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Directing-Acting Workshop

Directing-Acting Workshop


Directing-Acting Workshop

Lead by Raïna von Waldenburg
Guest teachers: Leannie Aalgaard & Gabriella Minnes Brandes

This workshop is based on the experiment Raïna has conducted at UFV this semester.
Note: This is the final workshop in Vancouver with Raina von Waldenburg until spring 2016.


  • Mondays 7 – 10pm
  • Saturdays 3 – 6pm
  • April 13 – June 9   (9 weeks)

Please note that the final workshop day, before the performance dates, is Tuesday, June 9th 7-10pm. This is the only day that falls outside of the Mon-Sat schedule. Additional schedule note: Saturday, May 16th class is 4 – 7pm.


  • June 12, 13 & 14 (Friday – Sunday)
  • 8 – 10pm (performer call time 6pm)


  • Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street – week 1 & 2
  • Dusty Flower Shop Studio – balance of workshop + performances (see address below)

Theatre Performances

  • Dusty Flower Shop Theatre, 2050 Scotia Street, (The Artiste building, rear entrance, glass doors to the right of the loading bay)

Please note that the performance is by invitation only to guests, no ticket sales.

Class Size
9 -15 students (Audition/Interview required if you have not worked previously with Raïna)

$600 (payment plans available)

Please note there are no cancellations and no refunds permitted for workshops.

Call Blue Egg 1.844.258.3344 (1 844 BLUE EGG) or

(If you have not worked previously with Raïna, please email a description of your artistic history)

The Workshop
Our mission is to provide actors with personal and artistic agency. The workshop challenges actors to self-manage their process and self-direct their work while being directed by a peer. This training interfaces the execution of form with the ability to surrender to the present moment. In collaboration with the director, actors will craft a precise and repeatable scene and then live inside of it with relentless authenticity.

The workshop is an examination of innovative approaches to performance that are physical-based, impulse-driven and non-psychological. Directors will work with post-modern approaches to theatre and physical acting techniques that require actors to redirect their personal habits.

We will cover three units of post-modern theatre: (1) Viewpoints, (2) Presence/Impulses (I AM ONE WHO), and (3) Grotowski. One week of focus will be allocated to each of the three units through lectures, discussions, references to readings, and practical exercises.

  • Workshop participants will be split into groups of (3) three.
  • Each group will work on a 2-person scene.
  • Each participant will fulfill the role of director as well as play both roles.
  • Each director will be assigned one of the three units of study to focus on in rehearsal.
  • The result will be (3) three unique renditions of each scene.

The workshop culminates in a theatre performance of each scene. Participants are encouraged to invite friends, family, colleagues, and professional “whohas”.

**Directing-Acting requires substantial commitment; attendance of classes and all rehearsals outside of class, and complete weekly reading assignments for in-class discussion.

Please see below:

(1) Example of workshop flow

(2) Reading assignments

(3) Description of post-modern theatre



Group A (for example: Eddy, Davey, June)

Scene Assignment (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe—Martha, George)


Rendition One

(Eddy—director [focus is on Viewpoints], Davey—Martha, June—George)

Rendition Two

(Davey—director [focus is on Presence], June—Martha, Eddy—George)

Rendition Three

(June—director [focus is on Grotowski], Eddy—Martha, Davey–George)

ROUND TWO (repeat Round One)



Students must purchase or access the following two books (Reading The Viewpoints Book is required prior to April 13):

  • The Viewpoints Book; A Practical Guidebook to Viewpoints and Composition – Anne Bogart, co-written with Tina Landau
  • A Director Prepares; seven essays on art and theater – Anne Bogart

Additional excerpts from the following books will be referenced:

  • Sandford Meisner on Acting – Sandford Meisner
  • An Acrobat of the Heart: A Physical Approach to Acting Inspired by the Work of Jerzy Grotowski – Stephen Wangh
  • Overlie’s Viewpoints/Bogart’s and Landau’s Viewpoints – Mary Overlie, Anne Bogart, Tina Landau [online document]
  • Grotowksi’s Statement of Principles/Towards a Poor Theatre – Jerzy Grotowski [online document]
  • Actors on Acting – Michael Chekhov, Vasili O. Toporkov, Jerzy Grotowski
  • Acting (Re)Considered – Michael Kirby
  • Acting (Re)Considered – Philip Auslander
  • Impro – Keith Johnstone



Postmodern theatre is a recent phenomenon in world theatre, coming as it does out of the postmodern philosophy that originated in Europe in the middle of the twentieth century. Postmodern theatre emerged as a reaction against modernist theatre. Most postmodern productions are centered on highlighting the fallibility of definite truth, instead encouraging the audience to reach their own individual understanding. Essentially, thus, postmodern theatre raises questions rather than attempting to supply answers.

Postmodern Techniques

A postmodern theatrical production might make use of some or all of the following techniques:

  1. The accepted norms of seeing and representing the world are challenged and disregarded, while experimental theatrical perceptions and representations are created.
  2. A pastiche of different textualities and media forms are used, including the simultaneous use of multiple art or media forms, and there is the ‘theft’ of a heterogeneous group of artistic forms.
  3. The narrative needs not be complete but can be broken, paradoxical and imagistic. There is a movement away from linearity to multiplicity (to inter-related webs of stories), where acts and scenes give way to a series of peripatetic dramatic moments.
  4. Characters are fragmented, forming a collection of contrasting and parallel shards stemming from a central idea, theme or traditional character.
  5. Each new performance of a theatrical pieces is a new Gestalt, a unique spectacle, with no intent on methodically repeating a play.
  6. The audience is integral to the shared meaning making of the performance process and its members are included in the dialogue of the play.
  7. There is a rejection of the notions of “High” and “Low” art. The production exists only in the viewer’s mind as what the viewer interprets – nothing more and nothing less.
  8. The rehearsal process in a theatrical production is driven more by shared meaning-making and improvisation, rather than the scripted text.
  9. The play steps back from reality to create its own self-conscious atmosphere. This is sometimes referred to as meta-theatre

While these techniques are often found in postmodern productions they are never part of a centralised movement or style. Rather, they are tools for authentic introspection, questioning and representation of human experience.