A detailed description of the process we will use in Mexico during the next project - June 21 to July 22, 2013

Our first goal is for everyone to know the story well enough to tell it.

We will work with the story until everyone can tell their version of it.

Here is how it happened in Jalpan de Serra during the winter 2010-2011 project

We will decide on a stage and build it, or find it. We will make a portable stage that we can take with us on the tour.

...regarding the tour...at the end of the project, we will present the show in the town of Jalpan where we will have worked during the 3 weeks, But ALSO, Junipero, the director of the Museum and our on site collaborator likes to organize a tour in 3-4 small villages in the sierra gorda. This means that we pack the puppets and our selves into a sort of Safari bus, and we head for the hills...we will be out for 3-4 days, and we will present the show in those small towns. We want to make it clear this is not a club-med adventure!....we are sleeping in church halls or with the villagers in their houses, we will be eating the food prepared by the locals, -- the conditions are rustic. it is an in depth experience in the heart of the Sierra Gorda. For some, it can be physically demanding to ride the bumpy hills, and arrive for yet another boiled chicken meal... for others, it is a facinating and exciting way to visit the area, and make contact with those communities...,

Next, we will undertake a series of constructions, using armatures, clay and papier maché.

In this workshop we will present the latest evolution of our mask building techniques.

We will build armatures on the tables and sculpt the clay to the image we require. This work will reveal the entire process of mask making, as we know it. There will also be some painting, and/or printing in this process.

Theatrically we will proceed with our methods, planning to make a collective creation, based on a mythic tale, or some other story seen as a modern drama.

Our technique can be described by the terms of the stages:

·      Identifying the drama; personalizing it, have we had this experience?

·      Understanding the conflict in the scene.

·      Dramatizing it, using improvisation.

·      Criticizing the work collectively.

·      Then socializing it;  that is, changing the actors and doing the scene again, taking advantage of  our own critiques.

A special aspect of the theatre that we will work with here is the comic interlude.

Changing the emotional quality of the scenes. Remember we are making spectacle, perhaps closer to performance than to theatre. We will use humor to accent the drama. We will mix the two elements, serious/ drama and strong humor. Slapstick and Irony with a bit of whimsy and farce.

Typically we will work on one scene a day, our objective will be to complete one scene a day.

Towards the end we will take very important steps of finding the titles and sequencing, which we also do collectively. When we get to this work, titleing and sequencing, we will be finished with the improvisation.

After this we will be ready to rehearse on the stage, or in a more theatrical way. At this point we will have created the work, now we will prepare it for performance...

The result of this workshop, in a pedagogic way, will be to observe and practice the steps, in the building of a collective creation, and as part of a cultural exchange. We will demonstrate and discuss all of the steps that we use in our work, from conception to performance.

              One can expect to gain a new understanding of theatre,

…theatre free of the, "edifice complex",

…theatre that joins the myth with the drama of modern life.

…theatre that celebrates the natural world.

…theatre that understands the relevance and significance of humor.

We hope you can join us !
Our Next project will be Jalpan de Serra, Mexico-

More info and registration click here:

Josh Kerson, 2004
Anna-Kaisa Jarvi, France 2009
Socializing the improvisations, Huitzo, Oaxaca, Mexico 1996
left: Estelle Marcoux, Vermont, 2004

above: Alain Pinol and Maira Jimenes Desales, Puebla, Mexico, 2008

right: Tania Solomonoff, Katah and Janice Walrafen, Vermont, 2003

Sam with Toño and Janet in Puebla, Mexico, 2008
Vermont USA, 1998
Tania Solomonoff, Vermont 2002
Polo and Guadalupe in Puebla, Mexico, 2008
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Dragons Talk - Testimonials