news, updates, and conversations from Volcano Theatre

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Q & A with Daniel Brooks

Daniel Brooks is a writer, director and performer who has collaborated with a wide range of artists throughout his career. He was co-artistic director of The Augusta Company, Artistic Director of Necessary Angel from 2003-2012, and is currently an associate artist at Soulpepper, where he teaches. His many awards include the Siminovitch Prize. His work has toured across Canada and around the world. Daniel has taught at the Conservatory several times, and joins us this year with his course "Dynamics of Space". Here, Daniel speaks to Erupting Now about this class and his unique approach: 

Q: What will "Dynamics of Space" be all about? 

A: I will be teaching a course that strips away all politic, metaphor, and psychology, in order to explore simple stage dynamics:  the body in space, the body in motion, the body in relationship to other bodies. We will do simple exercises - but simple in a way that is often difficult, for it requires a kind of training and concentration that demands a simple presence and awareness. Participants will act as “directors” and actors. The exercises we examine will be beneficial to both directors and actors, as we will be exploring fundamental aspects of stage dynamics.  

As the “director” works on a presentation, we will also be examining how each individual communicates, how they can more effectively communicate and command the attention of the actor and of the room. We will also explore the actors ability to collaborate with a director. How can an actor contribute to a collaboration while at the same time taking exacting instruction?

Q: Your class follows a very specific series of exercises. What do you find to be the benefits of this more structured approach?

A: There are endless skills and capacities that theatre makers can develop. I believe we sometimes overlook simple technical skills, that can be applied to any kind of theatre creation. A more structured approach allows the participant to examine their work more objectively. By stripping away more conventional “meanings” (political, psychological or otherwise), by clearing the air and working technically, other unexpected meanings emerge in the work. In addition, I think working technically is fun!

Q: Who will benefit from participating in Dynamics of Space?
A: Actors and directors who are interested in stage dynamics, especially the dynamics of the body of the performer in space, and advancing their ability to communicate clearly.  

Q: What makes you want to return to the Volcano Conservatory as an instructor? 

A: I always look forward to being inspired by the energy, talent and enthusiasm of the participants.  

Space is filling quickly for Dynamics of Space! You can register here. Information about the full slate of Conservatory offerings in 2016 can be found here. 

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