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Kathleen will be teaching a weeklong intensive workshop in
Meyerhold's Biomechanics at the Celebration Barn August 13-18, 2007.
For more information go to:
www.celebrationbarn.com/workshop/main.html
email Kathleen at Lafkath@aol.com

Physical approaches to theatre training and to theatre are increasingly in demand in American educational theatre. Educators and practitioners are turning to a wide variety of methods-both contemporary ones and ones from earlier times-to meet this demand. Recently, the work of the great Russian actor, director, and teacher, Vsevolod Meyerhold, has been attracting a good deal of interest and attention.

Theatrical Biomechanics, the system of actor training and approach to theatre which Meyerhold developed, provides a rigorous and systematic path for the development of the actor’s psycho-physical instrument. This approach teaches acting through physical work. At the same time it develops "purely" physical capabilities such as balance, strength, coordination, agility, and flexibility and teaches a broad range of physical skills including tumbling, acrobatics, partner work, and work with objects.

The workshops offered by Kathleen Baum immerse students in rigorous physical work. Even more important, they aim to give students a clear conceptual understanding of the purpose and value of the physical training. Great emphasis is put on the fact that even the simplest, seemingly ordinary physical exercises are really embodiments of fundamental principles of acting such as concentration; awareness of self, of one’s partner, and of the space; listening; give and take; and moment to moment life in a scene. Kathleen’s approach to Meyerhold’s system seeks to help students integrate their physical, emotional and intellectual work in their acting. It also seeks to help students make connections between Biomechanics and other approaches to acting they may be studying.

Kathleen Baum has developed an approach where the Alexander Technique becomes the "means whereby" students can find freedom and ease in this work. Why combine Meyerhold and Alexander? Work in Biomechanics can be quite demanding physically. Students often tend to approach it with excess effort and tension. The Alexander Technique provides students with specific, positive means to address this issue. Kathleen begins any series of classes in Biomechanics by introducing the students to the fundamental principles of Alexander. These principles then serve as a touchstone through all phases of the Meyerhold work.

Kathleen has taught classes, workshops, and residencies at numerous colleges and universities. Students and faculty alike have found Meyerhold’s Biomechanics to be of great value in contemporary theatre training. For a sample of their responses go to Comments from Students and Faculty.

Photo: Top Left by Gerard E Moses
Kathleen Baum's Class At the Syracuse University Drama Department
Photos: Two Right by Kato McNickle
Wokshop by Kathleen Baum at The National Theater Institute at Eugene O'Neill Theater Center


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