19 actors from across North America traveled to Fredericton to train with renowned instructor Ellen Lauren of SITI Company (NYC).
Another session of professional actor training at Theatre New Brunswick has come to a close. Last week we were honoured to welcome 19 actors from across North America to train in the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Viewpoints with renowned instructor Ellen Lauren of SITI Company (NYC), making this week-long workshop our most successful to date.
“This is world-class training brought to Fredericton,” said Lisa Anne Ross, who participated in the full week of training. Ross is the founder of Solo Chicken Productions and a co-founder of The Coop Corps, a Fredericton based group dedicated to developing the skills of emerging artists in physical theatre through training and performance. “This workshop allows me the chance to put my work aside and be a student again, which is so valuable. It’s like topping up my creative well,” she said.
“Suzuki is very interesting because it teaches us to have an exactitude in our bodies that we don’t normally ask of ourselves,” said Ross, “and that’s something I’m always asking of the actors in The Coop Corps so it’s nice to have that turned around on me for a change.”
Created by Tadashi Suzuki, the Suzuki Method of Actor Training helps develop an actor’s complete awareness of body and mind.
“The Suzuki Method teaches you to see through the same lens as a group, as a community, and as a collective,” said Vanessa Severo, who traveled from Kansas City, Missouri to train at Theatre New Brunswick. “This training brings the artist to see the bigger picture of theatre.”
The development of professional actor training opportunities at Theatre New Brunswick has been a major focus of Artistic Director Thomas Morgan Jones since joining the company in 2015. Jones led the company’s first Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Viewpoints workshop in 2015 followed by a second Suzuki workshop with Kameron Steele of the Suzuki Company of Toga the following year.
Weekend workshops in monologues, puppetry and Shakespeare have all been part of recent seasons at Theatre New Brunswick, offering students, teachers, emerging artists (and even established ones) the opportunity to train together.
Marc Richard, coordinator for the Musical Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College, was among several instructors to train in Fredericton last week.
“It’s such an important and incredibly enriching opportunity to once again learn from a master teacher and to create with an incredibly diverse group of accomplished artists,” said Richard. “It enriches the soul.”
“Ellen has offered us a great gift with this training,” said Jones. “As an artist, she brings an extraordinary standard, depth, and range of experience. The experience she offers in the room is rigorous, while also inspiring us as artists to question, to push ourselves. Her excellence as an artist gives us a bar against which to measure ourselves. The culture of the room she creates is elegant, fluid, and supportive of each student as an individual and the company as a whole. Finally, the example she sets in how she shares her knowledge is one that we should all consider as we move forward in our work and our lives in the theatre. Thanks to this training, a gathering of Canadian and American artists is now inspired and resolved to continue creating and growing at a time where theatre’s power to speak to the world we live in is hugely necessary. What an incredible gift for the participants and Theatre New Brunswick to receive. We are so very grateful.”
Actor Training at Theatre New Brunswick continues this fall with the two-day workshop, An Introduction to Stage Combat, with Fight Master Daniel Levinson.
Kameron Steele returns to Theatre New Brunswick to lead our fourth Suzuki workshop in June 2018.