Join Our Mailing List

Friday, February 27, 2009

Next Series of Workshop Auditions for Theater-Laboratory in Leeds

A Series of Workshop Auditions for a new Theater-Laboratory at the University of Leeds

“Meyerhold's vision was of a mutually supportive, interactive organisation incorporating a stage, a workshop and a training school in which: "the discoveries in the workshop would affect the training in the school as well as what was exposed on the stage" in a three-fold symbiosis.”

Bryan Brown, co-creator of Artel*, is looking for Performers and Students of Performance (performers, actors, dancers, musicians) that wish to explore the interstices of performance and the possibilities of a contemporary UK Theater-Laboratory within the framework of his Practice-As-Research Postgraduate work under the auspices of Prof. Jonathan Pitches and Dr. Tony Gardner.

The laboratory will be a continuation of Artel, extracting its research questions from the previous work in the USA and focusing its investigation into the relevance of theater-laboratories in the 21century by clearly defining the practical mechanics of theater-laboratories of the past in hopes to discover inspiration for the future. [This new Artel will be working throughout the next three years; however, acceptance into this stage does not imply or require a three-year commitment.]

The Structure of this new Artel will be based upon a triangular model, perhaps most clearly articulated by Vsevolod Meyerhold. The triangular model allows for a systematic investigation of Performer Training as well as Performance Development - the two branches of this Artel that will specifically focus on appropriation, tradition and innovation.

The third branch of the laboratory will be the Stage – the creation of specific productions that grapple with Russian thematic material as a means of creating a distance from which to approach new perspectives on UK contemporary reality. Wrestling with the great writers and philosophers of the last two centuries in the schools of Romanticism, Modernism, Existentialism and Postmodernism, the Stage will approach a language of production that aims at an articulation of hope and change while standing on the precipice of collapse.

If you are interested in participating in either or all three branches of this Artel, please send an email to

* Created in Los Angeles, California three years ago, Artel - a Russian word meaning labour collective as well as an acronym for American Russian Theater Ensemble Laboratory – is dedicated to an investigation of tradition and innovation in actor training and performance research with a focus on combining American and British experimental collective devising work with Russian and East European ensemble practice.


While there is no requirement to attend all of the workshop auditions, an ability to attend as many as possible indicates commitment and interest.

Performer Training Branch

“Everyone learned — students and teachers alike. It was a laboratory for working through the foundations of a new aesthetic.”

This branch of the laboratory will be a place to explore the potential syntheses of training practices that have arisen from American experimental physical approaches to theater and dance training with the ensemble actor training of Eastern European/Russian theater in order to arrive at an engaged Performer Training that provides a springboard for the creation of dynamic contemporary performance.

The Workshop Auditions aim to cultivate will, awareness, and sensitivity through the discovery of physical and vocal potentials. Our aim will be supported by a focus on imagination, rhythm, coordination, and the relations of the individual and the ensemble.

Participants should be prepared to work barefoot, to move in ways that will challenge their physical habits and to sing.

Tuesday 10 March 2009 9:30am – 12:30pm
Alec Clegg Studio, Stage@Leeds

Thursday 12 March 2009 6 – 9 pm
Dance Studio, Stage@Leeds

Saturday 14 March 2009 11am – 2pm
G14 Man Made Fibers Building

Tuesday 17 March 2009 9:30am – 12:30pm
Alec Clegg Studio, Stage@Leeds

Thursday 19 March 2009 6 – 9 pm
2.03 Man Made Fibers Building

Performance Development Branch

“The participants were not required to present preconceived conclusions, but were expected to find new paths to create new concepts of theatre.”

This branch of the laboratory will investigate the meetings and divergences of American/British devising processes with the rigor of Russian/Eastern European etude work. The majority of participants for this branch will ideally be mature(ing) artists searching for new possibilities to encounter the edges of our potential within the container that is Performance.

The Workshop Auditions will aim at physical approaches to individual and ensemble creation. We will begin with physical and vocal warm-up and training in order to move into three specific ways of composing etudes.

Participants should be prepared to work barefoot, to move in ways that will challenge their physical habits, to sing and to bring their own personal histories to the joyful act of creating!

Saturday 21 March 2009 11am - 2pm
2.03 Man Made Fibers Building

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 25, 26, 27 March 2009 6 – 9
2.03 Man Made Fibers Building


** We will be meeting outside the main entrance to the MMF Building or the Stage@Leeds Building 10minutes before scheduled start time. In some cases, the doors will lock once we enter the building. Please do not be late.

BRYAN BROWN has taught and studied extensively in New York City, Europe, and Los Angeles. He is co-creator of Artel and [via]Corpora. Deeply influenced by American Experimental theater teachers Stephen Wangh and Raina von Waldenburg as well as Mary Overlie, Viewpoints and Contact Improvisation practitioners, Bryan has spent the last two years investigating the contemporary theater practices of Eastern European and Russian ensembles primarily through his relations with the Grotowski Institute and the Song of the Goat Theatre.

Recently he was Artist-in-Residence at Hooyang Performing Arts Centre, South Korea. Besides consistent teaching in Los Angeles at [via]Corpora - Center for Performance Research and Development, 2008 had Bryan leading workshops in Poland, New Orleans and NY as well as co-producing numerous workshops including the first 5 day worksession of Song of the Goat Theatre in LA and a Teachers Practicum in NY of Stephen Wangh’s devising. He is currently teaching Performance Technique at the University of Leeds where he is a Postgraduate Research student.

All quotes are from Pitches, Jonathan Science and the Stanislavsky Tradition of Acting (London: Routledge, 2005)

1 comment:

Tracy Hudak said...

Hey Artel,
Wow. Just landed on and spent some time in your blog. Very very exciting stuff all around. Sorry I missed auditions for Charms. Will kidnap Olya for tea and press for means to connect more deeply with your work.
Tracy Hudak