Heart in the Centre August Intensive” with Stephen Wangh, Linda Putnam and Raina von Waldenburg. Member of CANSTAT, STAT and AmSAT, owner of the Alexander Technique Centre in Vancouver, and co-director of the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique teacher training program, Gaby has shared her work in many conferences and Alexander teacher training courses nationally and internationally. For more information see http://alexandertechniquecentre.ca

Kim Jessor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 30 years. She teaches Alexander on the faculty of the NYU Graduate Acting Program, and this year is also teaching in NYU's undergraduate musical theater program, the New Studio on Broadway. She was certified by ACAT under Judy Leibowitz, and is a senior faculty member and former Director of ACAT's teacher certification program.

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Physical Expression on Stage and Screen: Using the Alexander Technique to Help Create Unforgettable Performances

Bill Connington

Bill Connington will lead you through exercises from his new book, Physical Expression on Stage and Screen  (Bloomsbury, 2014). Learn how to use the mind-body-emotional connection to help create unforgettable performances. There are 133 exercises in the book which cover mind-body release, breathing, movement, as well as practical application to the art of acting.www.billconnington.com

Bill Connington is an award-winning actor and Alexander teacher. He is author of Physical Expression on Stage and Screen (Bloomsbury, 2014) which is used as a text at Yale. A lecturer in acting at Yale School of Drama, Bill is a former faculty member of The Juilliard School, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and the Actors Studio Drama School. He currently works with performers privately, in group classes, and in university workshops around the country.

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Integrated Alexander Technique/Camera Acting - Continued from last year.

Cathy Madden

An interactive workshop that will involve: reports  (and videos)  about how Madden uses the Alexander Technique to coach in the  University of Washington's Camera Acting class(,taught by Andrew Tsao); demonstrations of the processes; and  an opportunity for participants to explore some of the ideas (potentially using our cell phones to film ourselves.).

Cathy Madden is Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington’s School of Drama, and Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle.  She is an Associate Director for BodyChance in Japan, a former chair of Alexander Technique International, and teaches workshops for performers and Alexander Technique teachers in Australia, England, Germany, and Switzerland.  Her book -Integrative Alexander Technique Practice for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy is scheduled for publication by Intellect Books in January 2015. Her complete CV is available on her website - www.cathymadden.net

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The Dart Procedures as a Foundation for an Actor’s Voice Training

Celia Madeoy and Kathleen Baum

Freer and more organic breath is the essential foundation for an actor’s voice. This participatory workshop will explore brief movement sequences inspired by the Dart Procedures as a body of physical work that supports voice training for actors.   This workshop will offer students tools to improve coordination on the most fundamental level, and therefore to explore balance, coordination, strength and breathing.

This workshop aims to assist freeing actors to begin their transformational work.  The Dart Procedures provide a path to developing greater specificity in listening and focus, and owning being fully present in the body while speaking.  Students will learn a simple movement progression that will allow them—through repeated explorations—to become aware of patterns such as straining, over-efforting, and moving in a non-sequential (and therefore non-coordinated) way.  With continued attention, students can learn how to identify and let go of these and other negative, unhelpful patterns of use.

In the final part of the workshop, we use the Dart Procedures to move onto text.  Participants are encouraged to bring in a short speech of choice to synthesize the work.

Celia Madeoy is on Performance and Voice Faculty in the BFA Acting/Musical Theatre program at Syracuse University Department of Drama.  Celia has performed at many Shakespeare Theaters across the country including The Shakespeare Theatre Company DC, Folger Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Virginia Shakespeare Festival and the Blackfriars Playhouse at American Shakespeare Center.  Her international training in Shakespeare performance includes voice work alongside Andrew Wade, Giles Block, Patsy Rodenburg and other distinguished directors and voice teachers of the Royal Shakespeare Company, British American Drama Academy, National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.  Just this summer, Celia produced and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in To Chekhov With Love, a one-act she devised and directed along with Brian Friel’s Chekhovian play, Afterplay.  Celia is a proud MFA acting graduate of The Theatre School Conservatory at DePaul University in Chicago.

Kathleen Baum is an Alexander Technique teacher (Alexander Technique of Syracuse, Kathryn Miranda, Dir., 2011), actress and acting teacher with a specialization in movement based approaches to acting.  She is equally interested in devising and in working on received texts whether contemporary or classical.  Kathleen has worked as actress, choreographer, movement coach, and teacher at a broad range of venues across the U.S. and internationally in Toronto, London, Berlin, Sao Paolo, Melbourne and Sydney.  She is currently on the faculty of the Syracuse University Drama Department.

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Coaching the Actor’s Voice

Each one of us has a voice that's capable of freely expressing the wide gamut of emotions and the subtlest of thoughts. So often though, we don't experience this. When working on a piece of text, the emotions don't come, or they get trapped in the throat, or we "get in our head." We find ourselves pushing and then feel hoarse, sore or lose our voices all together. The voice work of Kristin Linklater, known as Freeing The Natural Voice, aims to restore the connection of our creative impulses to our voice - which is our birthright. The result is a voice that is transparent, a voice that reveals, rather than merely describes, the speaker's own unique inner world. In this class, you will learn the basics of this technique as you develop awareness of what is interfering with your natural voice, as well as tools and techniques for freeing your breath, the use of imagery to connect thoughts and feelings to your voice, and freeing sound from your body. 

Geordie MacMinn

Geordie MacMinn is one of only a very small handful of people internationally who are double-certified in both Linklater Voice Work ('07) and The Alexander Technique (ATI-LA, '01). He has served on the faculty of the University of NC School of the Arts, School of Drama since 2003. He was the recipient of the 2013 UNC Board of Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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Alexander Technique Meets Margolis Method: Empowering Theatre Artists

So often an actor is expected instantaneously to do more or less of something...but how? This can be a particularly poignant moment when our emotional accessibility is called upon. The Alexander Technique provides a process any actor can use to better understand, and then bring about, what is being asked of him or her. It is a fundamental building block for confidence and trust in the actor, unlocking creativity and the ability to make strong choices. The Margolis Method is a three-dimensional, integrated approach to actor training and theatre creation which also de-mystifies acting and empowers performing artists to bring more specificity to each moment. In this session, everyone will participate in the meeting of Alexander Technique and Margolis Method - it will be challenging, liberating... and fun.

Belinda Mello with Jarod Hanson

Belinda Mello (conference producer), MFA directing, teaches the Alexander Technique for Actors at the Tom Todoroff Studio Conservatory, the SITI Conservatory, The Barrow Group and Brooklyn College/CUNY Theater Department where she has also taught Introductory Acting, Movement and Mask. She has been a guest teaching artist at Ted Bardy Studio, Muhlenberg College, The Actor’s Movement Studio, and has worked on theater productions with The Women’s Project, Prospect Theater Company Dark Nights, and others. She has performed in the USA and Europe, and was both a director and actor in an Obie Award-winning production. Currently, she is working toward certification in the Margolis Method. Studying mask with Per Brahe inspired her explorations in mask building and performance. After an extended collaborative process with Teva Bjerken, they co-authored an article published in Theatre, Dance and Performance Journal, and subsequently began organizing Freedom to Act conference with Ann Rodiger. An Alexander Technique teacher since 1989, member of ATI, Belinda teaches at the Alexander Residential Workshops in Spokane and Columbus with Dr. William Conable, her mentor. Belinda’s practice, AT Motion, is based in NYC and Brooklyn. She draws on her background in movement and theater for her weekly class at the Balance Arts Center. www.AlexTechMotion.com

Jarod Hanson is dedicated to empowering theatre artists and de-mystifying the skill set of the actor with the Margolis Method’s powerful approach to three-dimensional, dynamic actor training. He has studied with Master Teacher Kari Margolis, founder of the Margolis Method, since 2001 and has taught at workshops and residencies across the country. He currently serves as lead faculty at the Margolis Method Center in Highland, NY, and has played an integral role in developing the Method’s Professor Certification Program and the new, soon to be released Online Learning initiative. As an actor, Jarod has performed internationally as member of the MB ADAPTORS Company in several of their original works, including Sleepwalkers, The Human Show,American Safari, Cyclopedia, and Pulling Strings. He and the Company are currently conducting creative research for an international collaborative piece entitled Headshot, which will premier in Barcelona, Spain in 2015. Jarod holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

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The Actor’s Secret

Betsy Polatin

The Actor’s Secret book came out in November 2013, and has received much attention from both actors and non actors alike…. as we are all actors in some way. The  class will address principles introduced in the book, related to specific performance issues.  The class will have demonstrations and also the participants in the class will have an opportunity to explore the ideas and principles presented. All levels are welcome.

An actor wants to understand how to use support. I will present different approaches to finding the support from the ground that can provide a kind of solidity that allows freedom from habit. I will also present explorations to discover the suspension and expansion that allows an actor to fill the stage or a person to fill a room. We will look at how this combination of support and suspension can allow unrestricted breathing for full physical and vocal expression.

Betsy Polatin is a Master Lecturer at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she pioneered a four-year Acting/Alexander program for the acting conservatory. She is a graduate of two, three year AT certification courses, and has done extensive postgraduate studies. Her background includes forty years of movement education and performance, as well as training in music, acting, yoga, meditation, and the healing arts. Her work is greatly influenced by Carl Stough’s breathing coordination principles and Peter Levine's somatic experiencing theory. Betsy’s book, The Actor’s Secret, featured on ABC TV and Fox news, combines the principles of The Alexander Technique, Breathing Coordination, and Somatic Experiencing. As a breathing and movement specialist, she has had numerous articles published in the Huffington Post. Please visit: www.theactorssecretbook.com and www.betsypolatin.com.

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Voice and Text

Ann Rodiger

This workshop will take your vocal production into articulating your words while maintaining your good use.  We will explore vowels and consonants and the transition from a vocal warm up into content and expression. We will build to reading out loud to each other.  Bring a text you would like to work on. Text will be provided if you you like.

Ann Rodiger (producer) is the founder and director of the Balance Arts Center and the Balance Arts Center Teacher Training Course. She has been teaching the Alexander Technique and movement for over 30 years in academic and private settings. She is skilled in Labanotation, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Yoga, meditation, and various dance techniques. She maintains private practices in New York City, Berlin and Antwerp. She is the creator and producer of the Freedom to Move, Freedom to Play and co-creator of the Freedom to Act conferences. She has recently published a book, "How To Sit: Your Body at Work".

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Acting on Camera, Pre-Conference Workshop

Jean-Louis Rodrigue

An actor's vision is lived emotionally and physically. That kind of performance requires more than instinct- it needs interpretative intelligence and a mastery of physical, psychological, and emotional craft into performance. Internationally acclaimed teacher Jean-Louis Rodrigue will present an intensive workshop to explore the skills and tools that are required for the extraordinary creation of characters and performances in Film.

COURSE CONTENT:

*Stage versus Film Acting * Being in your Body, Ease and Availability * Becoming versus Performing *Trusting That You are Enough (What does that mean?) * You are more then Your Habits * Freeing our movement by learning to organize body relationships * Freeing impulse and response patterns, allowing spontaneity * Discovering Stillness and Vulnerability in Close Up * Listening, with your whole body * Personality and Character * Breath as energy and vehicle for the emotion * Emotions, as a communication to the audience, what is really going on * Relating to Other Actor’s Emotions(Sadness, Happiness, Anger, Love, Fear) * Emotions as an Undercurrent * Five Arts of Film Acting(Concentration, Not Knowing, Acceptance, Giving and Receiving, Relating)

Coaching Actors on Camera

Jean-Louis Rodrigue

Jean-Louis Rodrigue collaborated with such film artists as acting coach Larry Moss, Leonardo DiCaprio, Forest Whitaker, Ang Lee, Juliette Binoche, Josh Brolin, Chris Pine, Hilary Swank, Helena Bonham Carter to name a few, gives Jean-Louis a unique point of view of applying the Alexander Technique to acting in film.

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“The Latest Breath That Gave the Sound of Word…”

Greg Seel

Greg Seel first studied the Alexander Technique with Walter Carrington and Mary Holland while in actor training at The Drama Studio. He was first Certified at ACAT in 1983 an later STAT Certified in 1988. He is currently teaches at Rutgers University MFA Acting Program, NYU BFA Program (Classical Studio & Meisner Studio) and The New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts. He has taught in conjunction with professional acting programs since 1986. Gately/Poole Acting Studio and The New Actor's Workshop. He has served on the faculties of Suny Purchase, Columbia University, and St John's University. He collaborated extensively with Ray Yeates of The Abby Theater, Dublin and  Ballymun. He was a founding member of The Riverside Shakespeare Co. and The Mint Theater Co. He teaches privately in Brooklyn with his wife Genevieve.

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Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique, Level 1

Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique, Level 2

Jean E. Taylor

This workshop builds on the explorations introduced in the Accepting the Ridiculous as a Way to Be Fully Present workshop. Participants develop an ability to begin from and maintain a simple, energized presence when wearing the smallest mask, they are encouraged to embody their personal clown and connect their clown to the audience, and they understand through experience, the role of “complicite” when creating and performing with other clowns.

Jean E. Taylor, teacher and performer, collaborates on the development of original plays, which have been featured at a variety of national and international venues. Her latest work, True Hazards of Childhood was presented at The Barrow Group Theatre in June 2013. True Hazards of Childhood is the third work in a trilogy including Wild Hair and Pants and Skirts. Jean is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Institute and teaches theatrical clowning for The New School for Drama and The Barrow Group Theatre.  Jean studied clown and movement with Philippe Gaulier, Merry Conway, Ron Foreman, and David Shiner.

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Inhibition and Action

Matthew Ventura

The focus of this workshop will be the relationship between inhibition and action.  To an actor, inhibition and action can often seem to conflict.  “How can inhibition support risk-taking and specific, outward moving action?” and “How can action choices deepen inhibition?” These will be the central questions.  We will use games and monologues to explore this dynamic.

The workshop is intended for both actors (with or without Alexander Technique experience) and Alexander Technique teachers who work with actors or would like to.

Matthew Ventura is an actor and AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher.  He teaches actors and performers at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and teaches on a teacher training course, ATMKE.  Matthew earned an MFA in Acting at the University of Tennessee—Knoxville and the Clarence Brown Theatre, under the direction of Jed Diamond.

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Opening and Closing the Conference

Ariel Weiss

Ariel Weiss has maintained a lively private practice in Philadelphia since certifying to teach in 1988. A member of Alexander Technique International, she studied extensively with Master Teacher Marjorie Barstow. Ariel has taught at The Curtis Institute of Music since 1998 and also taught for The Brind School of Theater at the University of the Arts. She serves as guest faculty for The Well Balanced Pianist and for training programs at the Philadelphia School for the Alexander Technique under Martha Fertman’s direction and Bill Harvey’s Biodynamic Structural Integration Training. Active as a dancer and choreographer her whole life, she brings over 40 years of movement training to her practice, with a Master’s degree from Wesleyan University and a background in modern dance, ballet, contact improvisation, T'ai Chi, Pilates, Laban, and Bartenieff Fundamentals. She has taught numerous workshops introducing the Technique at Temple, Lehigh, Moravian  and DeSales Universities, the Academy of Vocal Arts, Settlement Music School, the American College Dance Festival Association and the Walnut Street Theatre, among others. Currently, Ariel is a devoted West Coast Swing student.

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The Art of Being with the Audience: A Signpost to Freedom

Freedom: The Power or Right to Act, Speak or Think As One Wants Without Hindrance or Restraint

Emily Whyte

Come into direct experience with being seen and heard in front of an audience and intimately recognize what drives, blocks or interferes with your unique freedom of expression.  This process will support working with fear, stage fright, unexpected anxiety, vulnerability and insecurity.  The tools acquired can be practically applied to the waiting room, the moment before an audition, backstage, in front of the camera or performing before a live audience.  Each participant will be actively and playfully involved.

Emily Whyte is an actor, singer and Alexander Teacher.  A graduate of The University of Michigan with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, for the past 14 years she has studied The Alexander Technique both locally and internationally and was AmSAT certified in June 2008.  Recently featured in Backstage Magazine, Emily teaches group classes with various voice studios, at The University of Michigan and recently at The Freeman Studio, NYU Tisch and NYU Gallatin.  She is on Senior Faculty training alexander teachers at Riverside ATNYC, and maintains a private practice in Midtown Manhattan with her clients currently working on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in film, television as well as the corporate and athletic worlds.

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Jessica Wolf's Art of Breathing

Jessica Wolf

Day One -- For actors, understanding the power of the breath is essential.  Breath imbues us with creativity and vitality -- our inspiration.  Breath is synchronized with the body’s movement.  This workshop explores that integration.  The common habits of collapsing or straining the body, in conjunction with holding the breath, prevent actors from accessing the emotions that generate fully realized performances. Breath fuels our imaginations and informs character development. It is the vehicle and spark for the actor’s transformation on the set or stage.

Day Two – We explore hands-on methods for actors to awaken kinesthetic awareness of coordinated breathing. Partner work will introduce “listening hands,” with which we observe one another’s breathing patterns. Actors will learn to claim ownership of their breath moment-to-moment.  We will further explore techniques discussed in Day One for mobility and vocal support in performance.

Jessica Wolf is an internationally recognized teacher of the Alexander Technique. She completed her training at the American Center for the Alexander Technique and is one of the few Alexander professionals who have been teaching for more than 35 years. Throughout her career, she has explored and conducted research in respiratory function. In 1998, Jessica established the Alexander Technique program at Yale School of Drama, where she now holds the position of Assistant Professor. In 2002, she became the founder and director of the first post-graduate training program for Alexander teachers in “Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing.” Other faculty appointments include the Aspen Music Festival, The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, Circle in the Square Theater School, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Verbier Music Festival. Jessica created the first three-dimensional animated film of the respiratory system and published Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing: Collected Articles in 2013. She coaches many performing artists who appear on and off Broadway, as well as in film and television.  Jessica travels extensively giving workshops to performers and health care providers.

CONFERENCE ARCHIVE: 

Freedom to ACT: 2014

January 10-12, 2014

Pearl Studios

500 8th Ave. 4th floor

New York City

Contact: info@balanceartscenter.com

Voicemail: 646-526-6515

www.balanceartscenter.com

REGISTER HERE

Discovering new ways to make your acting come alive requires skill and awareness. The Alexander Technique provides a foundation for the growth of your acting technique. It offers insight into how you can expand the freedom and easy movement of your mind, body and emotions. It is an indispensable tool for the continued development and refinement of your craft.  With the expanded awareness brought about through the Alexander Technique, you are able to be present and creative in rehearsal and performance.

The variety of workshops and presentations offered at this conference reflect the vitality of the Alexander Technique in many aspects of acting on film and stage.

There will be special sessions for Theatre and Alexander Technique teachers, workshops for those who are new to the Technique, and an open showcase of works-in-progress. 

REGISTER HERE

Registration by December 15th: $230

Registration after December 15th: $255

Student (with current ID) registration by December 15th: $165

Student (with current ID) registration after December 15th: $185

Pay-by-session $45

Student Pay-by-session $30

Registration includes attendance at Friday night 

events, one workshop in each of the 6 sessions 

and the Informal Presentation and Closure

*Actor's Equity members are eligible to receive the student discount.

REGISTER HERE

Schedule:

(please see workshop descriptions and teacher biographies below)

FRIDAY - 1/10/14

6:00 pm:  Registration Opens

6:15-7:00 pm Introduction to the Alexander Technique with Bill Connington

7:00-8:30 pm Activities and Social

SATURDAY - 1/11/14

9:00-11:00 am:  SESSION 1   

A. Enlivening/Embodying the Production Process 

Meade Andrews

B. Poise and Flying:  Speech to Song, Voice and the Alexander Technique

Kathryn Armour

C. Trusting the Principles:  Introducing the Alexander Technique to Actors

Jed Diamond 

11:30 am - 1:15 pm: SESSION 2

A. The Breathing Costume

Jessica Wolf

B. Embodying the Character; Coaching Actors by Using the Alexander Technique      

Jean-Louis Rodrigue 

C. Suspension,  Support, and Breath, for Actors

Betsy Polatin 

1:15-2:15 pm  LUNCH

2:15-4:15 pm  SESSION 3

Experience the Alexander Technique in small group coaching sessions

Session Leaders:

A. Ariel Weiss

B. Clare Maxwell

C. Constance Clare

D. Diana Bradley

E. Sheila Bandyopadhyay

F. Alexander Technique as a Paradigm to Enhance Actors’ Choices on Stage

Gabriella Minnes Brandes

4:30-6:30 pm  SESSION 4

A. The Collaborative Teaching Experience in Production 

Teva Bjerken, Cynthia Reynolds and Stephen Fried

B. Floor Work for Warm-up and Cool-down

Ann Rodiger

C. Alexander Technique:  An Acting Approach

Sarah Barker

D. Presence

Cathy Madden

SUNDAY - 1/12/14

9:00-11:00 am  SESSION 5

A. Alexander Technique and Mask: Embodying and Releasing Strong Emotions.

Belinda Mello

B. Freeing The Natural Voice

Geordie MacMinn

C. Integrated Alexander Technique/Camera Acting

Cathy Madden

D. Collaborative Creation:  Alexander Technique and Devising Theatre

Susan Pfeffer

11:00 am-12:00 pm  BRUNCH

12:00 pm-2:00 pm  SESSION 6

A.  Speaking the Same Language: Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing  [*This workshop is intended for recently certified Alexander Technique teachers (with up to 5 years of teaching experience) and for Alexander trainees in their second or third year of training.]

Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman

B. Accepting the Ridiculous as Way to Be Fully Present: Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique

Jean E. Taylor

C. Physical Expression on Stage and Screen

Bill Connington

D. Learning how to learn:  Alexander Technique as a Framework for Learning Monologues and Developing Practice Regimes

Jennifer Mackerras

2:15-3:30 pm SESSION 7

Informal Presentation and Closure

REGISTER HERE.

*Schedule based on participant registration and is subject to change.  The final schedule will reflect registration.

Class Descriptions and Biographies 

Meade Andrews - Enlivening/Embodying the Production Process

This workshop will focus on a 3-tiered approach to coaching theatre productions via the AT: 1. Creating the ensemble; 2. specific explorations for the specific play; 3. individual work with character development. The whole group will participate with levels 1 and 2, and level 3 will focus on individual actors from a specific production.

Meade Andrews currently teaches AT, and Movement for the Actor, at Rider University and Westminster Choir College, in Princeton, NJ. Meade has taught in the graduate acting program at Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton), and continues to work at the Studio Theatre (Washington,DC). As a movement coach, she has brought the AT to 40 theatre productions in professional and educational venues.

Kathryn Armour - Poise and Flying: Speech to Song

Voice and the Alexander Technique

A brief presentation on voice anatomy will be followed by exploratory etudes for  better awareness of the structure and function of the vocal mechanism. We will practice bone resonant speech, free use of arms and the breath, and the effect of artistic intention. As a group we will move from speech into song, from poise into continuous airborne vibration.    

Kathryn Armour (M.A. University of Chicago), studied voice in Florence, Italy for 5 years, and then returned to study voice and acting in New York City.  She was a finalist in both the Metropolitan Opera and Pavarotti Competitions and has extensive performing experience in all genres from opera to cabaret.  She was on the voice faculty of New York University for 17 years, teaching in the CAP21 Music Theater Studio.   She also has a busy studio in midtown Manhattan, where she teaches voice (for classical and Broadway singers) together with the Alexander Technique. She holds intensive summer courses in Voice and Alexander Technique at Lake Como, in the Italian Alps, and in late summer she runs a VoiceCamp in New Hampshire.  See details of these study opportunities at www.KathrynArmour.com   Kathryn is currently the Voice and Alexander Technique teacher for the Broadway award-winning Fiasco Theater Company.  Their production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods for the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ  (April-June  2013) won a rave review in the New York Times, and praise from Sondheim himself.    Kathryn was McCarter’s voice coach for the production. She was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 2003, and is a member of ATI. She has been a performer at the last 3 international Alexander Technique Congresses, and participated in the recent Dublin conference.  She has been a workshop presenter in voice and Alexander work at the October ATI convention in Canada, at Wheaton College (MA) Drama and Dance Dept., and  the University of Wisconsin Medical School Voice Clinic.  She will be on the faculty of the February 2014  Florida AT workshop with Meade Andrews and Martha Hansen Fertman.

Jed Diamond - Trusting the Principles: Introducing the Alexander Technique to Actors 

This workshop will be conducted essentially like a first class with an ensemble of actors.  Themes touched upon will be keeping it simple, fostering experience and inquiry, getting to hands on, letting the work speak for itself, and letting it unfold slowly.  Beginners to experienced practitioners are all welcome.

Jed Diamond is Head of the MFA in Acting program at The University of Tennessee / Clarence Brown Theatre, a three year conservatory, where he teaches acting and the Alexander Technique, and is a member of the Clarence Brown Theatre Company.  Under his leadership, the Alexander Technique is a core emphasis of the MFA training at UT.  Mr. Diamond has acted at Arena Stage, The Roundabout Theatre, The New York Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Signature Theatre, with The Acting Company, and in many other venues.  He taught acting and the Alexander Technique in New York from 1997 to 2005, at the New York Shakespeare Festival, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The Actors Center, Stella Adler Studio, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, and privately.  He trained in the Alexander Technique at the Mathews School in New York, and completed a post-graduate term of study with Walter Carrington in London.

Jessica Wolf - The Breathing Costume

For the actor, there is nothing more immediate than the breath. In this workshop, we will use “The Breathing Costume” to inspire inventive and imaginative character interpretations. We will explore how our breath conveys emotion, supports the voice, and fuels physical movement. “The Breathing Costume” is an invaluable tool for actors hoping to deepen character transformation.

Jessica Wolf completed her training at the American Center for the Alexander Technique in NYC and was certified in 1977.  She has maintained a private practice for over three decades.  Jessica also trained as a Laban Movement Analyst in 1981. For over 35 years, she has been exploring and conducting research in respiratory function and breath.  In 1998, Jessica established the Alexander program at Yale School of Drama where she holds the position of assistant professor.  In 2002, Jessica became the founder and director of the first post-graduate training program for Alexander teachers in "The Art of Breathing". There are now over 60 teachers authorized to teach the work. Other faculty appointments include the Aspen Music Festival, The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, Circle in the Square Theater School, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College and the Verbier Music Festival. Jessica travels extensively giving workshops to performers and health care providers.

Jean-Louis Rodrigue - Embodying The Character: Coaching Actors by Using The Alexander Technique

If you did not have words, could you still tell the story? The workshop will focus on recognizing the power of movement and physicality in creating a character in theatre and film. Every gesture has enormous implications in telling the story and revealing the character. We will explore what are the elements that make an actor charismatic, emotionally authentic, and clearly expressive by:

-Developing kinesthetic awareness of your body

-Exploring the basic principles of the Alexander Technique as applied to character development

-Connecting to Breath Coordination and the voice to text

-Being in space and entering the world of the story

-Understanding how to bring ritual, myth and primal ancestors into your performance

-Using animal movement as a way to find the spine of the character and connecting to your emotions

This is a hands-on workshop, interactive experience with practical application. Active participants will be asked to have a monologue ready for practical application.

Jean-Louis Rodrigue is an internationally recognized acting coach and movement specialist in theater and film. Recently he has coached Matt Bomer to embody Felix, one of the leading characters in HBO’s movie of Larry Kramer’s Tony Award winning play “The Normal Heart” and Paul Dano as Brian Wilson in a new movie about the Beach Boys. Previously he coached Leonardo DiCaprio for his acclaimed performance in “J. EDGAR” and collaborated with director Ang Lee and screenwriter David Magee in the development of the tiger movement for the Academy Award–winning “LIFE OF PI.” 

Originally an actor, Jean-Louis trained with Herbert Berghof at the HB Studio and at the American Conservatory Theater. In 1980, he trained and was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher at American Center for the Alexander Technique in San Francisco . He founded and directed the Alexander program for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute 1983-1988 and the Verbier Festival and Academy in Switzerland 1999-2006. Since 1988 he has been an Associate Professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and a Lecturer at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Betsy Politan - Suspension, Support, and Breath, for Actors

Many Alexander teachers have Actors coming for lessons. In addition to applying basic principles of direction, and inhibition, it is often helpful to address specific performance issues. The class will have demonstrations and also the participants in the class will have an opportunity to explore the ideas and principles presented. An actor wants to understand how to use support. I will present different approaches to finding the support from the ground that can provide a kind of solidity that allows freedom from habit. I will also present explorations to discover the suspension and expansion that allows an actor to fill the stage. We will look at how this combination of support and suspension can allow unrestricted breathing for full physical and vocal expression.

Betsy Polatin is a Master lecturer at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she pioneered a four year Acting/Alexander program for the acting conservatory. She is a graduate of two, three year AT certification courses, and has done extensive post graduate studies. Her background includes forty years of movement education and performance, as well as training in music, yoga, meditation, and the healing arts. Her work is greatly influenced by Carl Stough’s breathing coordination principles and Peter Levine's somatic experiencing theory. Please visit betsypolatin.com. Betsy's new book, The Actor's Secret, will be out in November. 

Experience the Alexander Technique in small group coaching sessions

Bring a monologue or activity of your choice so you can participate. These sessions are designed for participants to receive and observe practical Alexander Technique in the working sessions. All of the group leaders are very experienced in coaching acting through the Alexander Technique lens. You will be assigned to a group so we can keep the group sizes even.  If you have a special request please......

Ariel Weiss has maintained a private practice teaching in the Philadelphia area since 1988. She has worked with singers  for the Voice and Opera program at The Curtis Institute of Music since 1998, and with actors at the Brind School of Theater Arts at The University of the Arts since 2008. Active as  a dancer and choreographer for over 30 years, Ariel brings a wealth of movement training and performance experience to her teaching practice. She has a Masters degree in Movement and Dance from Wesleyan University, is a teaching member of Alexander Technique International and also trains teachers at The Philadelphia School for the Alexander Technique and the Biodynamic Structural Integration training. For more information: www.atphila.com.

Clare Maxwell, dancer/choreographer/educator, maintains a private Alexander Technique practice in NYC and is on the faculty at the William Esper Acting Studio and at Movement Research, an experimental dance organization. She trained at The American Center for the Alexander Technique in 2000 and certified with Jessica Wolf in The Art of Breathing in 2010. Clare danced with choreographers Ann Carlson, Amy Sue Rosen, John Jasperse, and many others, as well as making her own dance works over her 30 year career. She has a passion for integrating the AT principles with the creative processes related to live performance.

Constance Clare-Newman graduated from ATI-SF (Frank Ottiwell, Director) in 2001 and has been teaching full time since then. Constance currently teaches in the actor training program at Academy of Art University and has a private practice in Oakland, CA.

Sheila Bandyopadhyay is an AmSAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, actor, and theatrical movement specialist. Sheila is the interim Head of the Movement Department at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and spent the 2011-2012 academic year as Assistant Professor in Movement and Dance at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota, FL. Additional teaching with: Shakespeare & Company, NYU Gallatin, the Linklater Center, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Emerson College. Sheila completed her Alexander Technique Certification in 2008 under the direction of John Nicholls and Nanette Walsh at ATNYC, where she has subsequently served as an assistant faculty member. Recent acting credits include Romeo & Juliet (Nurse) and The Misanthrope (Dubois). She holds a Master's Degree in Movement and Physical Performance from NYU's Gallatin School and trained in physical theater with Dell'Arte International.

Diana Bradley, M.Ed., has been a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique since 1979. Her training includes a 13-year apprenticeship with Marjorie Barstow, an innovative first generation teacher, trained directly by F.M. Alexander. She has a 10-year background in modern dance and 16 years of training in Aikido, a Japanese martial art in which she holds a 3rd degree black belt. In various capacities Diana has taught performing artists at The Baltimore School for the Arts (11 years), University of Maryland, Catholic University, and Arena Stage. She is a faculty member at Studio Theatre's Conservatory Program, a 2-year professional actor training program located in Washington, DC. A founding member of Alexander Technique International (ATI), she has traveled to Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii presenting workshops. Diana is a teaching member of both AmSAT and ATI. She is a faculty member of the Barstow Institute and Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies, an Alexander Technique teacher training program. Diana teaches at OSU's Annual Alexander Technique Winter Workshop.  She completed a two-year training in Gestalt Therapy at the Washington Center for Consciousness Studies. Diana teaches group classes and maintains a private practice in Takoma Park, MD.

Gabriella Minnes Brandes - Alexander Technique as a Paradigm to Enhance Actors’ Choices on Stage

In this session I will share the preliminary results of a study, funded by the American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, that was designed to investigate how the application of Alexander Technique can help performers facilitate awareness, intention, interpretation and response to stimulus during performance.

We worked with four actors who had not had any previous Alexander Technique experience. Meeting six times over three weeks, we had the actors improvise, learn basic Alexander Technique principles and then apply them in “real-time” improvisation.

Our data (videos of the workshops, semi-structured group interviews, and journals that the actors kept throughout the project) are analyzed to examine how workshops in the Alexander Technique provide actors with language and tools for interacting with one another and expanding their collaborative expression.

Intended audience: Actors and directors, acting teachers, Alexander teachers who train actors

Gaby Minnes Brandes has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1988. She is the co-director of the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique and teaches the Alexander Technique in the Theatre Department at Capilano University while maintaining a thriving private practice. She is the recent recipient of the AmSAT research grant for the project entitled: Enhancing actors’ interactions on stage using Alexander Technique.  She is also researching the connections between Alexander Technique and creativity in the performing arts.  Gaby holds a Ph.D. in education, informing both her practice and her research.  For more information, please see http://alexandertechniquecentre.ca

Teva Bjerken, Cynthia Reynolds and Stephen Fried - The Collaborative Teaching Experience in Production 

In this workshop Cynthia and Teva will offer a group warm-up to all participants which will introduce an AT sequence that was developed and practiced by the second year actors in their fourth semester of AT training.  The intention of this sequence was to build skills that offered support for integrating the AT in rehearsal and performance.  

They will be joined by director, Stephen Fried, and current MFA third year actors who worked on a production of Shakespeare's, "As You Like It" in their spring 2013 semester of training at the New School for Drama. Cynthia and Teva will work with Stephen and the actors "as if" we were a touring company and re-mounting selected scenes with an intention to further satisfy the director's vision.  

Finally, we will ask Stephen to speak of how it was to have us in rehearsals and how this affected his experience of directing, as well as the final production.  The actors will contribute from their experience of this process as well.

Teva Bjerken teaches the Alexander Technique to performers, bringing her career in dance to the art of performance.  She trained and was certified by the American Center for Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1995. From 1995-2003 she was on the faculty of The Actor’s Studio MFA program and since then she has been on the faculty of the New School for Drama MFA program at the New School University along with Cynthia Reynolds. Teva recently joined the drama department at Fordham University and The Lee Strasberg Institute Theatre and Film, an NYU studio.  Teva is published in the Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal by Routledge of the Taylor and Francis Group as a co-author with Belinda Mello. 

While she was dancing with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Cynthia Reynolds trained to be an Alexander Teacher at American Center for Alexander Technique (ACAT), graduating in 1987. She teaches actors at the New School for Drama, vocalists and instrumentalists at NYU Steinhardt in the Vocal Performance Program, and at Mannes College in the Extension Division, as well working with dancers, musicians and actors at the New School For Public Engagement. She is a senior teacher training future Alexander teachers at ACAT and she also teaches a weekly dance class at the 92nd Street Y.

Stephen Fried is a director based in New York City.  His work has been seen at theaters and training programs across the country.  He currently serves on the MFA directing faculty at the New School for Drama and is an adjunct instructor of acting at Marymount Manhattan College.  He holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.

Ann Rodiger - Floor Work for Warm-up and Cool-down

Learn how to use an active extended lie down as part of your warm up or as recuperation and cool down.  We will incorporate breathing, vocal production and simple movements to help you find your back, length and width. Bartenieff fundamentals will be incorporated as part of the movement vocabulary for the session.  We will end standing and walking to integrate your breath, sound and balance so you will be rejuvenated and energized for your next activity.

Ann Rodiger is the Founder and Director of the Balance Arts Center and Balance Arts Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course.  She has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1981.  Along with her private practice and training course in NYC, she has private practices in Berlin and Antwerp.  She is a co-director of the Body-Mind-Voice workshops held for opera singers in Berlin every summer. She has an MA in Dance and has done extensive work with Laban’s theories.

Sarah Barker - Alexander Technique: An Acting Approach

Sarah Barker will demonstrate how she works directly with actors’ challenges in developing extreme physical characterization. Drawing on 39 years of acting coaching for university and professional productions she will focus on using the AT as an acting approach to work closely with several actors as they explore and perform bold physical character choices.  Themes for the work include reducing excess effort in extreme physical and psychological choices, initiating actions with greater ease and economy, unifying voice and body with the imaginative action.  Participants may sign up ahead of time to work on a character monologue.

A nationally recognized leader in movement training and a respected actor trainer, Sarah Barker teaches at the University of South Carolina. Recognized for her innovative work teaching the Alexander Technique for actors she trains Alexander Technique teachers in Japan, Germany and North Carolina.  Sarah’s book, The Alexander Technique, (translated in five languages) and her new DVD, Moving with Ease (also in Japanese) are used in many theatre-training programs throughout the US.   

Cathy Madden - Presence 

This workshop explores how the Alexander Technique is an invaluable tool for the quality we call presence onstage.  We will actively explore this in performer to performer communication and performer(s) to audience communication.  When AT is an active tool, it turns out that presence is not so mysterious - clear coordination reveals and amplifies your intentions to communicate.

Cathy Madden - Integrated Alexander Technique/Camera Acting

An interactive workshop that will involve: reports  (and videos)  about how Madden uses the Alexander Technique to coach in the  University of Washington's Camera Acting class(,taught by Andrew Tsao); demonstrations of the processes; and  an opportunity for participants to explore some of the ideas (potentially using our cell phones to film ourselves.).

Cathy Madden is Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington’s School of Drama, and Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle.  She is an Associate Director for BodyChance in Japan, a former chair of Alexander Technique International, and teaches workshops for performers and Alexander Technique teachers in Australia, England, Germany, and Switzerland.  She is Theatrical Director Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders.  Her complete CV is available on her website  www.cathymadden.net

Belinda Mello - Alexander Technique & Mask: Embodying and Releasing Strong Emotions

Because the Alexander Technique assists us in being open and engaged in the moment, it as an invaluable tool for entering into, contending with, then releasing strong emotions. Playing with masks that evoke strong character choices, we will explore how we can use our primary coordination and breathing to access authentic emotions – and then to let them go. We will put AT to practical use in building the actors confidence and sense of safety while working with love, humor, fear and other emotions. Belinda’s teaching is also inspired by acting techniques from Action Theater, Rasaboxes and Margolis Method through an Alexander lens.

Belinda Mello, MFA directing, teaches the Alexander Technique for Actors at the Tom Todoroff Studio Conservatory, The Barrow Group and Brooklyn College/CUNY Theater Department where she has also taught Introductory Acting, Movement and Mask. She has been a guest artist for Ted Bardy Studio, Muhlenberg College, The Actor’s Movement Studio, and has worked on theater productions with The Women’s Project, Prospect Theater Company Dark Nights, and others. She has performed in the USA and Europe, and was both a director and actor in an Obie Award-winning production. Currently, she is working toward certification in the Margolis Method. Studying mask with Per Brahe inspired her explorations in mask building and performance. After an extended collaborative process with Teva Bjerken, they co-authored an article published in Theatre, Dance and Performance Journal, and subsequently began organizing Freedom to Act conference with Ann Rodiger. An Alexander Technique teacher since 1989, member of ATI, she teaches at the Alexander Residential Workshops in Spokane and Columbus with Dr. William Conable, her mentor. Belinda’s practice, AT Motion, is based in NYC and Brooklyn.

Geordie MacMinn - Freeing The Natural Voice

Each one of us has a voice that's capable of freely expressing the wide gamut of emotion and the most subtlest of thoughts. So often though, we don't experience this. When working on a piece of text, the emotions don't come, or they get trapped in the throat, or we "get in our head."  We find ourselves pushing, or we start listening to ourselves, trying to control how we sound. In this workshop, based on the voice work of Kristin Linklater, we will explore ways to restore the connection of our creative impulses to our voice - which is our birthright. The result is a voice that is transparent, a voice that reveals, rather than merely describes, the speaker's own unique inner world.

Geordie MacMinn is one of only a very small handful of people internationally who are double-certified in both Linklater Voice Work ('07) and The Alexander Technique (ATI-LA, '01). He has served on the faculty of the University of NC School of the Arts, School of Drama since 2003. He was the recipient of the 2013 UNC Board of Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Susan Pfeffer - Collaborative Creation: Alexander Technique and Devising Theatre

Alexander Technique and devising theatre provide actors with fresh, explorative territory in the creation of performance. Both processes are oral and physical traditions of working with impulses in the studio together with collaborators. Alexander Technique and devising theatre point to an array of artistic choices and the inseparable relationship between self and environment.

In our workshop, we will play with Alexander Technique as content and support for devising theatre. Combining these techniques will lead to the generation of short movement and sound scores that culminate in a delightful performance showing at the end of conference celebrations.

Susan Pfeffer is a theatre artist and Assistant Professor of Theatre at University of Nevada, Reno. She recently opened the Miami Performance International Festival with SMS Ensemble, a long-distance collaboration based out of Reno and Chicago. She is affiliated with Home Soil in Seoul, South Korea, where she devised and directed the first inception of her theatrical performance, I Am the Pilot in Command. The second inception was written, devised and directed at University of Nevada, Reno for the repertory. Susan has studied the performance generating techniques of Tectonic Theatre, Wendell Beavers, Simone Forti, Barbara Dilley and SITI Company, among others. She first learned of Alexander Technique from her late grandfather, William Rodier, and has studied with many AT teachers over the years. Susan graduated from the American Center for the Alexander Technique in 2002 and holds an M.F.A. in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman - Speaking the Same Language: Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing [*This workshop is intended for recently certified Alexander Technique teachers (with up to 5 years of teaching experience) and for Alexander trainees in their second or third year of training.]

Judith Leibowitz used to say "Actors and Alexander teachers speak the same language." In this workshop we will examine some of the most basic challenges facing both actors and Alexander teachers and the values they share. How do we as Alexander Technique teachers learn to embrace and embody the concepts of letting yourself not know, giving up the goal, being in the moment, and getting it wrong? And how do we begin to bring these values to the individual actor and to the acting community? Working experientially in both basic Alexander Technique activities and beginning acting exercises, we will explore together ways of working with actors that are both concrete and philosophical. Some Juilliard actors will be present to participate.

*Limited to 16 participants.

Carolyn. M. Serota has been teaching the Alexander Technique in the Drama Division of the Juilliard School since 1990 . After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she performed and taught dance before training as an Alexander teacher at ACAT under Judith Liebowitz and Barbara Kent. She was a member of the ACAT Teacher Training faculty 1989-92; The Chautauqua Conservatory Theater Faculty 1994-95; and

The Actors Center 1997-98. Since 1991, in addition to teaching, she has joined with many directors at Juilliard to explore the integration of the AT into the rehearsal process. She is married to director and acting teacher Richard Feldman, with whom she has an ongoing artistic collaboration. Carolyn also has a private practice in NYC. 

Richard Feldman is the Associate Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard where he has taught Improvisation, Text Analysis and Scene Study, and directed many, many projects and plays for 26 years. After receiving his undergraduate degree at Yale he studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He has taught and directed at the Chautauqua Conservatory Theater, the Actors Center, and for the past 9 years at NYU Graduate Acting. He has an ongoing artistic collaboration with his wife Carolyn Serota who teaches the Alexander Technique at Juilliard.

Jean E. Taylor - Accepting the Ridiculous as a Way to Be Fully Present: Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique

workshop:The workshop process is about bringing who you are, and what you already have, forward. It is an opportunity for participants to embrace, through openness and humor, their own unique ridiculousness. The acceptance of the less than perfect helps us bring our full humanity to the forefront and transforms our habits of restriction into skills of open expression. Theatrical clowning develops our capacity for playing in the moment and offers us new perspectives on ourselves as both teachers and performers.

Connections are made throughout the workshop between Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique, specifically recognition of habit, positive inhibition, and non-end-gaining.

Jean E. Taylor, teacher and performer, collaborates on the development of original plays, which have been featured at a variety of national and international venues. Her latest work, True Hazards of Childhood was presented at The Barrow Group Theatre in June 2013. True Hazards of Childhood is the third work in a trilogy including Wild Hair and Pants and Skirts. Jean is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Institute and teaches theatrical clowning for The New School for Drama and The Barrow Group Theatre.  Jean studied clown and movement with Philippe Gaulier, Merry Conway, Ron Foreman, and David Shiner.

Bill Connington - Physical Expression on Stage and Screen: Using the Alexander Technique to Help Create Unforgettable Performances

Working actor and certified Alexander teacher Bill Connington will lead you through procedures he developed at the Actors Studio Drama School, and are included in his new book PHYSICAL EXPRESSION ON STAGE AND SCREEN (Bloomsbury), to be published in the spring of 2014. Learn how to use the mind-body-emotional connection to help create unforgettable performances.

Bill Connington is an award-winning actor and Alexander teacher. He is former Chairman of the Board of ACAT, co-author of THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE and author of PHYSICAL EXPRESSION ON STAGE AND SCREEN (Methuen Drama). He was on the faculty of The Juilliard School, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and the Actors Studio Drama School. He currently works with performers privately, in group classes, and in university workshops around the country.

Jennifer Mackerras - Learning How to Learn: Alexander Technique as a Framework For Learning Monologues and Developing Practice Regimes

Young actors come to classes with enthusiasm and a burning desire. They are learning monologues, taking classes, working hard to get into a full-time acting course and begin their careers. But passion alone cannot make a performance - there needs to be characterisation, embodiment, and craft.

In theatre as in music performance, in the pre-college entry world there is often a lack of teaching on analysis and practice. The young actor knows that line and character analysis is important. She knows that practice is important. But has anyone given her clear principles on how to do these things? Maybe not so much!

The Alexander Technique provides fantastic tools and frameworks to guide performers in how to learn and prepare their work. This presentation will show you how.

This presentation is inspired by my experience in teaching pre-college entry actors. I was employed to help ‘keep their bodies safe’ by teaching them how to move. Actually, my most valuable role within the teaching faculty is teaching our students how the principles of the Alexander Technique can help them structure not just their movement, but their character analysis and their rehearsal time too.

I will discuss:

• how Alexander’s work can help actors put their enthusiasm in perspective

• how Evolution of a Technique tells you everything you need to know about planning • how using Alexander’s principles on the text frees the performer physically

• why efficient preparation guards against performance anxiety

Jennifer Mackerras teaches Alexander Technique at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, working primarily with 16 - 20 year olds who are on the first steps towards a professional acting career.

Jennifer studied Theatre at the University of New England, Armidale (Australia), and went on to complete a PhD in Drama at the University of Bristol (UK). She worked as an Education Officer and freelancer in Theatre in Education before training to be an Alexander Technique teacher with the Interactive Teaching Method (ITM). She now teaches Alexander Technique privately in Bristol, and has run classes for Bristol City Council, Southampton NHS Trust, and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, as well as assisting on the current ITM teacher training course. She recently presented a workshop at the Alexander Technique and the Performing Arts Conference 2012, held at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne Australia. She also co-presented a workshop at the Dance and Somatic Practices Conference 2013, held at Coventry University, UK. She is about to publish a short eBook called Four Words to Conquer Stage Fright.

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: January 10-12, 2014

Hello Friends of the Balance Arts Center!

We are excited to be making plans for Freedom to Act 2014, Acting and The Alexander Technique conference, which will take place over the weekend of January 10-12, 2014 in New York City. This year we are sending out a call

for proposals for workshops and presentations from Alexander Technique teachers and their collaborators who work specifically within theater and film. We feel this will allow us all to hear from more people in our international AT community – and we hope this includes you. 

The on-going theme of this conference is the Alexander Technique’s unique role in supporting the actor's craft in training, rehearsal and performance. Our goal for the 2014 conference will be to draw attention to how the AT is being used by performers, directors and coaches in theatrical and film productions.

The conference schedule will include a gathering for a showcase and discussion. Please let us know if you or your students would like to perform a monologue, short scene or excerpt from a performance in which AT has been an integral part of the process. 

Please submit your proposals by July 8th to: info@balanceartscenter.com or bmello@AlexTechMotion.com

We are eager to further the lively exchanges we witnessed these past two years. By creating an environment where people can share artistic discoveries and pedagogical approaches, we can support the growth of the Alexander Technique in the theater world!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Warm Regards,

Ann Rodiger and Belinda Mello

Please feel free to forward this to others who you think would be interested in presenting!

CONFERENCE ARCHIVE:

Freedom to ACT: 2013

The Conference on Acting and the Alexander Technique

January 11-13, 2013

Shetler Studios & Theatres

244 West 54th Street, Suite 1206

New York, NY, 10019

Developed by Teva Bjerken, Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger.

Presented by AT Motion and the Balance Arts Center

Come join us for the Freedom to Act 2013:

The conference for students and professionals in Theater, Film and the Alexander Technique. 

Freedom to be physically, vocally and emotionally flexible is a must for actors. As they learn to access this freedom, they take the audience with them through a transformational experience; storytelling served by authenticity. 

The Alexander Technique is an indispensable tool for discovering freedom and flexibility. Performing artists worldwide value the foundational role that the Alexander Technique plays in art and in life. 

Young actors, as well as seasoned professionals, rely on the heightened consciousness and unhabituated expression they gain when the Alexander Technique is integrated into their artistic work. The variety of workshops and presentations offered at this conference reflect the vitality of the Alexander Technique in many aspects of acting and actor training. There will be special events for Theatre and Alexander Technique teachers, workshops for those who are new to the technique, and social gatherings. 

All the conference presenters have extensive experience teaching the Alexander Technique to actors, directing theater productions, or  coaching actors on film, many have had distinguished performance careers. Everyone who attends will be exploring the vital role that Alexander Technique plays in illuminating the acting process. 

Come join us to explore, experience and share!

Fees:

Full Professional Conference Fee: $225

Full Student Conference Fee: $160

Single workshop rates available at checkout.

Fees and sign up information here.

FRIDAY (at the Shelter Studios Penthouse)

6:00: Registration Opens

6:15-7:00 pm: Introduction to The Alexander Technique 

7:00-8:30 pm: Activities and Social  

SATURDAY 

9:00-11:00 am: SESSION 1

A. The Alexander Technique in Acting Class and At the Heart of Actor Training 

Jed Diamond 

B. The Alexander Technique as an Effective Means for Learning and Teaching Some Basic Acting Skills 

Kathleen Baum 

C. Connecting With Our Roots: Alexander Technique and Training the Speaking Voice 

Diane Gaary 

D. Limps and Tics and Humps–Oh My!: Extreme Character Physicalization 

Christine Stevens 

11:15-1:15 pm: SESSION 2 

A. How Do We Build a Strong Role for The Alexander Technique in an Acting Program? 

A Panel discussion moderated by Teva Bjerken 

B. The Show Must Go On! Managing Performance Anxiety with The Alexander Technique 

Ruth Rootberg 

C. Shakespeare and the Alexander Technique: The Relationship of Alexander Principles to Breath, Sound and Word and Suspected Influences of Textual Devices 

Greg Seel

D. Release Into Text: An Exploration of How We Can Use Direction and Awareness to Facilitate Our Connection to Text

Nina D'Abbracci

1:15-2:30 pm: LUNCH 

2:30-4:30 pm: SESSION 3

A. Psychophysical History: An Alexander Technique Approach to Creating Character 

Cathy Madden 

B. Effort, Risk, Momentum, Joy: Alexander Technique and Physical Training at Dell’Arte International 

Joe Krienke 

C. The Art of Breathing 

Jessica Wolf 

D.  Alexander Technique in Collaboration: Partner Dancing with Alexander Bodies 

Mona Stiles and Michael Raine

4:45-7:30 pm: SESSION 4

A.  Acting in Film and The Alexander Technique 

Jean-Louis Rodrigue 

B.  Shaping a Character Using The Alexander Technique: Playing with Inner and Outer Transformation (WORKSHOP FULL)

Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman 

C.  Learning to Speak UP: Vocal Acoustics and The Alexander Technique (ends at 6:15 pm)

Kathryn Armour 

SUNDAY 

9:00-11:00 am: SESSION 5

A.  Sharing Curriculum: For Alexander Technique Teachers Working in a Theater Program 

Constance Clare-Newman and Clare Maxwell

B.  A Simple and Engaging Presence: Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique 

Jean E. Taylor 

C.  Preparing and Presenting a Monologue: An Alexander Approach (WORKSHOP FULL)

Meade Andrews 

10:30-12:00 pm: BRUNCH SOCIAL ($10 payable at Friday night registration)

12:15-2:15 pm: SESSION 6

A.  The Actor Who Sings 

Ann Rodiger 

B.  At the Actor’s Core: The Alexander Technique 

Belinda Mello 

C.  Alexander Technique: An Acting Approach 

Sarah Barker 

D.  Alexander Technique: Alert and Calm Readiness

Gabriella Minnes Brandes 

2:30-3:30 pm: CLOSING SESSION

Come share your experiences from the weekend and your ideas about bringing the AT further into the spotlight of Acting. Everyone is welcome! 

Sign up here.

*Schedule is based on participant registration and is subject to change. 

The final schedule will reflect registration. 

Requests for cancellations will be honored, less $50 per person processing fee, if cancellation is received in writing before January 5, 2013. No cancellations will be accepted over the phone.

F2A: 2013 Workshop Descriptions and Biographies

The Alexander Technique in Acting Class and at the Heart of Actor Training by Jed Diamond

Mr. Diamond will share his approach to teaching the Alexander Technique in acting classes and as a core practice for actors in training and throughout their lives. He will share vocabulary and examine the principles in play at introductory and more advanced levels. The workshop is conceived to foster discussion and exchange with participants.

Jed Diamond is Head of the MFA in Acting program at The University of Tennessee / Clarence Brown Theatre, a three year conservatory, where he teaches both acting and the Alexander Technique, and is a member of the Clarence Brown Theatre Company.  He has acted at Arena Stage, The Roundabout Theatre, The New York Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Signature Theatre, with The Acting Company, and in many other venues.  He taught acting and the Alexander Technique in New York from 1997 to 2005, at the New York Shakespeare Festival, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The Actors Center, Stella Adler Studio, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, and privately.  He trained in the Alexander Technique at the Mathews School in New York, and completed a post-graduate term of study with Walter Carrington in London.

Shared Ground: The Alexander Technique as an Effective Means for Learning and Teaching Some Basic Acting Skills by Kathleen Baum

Skills that the Alexander Technique teaches are basic skills for an actor:  the ability to be attentive simultaneously to both inner and outer worlds; the ability to be present and to experience each acting moment as if for the first time; the ability to be open to questioning personal assumptions and perceived limitations.  We will explore these skills through discussion and work on simple physical exercises based on Meyerhold's Biomechanics.  

Kathleen Baum graduated from Alexander Technique of Syracuse (Kathryn Miranda, Director) in 2011.  She teaches in the Syracuse University Drama Department and at the National Theater Institute at Eugene O'Neill Theater Center with a specialization in movement-based approaches to theatre.  She has taught Meyerhold's Biomechanics at Syracuse, at the O'Neill, and as a guest at a broad range of venues across the U.S. and internationally.

Connecting with our Roots: Alexander Technique and Training the Speaking Voice by Diane Gaary 

F.M. Alexander was fascinated with the health and development of his speaking voice.  In this workshop we will explore how applying the principles of the Alexander Technique affects the speaking voice, and learn how vocal health, resonance, expressiveness, and power are natural by products of Good Use.  We will also examine the role of the Alexander Technique as it interfaces with various voice and speech training methods that are currently used in today’s actor training.

Diane Gaary is an Alexander Teacher, Voice and Speech Trainer, and Feldenkrais Practitioner™.  Diane is a teaching member of The American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). She also holds teaching certification from Alexander Technique International (ATI), Feldenkrais Practitioner™ certification from The Feldenkrais Guild, and Speaking Voice and Movement Trainer certification from The Lessac Institute.  Diane has a B.A. in Theatre and English from Smith College and an MFA in Acting from the University of Virginia where she also studied graduate-level speech pathology for two years. She teaches at Temple University, Arcadia University, and Westminster Choir College, and maintains private studios in Philadelphia and New York City.

Limps and Tics and Humps... Oh My!: Extreme Character Physicalization by Christine Stevens

Limps, humps and spasms are only a few of the possible physical choices an actor may need to embody in the playing of a role.  But how do we create Laura Wingfield’s limp or sustain Richard III’s crooked spine without injuring ourselves?  How do we make it authentic so that it enhances and doesn’t distract from our performance?  We’ll explore how applying the principles of the AT can help the actor bring  truth to and prevent injury  from extreme physicalizations.

Christine Stevens teaches the AT with the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Program for Actors and Directors in Providence, RI and maintains a private practice in Amherst, MA.  

How Do We Develop a Strong Role for the Alexander Technique in a Program of Training for the Actor? Panel moderated by Teva Bjerken; This workshop will be a conversation with faculty from universities and conservatory programs, addressing some of the challenges that arise when building placement and support for the AT in programs with varying approaches to actor training. Panelists will include: Meade Andrews, Sara Barker, Jed Diamond, Richard Feldman, Cathy Madden, Jean-Louis Rodrigue, Carolyn Serota, Jessica Wolf and moderated by Teva Bjerken. We will share ideas that have created satisfying results in curriculum, offer support for building collaborative relationships with other faculty and address effective ways to bring the AT into productions. 

Teva Bjerken (developer) has been teaching the Alexander Technique as faculty of The Actor's Studio MFA Program and The New School for Drama since 1995.  She has taught workshops at the Red Bull Theater, Tom Todoroff Studio, The Actors Movement Center, and the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater. A graduate of the American Center for the Alexander Technique, her teaching is informed by her own conservatory training as a dancer and career performing works in dance/theater (Bessie award-1990), post graduate AT studies in NY and London, and years of collaboration with Belinda Mello with whom she is published. 

The Show Must Go On!: Managing Performance Anxiety with the Alexander Technique by Ruth Rootberg; What are the many ways the Alexander Technique helps the actor manage performance anxiety? Participants will exchange, experiment, and yes—stand before the group—to explore what thoughts and procedures help manage uncomfortable anticipation of an upcoming event, whether it takes place in the future, on the day of performance, or in-the-moment of performance.

Ruth Rootberg, M.AmSAT (ATSNE, Missy Vineyard) is also a designated Linklater voice teacher and Laban Movement Analyst. Ruth has presented workshops at AmSAT AGM’s, the Voice Foundation, and with Christine Stevens at Freedom to Act, 2011. Ruth lives and teaches in Amherst, Massachusetts. Recent articles include “Reducing Music Performance Anxiety,” http://majoringinmusic.com/reducing-music-performance-anxiety/.

Shakespeare and the Alexander Technique: The Relationship of Alexander Principles to Breath, Sound and Word and Suspected Influences of Textual Devices by Greg Seel; A two hour workshop where participants will have the opportunity to explore Alexander with Classical monologues. We will hypothesize Alexander's influence from classical textual devices such as antithesis, rising iambic line and scansion and engage some physical processes to fuse use of self and use of text.

Greg Seel first studied the Alexander Technique with Walter Carrington and Mary Holland while in actor training at The Drama Studio. He was first Certified at ACAT in 1983 an later STAT Certified in 1988. He is currently teaches at Rutgers University MFA Acting Program, NYU BFA Program (Classical Studio & Meisner Studio) and The New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts. He has taught in conjunction with professional acting programs since 1986. Gately/Poole Acting Studio and The New Actor's Workshop. He has served on the faculties of Suny Purchase, Columbia University, and St John's University. He collaborated extensively with Ray Yeates of The Abby Theater, Dublin and  Ballymun. He was a founding member of The Riverside Shakespeare Co. and The Mint Theater Co. He teaches privately in Brooklyn with his wife Genevieve.

Find Your Full Expression: Speaking, Breathing and Moving by June Ekman; This workshop his about becoming more conscious of one's physical patterns and how they may be interfering with one's full expression of speaking, breathing and moving. The workshop includes work with rubber balls lying on the floor  to help deepen one's proprioceptive awareness.

Release Into Text by Nina D'Abbracci. An exploration of how we can use Direction and Awareness to facilitate our connection to text.  We will work with balls on the floor to help soften frozen tension, then explore Alexander Direction while we work on text.    

Nina D'Abbracci was a faculty member of The New Actors Workshop's  two year conservatory program for 16 years, and has taught at Columbia University in the MFA Theater Department, Ensemble Studio Theater, Michael Howard Studio, and NYU.  She is currently on the faculty of The Linklater Center for Voice and Language,  and has maintained a private practice on the Upper West Side since 1987.  Nina trained and performed as a  dancer and an actor, and integrates  her skills as an Alexander teacher within the context of the performing arts.  In addition, she is certified in Kinetic Awareness,  ( A.K.A.  "The Great Ball Work" ), which she also incorporates into her teaching.Nina is a teaching member of Alexander Technique International, and is a Certified Master Teacher of Kinetic Awareness.

Psychophysical History: An Alexander Technique Approach to Creating Character by Cathy Madden

If each of us has a lifetime that creates our psychophysical history, then the challenge for the actor is how to create that lifetime of experience for an imagined life in the temporally concentrated process of rehearsal. In much actor training, there is a dilemma about how to translate the idea of the character’s past into present time behavior on the stage.  All acting theorists value this transformation, many recognize a quality of coordination that enables it, but don’t have a process to offer that can consistently bring it to life. My premise is that the rehearsal process must be a condensed creation of the psychophysical history of the lives of the characters out of which the play must inevitably happen. By using the Alexander Technique in combination with rehearsal techniques that amplify the psychophysical response of the actor to the circumstances of the play, my actor/students and I have been developing highly effective rehearsal and performance tools.

Cathy Madden is a Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington School of Drama, Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle, Associate Director for BodyChance in Japan, Theatrical Director for Lucia Neare Theatrical Wonders ( recent winner of the Seattle Mayor's Arts Awards), has been a Congress Teacher for the International Congresses of the Alexander Technique, and is a frequent guest at training schools in Europe and Australia.  She is a Founder and Former Chair of Alexander Technique International which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012.  She has been teaching since 1980 and was a long time student of Marjorie Barstow.

Effort, Risk, Momentum, Joy Alexander Technique and Physical Training at Dell’Arte International by Joe Krienke; This workshop will look at the Alexander Technique as basis for athleticism. The class will begin moving through physical activities that include walking, running, skipping, quadrupedal gaits, flexibility, strength, endurance, and the movements of the spine.  The workshop will then focus on the structures and movements of the acrobatic balancing skills backbend, headstand, and handstand and will conclude with a survey of the basic tumbling skills forward roll, back shoulder roll, and cartwheel. No acrobatic experience is necessary to benefit from the workshop.

Joe Krienke is the Associate School Director at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, CA where he teaches Alexander Technique, Acrobatics, Movement Analysis, Daily Practice, Archery, and Clown. Between 2001-2006 he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mask Acting and Clown in the MFA acting program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He trained as an Alexander Technique teacher in Philadelphia with Martha Hansen-Fertmen.

The Art of Breathing by Jessica Wolf

Actors often speak of having an inspirational experience. This level of performance demands high energy and coordination. To achieve this the actor needs to learn how to use the breath as the fuel for the body and support for the voice. Applying the principles of “The Art of Breathing” we will explore the coordination and the efficiency of the respiratory system in relationship to vocal power, movement and character transformation.

Jessica Wolf, ACAT 1977, is an internationally recognized teacher of the Alexander Technique and maintains a private practice in NYC. Jessica joined the faculty of Yale School of Drama in 1998, and now holds the position of Assistant Professor.  In 2002, Jessica founded and directed the first post-graduate training program for Alexander teachers in "The Art of Breathing".  Faculty appointments include the Aspen Music Festival, The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, Circle in the Square Theater School, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College and the Verbier Music Festival.

Alexander Technique in Collaboration: Partner Dancing with Alexander Bodies by Mona Stiles and Michael Raine; Mona and Michael work together in Michael's dance classes at The NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program.  The use of Alexander thinking in any activity is logical to us as teachers.  When two teachers from different disciplines combine in a class, the experience is both richer and more demanding for both teacher and student.  In this situation it helps actors hear the physical conversation needed for the lead/follow aspect of partner dancing.  We hope to demonstrate this with our students.  We also look forward to having a discussion about growing this type of collaboration with all of its rewards as well as its challenges.

Mona Stiles worked as a professional actress for many years in regional theater as well as NYC.  During that time she studied the Alexander Technique  with Marj. Barstow, and Troup and Ann Matthews.  She eventually trained at The Matthews School, did post graduate work with Rivka Cohen, and completed the Jessica Wolf “Art of Breathing” workshop. Mona teaches in the New York University, Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program and maintains a private practice.

Acting In Film and The Alexander Technique by Jean-Louis Rodrigue

An actor's vision in film acting is lived emotionally and physically.  This kind of performance requires more than instinct- it needs interpretative intelligence and a mastery of physical, psychological, and emotional craft into performance.  Jean-Louis Rodrigue leads an intensive workshop to explore the skills and tools that are required for the extraordinary creation of characters and performances specifically geared for the camera.  

Jean-Louis Rodrigue collaborated with such film artists as acting coach Larry Moss, Leonardo DiCaprio, Forest Whitaker, Ang Lee, Juliette Binoche, Josh Brolin, Chris Pine, Hilary Swank, Helena Bonham Carter to name a few, gives Jean-Louis a unique point of view of applying the Alexander Technique to acting in film.

Shaping a Character Using The Alexander Technique: Playing with Inner and Outer Transformationsby Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman

In transforming into a character, the actor travels a road of choice and change from self to other.  He or she must move from personal habit to balanced availability and finally to the embodiment of a character, an "other" with patterns of perception, impulse, behavior, and action different from one's own.  The Alexander Technique promotes poise in the body and poise in the imagination, the starting place for the journey to otherness.  How does this "otherness" happen?  Using the Alexander tools of awareness, conscious inhibition, and direction; simple acting exercises; elements of environment work; and exercises developed from Judith Leibowitz's early energy games, we will explore aspects of inner and outer transformation techniques and how they might inform and affect one another to create an imagined life.  Carolyn and Richard will share their collaborative way of working in process.

Carolyn. M. Serota has been teaching the Alexander Technique in the Drama Division of the Juilliard School since 1990 .  After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she performed and taught dance before training as an Alexander teacher at ACAT under Judith Liebowitz and Barbara Kent. She was a member of the ACAT Teacher Training faculty 1989-92; The Chatauqua Conservatory Theater Faculty 1994-95; and 

The Actors Center 1997-98. Since 1991, in addition to teaching, she has joined with many directors at Juilliard to explore the integration of the AT into the rehearsal process. She is married to director and acting teacher Richard Feldman, with whom she has an ongoing artistic collaboration. Carolyn also has a private practice in NYC.

Richard Feldman is the Associate Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard where he has taught Improvisation, Text Analysis and Scene Study, and directed many, many projects and plays for 25 years. After receiving his undergraduate degree at Yale he studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He has taught and directed at the Chatauqua Conservatory Thetaer, the Actors  Center, and for the past 8 years at NYU Graduate Acting. He has an ongoing artistic collaboration with his wife Carolyn Serota who teaches the Alexander Technique at Juilliard.

Learning to Speak UP:  Vocal Acoustics and the Alexander Technique by Kathryn Armour

A brief presentation on voice anatomy will be followed by exploratory etudes for improved structural awareness, and more resonant speech. In partner work we will integrate the voice back into the whole self. As a group we will move into song.

Kathryn Armour (M.A. University of Chicago), studied voice in Florence, Italy for 5 years, and then returned to study voice and acting in New York City. She was a finalist in both the Metropolitan Opera and Pavarotti Competitions and has extensive performing experience in all genres from opera to Broadway and cabaret. She has been on the voice faculty of New York University for 17 years, teaching in the CAP21 Music Theater Studio. She also has a studio in mid-town Manhattan, where she teaches voice together with the Alexander Technique. She holds an intensive summer course in Voice and Alexander Technique at Lake Como, in the Italian Alps, and in late summer she teaches a Voice Camp in New Hampshire. She is currently the Voice and Alexander Technique teacher for the Broadway award-winning Fiasco Theater Company, which will present Sondheim’s Into the Woods for the McCarter Theater (April 2013). Kathryn Armour was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 2003, and is a member of ATI. She has been a performer at the last 3 international Alexander Technique Congresses. This season she is teaching workshops for the University of Wisconsin Medical School Voice Clinic; the Susan Sinclair Alexander Technique Centre in Toronto, Canada (an AT teacher training school); and Wheaton College (MA) Drama and Dance Dept.  

Sharing Curriculum: for Alexander Technique Teachers Working in a Theater Program by Constance Clare-Newman and Clare Maxwell; Are you new to teaching groups in a theater program? What would you most like to know about how your colleagues teach their classes? If you’ve been teaching for years, what successes and discoveries would you most like to share with your colleagues? We will sample key moments from each other’s curriculi, discuss experiential activities that develop students’ Alexander understanding and practice, and explore pedagogical methods that resonate with AT principles.

Constance Clare-Newman certified at ATI-SF (Frank Ottiwell, Director) in 2001. She teaches at her Oakland, CA studio and has been teaching actors at Academy of Art University since 2005.

Clare Maxwell certified at ACAT in 2000 and in 2010 with Jessica Wolf in The Art of Breathing. She teaches at her studio in NYC and is on faculty at Movement Research and the William Esper Studio.

A Simple and Engaging Presence: Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique by Jean E. Taylor

The workshop process is about bringing who you are, and what you already have, forward. It is an opportunity for participants to embrace, through openness and humor, their own unique ridiculousness. Theatrical clowning can develop our capacity for playing in the moment and offer us new perspectives on ourselves as both teachers and performers. Connections are made throughout the workshop between Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique, specifically recognition of habit, positive inhibition, and non-end-gaining.

Jean E. Taylor, teacher and performer, collaborates on the development of original plays, which have been featured at a variety of national and international venues. Her latest work, Pants and Skirts, was presented at The Barrow Group Theatre in May 2012. Her current work, True Hazards of Childhood is scheduled for a workshop performance in December 2012. Jean is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Institute and teaches theatrical clowning for The New School for Drama and The Barrow Group Theatre.  Jean studied with Philippe Gaulier, Ron Foreman, Merry Conway, and David Shiner.

Preparing and Presenting a Monologue: An Alexander Approach by Meade Andrews

This workshop will focus on bringing Alexander's process of observation and awareness/inhibition/direction to the preparation and performance of a monologue. First, as a whole group we will explore the relationship between AT and the acting process in preparation for presenting a monologue, focusing on: Stimulus/response, the "moment before",moment to moment playing, and breath/speech. Each person will receive a monologue to explore. Second, I will work with 3-4 actors in front of the group on a monologue they have prepared, using the material explored in the first hour in relation to each actor.

Meade Andrews currently teaches as guest artist in theatre at Rider University and Westminster Choir College, in Princeton, NJ. She also maintains a private practice in NJ, teaches in NYC and DC, and contributes to AT training courses in Houston, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and Toronto. Former director of the Dance Program at American University in DC, she continues to teach at the Studio Theatre, her professional base for 20 years. Meade travels nationally and internationally to teach the AT, and has served as movement coach for numerous theatrical productions.

The Actor Who Sings by Ann Rodiger

Alexander's fundamental principle "whispered ah" will be used as the basis for speaking and singing. We will work individually and in partners to discover a free and connected singing voice. Explorations of the head, neck, tongue and jaw will be integrated with the whole body as you vocalize. For the second-half of the workshop, we will move into a master class format with an accompanist. Participants are invited and encouraged to prepare something to sing. 

Ann Rodiger (producer) is the founder and director of the Balance Arts Center and the Balance Arts Center Teacher Training Course. She has been teaching the Alexander Technique and movement for over 30 years in academic and private settings. She is skilled in Labanotation, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Yoga, meditation, and various dance techniques. She maintains private practices in New York City, Berlin and Antwerp. She is the creator and producer of the Freedom to Move, Freedom to Play and co-creator of the Freedom to Act conferences. She has recently published a book, "How To Sit: Your Body at Work".

At the Actor’s Core: the Alexander Technique by Belinda Mello

Every performing artist needs essential skills for setting inner conditions and directing the flow of energy. When you can engage with your “primary control”, or fundamental organization of head/spine/connective tissue at the core, you are able to establish the support you need for embodiment of character and expression of impulses. Your primary coordination opens up a pathway for transformation - we will explore this in a progressive sequence of movement, voice and emotional flexibility exercises, as well as directly into a kinesthetic approach to meeting a new piece of text. 

Belinda Mello, MFA (co-producer) teaches the Alexander Technique, Movement and Mask in the BFA program at Brooklyn College/CUNY and at Tom Todoroff Studio Conservatory. She is a guest artist at Ted Bardy Studio, Muhlenberg College, the Actor’s Movement Studio, Aching Dogs Theater Company, Jean Cocteau Rep and the Women’s Project. She has performed in the USA and Europe, and was both a director and actor in an Obie award-winning production. Currently, she is working toward Professor Certification in the Margolis Method and has recently published an article with Teva Bjerken. An Alexander teacher since 1989 and member of ATI, she teaches annually in Spokane with her mentor, Dr. William Conable. Belinda’s pracitce, AT Motion, is in NYC and Brooklyn.

Alexander Technique: An Acting Approach by Sarah Barker

Sarah Barker will demonstrate how she works directly with actors’ challenges in rehearsal. Drawing on 37 years of acting coaching for university and professional productions she will focus on using the AT as an acting approach, work closely with several actors as they rehearse a short scene or monologue.  Themes for the work include initiating actions with greater ease and economy, unifying voice and body with the imaginative action and including one’s acting partner in an expanded field of attention to strengthen connection.

A nationally recognized leader in movement training and a respected actor trainer, Sarah Barker teaches at the University of South Carolina. Recognized for her innovative work teaching the Alexander Technique for actors she trains Alexander Technique teachers in Japan and North Carolina.  Sarah’s book, The Alexander Technique, (translated in five languages) and her new DVD, Moving with Ease (also in Japanese) are used in many theatre-training programs throughout the US.

Alexander Technique: Alert and Calm Readiness by Gabriella Minnes Brandes

Participants will explore ways of applying the Alexander-Technique  (e.g., inhibition, direction, and primary control) working on character, finding an appropriate voice for a character, and connecting voice and movement.  Gaby will then share insights from analyzing videotapes and journals of acting students, as she reflects on the ways Alexander Technique enhances the art and craft of performing artists. Participants are invited to bring monologues to work on, and are also invited to share their experiences of applying the Alexander Technique in their work with performing artists.

Gaby Minnes Brandes, Ph.D. has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1988. She is the co-director of the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique and teaches the Alexander Technique in the Theatre Department at Capilano University while maintaining a thriving private practice. She researches the connections between Alexander Technique and creativity in the performing arts.  Gaby holds a Ph.D. in education, informing both her practice and her research.  For more information, please see http://alexandertechniquecentre.ca

Freedom to ACT: 2012

The Conference on Acting and the Alexander Technique

January 13-15, 2012

Shetler Studios & Theatres

244 West 54th Street, suite 1206

New York, NY, 10019

This workshop is developed by Teva Bjerken, Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger and is presented by the Balance Arts Center.

Come join us for the Freedom to Act: Acting and Alexander Technique Conference.

This conference is designed for actors, theater and film professionals as well as Alexander Technique teachers.

Explore how the Alexander Technique accelerates the actor’s process in training, rehearsal, and performance. Freedom to move and breathe is at the heart of this Technique and why so many actors and performers use it as a fundamental aspect of their work and life.

Discover how an actor’s ability to recognize choices of action increases when bringing the Alexander Technique into the acting process; the connection of thought, sensation and expression is revitalized.

Experience the foundational role that the Alexander Technique plays in breathing, voice, movement and transformation for the actor.

All the conference presenters have extensive experience teaching the Alexander Technique to actors in universities, conservatories, in theater productions, or in film –some are performing artists and many have had extensive performance experience.

The variety of workshops offered speaks to how fundamental and vital the principles of the Alexander Technique are today, in all aspects of preparation and performance in theater and film.

Come join us and share in the experience!