Viewpoints is a physical and emotional practice first adapted from the World of dance by theatre directors Anne Bogart and Tina Landau. (see "The Viewpoints Book" by Anne Bogart & Tina Landau published by TCG at Samuel French and other bookstores), and although movement based, this is not a movement class. It is much more.
Viewpoints is a practice that sheds light on every aspect of how we create characters, investigate text and work in ensemble. It is an addition to your way of working, not a replacement. Viewpoints practice literally and metaphorically expands your vision it engages and rewards your instincts. It also shines a light on bad habits, on emotional crutches, and allows the actor to see other possibilities in creating characters and landing jobs.
It is a staple of our teaching at the School of Steppenwolf in Chicago because it encourages courageous, unpredictable, passionate work.
We'll explore both theater and camera technique and create our own work - above all, Viewpoints invites us to re-discover what it's like to play, sweat, explore, laugh and create.
The Viewpoints are similar to the Suzuki Method of acting, with an added combination of Meisner and The Alexander Technique by use of movement.
It combines Repetition, Spatial Relationship, and Instinctive Response by using both text and physicality. It deals with bodies and motion in space. By pin-pointing physical limitations to the actor, the Viewpoints allow them to free themselves up and get to the truth and heart of a scene. It1s also a tool that can be used for building and creating the inner life of individual characters by way of Gesture and Tempo. Using the Viewpoints is not meant to replace an actor's individual acting technique, it is merely meant to add to it.
This class concerns itself with the primary elements of Viewpoints. The work consists of working the individual Viewpoints as tools for auditions, scene study, monologues, and both stage and TV and film work. There will be scene wok involved, but no memorization is required. This class is about process. It’s about opening up, discovering new ways to attack a scene, and finding out how the individual actor really applies themselves. No previous Viewpoints experience is necessary. This class works for novices of Viewpoints or advanced.
The Viewpoints in Character Composition Work, and helping to open up the myriad of possibilities in creating characters for both stage and film. We will work on how the Viewpoints apply and are necessary in any and all acting work and how they can be layered on an acting process instead of replacing it. We will also work on getting rid of individual bad habits or if an actor feels they’re just stuck in a rut. We’ll explore both the inner and outer heart and soul of a character. We will also work on the Vocal Viewpoints and how voice work combined with physical work can sometimes make the difference in “playing at” the character instead of “being” the character. Memorization will be required. You must either have taken Viewpoints 1, or have previous Viewpoint experience to join this class.
We’ll work on text and the difference in creating characters for stage and film. This will be advanced Character Composition Work individually as well as in large groups. We’ll also apply the Viewpoints to monologue work and auditions and how to use them when no one else is familiar with them. We’ll also attack the idea of not showing your work. Making an actor’s work tighter, more compressed, and honest. We will use the Viewpoints in a way that directly applies to film and television. Memorization required. At least 2 memorized monologues required. You must have either taken Viewpoints 1 and 2, or have had previous Viewpoints experience.