CONFERENCE ARCHIVE 

2018 Conference Schedule

PRE-CONFERENCE FRIDAY AFTERNOON

FRIDAY, JANUARY 5
1:00 - 5:30 PM
PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP

What actors want us to know
For AT Teachers and Trainees
Leaders include Meade Andrews and Sarah Barker
Location: Balance Arts Center, 34 W 28th St., 3rd floor


CONFERENCE BEGINS FRIDAY EVENING

Conference Registration Opens
6:15 pm
Location: Balance Arts Center, 34 W 28th St., 3rd floor

FRIDAY NIGHT OPENING SESSION:

6:45 - 8:15 pm
Alexander Technique Key Principles for Actors
Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger
Location: Balance Arts Center, 34 W 28th St., 3rd floor

6:45 - 8:45 pm
Speaking the Same Language (Part I): Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing

Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman
Location: Opera America, 330 7th Avenue, 7th floor

SATURDAY JANUARY 6

Locations:
A. Balance Arts Center, 34 W 28th St. 3rd floor
B. Chelsea Studios, 151 W. 26th St. 6th floor
C. Episcopal Actors’ Guild, 1 E. 29th St., 2nd floor
D. Opera America, 330 7th Ave, 7th floor

9:00 - 11:00 am - Saturday SESSION 1

      A. Air Beneath Your Wings
      Janet Madelle Feindel

      B. Listen, Expand, Renew
       Sarah Barker

      C. Contacting the Actor’s Core through Receptivity
       Alex Farkas

11:15 am - 1:15 pm SESSION 2

      A. Blossoming on Stage: Applying the Alexander Technique Principles for an Effective Partnership
      Between Your Use and The Character
             
       Agnès de Brunhoff

      B. Creating Your Character’s Psychophysical History
       Cathy Madden

      C. Connect with Your Voice - Connect with Yourself
       Diane Gaary

      D. High Stakes and Broad Characters: Exploring ‘Extreme’ Acting Choices with the Alexander Technique
       Jenny Mercein and Kyra Miller

2:15 - 4:15 pm SESSION 3

      A. Connecting the Part To the Whole: The Arms
       Anita King    

      B.  Time and Choice: Creating a Balanced Presence of Mind, Body and Breath in the Acting Process
       Anne Johnson

      C.  Speaking the Same Language (Part II): Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing
       Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman

4:30 - 6:30 pm SESSION 4

      A. Embodied Listening Through the Alexander Technique
       Rachelle Palnick Tsachor

      B. The “undoing motion” that Refreshes - Keeping it Real in Your Monologues and Scenes
       Eileen Troberman

      C. Buried Alive: Finding Movement in Immobility
       Jessica Wolf

SUNDAY JANUARY 7
Location: Pearl Studios, 500 8th Avenue, 4th floor

10:00 am - 12 noon SESSION 5

      A. Enlivening Text: Learn by Heart, Speak from the Guts
       Erin O’Leary

      B.  Explorations in Perspection
       Kim Jessor

      C. Radiant Auditioning: The 4 Key Moments
       Eleanor Taylor

      D. Meeting at the Table: An approach to table reading
       Ann Rodiger

Noon - 1:00 pm BRUNCH
1:00  - 3:00 pm  SESSION 6

      A. Accepting Your Ridiculousness as a Way to Be Fully Present: Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique
         
 (This workshop 1:00 to 2:30)
       Jean E. Taylor

      B.  Presence and Authenticity in Acting: Inhabiting Yourself Globally through Time
       Joan Frost

      C. Daily AT Practice for Actors “I prepare to…”What do I practice? How do I practice?
       Belinda Mello

3:15 - 4:00 pm PERFORMANCE  

Conference-wide gathering for a performance
Featuring Jean E Taylor in an excerpt from her original show: STOP/SLOW (A FLAGGER’S LAMENT)

Followed by DISCUSSION and CLOSURE

 

2018 Workshop Descriptions and Bios

Sarah Barker
Listen, Expand, Renew
Sarah will lead the group in exercises that develop three empowering aspects of Alexander Technique skills.  1) A physical mindfulness exercise she calls Listening to the Body will show actors how to enjoy tiny impulses emanating from their bodies.  You’ll learn to follow those impulses with ease. 2) You will explore how to notice yourself and notice the environment and other actors at the same time.  Moving through space expansively builds presence on stage 3) Performers will observe and reveal the habits of performance that restrict the body even before they speak.  Then it is easy to shift the thinking to renew balance and freedom for powerful performances. This workshop is appropriate for everyone.  We will be moving and exploring for the whole period of time.  If actors have monologues they can bring them.  Sarah will have easy pieces of text for everyone to play with.
Sarah Barker: A nationally recognized leader in theatre movement training and a respected actor trainer, Sarah Barker teaches at University of South Carolina. Sarah has recently taught intensive workshops for training actors at the New National Theatre of Tokyo, the graduate program of University of Virginia and Shakespeare and Company. She is a guest teacher for schools for Alexander Technique teachers in Japan, Germany, Toronto and North Carolina.  Sarah’s book, The Alexander Technique, and her new DVD, Moving with Ease (both also in Japanese) are used in many theatre-training programs throughout the US.  See her website at easyalexander.com.

Agnès De Brunhoff
Blossoming on Stage : applying the Alexander principles for an effective partnership between your use and the character.
An appropriate use of the self
1) People introducing themselves to the group: Observation of the way people use themselves, their movements, their breathing. do they really do what they think they are doing ?
2) general work with the Alexander principles, to develop a way of thinking and the proper muscular support we need to warm up, and also to establish a reliable column of air
3) Playing with breathing and voice: Practising silent breathing, breathing and Inhibition, breathing in activities. Making a sound from the whispered « ah »
4) The importance of the rhythm and vowels. Back to the natural « bounce » we had as children, playing with sounds and little percussions.
Application on Text
Let’s read aloud a paragraph of Alice in Wonderland. What can we observe of the people presence, the use of their body and voice while reading. Let’s compare the same reading , this time with the consciousness of Inhibition, and a fluid column of air. Let’s then work at reading aloud only the vowels of the text : how does this affect the text’s sound and its meaning. We can also ask people to tell the story they just read, and see if the embodiment and bounce are still there. The more the people know about their functioning and their proper use, the more they can bring it into a great original interprétation on stage. The Alexander Technique gives us the tools to expand and enjoy even more the extraordinary possibilities of the human being. This workshop is open to all kinds of experience levels, as long as people have already had some Alexander Technique lessons. It will be more a practical workshop that involves people participation, démonstration and explanation will come together with the practice. Participants can bring their own text for application.
Agnès de Brunoff has been performing since the age of 15.  As a singer, songwriter and trained classical pianist herself, she has a great affinity for stage performance that she also developed through movies and theater, and a deep understanding of how the voice works.  De Brunhoff’s first experience of the Alexander Technique revolutionized not only her awareness of the body but also her approach to music and stage. In her teaching, she draws both on her own performance experience and also her extensive experience as a coach, or a stage director, guiding people step by step, with enthusiasm and patience, to help them develop their full potential.

Alexander Farkas
Contacting the Actor’s Core through Receptivity
The Alexander Technique promotes physical, intellectual and emotional receptivity.  For the actor this is the first step in his/her preparation for learning and performing a role.  The receptive (non-doing) condition initiates an active deepening process to free movement, voice and character.  It enables the actor to touch his core and set free the vibrational resonance which emanates to his audience. Participants are asked to bring a monologue to work on.  Actors at any level of experience are welcome.
Alexander Farkas trained with Shoshana Kamenetz in London from 1991 to 1998.  Additional study with Patrick Macdonald, Margaret Goldie and Elisabeth Walker.  Theater faculty, Hartt School, University of Hartford. Currently at Bard College. Articles have appeared in the Alexander Journal, London (STAT) and most recently in the anthology Connected Perspectives, London, 2015 (HITE).  Alex is often a guest teacher in the UK and Europe as well.

Janet Madelle Feindel
Air Beneath Your Wings
The workshop will explore ways in which one can explore the Alexander Technique to embody specific demands of text.  The workshop will also explore how these approaches can be integrated into the rehearsal process. We pay special attention to freeing the shoulder girdle and upper rib areas, to allow more expansion and ease.  This helps eschew the tendency to pull down and squeeze, pressing the voice apparatus and causing vocal tightness.
The Workshop will emphasize ways to utilize the Alexander Technique in lively and imaginative ways, avoiding rigidity in thinking, (which often results in physical stiffness vocal tension). Participants will investigate how to find the spontaneity and expressiveness in the speaking of text, allowing the motivation and movement of the thoughts to propel embodied sound. Feindel will use methods described in The Thought Propels the Sound, Plural Publishing, as well approaches she has developed since. Her work synthesizes the Alexander Technique with various voice approaches she has studied in depth including the Linklater, Fitzmaurice, Roy Hart, Berry voice/text work, as well as yoga. This workshop is suited to beginners to experienced professional level actors, Alexander Teachers and lay people.
Janet Madelle Feindel, MFA, is a tenured full professor of Voice/Alexander Technique & Dialect Coach at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. Coaching credits include: Theatre for a New Audience/the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival; Stratford Festival; Shaw Festival; Canadian Stage Company; Quantum Theatre; Pittsburgh Public; The Rep. Her book, The Thought Propels the Sound, is published by Plural. Her play, A Particular Class of Women, appears in Singular Voices, Playwrights Canada Press.  Feindel has presented/led workshops in internationally.  She is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher; certified in Fitzmaurice Voicework; Yoga Alliance; Certified Teaching member of Alexander Technique International.  

Joan Frost
Presence and Authenticity in Acting: Inhabiting Yourself Globally through Time
Developing the capacity to embody yourself three-dimensionally moment to moment is a mental practice. Because we see forward and move forward, we tend to carry more energy in the front of our bodies. However, if we can learn to be present equally in ALL directions, we are more resilient and grounded. We have the possibility of being tuned in and responsive in the now.
As a warm-up, we will begin with a brief floor lesson to help come to quiet and for our backs to awaken with contact. We will then work with global awareness first in sitting, then in standing and in walking.
The bulk of the workshop will consist of each participant reciting a brief monologue of her/his choice or reading a poem brought by Joan. Joan will work with each individual as s/he is speaking and/or moving about while the class observes. Working with the Alexander Technique principles in preparation can lead both to greater authenticity and greater presence while performing.
All levels of experience are welcome.
Joan Frost received her B.A. in Theater Arts: Dance from The University of California, Santa Cruz in 1975 and her teaching certification from The American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1983. She has taught the Alexander Technique at The Juilliard School, Dance and Drama Divisions, at The New School, and at Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, in addition to her private practice and training teachers, she is teaching at the Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford in Stratford, Connecticut.

Diane Gaary
Connect with your Voice – Connect with Yourself
The Alexander Technique provides the structural support that makes healthy vocal resonance, breath support, and effortless articulation possible.  But more importantly for performers, The Alexander Technique also provides opportunities to connect with the process, principles, and sensations of effective vocal expression. In this workshop, participants will use the Technique to explore the possibilities of the speaking voice through exercises and text. Ultimately, we will use the Technique to access the physical, mental, and emotional state in which we can best develop our voices and make healthy and honestly expressive vocal choices. Experience Level:  Beginner through Advanced
Diane Gaary has a passionate interest in how mind and body use affect the speaking and singing voice. She holds teacher certification in the Alexander Technique, The Lessac System of Voice and Body Training, and The Feldenkrais Method®.  Her training also includes an MFA in Acting, classical singing, numerous theatrical voice and speech techniques, and 2 years of graduate level speech pathology. Diane teaches at Temple University, Arcadia University, and Westminster Choir College. She also maintains a studio for private students in Ardmore, PA.

Kim Jessor
Explorations in Perspection
Perspection is a word invented by Frank Pierce Jones in his wonderful book on the Alexander Technique- Freedom to Change. By perspection he means the integration of introspection (looking in at the self) and extrospection (looking out into the environment) into a unified field of awareness.  
The process of perspection supports the actor to simultaneously be with use of self, scene partners, and the larger world of the play with ease. We will play with this as a strategy for focusing the actor’s attention/intention, to enhance listening and speaking, sending and receiving, affecting the other and being affected.
Through individual, partner and group explorations, we will apply perspection to various parts of the actor's process; from working on one's own into rehearsal and performance.  Kim will also weave in recent discoveries from the fall semester of work with her NYU students.  
Kim Jessor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 35 years. She is Alexander faculty at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in both the Graduate Acting and  New Studio on Broadway BFA Musical Theater programs. At Graduate Acting Kim is an Alexander coach on productions and collaborates in scene study classes. She is a former Director of the American Center for the Alexander Technique’s Teacher Certification Program and a senior faculty member there. Kim has a private practice specializing in performing artists, and has presented workshops and been on panels at multiple Freedom to Act conferences. 

Anne Johnson
Time and Choice: Creating a Balanced Presence of Mind, Body and Breath in the Acting Process
This workshop explores the conscious use of time and choice, not only as a foundation for self-care, but also as preparation for character development. After awakening relationships within ourselves, our surroundings and time, we will use art museum postcards to stimulate a spectrum of emotional and physical reactions. We will explore and embody opposite emotions as a way of enlivening sensory awareness, opening the door to the infinite range of possibilities when building roles. These processes combined, create a fertile ground for growth and discovery.
Anne Johnson teaches the Alexander Technique to musicians and actors at Temple University's’ Boyer College of Music, preventing injury and improving performance skills. She also enjoys applying the Alexander Technique to develop literary characters in the Creative Writing M.F.A. Program at Rosemont College. She has maintained her private practice in Philadelphia since 1995. Anne merges her knowledge and experience as a teacher and artist with her passion to support and develop the creative potential in all.

Anita King
Connecting The Part To The Whole: Finding Integration, Freedom, and the Expressive Potential of the Arms
Focusing on the relationship of the arms to the torso and legs, this workshop explores the means for optimal coordination and use of the arms in preparation and performance. Making a comparison to the sister art of music, where faster notes and rhythms are organized in relation to the music’s slower elements, the movements of the arm structure are organized and supported in relation to the body’s core. When our arms function and work in appropriate relation to the whole it is generally true that we find more freedom throughout the arm structure, greater support for our arms, and unlimited combinations and choices in our movement.
Anita King is Professor of Music Emeritus at Willamette University where she taught a course on Alexander Technique and Body Mapping to musicians and actors from 2000-2015. A certified Andover Educator (2000) and teaching member of Alexander Technique International (2002), Anita is particularly interested in artistic text as the catalyst for movement choices and has given her groundbreaking presentation and workshop, “The Embodied Performer: Creating the Foundation for Interpretation and Movement,” at conferences and universities throughout the U.S,  Geneva, Switzerland and Burgundy, France.

Cathy Madden
Creating Your Character's Psychophysical History
Using an Alexander Technique-informed understanding that our psychophysical history causes us to conduct ourselves as we do, I will offer specific ways that I coach actors to develop a  condensed creation of the psychophysical history of the lives of the characters.  Using the Alexander Technique in combination with rehearsal techniques that amplify the psychophysical response of the actor to the circumstances of the play,  actors create a character-based embodied response.  A significant aspect of the work we are doing is that most of it is done in connection with both the script and their acting partners. Too often, these kinds of exercises are done separately from the script and the other actors. Because the Alexander Technique demands that you think of the whole person and whole picture, any imagined history must connect to the moment of text and relationship onstage. I will have a very short scene/text for everyone to explore.
Experience Level: Anyone can participate.  The workshop does assume a working knowledge of Alexander Technique, although an actor with little experience in the work would also be able to use these processes.
Cathy Madden is Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington’s School of Drama, Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle.  She is former chair of Alexander Technique International, and teaches workshops for performers, and Alexander Technique teachers in Australia, England, Germany, Japan and Switzerland. She was a Keynote Speaker for the Alexander Technique and Performing Arts Conference in Melbourne in 2012.  Her writings include: Integrative Alexander Technique for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy (Intellect 2014); Galvanizing Performance: The Alexander Technique as a Catalyst for Excellence, co-edited with Kathleen Juhl (Singing Dragon 2017). www.cathymadden.net

Belinda Mello
Daily Practice for Actors: “I prepare to…” What do I practice? How do I practice? 
In this session we will integrate to what you are learning from Alexander Technique lessons, classes and workshops into an empowering daily practice. Through restorative floor work and more active exercises, we will practice bringing Alexander Technique into freeing up your breathing, balance and movement coordination. Preparing for improvisation and working with text will be addressed as well. All levels of experience welcome.
Belinda Mello (conference co-designer), MFA (directing), ATI, ATME, teaches Alexander Technique to actors at The Barrow Group, the SITI Conservatory, and at Alexander Technique Workshops held in Spokane, WA and in Toronto, ON. Belinda offers private lessons, weekly classes for actors and intensive workshops at her studio, AT Motion. She is the co-producer of the Freedom to ACT. Her article Cultivating a lively use of tension: the synergy between acting and the Alexander Technique, co-authored with Teva Bjerken, can be found in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal and she is a contributing BackStage Expert. Drawing on her experience with movement, mask and Margolis Method, she provides coaching for productions and auditions. She also offers classes for AT teachers on group teaching, and is a member of the AT Diversity Coalition.  www.AlexTechMotion.com

Jenny Mercein and Kyra Miller  
High Stakes and Broad Characters:Exploring ‘Extreme’ Acting Choices with the Alexander Technique
In this workshop, we will use texts the participants are already familiar with to explore strategies for actors working on roles that call for high stakes and physically activated choices. How does an actor’s “good use” (as understood in the Alexander Technique) function within the work when the character is under extreme duress? Or when you’re playing a character whose traits include physical injury or pain? What happens to our coordination, to our awareness of our selves within the broader field, when we’re playing someone like Lady M or Richard III?
This workshop will be taught by two working actors who are also acting teachers. Jenny Mercein will serve as the director/ acting coach, while Kyra Miller will provide hands-on Alexander work, to gently guide participants in their awareness of their use inside of a scene.  We are interested in exploring integrating strategies that enable actors to develop their permeability, their transparency, and their ease of expression, while fully engaging with and embodying high-stakes situations and/or extreme physical character choices.
This workshop is designed for experienced actors who will arrive with some amount of memorized text (a whole monologue or scene is great, but even a few lines is fine). Some degree of experience with the Alexander Technique is helpful though not necessary.  
Jenny Mercein is an actor, teacher, director, and writer currently living in New Orleans, where she teaches acting at Tulane University. Acting credits include "30 Rock," "Blue Bloods," "Unforgettable," "Law & Order" and extensive theater credits spanning the country. Recent directing credits include Dancing at Lughnasa (Tulane), Too Much Water (UCSB), and Heathers the Musical (Santa Barbara's Out of the Box Theatre). Along with KJ Sanchez, Jenny is the co-creator of the acclaimed documentary theater play X's and O's, about football and traumatic brain injury. X's and O's premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theater under the direction of Tony Taccone and awarded the Rella Lossy Playwright Prize by the San Francisco Foundation. Solo shows including Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, Waiting, and pretty. Jenny received her B.A. in Theater Studies and the History of Art from Yale and her M.F.A. in Acting from The University of Washington.www.jennymercein.com.
Kyra Miller is an actor, singer, writer and Alexander Technique instructor living in New York City. She is currently an assistant Alexander teacher at the Balance Arts Center and will begin teaching the Alexander Technique at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in the fall. Her most recent acting credit is Rebecca in Rags at Theatreworks Silicon Valley, and she has worked at Seattle Rep, the Fifth Avenue Theater, A.C.T., Westport Country Playhouse, Southern Rep, and the Pearl Theater Company. In NYC, she has performed her shows Chosen at Joe’s Pub (with Matt Ray on piano), Bless the Telephone at the Metropolitan Room and most recently Bridge and Tunnel Troubadour (about Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, directed by Barb Jungr) at Pangea. She has taught acting at the University of Washington, Montclair State, and Tulane University. M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Washington. AmSAT Certification through the Balance Arts Center. http://www.kyramillernyc.com

Erin O'Leary-
Enlivening Text:  Learn by Heart, Speak from the Guts
Participants will practice tools for learning, exploring and rehearsing text- both new and familiar.  The psychophysical unity cultivated by Alexander Technique provides a strategy to ‘get out of your head’ allowing for a more visceral route to thoughts and images when learning text.   With well-known pieces, actors often fall into habitual performance ideas.  Alexander’s principles of embodied thought rekindle curiosity and spark a ‘gut-level’ response.   For all students, seasoned actors, teachers of actors & Alexander, we will investigate cold readings using breath and imagination. Volunteers with memorized monologues will learn AT skills for rehearsal to enliven connection to known material.  
Erin O’Leary discovered the benefits of the Alexander Technique as a MFA actor at the University of Tennessee; all aspects of performance improved and simultaneously years of chronic back pain subsided.  She studied with Jed Diamond at UT, trained with John Nicholls & Nanette Walsh at ATNYC, and certified with AmSAT in 2013.  She teaches privately in NYC and has taught actors at UT, The Juilliard School and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. www.consciouscoordination.com

Ann Rodiger
Meeting at the Table: An Approach to Table Reading
Discover what and how are you bringing to the table. Recognize how you integrate your text and character as you begin interacting with your scene partners. How are you listening? How are you responding?  Learn how use the table as preparation to enter the rehearsal/performance space.
Ann Rodiger (conference co-designer) is Founder and Director of the Balance Arts Center and Balance Arts Center Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course. She has private Alexander Technique practices in NYC, Berlin, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium. She is also skilled in Labanotation, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, yoga, meditation, and various dance techniques. She produces and co-produces conferences and workshops for the Alexander Technique as it relates to Dance, Music, Voice, Acting, and Writing.  www.BalanceArtsCenter.com

Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman
Speaking the Same Language (Part I): Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing
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 daring to be 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.
Speaking the Same Language (Part II): Responding to Increasing Structure
(Part I is a prerequisite: this year or previously at Freedom to ACT)
In this workshop we will continue to explore the possibilities and challenges of not knowing under conditions of increased structure. Using the same practices and techniques that integrate Alexander and acting, we will move from pure improvisations to situations incorporating given circumstances and text. Some light memorization will be required. 
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 Acting Artistic Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard. He has been on the faculty of the Drama Division for 30 years where he has taught Improvisation, Text Analysis and Scene Study, and directed many, many projects and plays. 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 Theater, the Actors Center, and for the past 13 years at NYU Graduate Acting. He has an ongoing artistic collaboration with his wife Carolyn Serota who teaches the Alexander Technique at Juilliard.

Eleanor Taylor
Radiant Auditioning: The 4 Key Moments
A great audition can be energizing, allowing you to be present, open and able to show what you can do. In this experiential workshop, we look at 4 “key moments” in auditioning, and learn specific tools the Alexander Technique offers to balance mind, body and breath at each of those points in time that can pave the way for vibrant performance. Participants will explore simple methods to focus energy, calm nerves, and deepen connection to your instrument for more ease and pleasure in auditioning. Performers may bring a brief memorized audition piece, and all participants will have the opportunity to practice the tools in the group. Some volunteers may also work in front of the group.  
Eleanor Taylor: Alexander Technique teacher Eleanor Taylor, m.AmSAT, is on the Musical Theatre faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and teaches privately at Union Square, Manhattan, where she works with actors and singers to improve performance, prevent injury and reduce anxiety using the Alexander Technique. She has taught at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. www.eleanortaylorAT.com

Jean E. Taylor
Accepting Your Ridiculousness as a Way to Be Fully Present: Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique
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.
Conference gathering and performance featuring Jean E Taylor in an excerpt from her original show:
STOP/SLOW (A FLAGGER’S LAMENT)
It’s Maddie’s first day on the job. She cares about being ready. She cares a lot about being ready. But the possibilities of Slow . . . and the mystery of Stop . . . are more than she can resist.
Jean E. Taylor, performer and teaching artist, collaborates on the development of original plays, which have been featured at a variety of national and international venues. Her latest work, Stop/Slow (a flagger’s lament) was presented at Phantom Theatre in VT in August 2017. A trilogy of her work, True Hazards of Childhood, Pants and Skirts, and Elsinore or Bust, was presented at The Barrow Group Theatre in January 2016. Jean is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education 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, among others and trained in the Alexander Technique with Joel Kendall. Jean's approach to theatrical clown has been published in Movement for Actors, Allworth Press.

Rachelle Palnick Tsachor
Embodied Listening Through the Alexander Technique
Listening is key to acting truthfully—when we truly listen to our scene partner, we live in the moment.  Alexander Technique helps actors free themselves from establish habits associated with listening (such as a way of looking at a scene partner, or reaching towards them with our head) that can actually interfere with registering perceptions. This workshop teaches the Alexander Technique as way to experience what we hear with psycho-physical awareness, so listening is perceived anew and truthful responses arise.  “All I want to see is the intensity and accuracy of an actor’s listening.” - Alan Rickman.
Rachelle Palnick Tsachor (CMA, ATI) teaches Theatre Movement at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work explores how qualitative physical choices affect expression.  She authored a chapter on "Somatics for Presence and Physical Characterization" in Movement for Actors (2nd Ed. Allworth Press) and is co-investigator in Unique Sets of Movement Characteristics are Associated with and Enhance Specific Emotions  and A Somatic Movement Approach to Fostering Emotional Resiliency (Frontiers).

Eileen Troberman
The "undoing motion" that refreshes - Keeping it real in your monologues and scenes  
When we get a new idea, a fresh thought - when we react differently than our habit - when someone says something to us that we do not expect, there's a change in our system that others instinctively notice.  There's a motion that results which is an undoing of the previously expected or prepared.  But with the repeated experience of memorized lines, actions and reaction, actors can unknowingly telegraph out to their audience that they've already planned exactly what they're saying and how they're reacting.  There is an "undoing motion" learned through the Alexander Technique that can prevent this and refreshes and enlivens an actor's performance.  Come learn to recognize and utilize this simple process!
This workshop is for actors of any level.  If you like, come with a monologue or a scene (someone from the class can read the other part) and we'll use a portion of those to explore how to use this undoing motion in rehearsals and performance!  
Eileen Troberman has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 35 years.  She currently teaches in the MFA Acting program at University of California, San Diego and the Old Globe MFA acting program. She also has a busy private practice in Encinitas, California.  Eileen came to the Alexander Technique in 1978 through acting.  She did her teacher training course with Frank Ottiwell and Giora Pinkas in San Francisco, graduating in 1982.  Eileen also studied and apprenticed with Marjorie Barstow (the first graduate of F.M. Alexander's first teacher training course) for 15 years assisting her teaching in numerous locations nationally and internationally.  You can find out more about Eileen at www.AlexanderTechniqueSanDiego.com

Jessica Wolf
Buried Alive: Finding Movement in Immobility

Jessica Wolf’s Experience Coaching Dianne Wiest for Beckett’s “Happy Days”
The central character of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, Winnie, is a role only the most daring actresses attempt to play. Winnie is on stage and speaking the entire play. In the first act, Winnie is buried to her waist in a mound of earth. In the second act, she is buried to her neck; only her head is visible to the audience. I collaborated with the set designer to create an experience that supported Dianne’s access to her body, breath, and voice. The subtle shifts we created allowed her to sustain her performance.
Jessica Wolf is an internationally recognized teacher of the Alexander Technique, and is currently a Professor in the Practice of Acting at Yale School of Drama. She founded Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing, and created the first three-dimensional animation of the respiratory system. Jessica maintains a teaching practice in New York City, where she coaches performing artists who appear on and off-Broadway, and in films and television. She travels extensively, giving workshops to teachers, performers, and healthcare providers.

2017 Conference Schedule        

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: Balance Arts Center, 34 West 28 Street  
Pre-Conference Panel and Seminar for AT teachers and Trainees
Exploring how we teach AT to actors
Cathy Madden and other panelists

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
Sessions will occur at the following locations:
Balance Arts Center, 34 W. 28th St., 3rd floor
TADA, 15 W. 28th St.
Yoga Union, 37 W. 28th St., 4th floor
Episcopal Actors’ Guild, 1 E. 29th St. 2nd floor

9:00-10:50 am:  SESSION 1:  
A. (Schedule ChangeAT Motion: Actor's Warm-up
     Belinda Mello at Yoga Union
B. It’s All a Mix, Darling! 
     Kathryn Armour at The Actor's Guild
C. Working Together Mindfully: The Actor/Director Relationship
     Eli Sibley and Carrie Klewin at Balance Arts Center

11:10 am-1:00 pm:  SESSION 2
A. Liminal Moment Coordination
     Cathy Madden at Balance Arts Center
B. Making Waves: AT and Momentum in Acting
     Belinda Mello at Yoga Union
C. Seeking the Character Within
     Alex Farkas at The Actor's Guild

1:00-2:00 pm LUNCH

2:00-3:50 pm: SESSION 3  
A. Inspired Breath
     Jessica Wolf at Yoga Union
B. The Alexander Technique Players - a Pop-up Theatrical Clown Performance Part I
(2 part workshop and performance on Sunday) 
    Jean Taylor at the Actor's Guild
C. Your Voice is Your Use: You are the instrument                                           
    Ann Rodiger at Balance Arts Center

4:10-6:00 pm:  SESSION 4 
A. (Schedule Change) Observation, Reflection, Analysis, Action: How can we learn using thoughtful observation?    
     Gabby Minnes Brandes at Balance Arts Center
B. (Schedule Change) “To Thine Own Self Be True” Shakespeare and the Alexander Technique.
     Greg Seel at Actor's Guild
C. The Expanded Self in Neutral Mask
   Sheila Bandyopadhyay at Yoga Union

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

1:10-2:30 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 - Closing meeting
 Conference Wrap-up 

2017 PRESENTERS: WORKSHOPS AND BIOS

(alphabetical order by presenters last name or paired with collaborator)      

Kathryn Armour:   It’s All a Mix, Darling!
We will explore how we might find centered speech, which resonates both in the head and chest. Working with our Alexander Technique directions, how does one maintain this balanced resonance when singing, in order to be on a path to individual timbre and freedom of expression. (Bring music if you want to perform in class.)
To use one’s voice well, and to speak and sing in one’s own voice, is a good goal for actors and singers. Unfortunately, the common pedagogical language in America is both contradictory to the structure of the vocal mechanism and invites end-gaining. There is no head voice and no chest voice. There is only head resonance and chest resonance. And resonance itself operates according to the laws of physics, and is not something the singer does directly. (We cannot manipulate results.)
Kathryn Armour taught voice at NYU for 17 years. Kathryn has a studio in midtown Manhattan, where she teaches voice and AT for classical and Broadway singers. Since 2011, Kathryn has been the Voice and Alexander Technique teacher for the award-winning Fiasco Theater Company. Their production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods was produced on Broadway during the winter of 2014-15, to rave reviews, and transferred to London this past summer.  In 2016 Kathryn presented her Voice/AT work in Toronto and Houston. She holds Masterclasses in June at Lake Como, Italy, and in August in New Hampshire.  (www.KathrynArmour.com

Sheila Bandyopadhyay:   The Expanded Self in Neutral Mask
The Neutral Mask is a fundamental study in the physical theater progression. The exploration of the Neutral Mask, a mask which does not speak, requires a larger and more dynamic articulation of the body and can be a powerful tool for actors who wish to use their physical being with more specificity and presence. The Expanded Self that we comprehend through Alexander can propel us toward the expanded expressivity that Neutral Mask houses. Additionally, the application of the Alexander Technique to the study of Neutral Mask allows for a greater breath, a reduction of effort and a more acute awareness within the mask work itself. This workshop is designed for the actor who wishes to use his/her body as a more effective tool for story-telling, which requires athleticism and energy. All are welcome to attend this workshop, which will include some discussion and quite a bit of physical exploration.  Please note: Those who wish to participate fully should be prepared to move dynamically and athletically. Additionally, anyone who wishes to work in the Mask should be dressed in all black clothing that allows them to move freely. 

Sheila Bandyopadhyay is an AmSAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, actor, and theatrical movement specialist. Sheila is Head of the Movement Department at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she teaches Movement and Alexander Technique, directs productions and coaches. 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, and is currently an Affiliate Faculty member of the Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique's teacher training program. 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. Sheila recently played Tamora in the Humanist Project's workshop production of Titus Andronicus, and is currently working with the same company on their newest devised piece. www.innovativemovement.com

Sarah Barker:   Listen, Expand, Renew
Sarah will lead the group in exercises that develop three empowering aspects of Alexander Technique skills.  1) A physical mindfulness exercise she calls Listening to the Body will show actors how to enjoy tiny impulses emanating from their bodies.  You’ll learn to follow those impulses with ease. 2) You will explore how to notice yourself and notice the environment and other actors at the same time.  Moving through space expansively builds presence on stage 3) Performers will observe and reveal the habits of performance that restrict the body even before they speak.  Then it is easy to shift the thinking to renew balance and freedom for powerful performances.
Sarah Barker A nationally recognized leader in theatre movement training and a respected actor trainer, Sarah Barker teaches at University of South Carolina. Sarah has recently taught intensive workshops for training actors at the New National Theatre of Tokyo, the graduate program of University of Virginia and Shakespeare and Company. She is a guest teacher for schools for Alexander Technique teachers in Japan, Germany, Toronto and North Carolina.  Sarah’s book, The Alexander Technique, and her new DVD, Moving with Ease (both also in Japanese) are used in many theatre-training programs throughout the US.  See her website at www.easyalexander.com

Margi Sharp Douglas and George Drance:   ActorCare: Nurturing the Self as Instrument
Magis Theatre Company, a critically acclaimed ensemble in NYC, has developed a distinctive holistic training vocabulary developed over ten years of artistic exploration. The workshop maps out a comprehensive way of actualizing the potential of differing aspects of the actor’s self as a unified instrument. Participants will join in Margi Sharp Douglas’ unique combination of Alexander Technique and Core Balancing; and then move on to exercises which activate the body, imagination and voice through openness and joyful acceptance of a common impulse, with action, text and ensemble singing
Margi Sharp Douglas is an MFA graduate of Columbia University, certified Pilates instructor, and ATI certified Alexander teacher through Chloe Wing. Since 2005 she has helped to develop an actor training for Magis Theatre Company where she continues to teach and perform in NYC. She has presented her approach to voice and movement at NYSTEA and the Voice Foundation, and runs the Pilates Garage in Brooklyn. Acting credits include Orlando Shakespeare, Opera House Arts, La Mama, Abingdon Theatre and the Ohio Theatre.
George Drance: Working in over twenty countries worldwide, and as Artist-in Residence at Fordham University Lincoln Center, he is Artistic Director of Magis Theatre Company (praised by the NY Times for its skill and daring.)  Acting credits include La MaMa (resident artist,) Metropolitan Opera, Public Theatre/NYSF, and ART. He has shared Magis techniques in workshops for the Voice Foundation, Austrian Voice Institute, Educational Theatre Association, NYSTEA, Kennedy Center‘s Cultural Visitors Program and several universities.

Alex Farkas:   Seeking the Character Within
Following the pathway from F. M. Alexander’s principle of non-doing to the realization of total receptivity can benefit the actor in
three ways: 1) discover an understanding of his stage character, 2) improve the resonance of his voice, 3) facilitate the interaction with others on stage. The session will seek to awaken and deepen state of active receptivity and then to work within that state while performing.  Participants will be encouraged to bring a monologue or poem or present dialogue with a partner. All skill levels are invited to participate.
Alexander Farkas trained with Shoshana Kamenetz in London from 1991 to 1998.  Additional study with Patrick Macdonald, Margaret Goldie and Elisabeth Walker.  Theater faculty, Hartt School, University of Hartford. Currently at Bard College. Articles have appeared in the Alexander Journal, London (STAT) and most recently in the anthology Connected Perspectives, London, 2015 (HITE).  Alex is often a guest teacher in the UK and Europe as well. 

Joan Frost:   Staying with Yourself while Acting
In this 90-minute workshop, I will talk about how acting led me to the Alexander Technique and how I used it both for self care while acting and in my life. I would like people to think of how they approach a character when beginning a play or a monologue for an audition. Please bring a one-minute monologue if you would like to. The aim is to give you an experience of staying with yourself while approaching and performing a part. The important component is being able to come to a quiet place in yourself which clears the mind to allow the character to come to you. We have an idea of the character from the reading of the play. How does the character fit into us? Not by pushing it or forcing but as the primary control is working, as we are supported by the ground, the eyes are clearly able to see, our ears clear to hear, there is a freedom to let the character in and see how does he/she moves, speaks, hold themselves. Let the character come to you. Each of you will have your own way of approaching a character and each way is valid. I hope for you to experience a way to have more ease and calm clarity in your process. I would like you to think this through in advance of the workshop.
Joan Frost received her B.A. in Theater Arts: Dance from The University of California, Santa Cruz in 1975 and her teaching certification from The American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1983. She has taught the Alexander Technique at The Juilliard School, Dance and Drama Divisions, at The New School, and at Sarah Lawrence College. Recently, in addition to her private practice, she has been teaching at the Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford in Stratford, Connecticut. 

Carrie Klewin and Eli Sibley:    Working Together Mindfully: The Actor/Director Relationship
Too often unnecessary tensions can arise in the rehearsal process between Actor and Director. Communication breakdown, insecurities, and power struggle are just some of the habitual road-bumps that can often inhibit creative and truthful art. Using the Alexander Technique and devising methods we will explore the process of staying open and trusting in the rehearsal room. Allowing oneself to be available to direction and discovery often makes the process that much more fun and easy for both sides. Knowing your physical and emotional habits ahead of rehearsal means that you are less likely to thwart yourself in the process.
Taking teachers, directors, actors, and students alike we will move through a warm up to ensure AT directions are in place and discuss briefly some of the areas, physically and emotionally, we can get bogged down. Then, putting actor and director in a live situation, where it's crucial to be present and to make choices on one's feet, we will utilize improv, movement, and text to discover how to inhibit habitual response in action and enhance the actor/director relationship. Both sides will learn how to take care of themselves in the moment, keep communication open and let truthful art come forth.
Carrie Klewin, a freelance theatre director currently based in Madrid, Spain, specializes in large-scale ensemble, and devised movement productions. She created the Variations Project, an award-winning annual festival of new work in Baltimore. Working with Theatre Without Borders, she founded The International Theatre Network, a virtual community focused on social justice. She has an MA in Theatrefrom NYU, and an MFA from CUA. Carrie is a member of SDC and has worked with Amnesty International, The Sundance Theatre Institute, Director's Lab West, Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, and Woolly Mammoth, among others.
Eli Sibley has been in the theatre and film industry in one form or another for over 20 years. Some of her favorite "roles" have been as playwright and performer for her one woman movement piece, Born of a Fairytale; puppeteer in Little Red for the Shanghai Theatre Festival; co-founder of Vacant Lot Theatre Co in New York, and Movement teacher and Director for DAT's Action: Heart of Europe. She received her certification in the Alexander Technique in 2015 and teaches group class and privately in the Twin Cities. She is also a Certified Movement Analyst and has her M.F.A. in Acting from Catholic University of America.

Cathy Madden:   Liminal Moment Coordination
Liminal derives from Latin -  a threshold. Actors may cross many thresholds in a day - from their home life to their day job to their audition to a business meeting with an agent to a rehearsal, etc. etc.  Each time they cross a threshold, they have different jobs, different actions to perform.  The artistic readiness to receive and respond to all stimuli is great in rehearsal and performance, is not necessarily the readiness needed at the day job. Using the Alexander Technique at the liminal moments in order to bring the appropriate readiness to the situation is a tool both for self-care and for artistic success. We will rehearse walking through daily doorways intentionally.
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 the author of Integrative Alexander Technique Practice for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy. www.cathymadden.net.

Belinda Mello:    Making Waves: AT and Momentum in Acting
The wave or cycle of beginning-middle-end is evident in almost every aspect of acting. To unlock the momentum of this wave we need to know how to let go, how to place emphasis, how to allow for follow-through and how to end without cutting off energy. But is we have a habit of bringing in too much tension, we can’t express the flow of the dramatic cycle. Alexander Technique offers us practical skills -- the key to unlocking the momentum of an impulse with specificity of body and breath, heart and mind. In this workshop we will explore how we apply Alexander’s process when preparing ourselves for the cycles of action and vulnerability of our characters. We will explore warm-up techniques I have developed in AT Motion classes and employ Margolis Method partnering exercises for building scenes with momentum. 
AT Motion: Actor’s Warm-up
An Alexander-Technique-meets-acting warm-up with an emphasis on awareness in order to open up body, breath, emotion and imagination. The floor work will include time to attend to your resonance as well as awaken your strength. We will also explore how an actor balances tension and ease while playing with energy and text phrases. Margolis Method exercises will be used as well as Alexander Technique so that we can start our day with awareness of self and choice: present, resilient, ready.
Belinda Mello (conference producer), MFA (directing), ATI, ATME, teaches Alexander Technique to actors at The Barrow Group, the SITI Conservatory, Tom Todoroff Conservatory and at Alexander Technique Workshops held in Spokane, WA and at Ohio State University. She is the co-producer of the Freedom to ACT: Acting and Alexander Technique Conferences in NYC. Her article (co-authored with Teva Bjerken) “Cultivating a Lively Use of Tension: the Synergy between Acting and The Alexander Technique” can be found in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal. Having performed and directed theater and dance in NYC and internationally, she provides movement coaching for productions and auditions. She offers private lessons, small groups and intensive workshops at her studio, AT Motion, located in the Chelsea/Flatiron area of NYC and Park Slope, Brooklyn. www.AlexTechMotion.com

Gabby Minnes Brandes:   Observation, reflection, analysis, action: How can we learn using thoughtful observation?
FM Alexander used meticulous observation to learn about his habits, so that he could become conscious of them and when needed change them. Since most of the habits are unconscious, actors often bring their own habits to their character work. In this workshop we will explore ways to hone our observation so that we improve how to observe self and other, without judgment. We will distinguish between observation and interpretation when we collect and analyze data that we collected from ourselves and others in the workshop.
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

Nadine Mozon:   Ease and Vitality in a Versatile Vessel
Let's explore Alexander practices that expand possibilities in the creative process, and enhance the art of being present for in moment responses to the world within and around you. Connect your understanding of use of text/context with use of self. Embrace increased freedom in imagination, creative export and expression.  Delight in lengthened spine... to deeper breaths...to eyes that breathe in what they see: fully embodied words, images, sounds and meaning live here.  
Here’s to more room and the means by which the actor finds fluidity and physically articulate storytelling!
Nadine Mozon, Actress, writer, and teaching artist. Theatre: The Book of Grace, Intimate Apparel, Fences, For Colored Girls…, Home, Crumbs From the Table of Joy; Television: The Leftovers, American Crime,  Friday Night Lights, Law and Order; Film: Dawn, Dear Sidewalk, Wolf, Katrina’s Son, Two Weeks Notice, and Shaft. Original Work as writer and actor: current  “Blue Spiral”; previous works include “Delta Rhapsody,” “I.D. Please,” “Confirming The Search: That Girl’s Still Here Somewhere.”  Collaborative partners on devised works have included musicians, singers, choreographers, and ASL interpreters. Mozon earned an MFA in acting from American Conservatory Theatre, currently teaches acting, movement, and a course designed for actors honing writing skills and creating devised work.  

Ann Rodiger:   Your Voice is Your Use: You are the instrument
We will explore your instrument and how your general overall use and specific head neck, tongue and jaw use influence your ability to speak clearly.  Gaining an understanding and conscious control of your instrument gives you confidence in your ability to express yourself. You are welcome to bring text to work on. 
Ann Rodiger (conference 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 wrote and published the book How To Sit: Your Body at Work in 2011.

Greg Seel: “To thy own self be true” Shakespeare and the Alexander Technique: Relationships of Alexander Principles to Textual Devices 
A two hour workshop where participants will have the opportunity to explore Alexander with Classical text. We will hypothesize Alexander's influence from classical textual devices such as antithesis, Iambic pentameter, and rising iambic line by exploring physical processes to fuse use of self and use of text. Participants may bring their own monologues. Short pieces will also be provided for group play.
Greg Seel first studied the Alexander Technique with Walter Carrington and Mary Holland while in actor training at The Drama Studio, London.He was Certified at ACAT in 1983 and later STAT Certified in 1988. He is currently teaches at Rutgers University MFA/BFA Acting Program, NYU BFA Acting Program and The New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts.He has taught in conjunction with professional acting programs since 1986 serving on the faculties of SUNY Purchase, Columbia University, and St John's University, Gately/Poole Acting Studio and The New Actor's Workshop. He collaborated extensively with Ray Yeates of The Abby Theater, Dublin and Ballymun and was a founding member of The Riverside Shakespeare Co. and The Mint Theater Co. He completed the Art of Breathing with Jessica Wolf in 2003 and has trained extensively in the martial arts studying traditional Japanese Karate and Korean Hapkido. He teaches privately in Brooklyn where he lives with his wife, Genevieve and son Mathew.

Jean E. Taylor:   The Alexander Technique Players - a Pop-up Theatrical Clown Performance (2-part workshop and performance)
What if a group of Alexander Technique teachers were actually clowns? And what if those clowns were actually the traveling players who visited Elsinore Castle in Hamlet? What might they do there?  How might they affect the story?
What lovely ridiculousness might they provide?
In this two-part workshop, participants will become The Alexander Technique Players -- a merry band of clowns who set out to share their talents with the folks at Elsinore Castle. Their light and playfulness are sorely needed in what has become a rather dark and forbidding locale.
The workshop will culminate in a 30 min performance for the conference.
Jean E. Taylor is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education and teaches theatrical clown for The New School for Drama's MFA program and The Barrow Group Theatre.  She has collaborated on the development of a variety of original plays, which have been featured at national and international venues. Her latest work, with director Eric Nightengale, True Hazards of Childhood is the third work in a trilogy including Elsinore or Bust and Pants and Skirts. The three pieces were presented as The Basement Plays at The Barrow Group Theatre in January 2016. Stop/Slow her current piece-in-the-making will premiere in 2017 Jean studied clown and movement with Philippe Gaulier, Merry Conway, Ron Foreman, and David Shiner among others. Her approach to theatrical clown has been published in Movement for Actors, Allworth Press.

Ariel Weiss:  Introduction to the Alexander Technique
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.

Jessica Wolf:   The Inspired Breath
Breath is the key to restoring connections between impulses, emotions, and imagination. But, actors should not have to think about breathing technique while acting. This workshop will help actors observe unconscious habits that may interfere with presence and vitality. We will explore techniques that restore breathing coordination, and allow for greater collaboration and spontaneity with scene partners. With practice, we can integrate the activity of breathing into the creative process.
Jessica Wolf is an internationally recognized teacher of the Alexander Technique. She completed her training at the American Center for the Alexander Technique in 1977. 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 Associate Professor. In 2002, she became the founder and director of the post-graduate training program “Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing.”  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.  Most recently, Jessica was the movement coach for Dianne Wiest in “Happy Days.” Jessica travels extensively giving workshops to performers and health care providers.


Sunday Morning 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 teaches the Alexander Technique to performers, bringing her career as a dancer and theater maker to the art of performance.  She trained and was certified by the American Center for Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1995.  From 1995-2003 she served as Alexander Technique faculty of The Actor’s Studio MFA program.  Since 2003, she has been on the faculty of the New School for Drama MFA program at the New School University, College of Perfuming Arts teaching the AT and coaching productions.  Teva is also faculty at Tisch, NYU- The Lee Strasberg Institute Theatre and Film studio, where she teaches the AT in support of the Voice training.  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.  More recently, Teva completed the early Laban Movement Analysis training modules which inform her AT teaching.
Margi Sharp Douglas (see bio above: ActorCare)
Belinda Mello (see bio above: Making Waves)
Kyra Miller Himmelbaum was certified to teach the Alexander Technique through the Balance Arts Center in May of 2016. An actress and singer, she holds and MFA in acting from the University of Washington in Seattle.  She has taught acting at Tulane University, Montclair State University and the University of Washington. A former dancer, she also taught Pilates for 15 years all over the world (certified in 1999 by the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado). Her Alexander practice currently focuses on helping performers find greater expression and freedom in their work.
Cynthia Reynolds 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.
Eli Sibley (see bio above: Working Together)
Emily Whyte has studied the Alexander Technique for the past 16 years and is devoted to the courage, clarity, and creativity that self-care practice reveals.  She was AmSAT certified in 2008 and became a certified Daring Way™ Facilitator in the work of Brené Brown in 2014.  Her private practice is based in Midtown Manhattan and she has created group classes for organizations such as Hilton Worldwide, Shift | Integrative Medicine, The University of Michigan, The Freeman Studio and NYU Tisch. www.emilywhyte.com

 

2016 SUMMIT ON THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE AND ACTING IN NYC

JANUARY 8 - 10 2016 

Freedom to ACT is in it's 5th year! Join our growing community of artists and teachers
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.

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.

2016 Freedom to ACT Conference on Acting and the Alexander Technique

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 Hazard’s 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.

Presenters include: Meade Andrews, Katherine Armour, Kathleen Baum, Sarah Barker, Sheila Bandyopadhyay, Jed Diamond, Margi Sharp Douglas, George Drance, Alex Farkas, Janet Madelle Feindel, Diane Gaary, Kim Jessor, Molly Kampf, Cathy Madden, Celia Madeoy, Geordie, MacMinn, Belinda Mello, Lindsay Newitter, Betsy Polatin, Cynthia Reynolds Ann Rodiger, Greg Seel, Miriam Silverman, Jean E Taylor, Rachelle Palnick Tsachor, Ariel Weiss.

 

2016 SUMMIT ON THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE AND ACTING IN NYC

When:   January 9 to 11, 2015

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 Jessica Wolf's Art of Breathing.  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 The Close-up: 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.  

 

Schedule:

FRIDAY 1/9

9:30 am - 5:30 pm:  PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP

Acting on Camera: The Close-up
Jean-Louis Rodrigue

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
Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger

7:00-7:45 pm

All of Me - Cultivating a Unified Field of Attention for Performance
Opening the conference with group experiences.
Ariel Weiss

7:45-8:30 pm

Social Hour


 

SATURDAY 1/10

9:00-10:45 am:  SESSION 1

A.  The Actor’s Secret
Betsy Polatin

B. Dart and Acting
Kathleen Baum and Celia Madeoy

C. Ensemble Building:  How/where to begin
Meade Andrews

D.  Up and Beyond the “Whispered Ah”
Kathryn Armour

 

11:00-1:15 pm:  SESSION 2

Jessica Wolf’s  Art of Breathing
Jessica Wolf

Group sessions following presentation

 

1:15-2:15 pm LUNCH

 

2:15-4:15 pm: SESSION 3

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

B.  Speaking the Same Language:  Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing
Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman

C.  Movement for the Actor:  Swings & the Alexander Technique
Sheila Bandyopadhyay

D.  Panel Discussion:  Alexander Technique and Actor Training: What can this collaboration look like?moderator:  Gabriella Minnes Brandes

 

4:30-6:30 pm:  SESSION 4

A.  Coaching Actors on Camera
Jean-Louis Rodrigue

B.  Coaching Actors on Stage
Sarah Barker

C.  Coaching the Actor’s Voice
Geordie MacMinn

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

 

SUNDAY   1/11

9:00-11:00 am  SESSION 5
Small Group Seminars:

A. Inhibiting and Acting
Matthew Ventura

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

C.  Bringing a Sense of Wonder to Your Work:
Further Explorations in Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique
(prereq required: level 1 or other intro class with Jean)
Jean E. Taylor

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

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

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

 

11:00-12:15 BRUNCH

 

12:15- 2:15 pm:  SESSION 6

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

B.  Alexander Technique meets Margolis Method: Empowering Theatre Artists
Belinda Mello with Jarod Hanson

C.  Integrated Camera Acting
Cathy Madden

D.  Voice and Text
Ann Rodiger

 

2:30-3:15 pm  SESSION 7

Conference Gathering and Closure

Highlights from the Conference
Ann Rodiger and Belinda Mello

Conference closing exercises
Ariel Weiss
 

Registration fees:

Pre-Conference Registration:
with Jean-Louis Rodrigue $175 - limited enrollment

Conference Registration:
by December 1st:  $240

after December 1st:  $265

Students (with current ID) registration by December 1st:  $165

Students (with current ID) registration after December 1st $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 gathering

REGISTER HERE

PRESENTERS: WORKSHOPS AND BIOS

(alphabetical order by presenters last name)

Ensemble Building: Where and How to Begin with 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.

 

Up and Beyond the “Whispered Ah” with 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.

 

Movement for the Actor: Swings & The Alexander Technique with 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.

 

Coaching Actors on Stage with Sarah Barker

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 Barkerteaches 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.   

 

Panel: Alexander Technique and Actor Training: What Can This Collaboration Look Like?
Moderator Gabriella Minnes Brandes
Panel Members: Jed Diamond, 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.

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.

Des Price is currently enrolled in the third year of teacher training at the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique and teaches in the Theatre Department of Capilano University.  He holds a bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Simon Fraser University and has a master of Fine Arts in Theatre directing and Production from the University of British Columbia.  He is a Vancouver based actor, director and lighting designer.  Des was previously the Artistic Director of Novus Theatre for whom he directed Jennie’s Story, Molly’s Dream and Elizabeth – Almost By Chance a Woman.  His production of Canadian Gothic was picked by the Vancouver Sun as one of the best ten theatre production of the year for 1999.  Other directing credits include The Exception and the Rule, Top Girls, and Fefu and Her Friends.  For Capilano University he has directed Servant of Two Masters, Mad Forest, Dracula, Waiting for Godot, Beauty and the Beast, The Seagull. and  Arabian Nights. He has twice been nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design, for the original Tamahnous production of Haunted House Hamlet and for Novus Theatre’s production of Scary Stories. He has designed lights in the past for Richmond Gateway Theatre, Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Firehall Arts Centre, Pink Ink Productions and Western Washington University.  Acting credits include parts in The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew, Laura, Bus Stop, Suicide in B Flat, Don’t Drink the Water and Primo Nana.  Most recently he played Vershinin in The Three Sisters at Presentation House and Frank in the Critical Mask production of The People We Know. 

 

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

Bill Connington, Lecturer in Acting at Yale School of Drama, working actor, and Alexander teacher, 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.

 

 

Integrated Alexander Technique/Camera Acting with 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.

 

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

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.

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.

 

Coaching the Actor’s Voice with Geordie MacMinn

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 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.

 

Alexander Technique meets Margolis Method: Empowering Theatre Artists with Belinda Mello and Jared Hanson

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 (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.

 

The Actor’s Secret with 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, 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: theactorssecretbook.com  betsypolatin.com

 

Voice and Text with 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 (conference 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 wrote and published the book How To Sit: Your Body at Work in 2011.

 

Acting on Camera: the Close-Up , Pre-Conference Workshop with Jean-Louis Rodrigue

Coaching Actors on Camera with 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)

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. http://www.alexandertechworks.com/jean-louis-rodrigue/

 

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

Speaking the Same Language: Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing with Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman  
[*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.

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.

 

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


Bringing a Sense of Wonder to Your Work:
Further Explorations in Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique with 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, with director Eric Nightengale, True Hazards of Childhood is the third work in a trilogy including Wild Hair andPants and Skirts. All three pieces were presented at The Barrow Group Theatre. 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.

 

Inhibition and Action with 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.

 

All of Me - Cultivating a Unified Field of Attention for Performance
Opening and Closing the Conference with Ariel Weiss

Directing our attention to be ready for performance is a skill we can practice every day -- onstage and off. Learn practical steps  to be  "grounded" and "present"  in a way that  leads to lively, connected, multi-dimensional performances.

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.

 

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

Freedom: The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.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, 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.

 

Jessica Wolf's Art of Breathing with Jessica Wolf

Saturday, session 2: 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.

Sunday, session 5: 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.

 

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Freedom to ACT: 2014

January 10-12, 2014

 

Pearl Studios

500 8th Ave. 4th floor

New York City

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. 

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

*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.

 

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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!

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!