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foundational acting techniques

led by toby vera bercovici & jeannine haas

This four-week workshop series will explore the use of the body, voice, emotion, and intellect to create theatrical moments. It is designed both for actors and non-actors, and will encourage creative agency, risk-taking, choice-making, and a new perspective on oneself, both alone and in relationship to others. It will utilize techniques from improvisation and clown, as well as from practitioners Konstantin Stanislavski, Anne Bogart, Michael Chekhov, and others.

This workshop series is most powerful when all four parts are taken, but each part can be taken individually - sign up for one, two, three, or all four dates!

Mondays in October (10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28)

6:30pm-9:30pm.

Cost is $320 for whole series, or $100 per class. Payment plans & scholarships available.

Email us at reallivetheatre@gmail.com for more info and to register.


Suzuki movement intensive

with maria porter

october 11-13

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For anyone who has experience in the Suzuki Method of Actor Training! This weekend intensive offers a unique opportunity to dive deep into some of the original lineage of Suzuki's work, as well as to explore Maria's own exquisite innovations.

Friday, 10/11, 7pm-10pm

Saturday, 10/12, 10am-5pm

Sunday, 10/13, 12pm-4pm

Sliding scale of $150-$250 for the whole weekend workshop! Payment plans and scholarships available. Ask us about attending portions of the weekend. For more info and to register: email us at reallivetheatre@gmail.com

Maria Porter is professor of theater at the C.W. Post Campus at Long Island University. She has been a teacher of the Suzuki Method for the last 20 years and has given master classes in the United States and abroad. As an actor, she has performed regionally in theaters such as Hartford Stage, Kennedy Center, Virginia Stage, Hangar Theater, Perishable Theater, The La Jolla Playhouse and Milwaukee Rep, and is featured as Parker Posey’s mother in Hal Hartley’s award winning film, “Henry Fool”. In New York, she enjoyed a long association with the downtown theater groups Target Margin, Clubbed Thumb and SALT Theater. She has worked with such directors as Anne Bogart, Tina Landau, David Hersokvits, Robert Woodruff and Emma Griffen. Porter works extensively internationally, both teaching and performing, and is a member of Teatro delle Radici in Switzerland and The Magdalena Project, an international coalition of women theater artists. Her solo performances and work demonstrations have been featured in festivals in Cuba, Denmark, Italy, Peru, Switzerland and the United States. As a director, her original performances featuring students and alumni have appeared at festivals in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Canada and the New York Fringe Festival. Porter holds an M.F.A. in acting from University of California, San Diego.


Photo by Melissa Blackall.  Set in the Living Room of a Small Town American Play  at Colby College, directed by Toby Vera Bercovici.

Photo by Melissa Blackall. Set in the Living Room of a Small Town American Play at Colby College, directed by Toby Vera Bercovici.

choreographing intimacy

with Toby Vera Bercovici

& Ellen Morbyrne

“Intimacy Choreography” is a relatively new concept, having emerged out of a need to protect actors from unsafe working conditions and blurred boundaries. It is an important practice not only for the mental, physical, and emotional health of actors, but also for the experience of the audience: the more safe and grounded the performers, the more electric the scene. Utilizing techniques from multiple disciplines, including theatre, yoga, dance, and mindfulness practices, Ellen and Toby will guide participants through a safe and specific process to develop choreography that feels motivated and appropriate for characters and situation, as well as authentic and dynamic in terms of external behaviors.

AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR YOUR THEATRE, UNIVERSITY, High school, OR INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTION

•As a performer, the take away will include language with which to speak to your director and co-actors and tools to create safe working conditions when there aren’t any. 

•As a director, teacher, or choreographer, you will learn how to build a safe environment, lead exercises to create trust within that environment, and utilize specific skills for analyzing and staging intimate moments.

•As an arts administrator or producer, you will learn best practices for ensuring safe working conditions for your employees.

The Choreographing Intimacy workshop can be customized to suit the specific needs of all theatre practitioners and administrators. 

Email us at reallivetheatre@gmail.com with any questions and to book your customized workshop or coaching session.

About the instructors:

Toby Vera Bercovici (Governing Member of RLT) is a director whose work utilizes a rigorous authenticity, playful relationship with the elements of time, and uniquely feminist aesthetic to help tell important stories. She places special emphasis on the ethical, psychological, and physiological manifestations of intimacy, and she has contributed her knowledge in this arena to several productions and films, serving as both intimacy choreographer and consultant. New York credits include Real Live Theatre’s The Life and Death of Queen Margaret at Theater for the New City, Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission at the Looking Glass Theatre, and the world premier of Julia Kaminsky's Genesis at the Circus Warehouse. She has directed for multiple companies throughout Western Massachusetts including Silverthorne Theater, Hampshire Shakespeare Company, and Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble, in addition to her work with Real Live Theatre. She has taught theater at Colby College, Holyoke Community College, American International College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She holds a BA in Theater from Smith College and an MFA in Directing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also has ongoing training at Shakespeare & Company and with the Michael Chekhov Association and Intimacy Directors International, as well as in Authentic Movement, Suzuki, and Viewpoints. 

Ellen Morbyrne (Governing Member of RLT) is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist rooted in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. Her theatrical work is fiercely committed to social justice, destroying patriarchy and oppressive systems, and deeply celebrating human storytelling. She believes that every individual and every community deserves exceptional theatre, and that human societies require storytelling in order to grow, sustain, and heal. Her artistic work is informed by 20 years of professional experience as a yoga practitioner and teacher, a youth mentor and educator, and a mentor to parents of teenagers. Ellen’s approach to theatrical exploration draws on her extensive experience as a performer, writer, director, teacher, facilitator, and administrator, as well as the profound experience of being a parent. Ellen is an alumna of Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble and the Shakespeare & Young Company summer training at Shakespeare & Company. She received her BA in Theatre from Smith College and directed the theatre program at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens for sixteen years (2003-2019). She co-founded Real Live Theatre in 2013 with whom she has worked on the following major projects: The Tragedy of Othello (adaptor and director), The Lion & The Clown: A Rumi Lovesong for Beauty & the Beast (playwright and director), The Life & Death of Queen Margaret (actor and producer), She Kills Monsters (actor and producer), When Last We Flew (co-director and co-producer), Athena (director), and Far Reaches (playwright and director).


Second Sunday Open Trainings

Monthly open trainings where community members can join RLT members in theatrical training!

On the second Sunday of each month, RLT company members gather for a regular ensemble training session, and community members are invited to join us!

We are a theater ensemble that works with a variety of different methodologies, including but not limited to the rigorous physical exercises of Tadashi Suzuki, the Viewpoints of both Anne Bogart and Mary Overlie, the vocal techniques of Kristin Linklater and Patsy Rodenburg, the psycho-physical technique of Michael Chekhov, the foundational principles of Stanislavski, the elements work of Jacques Lecoq, and other diverse systems of movement and expression including yoga, choral singing, dance, etc. 

Each Open Training is led by members of the company and we occasionally invite guest artists to share too - check out below for past guest instructors and any upcoming guests we have scheduled.

Space is limited! Please do not arrive at the training without confirming with us beforehand. Our next training is on Sunday, November 10th (please note there is no open training in October due to our Suzuki workshop and month-long class series, listed above). If you are interested in attending, please complete THIS REGISTRATION FORM and we will hold a space for you!

Please email us at reallivetheatre@gmail.com with any questions.

WHEN?
12:30pm-2:30pm on the Second Sunday of each month.

WHERE?
Sunderland. Exact details given upon registration.

HOW MUCH?
Sliding scale of $5-$25. (Payment can be mailed ahead of time, or brought in person. We accept cash, checks, and credit/debit cards.)


Past guest workshops


Exploring the expressive voice & its extremes

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Liz Stanton is a New York City-based, multifaceted theatre artist, who has studied with a variety of teachers from the Roy Hart Theatre: primarily Richard Armstrong, Ethie Friend and Jonathan Hart Makwaia. She has incorporated the Roy Hart voice work into her teaching for nearly 20 years. She creates award-winning devised theatre pieces, composes music for theatrical sound scores, and she’s written an opera - The Bacchae: In Song and Vocal Extremes. She is the theatrical development producer of Convergences Theatre Collective in New York City. Liz is an adjunct instructor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the Experimental Theatre Wing and New York Film Academy.

This workshop included information introducing the theories and practices of the Roy Hart Theatre and of its predecessor and mentor, Alfred Wolfsohn. Wolfsohn discovered the potential of the “8-octave voice,” claiming that each human being can gain access to an infinitely wide range of sound and expression. This approach to voice training is not a prescribed technique. Each voice is unique and the way to this expansion of range is unique in its timing and development.

MOVEMENT WORKSHOP WITH DANIEL STEIN

After studying in the Professional Actors Training Program at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he worked with Jewel Walker, Daniel then went to Paris, France to study with Etienne Decroux, becoming M. Decroux's translator. Subsequently making his home in Paris for 20 years, Daniel started his professional career as an actor with the French National Theatre. His solo performances have toured in more than 30 countries, as well as in theatres such as the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center here in the United States. He has taught master classes throughout the world at institutions such as Juilliard School of Drama, New York and The Institute of Dramatic Arts, Tokyo. Daniel has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States/Japan Commission, the Pew Charitable Trust, and is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.

Upon moving back to the US Daniel served first for five years as Dean of Students and then another five years as School Director, of The Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre, in Blue Lake CA. During those ten years he was a principal instructor there. In the fall of '05 he taught full time at Sarah Lawrence College. 2006 - '09 saw him directing and teaching for the Berkeley Rep. and Touchstone Theatres. On stage he created the role of Bruno Shultz in Clown Show for Bruno, a new play by Murray Mednick, produced by the Padua Playwrights of Los Angeles and directed by Guy Zimmerman in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

In Fall 2009 Daniel began the position of Director of Movement and Physical Theatre for the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre MFA Professional Actor Training Program, teaching in the Brown University MFA acting program and in charge of curriculum and faculty for their movement dept. Other duties included both coaching and acting with the Trinity Rep. Co. He was also the Director of Theatre for the Accademia Dell'Arte Summer institute in Arezzo Italy, a five week intensive in Generating New Performance Material. He is currently a Guest Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California Santa Barbara and has spent the past two summers working with South Korean avant-garde company Flying Off the Cliff.