Workshops for Theatre Professionals

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INTIMACY FOR THE STAGE WORKSHOPS

UPDATE: Both days of the workshop are now sold out. If you would like to be added to a waiting list or explore the option of auditing, please email Artistic Director Ellen Close, ellen at downstage.ca.

Downstage is delighted to be hosting Siobhan Richardson from Intimacy Directors International to lead two workshops for theatre professionals in Calgary, one for performers and one for directors, coaches and choreographers

This workshop is sponsored by Theatre Alberta with funding from The Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Christie Lites Sales. Thank you as well to to Theatre Calgary and to the Theatre Arts Collective for Consent & Respect (TAC) for their support of this exciting training opportunity! There are only twenty spots for each day and we expect them to fill very quickly. 

Because space is so limited, we ask that you only register for one of the days, in the discipline most relevant to you. Thanks!

WORKSHOP FOR PERFORMERS - MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27

Theatre Calgary Rehearsal Hall, Arts Commons, 10:00-6:00

In this workshop, you’ll learn specific techniques for accessing your vulnerability in a dramatic context, resulting in powerful chemistry between characters without compromising personal boundaries. It’s an exploration of intimacy within a dramatic context for the purpose of telling the story of the scene. This is not just kissing or sex scenes. The principles can include the intimacy between parents and children, between dear friends, and can also apply to scenes of sexual violence.

You’ll explore specific acting techniques, and practice how subtle and specific details in choreography keep you connected to your scene partners, both emotionally and physically. We’ll also touch on suggestions for Best Practices, addressing permission vs. consent, psychological safety, and minimum working conditions. Exercises include “instant chemistry and comfort” and “asking for consent”. You’ll also be introduced in detail to The Pillars, Intimacy Director’s International’s approach to choreographing these moments and scene. We’ll close the day with some basic scenework, exploring emotional intimacy within a simple piece of text.

Touching (handshakes, handholding, hugging) through guided contact improv is part of the course. Kissing is not required. While the goal is to explore emotional and physical intimacy, the core concept of this work is Safety, for the facilitation of safe exploration. All touching is consensual, and participants are always invited to sit out and watch, should they feel uncomfortable or triggered.

WORKSHOP FOR DIRECTORs, COACHES & CHOREOGRAPHERS- TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28

Theatre Calgary Rehearsal Hall, Arts Commons, 10:00-6:00

Learn the techniques and the language to stage human sexuality in a way that is professional, dynamic and focused on storytelling.

A practical approach to staging Scenes Of Intimacy in performance. 

In this workshop, you’ll learn specific techniques for helping actors to access their vulnerability in a dramatic context, resulting in powerful chemistry between characters without compromising personal boundaries. Focus is on subtle and specific details in choreography, and on acting exercises to keep partners connected physically and emotionally.  It’s an exploration of vulnerability within a dramatic context for the purpose of telling the story of the scene. You’ll also be introduced in detail to The Pillars, Intimacy Director’s International’s approach to choreographing these moments and scene. Discussion topics include suggestions for Best Practices, addressing permission vs. consent, psychological safety, and minimum working conditions. Instructor Siobhan Richardson will demonstrate a few exercises with actors, and you are also invited to participate. Exercises include “instant chemistry and comfort” and “asking for consent”.

This is not just kissing or sex scenes. The principles can include the intimacy between parents and children, between dear friends, and can also apply to scenes of sexual violence. 

Touching (handshakes, handholding, hugging) through guided contact improv is part of the course. Kissing is not required. While the goal is to explore emotional and physical intimacy, the core concept of this work is Safety, for the facilitation of safe exploration. All touching is consensual, and participants are always invited to sit out and watch, should they feel uncomfortable or triggered.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Siobhan Richardson is an Intimacy Director, co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, and the only person in Canada recognized as an Intimacy Director by Tonia Sina, founder of the Intimacy For The Stage method. Siobhan is quickly building an impressive resume in this field, including several directing and teaching credits across Canada, the USA with inquiries from across Europe. Credits include Serenity Wild (Tender Container), Odd One Out (Human Wick Effect), Dancock’s Dance (The Hogtown Collective), Aunt Dan and Lemon (Shadowtime Productions), The Container (Theatre Fix), Hogtown (The Hogtown Collective), White Biting Dog (Soulpepper), The Trial of Judith K (Thought For Food Productions), and assistant to Intimacy Choreographer Tonia Sina on The Bakkhai (Stratford Festival, directed by Jillian Keiley). Siobhan is also an actor/fighter/singer/dancer, and a fight instructor/director.