Email YouTube Blog Facebook

Category Archives: Mask Theatre

From Fiction to Facts

In my life I am moving and evolving… dancing and flirting with acting,  teaching actors, directing actors,  script writing and now documentary/film making. It’s fascinating. And as I move and shift and jump from fiction to facts, from facts to fiction I realise that it is all the same thing… It’s about sharing truth. Because, like the elements, some things just are. To make a good documentry, just as to make a good show, structure is needed. These are some of the things we look at:

(Silence)
Space
Presence
Tempo
Relation
Rhythm
Conflict
Creixendo
Suspens
Event
Transformation
Space
(Silence)

We are born, we exist, we die. Three act structure. Aristotil  made the connection, he understood about the drama of life…

FARC guerrilla women in Colombia

 

I am about to go to Colombia to shoot a documentary called ‘Process of Peace’. I’ll be talking to ex-combatents and victims of the war that are trying to get back on their feet with the help of the ‘Peace Education Program’.

Here is a link to the trailer of the documentary we made in Ecuador about Gang Members moving from crime to doing social projects

And then, two months later, when I get back I’ll be teaching at The Actors Space on the International Summer Theatre & Film Workshops for actors and directors.

And every time it is new. Fresh, exciting, like every single breath…full of life!

Here are three thoughts for aspiring artists:

1/Learn from the best or from those that feel right to you.
2/Practice your art, experience it!
3/Trust your self and enjoy.

And here is book for those who want to write but don’t know where to start form by Natalie Goldberg ‘Writing down the bones’. I suggest you read it slowly, like eating a good meal, savouring each mouthful. It’s a short, easy to read book and it’s so potent that, like a good session of love making, it is good to make it last.

OK, I am done for today, if you fancy exploring your creativity and learning techniques as an actor or director you can come to The Actors Space this summer. The Screen Acting Workshop is fully booked (waiting list only). Only 4 places lefty on The Directing Performance Workshop. Places available on the other Theatre acting and directing workshops.

Wishing you the best creative life.

Cheers!

Marian

 

About The Creative Actor Workshop

I first discovered The Actors Space whilst on The Certificate of Higher Education course at East 15 Acting School. Whilst there I became interested in a more physically expressive approach to theatre, one where the emphasis is on visual storytelling and movement. I was recommended The Actors Space by a friend of mine who is currently on the BA Physical Theatre course at East 15 and who had been on The Creative Actor course the previous year. He praised The Actors Space for being an extraordinary place for actor training and for creative freedom and liberation. Eager to gain knowledge and experience in this newly found form of theatre I enrolled on The Creative Actor workshop in July 2016. Whilst there, I learnt more about being an artist than I ever thought possible. The Creative Actor course gave me the space to explore my creativity and allowed me freedom to discover new areas of my art without restrictions, whilst in an encouraging and open environment.

Upon arriving at The Actors Space I was taken aback by the picturesque location of the Catalan countryside and the beautiful 16th century farmhouse where I would be creating theatre and living in for the week. Because the workshop is residential, there is a special trust and bond that is made between all the participants, which was essential when creating this kind of collaborative work with an ensemble of actors. Being interested in the teachings of Jacques Lecoq, I was excited that the course focussed primarily on the techniques he developed and that the teachers, Marian and Simon, both were taught by Jacques Lecoq at his international school in Paris. Marian and Simon nurture every participant to help their individual creativity flourish. Not only is your deepest imagination enriched every day, they guide you on your own artistic journey with their 20 years of professional experience and their passion for what they do. Over the week, they constantly encouraged me to challenge myself, take risks and explore new avenues of creative expression in my art, which in turn allowed me to discover new things about myself and the field I am passionate about.

The course is very intense, but nonetheless, fun. Meaning there was a lot that was covered in such a short space of time. This included Mask Theatre (Neutral mask and mask making during the evenings), the observation and Re-Play of Daily Life to create truth and authenticity whilst on stage, The Child which allowed us to be imaginative and playful to create endless possibilities in our work, which finally developed into devising our own dramatic and comic scenes and situations. Whilst all along finding the poetic depths to our work and asking ourselves, “What is it we want to say?

group selfie

I was able to take all the skills and techniques I had learnt whilst at The Actors Space back home and put them into practice. The overall experience was empowering and I feel very privileged and grateful for having had this experience. I cannot recommend this course (and The Actors Space in general) enough. For anyone wanting to explore their full physical potential as a performer, learn new techniques and skills or to generally rediscover their passion for acting (and life) – you will not be disappointed and I can guarantee anyone who embarks on their journey here will make everlasting friendships, have the time of their life and will want to return. I know I will definitely be returning again.

Chantelle Oddie, UK.

Find out about The Creative Actor Workshop

What participants have to say!

THE CREATIVE ACTOR: “For me, it was one of the most worthwhile weeks of my life and I certainly plan to return next year”. Sheyla Sly.

SCREEN ACTING: Thoroughly enjoyed the Screen Acting workshop! I learnt so much and I felt I developed a part of me I did not know existed. It has helped me prepare for an audition which I was successful in getting. Fantastic direction from Simon and Marian and an absolutely beautiful place to be learning in”. Tara Hodgson

ART OF COMEDY “The wonderful structure of the course, the intelligent and spot on teaching and the beautiful setting made for a hugely positive time. I really couldn’t recommend it more. Thank you to the Actors Space!”. Anna Brooks-Beckman

DIRECTING PERFORMANCE “My senses were filled, my creativity re-ignited and energised. I discovered skills i didn’t know i had. Marian and Simon create a safe non judgmental, yet growth environment that allows each student to feel they are contributing something. I absolutely loved it”. Janine Hardy.

Find out more…

Happy new year everyone! If you are travelling during this holiday here is a ‘helpful’ video on how to pack your bag!

Two great female Comics!

Emily Sly (the one on the right).

“…the training offered by Marian and Simon was excellent. I really took to the feedback style and the direct approach as I found it really clear and easy to understand:- when something was working we knew why it worked and if it wasn’t funny or it wasn’t truthful we knew why it didn’t work. The course was perfectly structured over the week with well thought out exercises and challenges that took you on a journey into comedy and clowning. I would definitely recommend the Actors Space to anyone who is seeking to develop their skills, it was great fun and good value for money, I hope to return soon”.

Jane Allanach (the one on the left).

“I will definitely return to The Actors Space and the expertise and sincere hospitality of Marian and Simon. I feel enormously privileged and fortunate to have found this unique and wonderful artistic haven”.

Our next intensive, residential Art of Comedy Course is from the 9th to the 17th August 2017 to find out more click here.

Personal experience – The Art of Comedy course

Jane Allanach (the one on the left in the video).

“Four months on from The Art of Comedy Course at The Actors Space, I still feel full and blessed!

I spent eight wonderful days, although not without sweat and tears, in Marian and Simon’s beautiful farm house/studio – nestled in the pretty, peaceful Catalan hillside. If I’m painting a picture of perfection, that’s because (if such a thing exists) it’s what it felt like. From the outset, being met at the station by our hosts, and meeting up with the rest of the actors, I experienced the warmth and trust that so often comes with a group of people brought together for a common cause – to be creative and have fun!

The course itself was demanding, but was delivered to us in a way in which each exercise built on the previous one, and meant that everyone’s journey, to find their clown, was one of personal discovery. It was very emotional at times because ‘finding your clown’ means making yourself vulnerable (although always within the safety of the group and Marian and Simon’s watchful and nurturing eye).

20160803-_mg_0518

To begin with, I found it difficult due to feelings of unfunniness, and too much censorship of myself. However, as the week went on, and I learnt to play the situation and not the idea, and to trust myself to do less, not more – it became easier. Also beginning with a half mask and progressing to red nose and ultimately no nose was hugely successful.

Since returning from the Actors Space, I have used the skills I’ve learnt to teach others. I work with a group of adults who have all accessed mental health services at some point. We come together once a week and make theatre. During the past term we have being doing half mask work concentrating on isolating the action, not stealing the focus, and being very clear with the ‘story’ we are telling – a cheerful festive account of a dysfunctional family and an alcoholic Father Christmas! It’s been very positive for a lot of the group who feel that the mask adds a layer of protection to them as performers, liberating them to use much more of their physicality than they would otherwise.

I will definitely return to The Actors Space and the sincere hospitality and expertise of Marian and Simon. I feel enormously privileged and fortunate to have found this unique and wonderful artistic haven”.

Emily Sly (the one on the right in the video).

“I first discovered the Actors Space when my mum returned from participating in The Creative Actor course, she was raving about how brilliant it had been and recommended I booked in for the following year. As a professional actor I often find it hard to book things in advanced due to my uncertain schedule and so without further ado I booked my place on the Art of Comedy course and flew out to Spain the next day.

Thankfully my ‘spur of the moment’ decision paid off, I arrived a little after the course had started but was welcomed in by Marian, Simon and the participants and soon felt part of the family.

I was attracted to The Art of Comedy workshop in particular as I wanted to deepen my understanding of the Lecoq method with a view to studying physical theatre as an MA and I have to say I was not disappointed, the training offered by Marian and Simon was excellent. I really took to the feedback style and Simons direct approach as I found it really clear and easy to understand:- when something was working we knew why it worked and if it wasn’t funny or it wasn’t truthful we knew why it didn’t work. The course was perfectly structured over the week with well thought out exercises and challenges that took you on a journey into comedy and clowning.

Since the course I have continued to use the techniques I learnt at the Actors Space in my professional work as an actor with Blunderbus Theatre Company and in particular in my work with refugees as a clown volunteer with The Flying Seagull Project in Greece. I would definitely recommend the Actors Space to anyone who is seeking to develop their skills, it was great fun and good value for money, I hope to return soon”.

For information on the Art of Comedy course click here.

Our teaching – The Actors Space, Barcelona

Marian Masoliver, teacher, talks about the pedagogy involved in the training.

What I like most about our pedagogy is that it nurtures the creativity of the performer and places the actor at the centre of dramatic creation. What is essential in the training is to get the participant to engage with ‘Le Jeu’ (or ‘Play’). Lecoq defines ‘Le Jeu’- “When, aware of the theatrical dimension, the actor can shape an improvisation for spectators using rhythm, tempo, space and form”.

actors-space-mentoring

‘Play’ is connected with making the most of any particular moment dramatically. It is about rendering the moment fully into life on stage. To achieve this the actor has to train their body, imagination and creativity. We do this by exploring the actors dramatic and comic presence and the nature and dynamics of conflict; The push and the pull, contraction and expansion, crescendo, rhythm, space, event… The work focusses in like a microscope to reveal the essence of comic/dramatic situation. We work with the ‘motor’ of each scene. With this awareness  the actor is free to play.

14732206_1151954491553775_8614400577280649903_n

Also, we ask the question “What do you want to say”? To develop style with no content is a fruitless act. We encourage  artistic risks to be taken and together we seek poetic depths to be explored. We are after all creating work that mirrors life itself.

emotion             130807_actor-space_ja_119

We are practitioners who teach. The techniques we share at the Actors Space have been developed from over 50 years of combined professional experience as actors, directors and teachers. What we offer is hands on physical theatre and screen actor training which at it’s core, is inspired by working with Jacques Lecoq at his international school in Paris.

Ultimately our aim is to empower the actor to create meaningful work. We do this by developing their understanding of all the elements involved, the writing, direction and acting. We call this the ‘creative triangle’.

To find out about our summer workshops click here.

 

Tell the Truth!

 

Monsieur Lecoq (with whom I had the pleasure to study with at his school in Paris) used to say that there were two important things in his pedagogy: Daily life and the observation of nature. I agree, and today in my pedagogical approach and that of  The Actors Space we continue to encourage truthful observation, leading to truthful performance.

When students play in a way that is not true, forcing things, ‘inventing’ play that is not anchored in any reality it makes me cringe. The audience doesn’t relate. And we need to relate to be interested – tell me a story because this story is also my story… and by witnessing it I can see myself in a mirror, and I learn something and I grow…That to me is the power of Theatre. If it doesn’t achieve that it is just an empty demonstration.

Robert McKee says ‘Write the truth’, good advice and a rare practice these days. As artists, we need to tell the truth. Yes, let’s write the truth and play the truth – the world needs it more than ever.

Marian Masoliver – Co-director/ teacher at The Actors Space

 

Come and learn how daily life, observation of nature and deeply connecting with truth is essential for an actor/creator. Choose the right course for you at The Actors Space, near Barcelona. Our workshops and courses are inspired by our work with Jacques Lecoq and from more than 30 years of experience as actors, teachers and directors of Theatre and Film. 

 

simon-and-marian-laughing-bw

Simon Edwards and Marian Masoliver, co-directors/teachers at The Actors Space, an International centre for the training, research and creation of the dramatic arts, near Barcelona.

The Creative Actor   16th – 24th July 2017 – With techniques originally developed by Jaqcues Lecoq, this workshop aims to release the creative power of the actor using the body, imagination and play.

Screen Acting  28th July – 5th August 2017 – A practical experience that allows the actor to achieve maximum creative expression within the technical constraints of working on camera.

The Art of Comedy  9th – 17th August 2017 – An adventure in comic creation where the actor discovers his or her own personal ‘Ridiculousness’ and learns how to apply it in both comic and dramatic art.

Directing performance  22nd – 30th August 2017 – Participants learn how to direct actors by giving them freedom within a clear structure, guiding them to create their best work.

Early Bird prices available now!

 

‘Enjoy, enjoy enjoy!’ – The Actors Space

XVIII International Theatre and Film Workshops

…what a pleasure to have been doing these workshops for 18 years and always with great, talented people from all over the world! This time the  residential workshops took place from mid July to mid September and were attended by 53 people from 15 different nationalities. It is always a joy for me to teach for such special workshops. A melting pot of cultures, experiences and creativity! This is The Actors Space.  Marian Masoliver co-director/ teacher at The Actors Space

The Creative Actor “A thousand thank you’s for this wonderful week, full of discoveries, exchanges and encounters -I’ll be back! Clemency” Fiot, France

img_7333

more info here

 

The Art of Comedy “When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them, is the best thing that could happen!” Yvonne Link, Germany

20160803-_mg_0074

more info here

 

Screen Acting “...I’ve come away with lots of new tools ready to start my degree in acting!…thank you again for helping me along with my career!” Imogen Segrave, UK

20160903-_mg_0009

more info here

 

Directing PerformanceProfound, enlighting, awakening, liberating…what a wonderful week! Thank you”. Janine Hardy, Ireland.

20160908-_mg_0275

more info here

Some acting tips that you will hear from us when you come to The Actors Space (just some…)

Be subtle, connect with the truth and find the depth… Don’t “act”. Whenever someone “acts” it is visible and the audience doesn’t buy it. Remember to listen to the other character (or the space…), this will CONNECT you inside and outside. And of course, STUDY the scene. Who is this character? What do they WANT? What is the OBSTACLE that is not letting them get what they want? What are the antagonistic forces – let them push and pull the character. Look for the conflicts and let the character live in the uncomfortableness. Put the character in the most uncomfortable position and there will be Drama or Comedy (just depending on the register you will play in, or the Play is in).

Actors Space 09

Actor Space

During The Creative Actor Workshop

Less is more. If in doubt do less. Listen. Be in the space. Connect with what is going on. Trust. Don’t “look” for the feeling, the feeling IS there. Trust…

emotion

During the Screen Acting Workshop

Some places still available on these Summer International Theatre & Film Workshops

For more information contact info@actors-space.org

 

The Actors Space in Ecuador and more…

In February 2016 I was lucky enough to go to Northern Ecuador with my partner Simon Edwards, with whom 18 years ago, we co-founded The Actors Space, an international centre of research, training and creation for the Dramatic Arts, near Barcelona.

In the Andean city of Ibarra, province of Imbabura, we worked with ‘Calle Paz y Respeto’ a collective of gang members who after experiencing real tragedy decided to turn things around – see the trailer of the documentary ‘Peace is Inevitable’ about their change, produced last year in Ecuador and co-directed by Simon Edwards.

Radio Publica Ecuador’s director Giovanna Tassi, was so impressed with their change that she gave them a Nationwide Radio Program to tell their stories and to promote Peace.

10382385_1459436580982651_9018087935358952627_o

Simon and I, in association with The Prem Rawat Foundation, were working with these young people for two months, directing and helping produce their weekly Radio Show ‘Reacciona’, dramatising stories and coaching the performers as we created together radio Theatre Plays aimed at vulnerable young people. These plays are universal stories with a message of Peace filled with drama and comedy.

SAM_1265

 

DSC05655

The experience has been challenging and wonderful at the same time… and so fulfilling that we are still writing scripts and giving feedback on their show from our centre near Barcelona.

The adventures don’t stop! We have an action packed month, filming at the British Film Institute in London and at the end of the month we are going to the Canary Islands to shoot yet another short film.

And of course we are looking forward to this summer’s International Theatre and Film Workshops here at The Actors Space. This is going to be the 18th year of these special workshops, with people coming from all over the world to train and push the boundaries of dramatic and comic creation. There are still some places available.

^ back to top