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Telling a Story – Physical Storytelling Workshop

Stories are not just words. They are an experience made up of gesture and often non-verbal communication. Good storytellers, such as the Groundswell Players, use this to their advantage and they will share these secrets during a workshop.

On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Philadelphia-based physical theatre company will present a theatre workshop at Radford University’s Hawes Studio Theatre in Porterfield Hall exploring the role of physicality in story-telling and the ability to communicate with our bodies.

Groundswell Players explores the heights and depths of human error and the inherent comedy in trying just a little too hard. The company members of Groundswell have extensive training in a variety of physical and devised theatre techniques. They have studied at Columbia University, New York University, Headlong Performance Institute, and are among the first graduating class of Pig Iron Theatre Company’s School for Advanced Performance Training.

By making an extensive study of the body and its movements, the Neutral Mask, red nosed clown, bouffon, grotesque, melodrama, dance theatre, Greek chorus, acrobatics, puppetry, Balinese mask, and devising techniques, the members of Groundswell Players are keen observers of the human form and are uniquely poised to share their knowledge.

This workshop focuses on harnessing one’s ability to communicate without words. Participants will learn techniques for placing themselves more “in their body” and expanding their kinespheres. They will learn about the different levels of tension in a body and how to use those levels to their advantage in performance.

The fixed point, an essential tool of mime will also be covered.

“How do we create an object that isn’t there but do it so well that an audience believes they can see it? By the end of the workshop, students will feel a greater sense of control over their body as an instrument for communication,” says assistant professor of theatre Tommy Iafrate. 

The workshop at RU is designed for dancers, actors, and students of ASL (American Sign Language), but all are welcome. It culminates with a performance of Groundswell Company member Alice Yorke’s solo performance piece, “À Table,” which tests the limits of what we think we need to understand in order to truly comprehend.

The workshop starts at 3:00 p.m. and is three hours long including performance and is free. For more information, please email Tommy Iafrate at tiafrate@radford.edu.


Nov 13, 2013

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