Mime Theatre Studio, Los Angeles:
Mime Theatre Studio (MTS) offers theatrical mime workshops, classes, and private coaching in Los Angeles in Southern California. Established in 2001, MTS teaches the art of Theatrical Mime to all types of performers and non-performers who wish to better understand how the body can be used to express character, thought, and emotion on stage or on screen. The study of Theatrical Mime goes much deeper than the stereotypes of mime such as performing illusions and imitating people. It is a highly-developed art form that uses physical techniques and dramatic concepts to help students learn the importance and value of non-verbal expression in their work. It develops their physical abilities and artistic understanding so that they are able to make effective choices and perform them with skill.
Theatrical Mime Workshops & Classes:
- Level I Intensive Workshop (2 days):
This first level of instruction introduces those new to Mime Theatre to the fundamentals of the art. Students gain a general understanding of what mime was in the past and what it is in today's theatre, and begin to learn the physical and dramatic skills that provide a strong foundation for mime work. The class curriculum includes specialized movement skills, physicalization of emotion, and stylization techniques (including some basic illusion work).
*** Marcel Marceau Technique - Students are introduced to the technique of the great French master of mime, universally hailed as the greatest practitioner of the art in the past century. Students begin to learn the basic principles of Marceau's technique, a technique founded on his own master's teachings and developed over half a century of creating, performing, and teaching. Work includes discussion and discovery of fundamental concepts, technical movement exercises, and exploration of physical dramatic expression.
*** Corporeal Mime (Decroux Technique) - Students are introduced to the technique of "the father of modern mime," Etienne Decroux. Reinventing mime as a contemporary art form, Decroux created a highly technical, codified technique that influenced the work of many, including his most famous pupil, Marcel Marceau. Students learn some basic skills from this technique, providing some of the physical grammar necessary to transform their movements from natural to theatrical.
*** Niedzialkowski Technique - Techniques developed by Polish mime master Stefan Niedzialkowski provide students with methods of breath control and stylization that are fundamental to the physical expression of thought in mime.
*** Character Creation - Students are guided through explorations of the ways in which characters express themselves physically. The inner character is coordinated with the body as students discover what characters say without even speaking.
The Level I Workshop is open to students age 17 and over. (Younger students by special permission only.) Students who complete Level I are eligible to register for Level II.
- Level II Weekly Class:
This second level of instruction builds on the concepts and skills introduced in Level I, and introduces new material. Techniques are explored in greater detail, with more emphasis on mastering each skill. New material in both the Marceau and Decroux techniques is introduced, and work on character, dramatic construction, and improvisation begins.
Students with some experience in mime may audition to begin at this level, but some basic knowledge and skill in Marceau and Decroux work in particular is considered a pre-requisite. Students who have completed Level I are automatically eligible to register for this level.
*** Marcel Marceau Technique & Corporeal Mime - Students work to develop skills previously introduced, and learn new material that becomes gradually more complex.
*** Niedzialkowski Technique - All work continues to develop the skill and application of this technique.
*** Dramatic Construction - Students learn fundamentals of constructing Mime Theatre scenes, learning how "actor-centered" theatre differs from conventional theatre.
*** Creation Exercises - Students prepare assigned exercises at home and present them in class.
*** Video Presentations - Occasional classes will include showings of mime performances on video for better understanding of the class work.
Private Mime Instruction:
From using mime techniques to develop general movement skills, to focusing on work for a specific project, private lessons are available. The student works one-on-one with the instructor, so each session can be customized to meet the student's goals.
Private Group Workshops:
Private workshops can be scheduled for existing groups. These workshops are useful for those who wish to learn the basics of performing Mime as an autonomous theatre art form, as well as for those who wish to explore how Mime can enhance their work in other arts, such as acting for film/TV/stage, dance, storytelling, singing, improv, stand-up comedy, motion capture / performance capture, etc. The instruction can be tailored to participants from young children to adults, and is excellent for theatre or dance companies, and drama or dance students, whether as general skill building or for work on a particular production.
Concepts covered are selected form the following:
* Breath as a basis for physical life on stage
* The origin point and path of movement
* Expressing the internal world (thought and emotion)
* Physical relationship to the external world (this work includes illusion skills)
* The physical character
Workshops can be conducted as a one-time event or as a series of several classes. The minimum duration of a single meeting is one hour, although we highly recommend at least two hours at a time (especially for one-time workshops), as it can be difficult to cover a significant amount of material in less time. The selection and number of concepts covered in your workshop will depend on the total number of hours allotted.
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